Lance Droomar put down the phone.
His publisher had just called to say they were starting
the print run that night.
Soon the whole chess world would have access to his opening secret.
His book would reveal the one opening system that was completely unbeatable.
He would be lorded as the greatest chess theoretician that ever lived.
After that… "Who cares?" thought Droomar.
Chess would be finished.
"It's end had been predicted for years." He mused.
"Everyone thought a computer would finally 'crack' the game."
"Well no." he spoke out aloud. "It's was me. Lance Droomar." He shouted.
"This is a lousy idea ," said the editor.
"Why, what's wrong with it?" asked Miller.
"You wanted a story for your magazine, you have only read a few lines
and yet you condemn it." continued Miller.
"I don't have to read it." belched the editor,
"This is one of the most common themes for any short story about chess."
"Some guy, 'Lance Droomar'", the editor stressed the name…
"… discovers the secret move that nobody has ever thought of before.
It's a winner, unbeatable, what happens next?"
"OK then" asked Miller, "how do I finish the story?"
"Easy," said the Editor. "One of three possible endings…"
The editors sits down and lights a cigarette.
"He plays his secret move against some nobody in a pub.
Unknown to Droomar this nobody plays an illegal move and beats him.
His thinks his system is busted so he starts to babble like a crazy idiot
and has a complete mental collapse
Droomar is sent to a lunatic asylum.
So somewhere in some nut house sits a madman who has
the secret of chess but nobody is listening to him."
Miller said nothing.
"Or," continued the editor taking a long pull on his cigarette.
"Droomar is alone in room when he is visited by the ghosts of Alekhine,
Lasker and Capablanca. They plead with him not to publish the analysis
as chess will be finished and their names will be forgotten."
"Am I close?" asked the editor.
Miller said nothing.
"How about this?" continued the editor.
"His publisher invites him to a restaurant for a meeting.
When he gets there he find the place full of 30 people including
Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik and Keene.
These 30 people too know the secret system and if it gets out
chess is finished and so is their only source of income.
Droomar has to sign a piece of paper swearing not to reveal the secret.
In return he is given a percentage of 'the pot'.
The pot is a slice of the earnings these guys make from the game."
The editor stubbed out his cigarette and looked at Miller.
Miller said nothing. He picked up his short story and left the building.
Six months later.
The story about Droomar going crazy and ending up in nut house
was accepted by Chess Life and Review and paid Miller $100.00.
The story about the three ghosts visiting Droomar was accepted by
The British Chess Magazine. He was paid £50.00.
The story about the secret chess society was turned
into a television play and Miller received £800.00.
Miller recalled the meeting with the editor, he smiled.
"His endings were better than mine," thought Miller,
" I had Droomar becoming world famous as the man who had bust chess.
The he wakes up. It was all a dream.
Droomar was a dreamer."