The original Ghostbusters movie was actually pretty damn good. But then came the sequels, the reboot, and our subject for today, the sequel to the reboot. It deals with Egon Spengler’s1 grandchildren, Trevor and Phoebe, who start busting ghosts in a small town in Oklahoma. The first sign of ghostly activity they are confronted with is that Phoebe’s chess set starts playing on its own.2 Now that’s the sort of haunting I can get behind!
What I cannot get behind is that Phoebe, despite being the nerd of the bunch, has set up her chessboard wrongly. Very wrongly. Not only has she made h1 a black square, but she also switched the kings and queens around. These ghosts must be pretty damn forgiving to still play with her. Or maybe they’re attracted to evil.
Speaking for the ghost is that he opens with 1.e4 although, given the situation with the royalty, that’s not the 1.e4 we know and love but rather a sort of monstrously deformed 1.d4. Phoebe plays Nf6. But that’s not really an Alekhine,3 but rather some sort of Nimzovitch opening.
However, when she returns to the board in the evening, the pieces are now arranged correctly! Yay for the ghost! But h1 is still black. Boo for the ghost. The ghost has also made a new move: it has moved its knight to c3, thereby inviting Phoebe to a classical Vienna. She accepts the invitation (e5), but after the rather unambitious 3.d3 she plays the unbelievable Nxe4. This is so monumentally stupid that it deserves a diagram:4
.The ghost very aggressively kicks the black knight away with the white one; I guess he’s angry and disappointed at the level of his opponent. Or perhaps at her nonchalance, because she immediately abandons their game to go play with some silly ghost hunting toy.
Bloody kids these days with their infinitesimal attention spans.
Realism: 2/5 The ghost is already a bit suspicious, but the fact that someone just gives up a knight in such a silly fashion is too much.
Probable winner: White. The ghost is a knight up and Phoebe doesn’t seem to be the brightest bulb in the box.
1. [That’s one problem with the original movie: not a single Egon gets spengled.] ↩
2. [Or perhaps she just has a Square Off set.] ↩
3. [This orthography is really quite horrible but it seems to have stuck, so for consistency’s sake I’ll use it. But begrudgingly.] ↩
4. [This diagram editor is so monumentally good it deserves a link.] ↩