Eugene Meltsner brings a chess set to Whit’s End to relieve the boredom of a lazy afternoon, and Bernard challenges him to a game. As the chess game proceeds, Eugene, sure of his superior skill, is boasting to Whit - just as Bernard calls out "Checkmate!" Eugene is shocked. After a night without sleep, Eugene shows up at Bernard's front door to challenge him to a rematch. Bernard reluctantly agrees, but wins again in only 15 minutes. Eugene comes to the next rematch with Bernard armed with a notebook showing Bernard's tendencies, strengths and weaknesses. Connie asks Bernard to purposely lose the game for Eugene's sake, which Bernard won't promise to do.
Meanwhile, Heather’s volleyball team is failing horribly, but Heather tries her best to do something about it. At the next volleyball game, Heather hogs the balls, insisting that the only chance they have to win is for her to hit everything, so the coach benches her. The coach reminds Heather that volleyball is a team sport and she quits. At the gym, Whit explains to Heather that it's not good teamwork to play as though she is alone simply because she is such a good player. He encourages her to be more understanding toward her teammates and allow them to learn from their mistakes. The team wins the game, and Heather is sure it's because she was gone. The other girls convince her to stay, claiming that the extra practices she insisted on made the difference. She needs them as much as they need her. She agrees and joins the team at Whit's End for a post-game party.
The chess game is nearly over when the girls' volleyball team comes in. As Karen tries to demonstrate a shot, the chess pieces get knocked off the board. Eugene panics because he was near winning. Bernard says Eugene won anyway, because he had him cornered. A jubilant Eugene goes off to get some sleep.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Was there anything wrong with Eugene's methods of playing chess?
- Why or why not?
- Why did Bernard enjoy beating Eugene so much?
- Why was it so important for Eugene to beat Bernard?
- Have you ever had a time when you had to be a good sport, even though you didn't feel like it?
Heard in episode
|Bernard Walton||Dave Madden|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Heather Acuff||Krista Muscare|
|John Whittaker||Paul Herlinger|
|Julie Zeeke||Tracy Bassett|
|Karen Acuff||Ann Ault|
|Eugene Meltsner||Will Ryan|
|Volleyball Coach||Will Ryan|
- The plot of this episode is similar to the episode "Chess Pains" on the TV show Frasier, in which Frasier loses multiple chess games to his father.
- Eugene mentions famous chess player Karl Ernst Adolf Anderson.
QuotesEugene Meltsner: There are times when I'm convinced this is a game he doesn't know the rules for!
Connie Kendall: Eugene, you just ended a sentence with a preposition!
Eugene Meltsner: Impossible! Prepositions are not words that I end sentences with!
Bernard Walton: Uh, just a minute Eugene. Apparently Connie has a crush on me or something.
Eugene Meltsner: Today, Bernard Walton beats me at chess. Tomorrow, the earth will revolve around the sun!
Connie Kendall: The earth does revolve around the sun, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: Aghhhhh!!
Bernard Walton: Oh, I see what he's doing.
Connie Kendall: What?
Bernard Walton: He's trying to get me to move my horse -
Eugene Meltsner: Knight.
Bernard Walton: Away from his tower -
Eugene Meltsner: Rook!
Bernard Walton: So that he can get my guy with a pointy head!
Eugene Meltsner: Bishop!! And I'm not quite clear why you think it's to your advantage to verbalize my strategy out loud!
Eugene Meltsner: Wait. Watch this move. Bishop to Rook 3, there! I seriously think he made that move simply to form the letter M with his pieces!
Connie Kendall: What!
John Whittaker: It's bedtime, Eugene.
Connie Kendall: Just how important is it to you to beat him today?
Bernard Walton: Meaning?
Connie Kendall: Meaning you have made your point already. You beat him every game. So what's the big deal if you lost one, y'know?
Bernard Walton: Connie! Are you asking me to throw the game?
Connie Kendall: He's an emotional wreck! Please, Bernard?
Bernard Walton: This is good for him!
Connie Kendall: Look at him! He's got his shoes on the wrong feet!