After getting over the shock of the realisation that such goddesses walk amongst us, well amongst Dave V at least, I remembered there was an episode of Blake’s 7 that had a very strong chess theme. It took me a while to track it down but eventually I discovered it was Series Two's rather unimaginatively titled, “Gambit”.
For reasons I shan't trouble you with, Blake and his crew find themselves at Freedom City. Entertainment is largely to be found at the enormous casino but there is one game of skill available – Speed Chess. House rules are 10 seconds per move for each player, exceeding the time limit being punished by the loss of a pawn. For a prize of a million credits a punter may take on a resident chess expert known as The Klute. Challengers get the White pieces and draw odds but, and here’s the rub, should they lose they are executed for the entertainment of the watching crowd.
First up is a space traveller down on his luck called Frels. The game proceeds as follows…
Frels – Klute
1. e4 e5, 2. Nc3 Nc6, 3. g3 f5, 4. exf5 d5, 5. Qh5+ Ke7, 6. d4 exd4, 7. Bg5+ Nf6
reaching this position...
Frels looks confident - but now we jump to the position after The Klute has played his 13th move.
14. Be3+ Kxc4, 15. a4 Nxf2
Frels begins to look quizical - as well he might. This is hardly the kind of position one wants to be sucked into when only needing a draw. We see him eyeball The Klute suspiciously and when we get back to the game the following position has been reached...
23. Rxe1 Bb4, 24. Qxh8 Ba2+, 25. Kc2 Bc4
Frels looks really worried now - with good reason. The game ends with bad news...
The Klute mated Frels on move 28 then without batting an eyelid hit the 'fry him' button. Frels disappeared in a rather cheap looking special effects flash - perhaps the ultimate answer to the question of whether or not rapid chess is good for you.
But what of the missing moves 8-13, 16-22 and 26-27? Can anyone offer any suggestions as to what was actually played?
Blake's 7 uber-geeks everywhere await your reply.