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Chapter 10: Cheat Day

Naturally, Alex won the game. Marc was an impatient player and tried to pull on him a Scholar’s Mate, or checkmate in four moves. Of course Alex was onto him and, when Marc saw that Alex wasn’t making the moves that he had hoped he would, all the fight left Marc that early on in the game. His shoulders drooped and all his body language and facial expressions reflected his defeatist attitude. Needless to say, Alex made quick work of his non-existent defenses.

“Any pointers you can give me?” Marc asks as they scoop up the chess pieces and drop them haphazardly into Alex’s bag.

“Well, you’re obviously focused on only the short game. Classical matches are usually four hours long. That means two hours per player. If you’re going to sacrifice a piece, don’t do it too early because a non-novice player can see you coming from a mile away. But yeah, a Scholar’s Mate can work on a beginner – or maybe somebody who’s only half-awake.”

“Scholar’s…”

“You know, the blitz strategy you tried to spr
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