snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Glurge Gallery

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:25 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,386
Devil Checkmate

Comment: I first heard about this painting on Dr. David Jeremiah’s Turning Point
broadcast that was rerun Easter evening 2011 for its poignant message.
Apparently, the painting is called "Checkmate." This story is from
Reverend Dr. Gary Nicolosi:

------------------------

One of the things a lot of people don’t know about World Chess Champion
Bobby Fischer is that his favorite hobby is visiting art galleries and
museums. Once while on vacation in Europe, he became captivated by one
particular painting called Checkmate. It was the picture of a chess game.
On one side of the board was Satan with a smug and sinister smile on his
face. On the other side of the board was a young man with tears running
down his face and sweat pouring down his forehead. He was biting his
fingernails. Satan was reaching out to make the last move. The young man
looked terrified. Apparently, he thought he had lost the game to Satan.


Again, the painting is called Checkmate. Satan smiled. The young man was
panicked. And as Satan reached out to make the last move, things seemed
hopeless for the young man.


After six hours of staring at the painting, Bobby Fischer said, “Bring me
a chess board.” He set up the board exactly as it was depicted in the
painting. After a few moments, he began to smile. “Young man,” he said, “I
wish you could hear me because I have some good news for you. Things aren’
t as dark as they seem to be. I have studied this game for more than six
hours, and I have discovered that it’s all right to allow the devil to
make his move. Because after he makes his move, I’ve found that there is
one more move on the board! Let him make his move. You’ll be the one who
says, ‘Checkmate!’ There is one more move on board.”
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:28 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 66,526
Default

Was this the Vienna Museum of Schlocky and Incredibly Obvious Religious Art?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:30 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
Join Date: 14 December 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 23,731
Default

Wow. That sounds like a crappy painting.

And the artist hid the message (about beating satan) so well that it took a chess genius to point it out? Fail.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:36 PM
rujasu rujasu is offline
 
Join Date: 07 May 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 1,708
Default

When someone pointed out to Fischer that the game was only part of a painting and the person was not real, he stared blankly for a moment before going on a tirade about the evils of America and the Jews.

(Also: Six hours? What chess move takes six hours to figure out?)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:39 PM
Troodon Troodon is offline
 
Join Date: 06 January 2004
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 8,078
Default

It doesn't take a chess genius to look one move ahead; there are probably only several dozen options that would need to be considered. I wonder if whoever wrote this has actually ever played chess.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:39 PM
Mad Jay's Avatar
Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2003
Location: Virginia
Posts: 13,466
Default

God gave us a way to beat Satan but made it so difficult that it takes a chess genius 6 hours to figure out. No soup for average people like us. Go to hell!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:41 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 19,505
Default

The description sounds more like a political cartoon than a painting.

To jump off Troodon's post, would a chess genius need a physical board to figure out the moves?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:43 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
Join Date: 14 December 2005
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 23,731
Default

No, no. He needed the board to show the man in the painting what to do!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:46 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 66,526
Default

I'm less stumped by the idea of Fischer's needing a board to figure out the move, or even his failure to grasp that the man in the painting is not real, than by the idea that he would actually give a damn whether somebody else went to hell or not.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:47 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 19,505
Default

Couldn't he just tell him to move the horsey up 2 and to the left 1?

Also, can you challange the devil to other games?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:53 PM
Troodon Troodon is offline
 
Join Date: 06 January 2004
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 8,078
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Also, can you challange the devil to other games?
Sure, fiddling contests.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 25 April 2011, 04:54 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 108,386
Devil

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Was this the Vienna Museum of Schlocky and Incredibly Obvious Religious Art?
Yes, I believe the painting is in the Jack Chick wing.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 25 April 2011, 05:01 PM
Beachlife!'s Avatar
Beachlife! Beachlife! is offline
 
Join Date: 22 June 2001
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 25,528
Jolly Roger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
It doesn't take a chess genius to look one move ahead; there are probably only several dozen options that would need to be considered. I wonder if whoever wrote this has actually ever played chess.
Agreed.

Chess champions play the whole came out in there head, he wouldn't have needed a board. But it does make me wonder, is he the king of the museum or something? Because who else just yells 'bring me a chess baord' in a museum?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 25 April 2011, 05:03 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 19,505
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Troodon View Post
Sure, fiddling contests.
Technically, the devil was the one issuing the challange.

ETA: Which reminds me of a question I've had a long time about that song. Is the devil in the song one of the lesser devils, not the head devil? If he is sweating his quota, that implies that he has a boss to answer too.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 25 April 2011, 05:16 PM
chillas's Avatar
chillas chillas is offline
 
Join Date: 09 September 2002
Location: Columbus, OH
Posts: 11,240
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Is the devil in the song one of the lesser devils, not the head devil?
Well, you see Satan is very busy and can't really be everyplace at once. So he has a bunch of Satan's helpers who dress just like him and go out to tempt all the good little boys and girls into damnation.

ETA: And to play chess.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 25 April 2011, 05:19 PM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,256
Default

There's a page here with a copy of the likely painting and a video of a preacher going through the story.

From this parable we can learn two things:

1) The preacher doesn't know how to play chess
2) God cheats at chess
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 25 April 2011, 06:47 PM
Shnoops Shnoops is offline
 
 
Join Date: 15 May 2007
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,370
Devil

There is no counter-checkmate* in chess. When the king is in check, the options are to move the king, block the check, or capture the checking piece. Only the capture lends a slight possibility to a checkmate.

I looked at that board, and no way is capturing the checking piece even possible for a checkmate. Also, i'm surprised it's such an amateurish looking game, but maybe Satan is merely toying with Faust?

*Meaning to counter a checkmate with a checkmate.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 25 April 2011, 06:57 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 66,526
Default

Quote:
On display in the magnificent Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is that dramatic painting of Goethe's Faust. Faust is seated at a table engaged in a competitive game of chess. And at first glance, it looks like Faust is losing. His opponent in the chess game is Satan. The devil sits there grinning smugly. He thinks he has the victory in hand. He is pointing at the chessboard with an evil leer and he is gloating.
In the painting shown on that page, I see no one grinning smugly, no one leering evilly (is it possible to do both simultaneously?) and no one pointing at the chessboard. I'm not even 100% sure which player is supposed to be Satan.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 25 April 2011, 07:18 PM
Gutter Monkey's Avatar
Gutter Monkey Gutter Monkey is offline
 
Join Date: 13 December 2010
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 1,256
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I'm not even 100% sure which player is supposed to be Satan.
I'm guessing it's the guy with horns sitting on the skull throne.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 25 April 2011, 07:21 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 19,505
Default

Bigot.

Are those horns? I thought it was the brim of his hat. I wonder if the placement of the devil on the left (sinster) is just a coincidence or is that a deliberate theme?
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.