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The Story Of Chess

This song is by Unknown Artist and appears in the musical play Chess (1984) by Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson.

Arbiter
Each game of chess
Means there's one less
Variation yet to be played
Each day got through
Means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made

Each game of chess
Means there's one less
Variation left to be played
Each day got through
Means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made

Not much is known
Of early days of chess
Beyond a fairly vague report
That fifteen hundred years ago
Two princes fought, though brothers,
For a Hindu throne
Their mother cried
For no one really likes
Their offspring fighting to the death
She begged them, "stop this slaughter"
With her every breath, but sure enough
One brother died

Sad beyond belief
She told her winning son,
"You have caused such grief
I can't forgive
This evil thing you've done"
He tried to explain
How things had really been
But he tried in vain
No words of his could mollify the queen

Arbiter
And so he asked
The wisest men he knew
The way to lessen her distress
They told him he'd be pretty certain
To impress by using model soldiers
On a checkered board
To show it was his brother's fault
They thus invented chess

Chess displayed no inertia
Soon spread to Persia, then west
Next the Arabs refined it
Thus redesigned, it progressed
Still further yet
And when Constantinople fell in 1453
One would have noticed every other refugee
Included in his bags a set

Once in the hands
And in the minds of leading figures
Of the Renaissance
The spirit and the speed of chess
Made swift advance
Through all of Europe's vital lands
Where we must record
The game was further changed
Right across the board
The western touch upon the pieces ranged

King and queen and rook
And bishop, knight, and pawn
All took on the look
We know today
The modern game was born

Arbiter
And in the end
We see a game that started
By mistake in Hindustan
And boosted in the main
By what is now Iran
Become the simplest and
Most complicated pleasure yet devised
For just the kind of mind
Who would appreciate
This well-researched and fascinating yarn

spoken:
The International Chess Federation, of which I have the honor of being president, announces the next World Championship will take place in Merano, Italy. The current world champion, Frederick Trumper of the United States of America, will defend his title against Anatoly Sergievsky of the Soviet Union. The first player to achieve six victories will be declared champion. The first game will begin on March twenty-seventh.

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