This story was shared recently during a City Harvest Church service on 23rd February 2013, but I intrigued, I went to do more research on it. Apparently it’s been told by Christian speakers and pastors as early as 1955 when Billy Graham told a variation of it earlier in his ministry.
Here’s how the story goes:
Two men are standing in front of a painting called “CheckMate” in an art gallery. In the painting, a , a king and his advisor-magician is playing chess. The magician is supposed to be the devil. The devil is smiling and grinning from ear-to-ear because he has the other man, the king, cornered.
The title of the painting, “CheckMate” seems to imply that the game is over, and from the smile that the devil has, it seems that the devil has won because he has the king cornered. That the king has no more moves and is locked. And that is the common story told to everyone who looks at the painting.
The first man went on to look at other paintings in the gallery, but the second man was intrigued by the title and the chess game drawn. You see, he’s an international chess champion, so he stayed and stared and studied the chess board on the picture. There was something wrong, and he kept trying to look for the answer.
He took so long that the first man had already seen the entire gallery and came back to the “CheckMate” picture, and saw the second man still there, smiling. When he saw him walking over, he beckon him over excitedly and shares with the first man…
“The perception is not right! The king has one more move!”
The chess champion said again – “it’s not checkmate. The king has one more move.”
As I look at the picture, it doesn’t seem to me that the devil was smiling, nor did the king look like he was overwhelmed. The devil, in green on the left, looked unsure and afraid that the king wouldn’t buy his bluff, and seemed to show that he was planning more stuff. The king, on the other hand, looked entirely at the board only and totally focused on the board.