Created By: Kyjibo on March 24, 2011


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Smart People Play Chess right? And not just with other people. This trope is about how frequently in works of fiction where two characters are playing chess, it is frequently brought to an abrupt end where one character declares checkmate, much to the surprise of the other, frequently after the other player has declared check themselves. In reality this only happens when one player is significantly more skilled than the other, and such is hardly the implication when this is shown to happen.

Only example i have right now is the 1998 Avengers movie where Steed is playing against Emma and he confidently declares check moments before she comes over to the board and declares checkmate
Community Feedback Replies: 3
  • March 24, 2011
    Star Craft: Many compare the Star Craft franchise to chess as far as metagaming is concerned. In the Brood War campaign, this is extremely prevalent throughout all three episodes of the expansion's campaign.
    • The Protoss' escape through Aiur involves Raynor and Fenix staying behind to guard the Warp Gate. However, the Zerg also follow Zeratul's Protoss to Shakuras. Kerrigan eventually makes a deal where the Protoss get crystals for Kerrigan, all while defeating the UED and a renegade Zerg brood. However, Aldaris sees Kerrigan's ultimate plans, but before he can relay his information to Zeratul and Artanis, he is killed by Kerrigan. The last mission is guarding a Xel'Naga Temple from the Zerg.
    • For the Terran campaign in Brood War, this trope starts with the UED troops simply looking for a Vespene Geyser. While they get the Vespene Geyser, Duran is encountered and introduced. The UED's agenda is also taken into consideration throughout some missions, as they are trying to control the Zerg in an attempt to rule the Korprulu Sector. However, they must confront Mengsk's Dominion, which gets defeated battle after battle. However, Mengsk himself is continually rescued by Raynor and Fenix, much to the UED's annoyance, until eventually Kerrigan captures all three people. Meanwhile, Duran has an agenda of his own, which involves eliminating the UED's smartest man, Alexei Stukov. His plans here are successful, and Du Galle regrets his allegiance with Duran at all.
    • The largest example of Checkmate in Star Craft: Brood War is the entire Zerg campaign. Kerrigan relies on the now-infested Duran and her prisoners for aid against the UED. Once she has established enough alliances, she eliminates them all, one by one, starting with Duke and Fenix until her Zerg Swarm must eventually confront Du Galle, Mengsk, and Artanis and their entire fleets. She wins the duel, establishing total control of the Korprulu Sector. However, she lets her opponents live just so she can destroy them another time.
  • March 24, 2011
    From Brainwash Residue:
    • In an episode of Star Trek The Next Generation, Lt. Barclay got a brain upgrade by some aliens, which went away after it was needed. He and Troi were in Ten-Forward and he saw a Chess game, moved a piece and said "Checkmate in three moves."
      Troi: Reg, I didn't know you play chess.
      Barclay: startled at his own competence I don't.
  • March 25, 2011
    We have this as Surprise Checkmate.