Chapter 28:

Peter Morphy

En Passant Grandmaster

As soon as the round began, Peter and Okisato began moving their pieces at the speed of light. E4, e5, f4, e captures f4, knight f3, d5, d4, d captures e4; the two just wouldn’t slow down.

They were going so fast, the nearby arbiter couldn’t even keep up. “Was it bishop c4, e captures f3, er- Queen f4, f6, castle on the king- Queen e5, rook e1, g5, rook captures e5, f captures e5- Ugh, I can't keep up.”

"Checkmate. I was disappointed. You are still far beneath me, though you at least provided some entertainment unlike the others," Peter glared as he checkmated Okisato.

"Oi, it hasn't even been a minute, how many moves-"

"20 total," Peter nodded as he handed the arbiter his move sheet.

"Oi, I thought this wasn't a blitz tournament," Okisato groaned.

"There are no rules that state you can't play it like it is one."

“How’d you even write everything down so fast?”

“I had a free hand, and free focus due to your sloppy performance.”

"So he went queen f7, king d8, queen captures f8, king d7, bishop d5, c6, queen f7, king d6, c4, c captures d5, bishop a3!? ...King c6, queen captures d5, king b6, queen c5, king a6, queen b5 mate... Impressive as always, Morphy-sama," the arbiter nodded as Okisato and Peter headed out.

"Ugh, now I'm going to be bored. Why do I always lose so badly!? I don't get it!" Okisato groaned as he sat down in a skittles room.

"You managed to make me put my book down, but I'd argue that was more due to my overexpectations," Peter stated as he sat next to Okisato.

"What is that book?"

"Take a look for yourself."

Okisato's eyes widened as he stared at the text. "E4, d5... There's nothing but chess moves."

"Correct, since tournaments forbid odds rules, I implement my own by reading that book to divert some of my focus during a match. It contains a record of chess games from the past, however, I prefer to analyze all the other possible moves to see if victory truly was certain in different scenarios. And before you ask, the officials said the book was permitted to be read during matches."

"And you can still focus on the match?"

"Matches that don't require me to think are not worthy of my full concentration."

"You really are a monster. So is that book on sale?"

"It has been coined as "Morphy's bible" by Maestro Himitsu and will apparently be offered as a prize to exchange points for in the secret puzzle cafes.

"Perfect, I'll be heading back there anyway. How many points is it?"

"Mine was a first-print so I have no definitive answer."

"Just curious, but what's your record against the secret maestros?"

"Of the ones I've found, I've bested all of them. However, I have only found 4 of the 7 maestros throughout the world. Even though many frequent chess venues have puzzle cafes hidden within them, those within a given area are all directly managed by one specific maestro. For example, the one here along with the one at Triple ceder are both overseen by Maestro Himitsu."

"I don't think I've met the maestro personally, then again it's possible I did without knowing who they were."

"So you still have yet to best the maestro's disciples?"

"Well, more like I don't have enough points to challenge them. It's not easy for me to grind for points since the cafes are only open at midnight."

"Nothing time can't solve."

"Guess you're right. Now that I'm in a chess club, we'll be going to tournaments more frequently. Best of all, the cafes open early on tournament days."

"How far away are you exactly from challenging the maestro?"

"I've beaten Himitsudono, Himitsukun, and Himitsutan, but I don't have enough points to play Himitsusama in Okinawa. Though since I found her secret puzzle cafe, I can challenge her from any secret cafe once I get the points. Same for Himitsuchan whom I lost to, though I'll be able to probably rematch her in person in a week. As for Himitsusan and Himitsuue, I've yet to find their cafes, though I did meet Himitsuue but I believe she’s only challengeable after beating the other 6 SPCMs.

"So that is your progress. Seems you are still far from my level. Though you are correct in regards to Himitsuue. "

"Say, can I ask a question, why were you hanging out with those Desperado folks at the restaurant?"

"They seem to consider me a comrade even though I refuse to touch their weapons."

"The DESPERs?"

"Yes, those. I do think the tech could be useful for gaming purposes, but the manner of targeting players and forcing them into submission with it, does not sit well with me."

"So why buddy up with them?"

"To play the Ultima-master."

"Do you know who that is?"

"I do, and have played a series of matches with it."


"I've seen better from research laboratories. Though I did have to place my book down. As for the Desperado league, joining it was the only way Gunnerson would so much as permit me to approach the Ultima-master. Joining the league though worked out quite well for me. Aside from the negative association by proxy, I'm not forced to do their bidding, don't have to wield one of their DESPER weapons, can move as I please, and challenge the Ultima-master as much as I want."

"So you don't have a DESPER laying around somewhere?"

"No, I was offered one, but refused. I have no need of a hindrance like that."


"Yes, once you register with one, it will not be destroyed unless you're incapable of using it ever again. Besides, if the Ultima-master is beaten by someone not from the Desperado league, it will shut down. After that, nobody knows what might befall the remaining Desperados with active DESPERs."

"So there are some drawbacks to it. Thanks."

"I was merely offering a consolation prize in hopes of improving your mood, and desire to improve your game."

"Guess it worked. Want to have an unofficial match?"

"I will not put my book down this time."

"Fine with me. Though, I think I might have found someone that will at least force you to put your book down."

"Mimoko Inoue, yes? Gunerson won't shut up about her."

"So Desperado's truly targeting her?"

"Yes, this is Gunnerson's last-ditch gambit, or so he believes."

"You don't view her as a threat?"

"I have no loyalty to the Ultima-master, nor has she proved herself before me."

"Fair points. Guess I'll be white this time, that fine?"

"Yes, now begin the game," Peter nodded.

The full game:

White: Peter Morphy (2880) Black: Okisato Tanabe (2434)

1. e4 e5

2. f4 exf4

3. Nf3 d5

4. d4 dxe4

5. Bc4 exf3

6. Qxf3 Qxd4

7. Bc4 exf3

8. Qxf4 f6

9. O-O Qe5

10. Re1 g5

11. Rxe5+ fxe5

12. Qf7+ Kd8

13. Qxf8+ Kd7

14. Bd5 c6

15. Qf7+ Kd6

16. c4 cxd5

17. Ba3+ Kc6

18. Qxd5+ Kb6

19. Qc5+ Ka6

20. Qb5#

Mario Nakano 64
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