Chapter 1:

An underground chess match

En Passant Grandmaster

Chess. Chess is a game that has been played around the world for centuries. There are plenty of chess tournaments hosted where people can compete against one another to become the top player in the world. Naturally, there are also many underground chess leagues. One underground chess league in particular has been gaining infamy due to its use of a frightening piece of technology. This league is known as the Desperado league...

"Huh? why the hell would we allow a chess club here?" a young man snarled.

"Vice-president, chess is a worldwide sport and our school could-"

"We already have a shogi club, and shogi's superior to chess."

"Says the captain of the shogi team. Are you denying the request for personal reasons?"

"Yes, I don't want your proposed chess club to negatively affect our shogi team. Our school is even called Shogikawa gakuin! We can't have our school's namesake being upstaged by something like chess! Oh, and do you even have enough members?"

"Yes, four in fact."

"Well isn't that a lucky number. Request denied!"

"What an asshole. A chess club wouldn't leech off his shogi club," a girl with brunette twintails huffed as she stormed down the hallway towards the school’s main office.

The girl was a 3rd-year highschooler at Shokigakawa gakuin named Mimoko Inoue. She was a girl that had enjoyed playing from a young age, but had only recently decided to become a professional chess player. As a result of that, she was looking to start a chess club at her high school in order to both spread the joy of chess and to properly represent the school in chess tournaments. However, the request had been denied. Mimoko was not going to give up though. If the student council vice-president said no, then perhaps the authority above him could override him.

"No. If you wanna play chess, just do it somewhere else. We aren't going to fund a chess club at my Shogikawa gakuin," the principal huffed.

"Why not? It can just be a club for fun-"

"I don't want chess present in my school at all!"

Mimoko shot the principal a nasty glare before unleashing a verbal tongue lashing upon him. The principal was taken aback, and began yelling back at her. Before things could escalate, some nearby teachers broke up the fight. After exchanging one final glare with the principal, Mimoko stormed out.

Crows cawed as Mimoko sat dazed on a bench overlooking the river bank and downtown Kawaguchi as the sun began to set. She began muttering to herself about her school life was going to get more problematic now that she got in a fight with the principal. Her daze didn’t last long though as she was approached by a troublesome looking man.

The man dressed like he was from a street gang and had multiple ear piercings, spiky jewelry, a bird tattoo, and a side shave.

"Lets have some fun, just you n’ me," the man snickered as he grabbed Mimoko's arm.

"Hmm, why do you look like you're about to kidnap that girl?" a voice asked.

The man turned to notice a boy in a highschool uniform walking towards him.

"Tanabe-kun!?" Mimoko exclaimed.

Okisato Tanabe was one of the students that agreed to join the chess club. He was an average looking man and had no stand-out features.

"Huh? What do you want? A taste of the great Inojin-sama's boot?" the man snarled.

"I just want you to leave my senpai alone. She clearly doesn't want to go with you."

"She never said no, did-"

"NO!" Mimoko glared as she freed her arm.

"HUH!? You think you can just go home!?" Inojin snarled as he whipped out a pocket knife.

"Oi, let's settle this peacefully," Okisato glared.

"Peacefully!? What, you Ghandi or somethin? The real world don't-"

"How about if you beat me in a game of chess, you can do what you want with her?"

Inojin's eyes narrowed as a sinister smile appeared on his face and he agreed to the proposal.

"HOLD ON! Don't I get a say in this!?" Mimoko glared at the two.

"Better idea, how bout you play me, girl. You win, I leave you alone forever, you lose, you become my bitch forever."

"Sorry, but you already agreed to play me. Though if you want to add some extra conditions to us, state them now," Okisato glared.

"Fine. How about loser also ends up taking a dip WITH AN IRON WEIGHT STRAPPED TO THEIR NECK!" Inojin shouted as he pulled a circular device out of his pocket and threw it at the river.

Immediately, a platform appeared floating atop it in place. The platform itself was nothing noteworthy, but the things on it were quite eye-catching. Aside from a giant white pawn statue, overlooking a simple chess board, two giant iron weights with shackles attached to them sat ominously at each end of the platform.

Before Mimoko could say a word, she suddenly found herself restrained to the giant white pawn on the platform. "Wha- MMPH!?"

"Sorry, but chess is a quiet sport, see. Feel free to moan all you want, though" Inojin sneered as Mimoko's mouth was sealed.

Okisato appeared unfazed as he sat down on the white end of the chess board.

"Oi, we didn't draw-"

"Check your card."

Inojin scoffed and summoned a turquoise screen before him. "Black, huh? Well whatever. I'll still win," he snickered as the card vanished and he took his seat.

Immediately, the metal shackles connected to the iron weights attached themselves to the necks of Okisato and Inojin. Mimoko meanwhile was still trying to process everything that was happening as she was forced to watch things unfold.

"So what's your rating then?" Inojin asked Okisato.


"Don't play dumb with me. You knew I had a WWCF card. Only a member of the World wide chess federation can have one. Though I hate to tell you, but I'm from the Desperado league!"


"Yeah, the WWCF doesn't care if you play your matches legally or underground. Of course, only us in the Desperado league have access to this amazing tech."

"Now I get it. That explains why you could summon a chess board out of nowhere."

"You don't look surprised."

"I'm not good at expressing emotions."

"Well whatever. It's time to play. Since this counts as an underground match, there won't be a time limit, though a 10 minute timer will activate if this match goes until daybreak. You also can't leave in the middle of the match, though you're free to take a piss in the river."

"Or offer up a draw?"

"You wish you'd get a draw. Sofia rules are always in play during a DESPER battle. You can’t verbally resign either. Though a stalemate or draw by repetition are possible and would result in everything getting nullified, so guess you'd be able to live at least. Now, make your first move. The game starts NOW!"

Okisato nodded and proceeded to move his pawn to e4.

"Standard, huh," Inojin scoffed as he moved his pawn to e5.

As soon as Inojin pressed the button on the timeclock, Okisato moved his pawn to d4.

"What an idiot! CHECK!" Inojin shouted as he moved his bishop to b4.

Okisato effortlessly countered by moving his knight to c3 while Inojin stared at the board for a bit before moving his knight to e7. Okisato then moved his knight to f3 followed by Inojin moving his knight to c6, before Okisato moved his bishop to d3 on his next turn.

"He's being really cautious. Well, he blew his chance big time," Inojin thought as he captured the pawn at d4 with his e-pawn.

Undeterred, Okisato moved his pawn up to e5.

"Wow, guess you really are just an emotionless loser. You should be quaking considering how screwed you are," Inojin laughed as he castled on the king's side.

"Mm," Okisato nodded as he captured the pawn at h7 with his bishop, putting Inojin's king in check.

"What a dumb move. Well one less bishop for you," Inojin sneered as he captured the bishop at h7 with his king.

"This is looking bad! Damn you Tanabe-kun! Why'd you make such a dumb move!? Now I'm gonna be stuck with that creep for the rest of my life!" Mimoko thought as tears began to well up in her eyes.

"Check," Okisato stated as he moved his knight to g5.

Inojin clicked his tongue and moved his king to g6. Okashiro then moved his pawn to h4 eliciting laughter from Inojin. "BA-KA! I'm so close to mating him. I just need a little bit more, though maybe I could end it now," Inojin thought as he captured the knight at c3 with his d-pawn.

To Inojin's surprise, and delight, Okisato moved his queen to g4. "WHAT AN IDIOT! YOU'RE GOING TO DROWN! THANKS FOR THE EASY WIN, CHECK!" he laughed as he captured the pawn at b2 with his c-pawn.

Okisato shrugged and moved his king to e2.

"Mate coming up soon," Inojin maliciously sneered as he captured the rook at a1 with his pawn. "Queen," he declared as the pawn turned into a queen.

"Correct. There's no way out of this. It's mate in 3," Okisato stated.

"'Three'!? Nah it's mate in o- mm, two," Inojin shrugged.

"No, it's mate in three, check," Okisato stated as he moved his pawn to h5.

Upon seeing the state of the board, Mimoko let out a muffled sigh as she stared directly at Okisato. “Tanabe-kun, so this is how you play,” she thought.

"You struggling? As soon as I get my next turn you're dead," Inojin scoffed as he moved his king to h6.

"You won't get the chance, check," Okisato declared as he moved his knight to e6.

Inojin's eyes shot open as he began to scowl. "He tryin to turn this around by capturin’ my queen? Well I can just move my bish- No. That little shit. Well whatever. Even if he captures my queen, I still have another one, and in a much better place too," Inojin thought as he moved his pawn to g5.

Suddenly, Okisato uncharacteristically burst into laughter. "Oh, I was waiting for this moment! You poor fool! Did you think you'd win against ME!?"

"You lost it? Your ass is dead."

"No, you'll be the one drowning in the river tonight. EN PASSANT!"

Inojin's eyes widened with horror as Okisato performed en passant with his pawn at h5, capturing the pawn at g6 thus putting Inojin's king in checkmate.

"Checkmate! You lose!" Okisato maniacally grinned.

"L- Like hell! You can't move a pawn like that!"

"En passant allows you to capture an opponent's pawn adjacent to your own by moving diagonally to the space just behind it. However, it can only be done if the opponent moved their pawn two spaces on the previous turn, and if the pawn is moved to the square directly behind the opponent's pawn that said pawn passed over when it was moved two spaces. Even underground chess matches follow the rules of chess. En passant is allowed and you are in checkmate via my rook. You cannot block, nor escape to g7 because of my knight. You LOSE!"

Inojin went pale and tried to let out a scream as the weight connected to his chain fell off the platform dragging him into the river with it. He desperately tried to pull the shackle off his neck as he sank, but he was unsuccessful and drowned seconds later.

Mimoko was then freed from the pawn and found herself being dragged away by Okisato as the two ran off the platform before it vanished. Once the two were on dry land again, the platform then disappeared as the device used to summon let out a puff of smoke before falling into the river. Inojin’s corpse then floated to the surface and began floating away much to Mimoko’s shock.

"And that's the end of him," Okisato nodded as his emotionless persona returned.

"Yep, LIKE HELL IT IS! WHAT WAS ALL THAT!?" Mimoko shouted.

"A chess match."


"Well it was. They're pretty common in underground chess matches, though only the Desperado league has developed the technology to create stuff like you just saw. Others gotta set things up the old fashioned way."

"T- Tanabe-kun, w- Who are you?"

"A 2nd-year highschool student that plays chess, that's all... You should probably forget about this and go home. Think of it all as just a wild dream," Okisato said as he walked away leaving Mimoko in a state of shock.


"Like hell it was just a dream!" Mimoko glared as she watched the news at home. On screen, footage of the police retrieving Inojin's corpse from the river was being broadcasted.

"Wow, that's scary stuff. And you said that guy tried to kidnap ya?" a woman with long crimson hair asked.

"Yeah, but the whole thing was weird. A platform appeared and Tanabe-kun saved me by beating that guy in a game of chess."

"Sounds like a lot. Try and stay safe," a man reading a newspaper nodded.

"You sure you're not just making stuff up?" a young boy asked.

"No, Kotora, I'm not! Well, I guess I'll go to sleep. Good night Okaa-chan, Otou-san, and you too Kotora," Mimoko nodded as she headed for the stairs.

"Oh, did ya get that chess club going?" Mimoko's mother asked.

"No, the requests were shot down, but I'm not giving up. Now that I've decided to play chess professionally, I'm going to do my best to get a chess club going so others can experience the fun of chess."

"Atta girl! Though why'd ya decide to suddenly play chess now? You've been enjoyin’ it ever since you were little."

"Back then, I just did it for fun. But ever since you and Otou-san got me that nice chess bag for my birthday a few weeks ago, I decided I wanted to put it to use and start participating in tournaments. Plus, this is my final year of highschool, so I’d like to at least show others the joys of chess before I’m off to college."

"Ya did it because of us?"

"Well, I guess I saw the gift as you both telling me to start playing professional chess."

"Heh, I have no clue how to play chess, but if playin’ it makes ya happy, then I want ya to be happy."

"Thanks Okaa-chan."

"I'm calling the bathroom!" Kotora yelled as he raced up the stairs.

"You little ass! Well, I guess I'll wait in my room.

As Mimoko laid down on her bed, she began thinking about the incident. Unable to make sense of it on her own, she instead thought back to something Okisato mentioned, the WWCF, and decided to register with them. Afterall, she was going to have to do so anyway in order to play at official tournaments.

She quickly grabbed her phone and immediately began registering with the WWCF. As soon as she completed the registration, a notification appeared on her phone.

"'Pull out your WWCF card'? How do I- WAH!?"

To Mimoko's shock, a translucent turquoise screen, much like the one Inojin had summoned, appeared before her. The screen featured Mimoko's name and picture and listed her rating as unrated.

"So this is a WWCF card. It's more like a menu from a video game.”

The WWCF card truly did look like an intricate menu screen. In addition to the rating and profile pic, many side-tabs, each with their own function, were present. The player lookup tab immediately caught Mimoko’s eye as she curiously looked up Okisato to find…

“His rating's 2434!? He's nearly grandmaster level!”

Sure enough, Okisato Tanabe was a highly skilled player. Since he was a seasoned player, his match data was also present, allowing Mimoko to look up the match data for the fight with Inojin. To her greater shock, Inojin’s rating was 1321.

“That's a pretty respectable rating. Guess you can't judge a book by its cover. Well, I think that's enough for tonight. Tomorrow, I'm going to get some answers from Tanabe-kun,” Mimoko thought as she closed her WWCF card.


The next day, Okisato shot Mimoko a confused stare as she approached him at school. "What's with that look, Inoue-senpai?"

"I just registered with the WWCF. Now I'm an official member. That means I can challenge other members to chess matches and get a proper rating."

"Well congratulations."

"I want to play you. If I win, you tell me everything."

"It doesn't work like that. I was only forced into those conditions because of his devi- Oh."

Okisato had tripped up, but based on Mimoko’s lack of surprise, Okisato figured she had pretty much ignored his advice to think of the incident as a dream. Nonetheless, he still attempted to dissuade Mimoko from digging deeper into the incident.

"Underground chess matches can get pretty nasty. I get you’re curious, but a rookie-"

"What makes you think I'm bad at chess? How about we review your game at our first meeting of the chess club," Mimoko glared.

"I thought the request was shot down."

"No, we're forming an unofficial chess club. We can play chess at the park instead of in a classroom."


"Sound more interested! As for your game, I wanted to point out all the errors you made. You nearly lost big time to that thug!"


“Yes, but we’ll discuss everything at the park.”

"Seems like I've gotten myself into something," Okisato sighed as Mimoko dragged him away.

The full game:

White: Okisato Tanabe (2434) Black: Inojin Inosuke (1321)

1. e4 e5

2. d4 Bb4+

3. Nc3 Ne7

4. Nf3 Nc6

5. Bd3 exd4

6. e5 O-O

7. Bxh7+ Kxh7

8. Ng5+ Kg6

9. h4 dxc3

10. Qg4 cxb2+

11. Ke2 bxa1=Q

12. h5+ Kh6

13. Ne6+ g5

14. hxg6(ep)#