At the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Ron Weasley played human chess to get Harry to the stone. However, one question has been wandering in my head. Did Ron actually win that game? Also, I play Chess from time to time, but I couldn’t see what was on the board when I watched the film. I wasn’t going to replay it ten times back then.
Now that I want to give an answer to that question, I can rewatch the scene multiple times to figure out what was on the board. In addition, I also did some research on the internet to give you the best information.
So let me break it down to you!
First of all, these are the positions of the endgame. It doesn’t make sense to me to show you the entire game as we don’t get to see it. However, it’s mostly the endgame that matters because to answer the question “Did Ron Weasley actually won the Human Chess Game in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?” we must analyze the final positions.
Hermione is on the top of the board as a Rook on f8. It also seems that she only castled during this game, which is only one move. Well, that must have been boring for her. Harry Potter is the Bishop on a3 and Ron is the knight on g5.
The White Queen is threatening the black pion in front of him. That’s where She attacks.
The White Queen attacks the black pawn, and we get some destruction. This move prevents the Knight’s intrusion into h3. However, The Queen also aligned with Harry, which means Mr. Potter is in a dangerous position as he can get captured.
Now, Ron sacrifices another piece, the Rook!
The Black Rook stands next to the Queen and protects Harry from an attack. The sacrifice also adds to the Queen-hatred by the audience. You may wonder why he went for this move. Well, it’s because it opens up the c5-square for Harry’s Bishop, which would result in a check.
The White Queen captures the Rook and threatens Harry’s Bishop once again. At this moment, there are moves to get a faster checkmate. However, Ron would never use these moves as it would require a sacrifice of Harry. The moves are Bc5+ 3.Qxc5 Nh3 mate, and bye-bye Harry!
But Ron is a good friend and doesn’t want to sacrifice Harry. So that’s where he realizes that he is the one who needs to be attacked by the Queen. So he goes for …
Nh3+ or Ron to h3+
Mate! The Queen’s only option is to destroy Ron’s Knight as it’s King is trapped by it. That’s where we get the traggic scene of ..
Nooooooo, Rooooonnnnn! Don’t you move, Hermione! We’re still playing the game! Harry walks diagonally, as we can see in the movie to …
And Harry goes, “CHECKMATE.” However, this isn’t really a checkmate, as the movie tries to convince us. Did they win the game? Yes, as it only takes two more moves in total to win. The film seems to skip these two moves. Maybe because it’s the only moves that can be played and would end up in a checkmate either way.
They probably cut it this way to make the film shorter. The following moves would be …
This the only move white can do and puts itself in danger.
Bxe3 (Harry) the real Checkmate!
Now, this is an actual checkmate! The White King has nowhere to go, and the game is finished.
The moves I just showed you are how the actual endgame went on. However, you won’t see all these moves in the movie as they cut some scenes away. I can understand that choice as the film is already long, and most people wouldn’t actually care if the game was accurate or not. Even for chess players, we didn’t know what was going on with all the rumble and scraps on the board. You really need to analyze step by step and how this game would make sense before figuring out all the positions of the pieces.
I do believe that the filmmakers could have done a better job by making the Queen even more threatening. After the Queen defeats the pawn in one of the first steps, I explained it stood horizontally with Harry Potter’s chess piece. In other words, Harry was in a danger zone. They could have played extra into that and made the movie more intense.
Did Ron Weasley actually win the Human Chess Game in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Well, yes; Harry Potter just shouted “Checkmate” too soon but that wouldn’t have changed the outcome. There was nothing white could have done to win the game. So it wouldn’t have mattered.