The Prisoner’s Gambit

I spent part of my evening enjoying this chess fiction. Hopefully the author of this piece will continue to post short stories.


By Marc Gilson

(Portions of this story were inspired by Austrian author Stefan Zweig’s “The Royal Game,” widely considered one of the best chess stories ever written, and a must-read for anyone interested in chess and the psychology of the game)

It’s not for me to judge another man’s life. I must judge, I must choose, I must spurn, purely for myself. For myself, alone.” –  Herman Hesse, Siddhartha

“You stand charged with corruption and for committing acts in person and in writing against the state. You are hereby sentenced to serve as ‘resident in camp,’ imprisoned as a ward of the state for an indeterminate period.”

With those words, my life ended. Well, my chosen life ended. A life chosen for me had just begun, in the gulag.

I am no laborer. I’m an academic! For thirty years I taught science to boys barely old enough to button their own…

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