21 October 2011
Seventh Circle, HELL -- After a recent dramatic influx of dignitaries, officials in Perdition today announced that the indefinitely-suspended Tournament of Hell chess championship was on again, for the first time in six years. Held annually as a benefit for Hell's favorite charities, the Church of St. Manfred the Irrumator and Our Lady of the Wandering Hands, the yearly tournament was postponed in 2006, due to lack of interest. However, with the recent addition to the roster of such grandmasters as Osama bin Laden, Anwar al-Awlaki, and today's surprise entrant Muammar Gaddafi, interest in the championship has fired dramatically.
Under a large banner reading "Better to Reign in Hell than Stalemate in Heaven!", tournament organizer Lucifer made a short statement in the Main Circle at around 5 p.m. ET, saying simply, "Play chess, bitches!" The announcement was greeted with the usual roars and shrieks of pain, although observers did note a slightly upbeat tone to the screaming.
Five-time champion Rasputin, speaking from Hell's Griddle Bar and Grill where the tournament will be held, expressed glee at the turn of events. Said he, "The past six years have been so dreary — frankly, sitting around and not playing chess has really been Hell. A-hem!" He then fell into a ten-minute-long fit of the giggles, and was unavailable for further comment.
Preliminary matchups in the single-elimination, non-FIDE tournament have some observers puzzled, with curious draws being the rule rather than the exception. Current champion Joe Stalin will go against Gaddafi in opening play, a matchup that wasn't expected until the quarterfinals.
Said Stalin, speaking through a translator as devils drove screws through his eyelids, "I hope Muammar will be a more worthy opponent than my last one, Hitler. As they both have bits missing from their heads, though, I can't think he will be much stronger against my Sicilian opening than Adolf was." Stalin's 2005 championship match against Hitler ended with a controversial forfeit, as Hitler spent the entirety of his 40-minute turn drooling on his own d4 pawn, before knocking it over with his rook — an illegal move.
The tournament is expected to begin Saturday, shortly after dinner is served in Hell. The first matches will be televised in the U.S. on ESPN2; however, the start is expected to be tape-delayed, to avoid conflict with coverage of the World Series.
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|
- Tim Gaynor and Taha Zargoun "Muammar Gaddafi: 'Tonight I dine in Hell! Tomorrow? Chess.'". Reuters, Oct 20, 2011