FimFiction Link - Short ID: 459906/a-nice-game-of-chess
Published: Jan '20
'A Nice Game of Chess' is a very short four-thousand words long oneshot. Twilight dies in a train-crash along with some other ponies. Before her stands the grim reaper. She is given another chance at her life if she can beat the reaper in chess.
This is very much a "dessert-fic:" The premise is not particularly original; while much is on the line, the story never really become too dramatic or brooding; the story touches a bit on death's origin and being, but not in any substantial or overly philosophical way; and the ending itself is very much leaning towards sappy-positive. But regardless of all of these "negative" things, the story works really nicely and I feel like it achieves its purpose well.
Twilight and the Reaper's interactions are, for lack of a better word, cute. The idea that Alicorns are only entitled to have another shot is due to the fact that the Reaper dislikes Discord and likes the Princesses is amusing. Twilight offering to save the eleven other passengers' souls and empathizing with her opponent despite both admitting that she can't understand her fits her character well. Honestly, because the fic is so short, I really don't think I can or want to say much about it, so let's wrap this up.
Overall: 8/10 Short, sweet, and feel-good. The fic isn't groundbreaking by any means, but I can definitely recommend it as a "palate-cleanser" after another longer fic that perhaps left a bad taste in your mouth or if you simply want to read something positive and low-stakes.