Rooked

The supremely old-school game of chess is dealing with a very avant-garde brand of unsportsmanlike conduct.
  1. It happened this spring, in the 2012 Virginia Scholastic and Collegiate Chess Tournament. Both Quentin Moore and his opponent, a rising star on the D.C.-area chess scene named Clark Smiley, came into their match undefeated over the weekend-long competition. So the state title and an expenses-paid cross-country trip to the national high school championships would likely go to the game's winner.

    Judging by his pre-tournament rating — 2141, according to the U.S. Chess Federation system, making him the second-highest of the 75 players vying for the high school title — Moore shouldn't have had any trouble getting past Smiley (1875). But Smiley was on fire, having won nine of the 12 previous rated tournaments in which he'd played and taken second place in the other three. Smiley's former high school coach, forgetting that the kid's spree came in state and regional events and not globally significant competitions, now says Smiley had put up "a record only Bobby Fischer could have."

    And ...

The complete text of “Rooked” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.grantland.com.

Originally published in Grantland, September 2012

Great reading. Anywhere, any time

Subscribe to Byliner to finish this and thousands of other riveting stories for just $5.99 a month. Get started now with a 14 day FREE trial.

Join Today

Already a member? Sign in