We open in a park somewhere in downtown Miami, where we see two men playing chess in broad daylight. As one man makes the first move of the game, we see a shadow looming over the board. The shadow is soon revealed, not by face but by the voice of The Sharkman.
“The game of chess has always been fascinating to me. You can learn a lot from playing a game of chess…you not only learn about yourself, you learn about life itself. You learn about foresight, understanding what could happen and the consequences of your actions. You learn about circumspection, surveying the scene of action and how everything is connected. Most of all, you learn caution, choosing your actions carefully. Some people approach chess with reckless abandon, but they don’t last very long. Others act carefully and precisely, like a constant mathematical problem in need of a solution.”
The game goes on, and we see that the opponent is in a position to make a move with his king as The Sharkman continues.
“The king is the main target of chess, but for all the focus he has on him can only do so much. He can only move one step in any direction, and is constantly under attack from the enemy. You’d think the king would use more caution in his movements, but of course it’s all in the hands of the player controlling him. Some players will fortify the king’s security by protecting him at all costs, and others will be on such an offensive that their king is left behind in a sticky situation. The king cannot survive without his support.”
The first man makes a move with his knight, taking the bishop of his opponent as The Sharkman nods in approval before continuing.
“The knight, riding his noble steed, moves in a unique fashion and is the only piece that can leap over other pieces in its quest to take out the king. It is, perhaps, the most interesting piece in terms of strategy. By leaping over other pieces, he can get closer to his target…but he has to be in a specific position in order to take the king. Imagine being so close to your goal, and yet so far…such is the fate of the knight. He is a key part of the game, as much on defense as on offense.”
A few moves later, and the opponent has struck back with a new defensive stategy as one of his pawns is promoted to queen. This puts the opponent at a clear advantage as The Sharkman continues.
“I have watched this game of chess many times before in my ocean, and I am now in the thick of it with a King and Knight. The opening of this game saw the King go on the attack, attempting to stake a claim to my title and my pride. He has put himself in grave danger for the sake of his own glory, and now I control the center of the board. I have been considered the pawn for such a long time, but the trials and tribulations I’ve been through have promoted me to queen…I am in full control of my fate. I can move as I please, but like the queen cannot leap over other pieces I am restricted only by my moral code. It is a code shared by the Knight, who chooses not to leap over others but to earn their respect.”
The first man has now taken most of his opponent’s pieces, with only the king and two queens remaining. The Sharkman looks on, nodding as he continues.
“The game has changed. Death Wish brings about the endgame, in which the queen must now put all opposition in checkmate. King Royal is all out of moves, and Brent Kersh is in no position to protect him. Everyone faces their day of reckoning, and the King and Knight are about to face theirs…so sayeth The Sharkman.”
The opponent makes one careless mistake, and loses one of his queens in the process. It’s all over now, and he is in checkmate as The Sharkman walks off. Despite the opponent’s frustration, both men shake hands in a sportsmanlike fashion as we fade to black.