The Zapak Gambit

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Humor, life, Love, Thriller, Writing
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I needed money desperately. I wanted to buy that new mobile phone with Facebook “LIKE” button. I could actually physically feel the pressing of “LIKE” button on facebook in that phone! How cool is that! The only problem, my parents won’t give a dime to buy me a bandage even if my heart was cut out with a butcher’s knife! Ok, Ok, I’m exaggerating, but this is how it is, in my home.

To make matters worse, I have a big brother– an intellectual ass. Everybody loves him! Everybody! You won’t believe what he thinks about facebook!  He thinks it brings out the worst in everybody for everybody else to see, publicly- say for example- those attention seeking cry-babies! A perfectly normal guy has this irresistible urge to be “LIKED” by everybody, all the time! He keeps updating about the routine day-to-day things every other minute and expects others to “LIKE” it. What would you say about these status messages of some of my friends- “I just woke up… and farted, thrice- and my mom walked in! It was super LOLz!” or “Thinking that boys and gals are different, yet very same, but different… you know?”

And because of this intellectual ass I can’t enjoy my life! I can’t enjoy facebook! Ignorance was bliss! It’s so true- but this guy doesn’t let me be ignorant- that jack-ass! I want to be ignorant! I want to enjoy my poisons that I’m addicted to- I have many things to do in my life- many serious things, and I need every little escape from this reality that I can afford. And so I super “LIKED” both those status messages. I don’t care if my friends are greedy for attention and are super-asses. They are my friends. They are who I “LIKE”! They make my life “LIKE”able. Not my brother’s philosophies and theories.

And yet, everybody keeps bragging about how great my brother is, even everybody else in his batch of over-achievers in academics, the sheep-geeks, are praised. But the truth is none of them made it big. Not even my brother. He’s just living somewhere doing something that nobody cares. Sure he has a great girl friend and a cool job- but he doesn’t have what I will have. I will make it big. I was going to be a Grandmaster in Chess. I knew it. I was nearly there- and yet, my parents or brother- won’t buy me that one thing that’ll keep me sane- that phone- facebook- anywhere, anytime. I wanted that phone- Desperately. Very desperately.

So I took matters into my own hands. I was forked for money- but I was not check-mated yet. I had my pawns- my ability to be super good in chess. Alas, Chess has no money, you say? Every talent can rake in the moolah- even farting thrice, in front of your mother- can get you money. You just have to think about the how?

As my dear brother once said- Today, the man has made his life so complicated- that it has become infinitely simpler to fool him than it was ever before. This was how I was going to get my dream phone- Using the fact that Ignorance is not always bliss!

There’s this site called It’s a gaming site. They award you points if you beat other human players in the games they are hosting. If you have collected enough points, then you can convert your points to cash and spend the money on e-shopping. And one of the games they hosted was, you guessed it, Chess! Game On was my War-Cry!


Like all big scams, I too had the initial starting trouble. I had a huge ranking at zapak for chess. All the newbies were scared of me. Nobody wanted to get beaten, and in the most humiliating fashion, and shed tons of points in the process. Sure if they could beat me, they take home a lot of points- but could they, ever? Not even in their dreams, baby!

So I had to be somebody else. Somebody that these geeks would love to play against- even if it meant that they’d lose, both the game and points. Somebody that these geeks would come back for more- and more. In short I had to be a pretty 18 year old desi local girl. And luckily for me, in this cyber-age, anything is possible!

I created a new account. I used an old, hot, picture of my ass brother’s girl friend. He maybe an ass- but his girl was hot! I was sure her smile would bring a lot of geek-lambs to the slaughter house at the zapak chess. I made a profile- and my id was sahana92. The 92 in my id meant that I was born in 1992, which means I was just 18, or about to be. The geeks love maths and fantasy, and when they read sahana92, what they actually read is “Sa – ha – naaaa, an 18 year old Hot girl”

I added more magic in my profile. I had just broken up with my boy friend and taking up a new hobby- chess, to take my mind off of the terrible break-up . Ohhh, how those geeks will drool over sahana92!

I called this move of mine, the Zapak Gambit.

I logged in as sahana92. Within two minutes I was playing a game against Spidey88. He loved to chat a lot while playing.

“Where are you from?” He asked.

“ Oh, I had (conveniently) left that part out in my profile, to avoid those stalking assholes, you know?”

“ Yes! These boys will do anything to chat up with an 18 year old! They think zapak is some dating site or what!”


Spidey88 played 19 times against me. He lost them all. The whole ordeal took some 70 minutes and I was one step closer to my dream phone.

DarkKnight91, Super87, IronManJust4U, HotFlame, Thor89, SexMan, LoveOfYourLife, Joker72 were among the few who enjoyed a lot losing to me. They promised to be good boys and play again with me tomorrow. I scored a lot of points. My rank became high. Cautious geeks would’ve generally been scared of my rank. But most of these boys wouldn’t care- they’d neither spoken to an 18 year girl before, nor did they have any hope in their future, not with a real one at least! Except with their daughters, maybe! LoLz! And they will play with (not against) me again.

I did the math- at this rate I had to continue this farce, the Zapak Gambit for another 16 days, and the phone would be mine. Mine! Mine! Muhahhaahhahaha!!!


On the 12th day my rank was super high. It was a new zapak record. I was becoming famous at zapak. I started playing against normal people with good ranks and I beat them too. My points were soaring. High. I felt like a bird. I was doing what I loved the most- play chess and beat them- humiliate them and was getting points- that will eventually buy me the phone. Life was good.

Around noon I got a ping from asha92 for a match! Asha – 18 year old girl! I instantly replied yes. I went through her profile. She seemed like a normal girl. Nothing very special. But she looked super cute in her profile picture. And she was a newbie at zapak and she was from my city!

I had never chatted up an 18 year old before. This was my chance! Life couldn’t get any better.

She started off with Sicilian Defense. And I started with Queen’s Gambit. The game was getting interesting. She was a tough opponent. This may sound sexist- but I never expected this 18 year old GIRL to play this well. We were even in the number of pieces captured. But I had a slight advantage in the squares I covered. I could win this if I did my best- or worse I must draw- a lot of points were hanging on this game. If I lose this game I would have lost 4 days worth of hard work.

I started getting defensive. She was playing with her heart on her sleeve. She was getting bolder, and bolder. It was arousing in a strange sort of way. This game was becoming sexy- asha18 was my dream girl.

I was thinking in my head- should I defeat the girl of my dreams now, or can I wait four more days to lay my hands on my dream phone. Dream girl or Dream phone? The answer was not as simple as it seems to you.

I’m a rational chess player. I think logically. 64 squares have taught me that life was all about endless combinations of probability- of chance. Even if I let her win, and butter her up, wouldn’t mean that she’ll be my girl friend. I was not that naïve! But there was a small possibility. A very small one. Should I let go of it?

“You are good” I pinged her.

“But you are winning, aren’t you?” she pinged back.

“Yes, but with great effort…”

“I thought I could beat you”

“You were wrong”

“Am I?”

“Your Queen is very vulnerable now…”

“Not as much as your King 😉 ”

What! What was she saying? My King? I looked hard at the board. Initially I couldn’t see it. Sure she’ll lose her Queen- but soon she’d pawn me- She’ll get my King! She was good. Very good. And she was my dream girl! This was the best game I had played in my entire life. And I had played a lot of chess matches!

“I give up!” I said.

“So soon? Won’t you try? Won’t you give me the satisfaction of knocking down your King?”

“ Nope! But would you have a cup of coffee with me? We live 10 minutes from each other!”

“Ok! I want to see your sad defeated face Sahana 😉 Just Kidding! You were amazing! Maybe we can help each other in improving our game…”

“Yes! But do you like surprises? I mean really good surprises?” I asked her mysteriously.

“I love them! What about you?”

“Very much!” Now what surprise was she talking about?

“You wouldn’t like this surprise…” she said.


“I’m not in Mysore now- But my profile says am in Mysore right??”

“Yes!” I said with disappointment.

“Am in Pune now, but I’ll be back in Mysore in a week…”

“Until then…. Will you be online?”

“Yes 😉 ”


That one week I had stopped playing at zapak. Desperate pings from my fan-boys flooded my account. But I was happy. I didn’t want that phone anymore; I wasn’t working for it anymore. I was too busy being online with asha92. Chatting with her the whole week went by like a second. We played chess. Sometimes I won, and sometimes she. She was a very sensible and a funny girl.  We had many long late night chats about everything under the sun- including love. She was single. She was cute. She was the only chess player I had played against with the greatest of complex emotions and concentration. I respected her style of play. And I never respected girls before! Everything about her seemed glittery and cute… She loved pink and I loved blue. We were the typical girl and boy. Only problem was that she thought that I was a girl… sahana92.

Will I get check-mated for my weak opening of the Zapak Gambit?


One day before the week was up, I got a text from her.

“Come now to CCD” was her SMS.

I quickly combed my hair. My hair never loved order- it soon looked like a bird’s nest. No time to apply gel. No time to bathe. I hadn’t taken a bath in two days! I just spilled some water on my face. I hurriedly wore my best jeans and my red Tee that read “Zapak!” and I was out of my house in three minutes, on my way to meet her in CCD.

She was going to wear a Red Tee that said “Zapak!” as well. At 1 in the afternoon, I didn’t expect much crowd at the café and so, it would be easy to spot her.  I was so excited! I could feel my teeth clattering! I was having Goosebumps!

Soon I was restlessly scanning everybody in the café. Only 4 people. No girl in Red Tee. I took a chair and started waiting for her. An hour later also there was no sign of her.

Finally a very geeky looking  guy came to me with a very sad shocked face.

He was wearing a red tee that read “Zapak!”

I was horrified. I expected the worst- Asha92 is a guy? Like sahana92? Crap!!!

“sahana92?” he asked gulping.

“asha92?” I asked with a nod.

So this was asha92’s surprise, I suddenly remembered our first chat!

Apparently I was not the only one who knew how to play the Zapak Gambit!

He had tears in his eyes. I felt very sorry for him. Geeks love with the greatest passion perhaps- and he really loved sahana92! I was a bit proud or happy… I couldn’t place my feelings exactly…

But the truth was I was partly responsible for those tears!

He looked like he needed a shoulder to cry on. I offered him mine. He took it.

“Sirs, you are making our customers uncomfortable…” a waiter asked us.

“We’ll be gay wherever we want! You can’t stop us!” I joked loudly! The irony was just too funny. It seemed like I was taking the shock of asha92 being a guy, very well!

Poor asha92! He didn’t appreciate the joke and ran away from there, with tears running down his cheeks… He didn’t know that life is too funny to cry over such things.

I thought I heard him say, “I’m not Gay!”

“Yes you are!” I shouted loudly behind his back.

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The avatar of sahana92 at zapak to slaughter the lambs in Chess was actually planned and executed by Suhas 😛 So this is all him! I have fictionalized some other events and made it more dramatic- but credit goes to him for inspiration 🙂

You can find him covering the new EPL season at FIRST TOUCH!!! ( )

Thanks Pavan & Prasad for the amazing pictures! 🙂

  1. Aravind says:

    Oh man! Each story is better than the last! 🙂

    This split my sides—“Somebody that these geeks would love to play against- even if it meant that they’d lose, both the game and points. Somebody that these geeks would come back for more- and more. In short I had to be a pretty 18 year old desi local girl.” 😀

    • surysingh says:

      Long drive in car from Bangalore to Mysore. Awesome Weather. Adventerous Friends. And when these friends tell stories, it leads to the Zapak Gambit 😉

  2. Rohan says:

    Does it actually work?? 😉 Should try it out!!
    Good story!! And interestin concept of the Like button phones. .

    • surysingh says:

      Are you doubting the powers of an 18-year-old girl? 😉 It works buddy… My friend did this! But not for money- just for the thrill of it!

  3. Hi, Sury. I like your style. I’ve been looking around the blogs for other short fiction writers and I’m glad I found yours. Your work is very vibrant, and has tons of personality. I look forward to reading more.

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