Words I Wish I’d Written: Chess

Vimes had never got on with any game much more complex than darts. Chess in particular had always annoyed him. It was the dumb way the pawns went off and slaughtered their fellow pawns while the kings lounged about doing nothing that always got to him; if only the pawns united, maybe talked the rooks around, the whole board could’ve been a republic in a dozen moves.

— Terry Pratchett, Thud!

Sam Vimes is the commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch; he comes from a long line of “coppers”, and he’s a man of the people from way back; his ancestor, Old Stoneface Vimes, killed the last king of Ankh-Morpork. Sam Vimes dislikes it when people call his ancestor a “regicide”; the last king was a vicious, bloodthirsty lunatic, and anyway it’s not as if Old Stoneface made a habit of it.

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