Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Playing Dracula

A few years ago I mentioned the TV show "Da Vinci's Demons", and how it used Go rather than Chess as a dramatic device. Well, as it reaches the end of its run, chess has now made an appearance.
In a slightly far fetched set of circumstances, a young Niccolo Machiavelli found himself imprisoned by Dracula (aka Vlad the Impaler) and his friend Zoroaster has to play a game of chess to save his life.
Fortunately for the future author of "The Prince", Zoroaster seems to have access to some 19th century trickery, and was able to win the game in very short order. Although there were some pauses for dramatic effect (and at least one set of moves were missing) after I spotted Black play 3. ... Nd4 I knew that Dracula was going fall victim to the Blackburne Shilling Gambit*. And whether this was coincidence or clever design by the authors, the scene ended with Zoroaster returning a gold coin he had stolen on a previous visit.

(* The moves were 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4 4.Nxe5 Qg5 5.Nxf7 Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 Nf3#)