Chapter 36:

A new era of chess

En Passant Grandmaster

After meeting up, all the present chess club members went over how they did. Okisato ended the tournament with 4 wins, resulting in him getting 4 points and securing the final grandmaster norm he needed to get the title. This meant that if his rating increased to over 2500, he'd become a grandmaster.

As for the the other members,Yuusuke managed to break even with 3 wins, netting him 3 points while Numakawa managed to win only his final game, leaving him with just 1½ points thanks to his 1st round draw. Yuzuha managed to get 2½ points thanks to winning two games and drawing one. That just left Rodeo who managed to net 2 wins, leaving his final score at 2 points.

As for Maida, she managed to get 2 wins and 2 draws, leaving her with 3 points. It looked like Mimoko was the big winner with her 4½ points, however…

"LOL I went 5-0!" Iori gloated.

"You were in an easier section, though,” Yuusuke glared.

"Still did better than you!"

"Well, you'll probably end up having to play in the open section next tournament considering your rating will likely jump to the point where it will be too high for the intermediate section," Okisato noted.

Just then, Utami approached the group with her head hung low. "I'm sorry, Mimoko-sama. I couldn't do anything."

"It's OK, you're supposed to have fun above all else-"

"But I couldn't win 1st place, I'm a disgrace to you."

"Utami-chan, how did your games-"

"Ah, it says she won her last 3 games. That plus her second round draw gives her 3½ points," Okisato stated as he checked the rankings.

"That's amazing!"

"B- But I didn't win 1st, Iori-chan did, so she's the one worthy of being by your side."

"Uh, I'm not jumpin’ into any love triangles, I'm just the G.O.A.T. when it comes to chess," Iori gloated.

"Doubtful," nearly everyone said in unison.

"Don't worry, Utami-chan, I'm very proud of how you did. Now let's all go to the awards ceremony," Mimoko smiled.

Utami tearfully nodded in approval.


At the awards ceremony, Raymond himself took center stage. "Today is a momentous day in the history of chess. But before that, I suppose we should get the other achievements out of the way. First off, the winner of the rookie section with a perfect score, Nyoan Nyakuoji."

"NYAHAHA! I won, nya!" Nyoan declared as she leaped on stage, now sporting a wool-knit hat.

Kuon proudly took pictures of her, though beneath her smile, she was still upset about Mimoko’s rise to fame.

"Next up, the winner of the intermediate section also with a perfect score, Iori Ishikiridokoro."

"YO! Paste this all over social media!" Iori grinned as she struck a cute pose.

"As for the open section, in third place with 4 points, Hagemi Shousen. In second place with 4 points, Peter Morphy. And our winner with 4 and a half points, Mimoko Inoue!"

"Hmm? Nobody got a perfect score?" Yuusuke asked.

"Well, it is to be expected," Okisato nodded.

"But why are the 3rd place and 2nd place not sharing 2nd if they have the same amount of points?" Yuzuha asked.

"Because of tie-breakers. Peter probably edged Miss Shousen out because unlike her, he didn't lose a match. And me losing to Peter who finished second is probably what doomed e to 4th place."

"As for the top team, the Shogikawa Gakuin chess team wins it all."

"Oh, we won," Okisato nodded as he and the rest of the chess club joined Iori and Mimoko on stage.

"NYA! Why am I the odd one out, nya!?" Nyoan cried.

"Now your attention please. With the conclusion of the tournament and awards ceremony, your new ratings are now available. Please pull out your WWCF cards," Raymond instructed.

"YO I'm 1144 now!" Iori grinned.

"Seems I went up to 1530," Yuusuke nodded.

"I'm 250," Rodeo mumbled.

"350 for me," Yuzuha smiled.

"I- I'm 1001," Utami stuttered.

"Hmm, it says I'm at 1354," Maida stated.

"Impressive, I'm only 900," Numakawa sighed.

"Huh, I went up to 2525, and it says I'm now a grandmaster. I guess I managed to raise my rating high enough, probably thanks to all those high-level grandmasters showing up because of Shousen-san's participation. But I'm really curious what Inoue-senpai's rating will be,” he thought as Mimoko pulled up her WWCF card.

The room let out an audible gasp as they stared at the number.

"And for our new previously unrated champion, her new rating is now 2700! And that's not all, she bested not one, not two, but FOUR grandmasters! Not to mention a draw against one of the strongest grandmasters and top 5 chess players, Peter Morphy. Therefore, Mimoko Inoue will also be granted the title of grandmaster!" Raymond declared.

The room immediately became flooded with gasps and murmurs.

"Damn, even faster than me. Don't think anyone's just been given a straight pass to grandmaster without securing three norms since Mikhail Tal," Hagemi smiled.

"So this is why Gyro was so frightened. Now I can see. I should have been more proactive," Svetlana thought as she watched from the crowd.

"Heh? So she really was a big deal. Guess now I'm motivated to break her. Wonder which one of her teammates I should use to send a message. Maybe the big lug," Haruki thought as he secretly watched from the crowd.

"So Raymond is making another grand bet. Well, she truly did earn her rating. Though I imagine I'll now have to get in line to challenge her once more," Peter thought.

"And with that, thank you all for coming and look forward to the blitz tournament next week at Triple cedar hotel," Raymond said before leaving the stage.

"My, it seems that club has quite a few intriguing members. So why did you fail so badly in your section?" Kuon glared at Nyogaku.

"I waz sleepy," Nyogaku derpily smiled.

"Well, it does make me happy when you fail in such adorable fashion. Nyoan is progressing well so no matter. Though I will admit, I'm not exactly thrilled about Hagemi being dethroned."

"Why'zz that?"

"Because the one who dethroned her will only push me down even harder than Hagemi did," Kuon glared as she walked away.


After packing up all the awards, Okisato brought everyone to the bridge overlooking the secret puzzle cafe.

"Tanabe-kun, this better be quick, the bus to the station will leave in 15 minutes," Maida glared.

"That's plenty of time. So Inoue-senpai ready to-"

"I’m taking the secret ramp. I'm not jumping off with you," Mimoko angrily smiled.


Mario Nakano 64
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