Chapter 22:

WWCF cards

En Passant Grandmaster

After school, the chess club met up in Maida's main classroom.

"Pleased to meet you, I'm Mimoko Inoue, the chess club president," Mimoko bowed.

"Mayana Maida. Though I believe we're already acquainted. Anyway, today will be a joint cooperation with the science club, though I will be sure to supervise your club properly when it's on its own," Maida nodded.

"Ah, is that why there are so many people here?"

"Correct, though some are 2nd-years from my homeroom here to learn chess to better prepare them for the lesson on Monday. There also appear to be some students that are likely just interested in the chess club.  Why don't you go over the basics of chess to start."



As soon as Mimoko finished going over the fundamentals of chess, Okisato went to the front of the room to talk about the WWCF cards.

"This is a WWCF card. You receive it as soon as you complete your registration to the World wide chess federation. There are two big perks to it. The first is that it's more like a holographic screen you can summon anytime anywhere. Even if you're in an area with no wi-fi, it will still retain data from when you were last online and will continue to keep track of your progress offline as well. The second, and bigger perk, is that you can receive monetary rewards for winning games."


"Yes. And no, you won't lose money if you lose games, though your rating might go down as a result of a loss, but that’s elo ratings 101."

"How exactly is the money dolled out?" a student asked.

"Not sure. Though beating someone with a higher rating and winning tournaments or awards are easy ways to ensure a big pay day."

"Oi, oi, that shit you just said ain't easy," Yuusuke growled.

"As for the banking, the money is tied to your WWFC account. You can use it to buy supplies, various merch, and even exchange the currency for its real world equivalent. My payments are in yen, but it's likely players from around the world earn cash in their home country's currency. Though I think you need to get a proper rating first before you can earn cash. If any of you register right now, you'll be classified as an unrated. In order to get a proper rating, you'll need to play either 5 individual matches against rated players or compete in a single tournament. I'd recommend the latter as that's the easier way, though there have been rare cases where an unrated doesn't get a rating due to being paired with fellow unrateds for the entire tournament. Well that's it. Guess I'll answer questions since I'm the most knowledgeable- actually, why don't I go grab a WWCF official and have her explain-"

"You'll scare everyone away! Just let her sleep!" Yuusuke trembled.

"Ok, any questions?"

"Yes, can you explain the specifications of the tech?" a bespectacled student asked.

"No, I don't know."

"Hmph, well aren't you useless."

"You could just register yourself or examine a friend’s."

Before the student could protest, he was interrupted by the excited gasps of some of the other students as they registered and received their WWCF cards. He begrudgingly registered, though continued to give Okisato a disappointed glare.

Once everyone that wanted to register registered, Maida took the stage. "Now, I see about 30% of you registered. Some of you also deliberately chose not to register to serve as a control. Numakawa-kun, have you analyzed anything yet?"

"No Sensei, the UI doesn't appear to use any known language I'm familiar with," the bespectacled student stated.

"So this truly is an enigma. I myself registered, and did some preliminary experiments on it last night. Now, getting back to the topic at hand. Those that have registered will play exhibition matches against Tanabe-kun, Shousen-kun, and Ishikiridokoro-chan as they are the only rated players here. Since only three can play them at a time, the rest of you will join the science team in the move analysis experiment. Those wishing to learn more about chess for the class may congregate around Inoue-chan and Enoki-chan. They will help teach you the basics. As for the rest of you, you will be participating in the move analysis experiment. I've provided notes and instructions for each workstation. As for the three rated players, take this seriously."

"Um, Sensei, someone said we could join a tournament if we joined the club, when is that?" a large male student asked.

"My apologies, but since the tournament begins tonight, I will only be registering the 5 original members of the chess club."

"Actually, there aren't any limits on team size. Plus the larger we are, the better our chances of taking home a team trophy," Okisato nodded.

"There are entry fees though."

"A large club would also lead to us getting more funding, especially if we get results."

Maida let out a sigh. "We can't take everyone that wants to go."

"Then we'll host a mini-tournament to see who joins the 5 of us. You can also play in the open section too Maida-sensei."

"Are you asking me to compete for a spot too?"

"Not at all, since you technically count as a coach, you can't contribute to the team score. But, you can participate and play in the open section if you want, and would likely receive a proper rating if you did. As for the others, students will either need to soundly beat one of us, win the mini-tournament amongst themselves, or show us that they possess the skills necessary to play at the competitive level. Now, let's begin with the pairings-"

"Hoh? Ya hostin’ a mini-tournament?" a voice rang out.

Everyone darted their heads around until they spotted a woman with her face and hair covered in mud by the window. It was Hagemi.

"GYAH! O- OKAA!?" Yuusuke cried.

The room began to grow tense until Hagemi calmed everyone down. "Relax, relax, you're all fine. I was just mad at your lousy principle. Oh, lemme introduce myself, I'm Hagemi Shousen, WWCF ambassador, grandmaster, and the highest rated female chess player in the world; 8th overall."

Everyone stared in disbelief as Hagemi displayed her WWCF card. It was hard to believe a woman like her was a top chess player. The students were then quickly paired up for the mini-tournament with the 5 original members of the club opting to challenge a student of their choice.

"So I get you," Numakawa glared as Okisato sat across from him.

"Maida-sensei claims you're one of the smartest in the science club. Let's test that hypothesis," Okisato nodded.

"Then allow me to demonstrate my intellect," Numakawa declared as he moved his pawn to e4.

"Why'd you do that?" Okisato asked as he moved his pawn to c5.

"E4 is the most statistically chosen opening for white," Numakawa responded as he moved his pawn to d4.

"E4 and d4, ah," Okisato flatly exclaimed as he captured the pawn at d4 with his c-pawn.

"Quite melodramatic. Did sensei not ask you to take this seriously?" Numakawa glared as he captured the pawn at d4 with his queen.

"How familiar are you with chess?" Okisato asked as he moved his knight to c6.

"I'm familiar with what it is," Numakawa glared as he moved his queen to c4.

"Ever play?" Okisato asked as he moved his pawn to e6.

"No, this is my first time. I do play shogi from time-to-time as a brain teaser," Numakawa stated as he moved his knight to c3.

"Wow, you're really pulling from the textbooks then," Okisato jibed as he moved his knight to f6.

"Well, I DID study chess textbooks when I was informed of the nature of the club's activities today," Numakawa scoffed as he moved his knight to f3.

"You think you can beat me with just that?" Okisato glared as he moved his pawn to d5.

"Yes, I believe you are an incompetent buffoon," Numakawa sneered as he captured the pawn at d5 with his e-pawn.

"A buffoon? why?" Okisato asked as he captured the pawn at d5 with his e-pawn.

"Because you fail to understand the very tech tied to your hobby," Numakawa glared as he captured the pawn at d5 with his knight.

"You saw my rating, right?" Okisato asked as he captured the knight at d5 with his queen.

"Yes, you are the 2434th ranked player," Numakawa scoffed as he moved his queen to e2.

"Chess ratings don't work like that. The higher your number, the higher your skill," Okisato glared as he moved his bishop to e6.

"And what makes you think I'm not superior to you?" Numakawa scoffed as he moved his knight to g5.

"Cause you're screwed," Okisato snickered as he castled on his queen's side.

"What was that!? I- No, I remember Inoue mentioned that was castling, but I thought it was done on the other side."

"It can be done on the queen's side too. So feeling screwed?"

"No," Numakawa glared as he moved his pawn to c4.

"How bout now?" Okisato snickered as he moved his bishop to b4.

Numakawa went quiet and pale before biting his lip and moving his bishop to d2.

"Looks like you are kind of smart after all. Mate in 5," Okisato taunted as he captured the bishop at d2 with his bishop.

Numakawa began to tremble in frustration as he moved his king to d1. A spark of desperation lit up in his eyes as Okisato captured his knight at g5 with his queen, however, he soon realized the countermove he thought up was nothing but a desperate struggle and dejectedly moved his pawn to h4. A sadistic grin spread over Okisato's face as he moved his bishop to a5, forcing Numakawa to move his queen to d3 and have it captured by Okisato's rook.

"Damn you," Numakawa meekly glared as he captured the rook at d3 with his bishop.

"Guess you better get some first hand experience, I can deal with textbook players in my sleep! Checkmate!" Okisato laughed as he moved his queen to d2.

"Heh? Not bad, boy," Hagemi cooed.

"Well, failure is the greatest-"

"Not you four-eyes! Boy, are you the strongest one here? If so, then how bout a quick game with me?"

"Actually, Inoue-senpai's probably the strongest," Okisato stated as his normal persona returned.

"Hoh? In that case, let's have a quick, proper match between you two."

The full game:

White: Syouma Numakawa (unrated) Black: Okisato Tanabe (2434)

1. e4 c5

2. d4 cxd4

3. Qxd4 Nc6

4. Qc4 e6

5. Nc3 Nf6

6. Nf3 d5

7. exd5 exd5

8. Nxd5 Qxd5

9. Qe2+ Be6

10. Ng5 O-O-O

11. c4 Bb4+

12. Bd2 Bxd2+

13. Kd1 Qxg5

14. h4 Ba5+

15. Qd3 Rxd3+

16. Bxd3 Qd2#

Mario Nakano 64
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