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Fake Chess inserts its own anal beads scandal with expansion to surreal chess RPG

Life imitates art imitates life.

Chess pieces
Image credit: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

Just yesterday, Dicebreaker wrote about the drama currently rocking the world of competitive chess involving two grandmasters, performative protest against cheating allegations and a string of buckwild conspiracy theories - one of which involves two sets of wireless anal beads getting their signals crossed during the match.

The entire ordeal sounds like a prompt from lightweight tabletop RPG Fake Chess, and creator Sean Cain would agree - they just released a free downloadable addition called The Vibrating Anal Beads espansion.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of playing Fake Chess, the fairly lightweight title focuses much less on the actual playing of the most classic board game - though one is involved - and instead provides rules and prompts for creating background and narrative stakes between the two grandmasters behind each set of pieces.

On their turns, players will deploy social cues and misdirects in an attempt to psyche out their opponent, win the favour of the crowd or stimulate their own confidence. Freed from the obligation of knowing legitimate opening gambits or constantly thinking three moves ahead, players can instead lean into their backstories and shared history. Perhaps an old flame will be rekindled betwixt the dance of ebony and ivory pieces, or perhaps a bitter rivalry will bloom for the first time.

Cheating is encouraged, in fact, but players must first tick off uses of their more subtle social arts to earn the right to place pieces back on the board or lock an opponent out of one of their own special manoeuvres. A previous expansion, Book of Champions, provided access to broad archetypes that pull from popular portrayals of chess in media such as The Queen’s Gambit, Searching for Bobby Fischer and and Queen of Katwe.

The Vibrating Anal Beads Expansion adds some titilating special moves to the usual repertoire for any player bold enough to “equip” them. “Act like you may or may not be using vibrating anal beads”, the rules read before explaining the new moves: “suppress a gasp”, “shift suddenly in your chair” and “make the sound you would normally make after eating a really great bite of food.”

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Like in real life, there’s no way to know for sure if your opponent is using pleasure implements to somehow show them the optimal play. Pieces will move around the board in what looks, from the outside, like a battle of wits between two champions at the top of their game. You certainly won’t log in to Microsoft Teams, make a single move and then forfeit the match before disconnecting your webcam. Nor will anyone be asked to play naked.

The new expansion is cheeky and perfectly in line with the loving send up that exemplifies Fake Chess. There’s not much here - kind of like accusations of electronic buttons in shoes or AI connected to sex toys via Bluetooth - but what it offers encapsulates a moment of rampant speculation, ludicrous explanations and juicy, juicy drama. And that’s what Fake Chess is all about.

You can download the Vibrating Anal Beads expansion for free on Cain’s page, where the original game and other Fake Chess content can also be found.

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