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This is the story of the game of chess, or at least the story as it was told to me when I was a child. They say it began a long time ago, before there were books or even the written word. It is the story of two nations, one black and the other white, that lived on and fought over a great island that has since disappeared.
They say that so many people died in the war and that the sadness of the two kings was so great that they decided to leave a tribute to the war so that it would not be repeated. The kings knew the task would not be an easy one, so they offered a large reward to the person who could tell the story in an original and memorable way.
From that moment on, inventors, jesters, and storytellers began to parade before the court, but none of them could devise a fitting memorial. So much time passed that the kings were losing hope of ever seeing their wishes fulfilled.
Then one day a man named Sissa came into the kingdom and declared that he had the answer to all the royal wishes. When the two courts, bored and skeptical as they had become, were brought together the stranger spoke: "The story you request is locked inside this wooden case." He then placed a box and a playing board at the feet of the kings.
Author Biography: Horacio Cardo is an illustrator living in New York and Buenos Aires. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal, and many other periodicals.