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“The King Still Has One Move!”

It’s not quite Sunday yet, but here’s your sermon one day in advance…

If you need a dose of encouragement, I’ve got you covered.

Plus, this is a really cool story!

Is it only legend?

Is it true?

We’ll break it all down.

First let’s start with the story.

It’s only about 3 minutes long but it’s SO powerful.

Listen to this Pastor tell it, I promise you’re going to be standing up cheering by the time he’s done!

And a shoutout to my friend vDarkness for finding and posting this clip.

Watch here:

Charles Morris over at Haven Today gives us the obvious spiritual implications:

Now think about the spiritual implications of this painting with me about what the grand master discovered.

Repeatedly in Scripture, God assures his people that there is always a way of escaping situations that seem hopeless at the time.

When the people of Judah were deported to Babylon because of their sinfulness, God revealed that a future day of release would come.

Just as God provided water for the Israelites in the desert, he would also provide for them on their long trek homeward.

A little boy in John 6 only had two fish and a few loaves of bread to feed thousands of people. It looked like checkmate, but our King had another move left! They collected 12 baskets of leftover food after the meal was served.

In the Old Testament, Daniel was thrown into a den of hungry lions. It looked like checkmate, but our King had another move left and Daniel remained safe.

In John 8, it looked like checkmate for a woman about to be killed by angry men with stones. But Jesus told the woman to go and not sin anymore.

On Good Friday, the criminal next to Jesus on the cross thought it was the end, yet he still repented.

So often in life, we consider the world to be a mess. With war, violence, a deadly pandemic, unemployment, struggling marriages, depression, isolation, and more … we can easily become disillusioned. People begin to feel lost. We look for direction but often end up on the wrong path. It looks like checkmate, but we need not fear—the game is not over.

Now let’s dig into the obvious question….is the story real?

Or perhaps said differently: is the chess board real and what was the position?

I was curious myself so I dug in.

And the short answer is it’s not entirely clear.

But here’s one of the best breakdowns I could find, this is from Reddit:

There is a strange book position which is associated with this painting, but it hasn’t a lot in common with the painting. Speaking truthfully, almost nothing. Also I found some other positions from people who actually were looking at this painting and they came with something closer, but always it was a completely losing position.


r/chess - Book position
Book position
r/chess - Guess

If you look at the painting it’s quite easy to say where the pieces are and which of them are pawns. But what are the other pieces is just a mystery, they look strange (the painting was made in the middle of 19th century). And I couldn’t find the chess pieces from this time that look similar. The whole story about Morphy sounds really interesting but not really like a story that you can believe in, but the more I was thinking on the position the more I was sure that there will be the answer. My first problem was to check almost every variation of pieces that could be there, and I also couldn’t find anything. It was whether a losing position or a completely losing position (mate in 2, mate in 4). but looking at what the other people came with, I tried to swap white king and the piece on D1 (my first guess was that king stands on D2). I think that this piece is rook, but I am not sure about this. So i swapped them, tried every possible variation again. Still nothing. I started losing hope but I decided to look at the thing I was sure about. The squares where the pieces are. For some reason from the very beginning I thought that the pieces are on D1 and D2. But take a closer look. At the piece on D2. Because of the quality of the picture you cant be sure, but I realised that I was possibly wrong all the time. Maybe the piece on D2 is actually on E2. I thought a little. And I think I came with the real position on the picture.


r/chess - Actual position
Actual position

He lost any hope. His opponent has way more pieces. His position looks losing to him. Is it actually? There is just one move on the board that could save his position. Thinking that he lost everything he just cant see that he can still fight. He doesn’t see the obvious Qxd4, the only move that saves him.

After Qxd4 and Kc8, the position is 0.00, but its hard to play and I think someone like Morphy would won this back in his time.

I havent found a really high quality picture but that really seems like the answer. Share your thoughts about it, maybe provide some your ideas on the position and what the pieces are. Thanks for reading!


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