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Story of Chess Lyrics

from Chess in Concert (2 CD)

"Story of Chess" is track #5 on the album Chess in Concert (2 CD).
"Story of Chess" is track #5 on the album Chess in Concert (2 CD).

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Each game of chess means there's one less
Variation left to be played
Each day got through means one or two
Less mistakes remain to be made

Not much is known
Of early days of chess beyond a fairly vague report

Male Solo:
That fifteen hundred years ago two princes fought
Though brothers, for a Hindu throne

Female Solo:
Their mother cried
For no-one really likes their offspring fighting to the death
She begged them stop the slaughter with her every breath
But sure enough one brother died

Female Ensemble:
Sad beyond belief
She told her winning son

Female Solo:
You have caused such grief
I can't forgive this evil thing you've done

Male Ensemble:
He tried to explain
How things had really been

Male Solo:
But he tried in vain
No words of his could mollify the queen

Female Solo:
And so he asked the wisest men he knew
The way to lessen her distress

They told him he'd be pretty certain to impress
By using model soldiers on
A chequered board to show it was his brother's fault

They thus invented chess

Male ensemble:
Chess displayed no inertia
Soon spread to Persia, then west

Female ensemble:
Next the Arabs refined it,
Thus redesigned, it progressed

Male Solo:
Still further yet
And when Constantinople fell in 1453
One would have noticed every other refugee
Included in his bags a set

Female Solo:
Once in the hands
And in the minds of leading figures of the Renaissance

Male Solo:
The spirit and the speed of chess made swift advance
Through all of Europe's vital lands

Where we must record
The game was further changed
Right across the board
The western touch upon the pieces ranged

King and queen and rook
And bishop, knight and pawn
All took on the look
We know today, the modern game was born

And in the end
We see a game that started by mistake in Hindustan
And boosted in the main by what is now Iran
Become the simplest and most complicated pleasure
Yet devised for just the kind of mind who would appreciate
This well researched and fascinating yarn.

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