Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Combat Chess
From TES issue 67 (January 2011)

Series 2. Level 1/2.
 [Related Image] I’m a great fan of Combat Chess. Back in 1988, when I knew what chess was but had no idea what the pieces were called or how they moved, the intricacies of the game must have gone completely over my head (although I did always remember there had been a Knightmare challenge on a chessboard) but watching the videos as a teenager (when I was quite into chess myself) I derived a great deal of excitement from watching the teams get to grips with Combat Chess, even though I knew they were all going to win in the end. This is particularly true of Stuart’s team, whose first task after the Wheel of Fate is to play Combat Chess, and they certainly have a tough time of it. Watching this episode on video back in 1999, I was on the edge of my seat and I went through every mental process with the advisors, even though I knew they had to get through because I’d seen the next episode on video three years previously.

As Paul McIntosh tells us in his review of this challenge, there was actually no way the Bishop could have won, as the greater range of movement with the Knight’s move would always allow the dungeoneer (eventually) to get to a position where they could step on one of two “exit squares” (by which I mean the three squares that were one Knight’s move away from the door) with the Bishop only able to cover one of them at a time. But this does nothing to detract from the tangible sense of tension that the game often creates, and I always enjoy watching it, even though I know exactly what’s going to happen.

Treguard, too, was an enthusiastic fan of Combat Chess, and always leaned over the team and talked them through the whole experience, clearly with great enjoyment. Perhaps Hugo Myatt is (or at least was at the time) an avid chess fan; I certainly wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he was, taking into account his attitude towards this challenge. It’s a great little tension-building brainteaser that fitted in nicely with the lovely atmosphere of Knightmare’s early years, and always a pleasure to watch!

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2011-02-05 10:52:47
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2. Combat Chess
From TES issue 5 (December 1996)

 [Related Image] One of the very first, and certainly one of the more devious challenges which Knightmare offered its early challengers.

"You are the knight errant" Treguard would exclaim "and you must play a deadly game of combat chess!" Back in those days, Treguard would grin with a near sinister look - as if he wanted the dungeoneers to suffer. Sure enough, suffer they did, as many agonising minutes, not to mention life force grades, were lost as guiders thoughtfully plotted their escape.

The task presented to dungeoneers was unusually complicated, bearing in mind that this challenge often lay early in level one. Thankfully, most teams picked up on what was required of them fairly quickly. The challenge involved taking part in a game of real-life chess ! The dungeoneer would take the part of the knight - two forward/back and one left/right, or one forward/back and two left/right ! Across the room lay the only doorway - the only means of escape ! Between the dungeoneer and the doorway lay a chequered, chess-board floor design - on which stood the deadly bishop. The bishop - for all you non-chess players ! - has a more simple range of movement, that being diagonally, in any direction, and across as many or as few squares as necessary.

Despite what I felt to be an unusually tricky early obstacle for teams in this series, 'Combat Chess' did not have the distinction of even one victim, and due to the nature of the game, there weren't even any close shaves ! An example of how teams could avoid the danger can be found in Anthony Haig and co.'s quest in series 2. Despite being a rather hopeless team, they strode through this challenge without any trouble, simply by working out the options the bishop had, and staying out of his path.

As with all obstacles boasting a ZERO success rate, I often find myself considering just what would have happened if a dungeoneer HAD failed that particular challenge ?! Combat Chess certainly offers some bloodthirsty possibilities ! Perhaps we would have been treated to a gory death scene, where the bishop advances, and begins to crush, or devour the hapless dungeoneer ! More than likely, the bishop would simply land on top of the dungeoneer, causing the life force sequence to manifest in the very depths of condition RED !

I suppose it's also possible that the bishop could run away with a woman, and lock the door - but that's another story !.....

DIFFICULTY : 5 : A lot of planning was involved
GORE FACTOR : 3 : No deaths, so I've no idea !
KILLER INSTINCT : 1 : Not one victim - sorry !
FAIRNESS : 4 : At least no one forgot the rules !

Written by and submitted with the kind permission of Paul McIntosh.

Provided By: Eyeshield, 2007-12-11 17:22:16
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