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The Chess Game

J. Oswald Sanders reports that years ago, Paul Morphy was the world’s champion chess player when he was invited by a friend to look at a valuable painting titled, “The Chess Player.” In the painting, Satan was represented as playing chess with a young man, the stake being the young man’s soul. The game had reached the stage where it was the young man’s move; but he was checkmated. There was no move he could make which would not mean defeat for him and so the strong feature of the picture was the look of utter despair on the young man’s face as he realized that his soul was lost.

Morphy, who knew more about chess than the artist, studied the picture for a time, then called for a chessboard and pieces. Placing them in exactly the same position as they were in the painting, he said, “I’ll take the young man’s place and make the move.” Then he made the move which would have set the young man free.

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