The next several moves were made in silence.
White’s Bishop moved here.
Black’s Knight developed there.
A Pawn exchange opening a file for Black’s Rook.
Black’s Queen marched across the board to attack.
The demon’s grin remained, as piece by piece my position became more tenuous.
Extending my hand, I rested my fingertips on top of my sole remaining Knight and let my eyes drift over the board. So few pieces remained, on both sides.
I nodded once and made my move.
“Knight to Queen’s Bishop 4,” I said, placing a threat on the demon’s Queen while, at the same time, fortifying my own position.
The demon cackled. Fool.
With a flourish, the demon’s Rook came forward, capturing the Knight I had just moved.
Mate in three.
I nodded again, my face grim.
Then slowly, I moved my Bishop, nested between two half-developed Pawns, and slid it across the board to a square diagonal to the demon’s Queen.
My Bishop had just opened up a file for my forgotten Rook, which now threatened the demon’s King.