The Best Chessmaster Characters

By: Melissa Sterckx 

*Possible Spoilers Ahead*

They are the ultimate manipulators and you wouldn’t even know that you are doing exactly what they want you to do. Like the greatest of chess players, they can move their unsuspecting pawns at their will. Using their influence and perfect timing of events, they will plan the most beneficial outcome for themselves, paying no mind to who gets hurt in the process. Patience is key, but just what else is needed for someone to gain the prestigious title of Chessmaster? Let’s take a closer look at these brilliant Chessmasters and why they love the games they play.

Ciel Phantomhive – Black Butler

Knowing the background history of this character puts everything into perspective and totally explains why he is the way he is and does the things he does. Earl Ciel Phantomhive is the head of the Phantomhive house and the Queen’s Watchdog. He is hellbent on revenge and making those who ruined his childhood pay for what they did. Ciel summoned a demon during the worst experience of his life while watching his twin brother being murdered. It is this demon, Sebastian Michaelis, who is his butler and carries out many evil acts for his master. Ciel can be cruel and ruthless to get what he wants. But he can also be quite charming if he needs to be. Bribery, deception, and violence are the tools he uses to manipulate the players in his games.

Shiro – No Game No Life

Not only is this 11-year-old genius an actual master in the game of chess, she is also an overall Chessmaster in other ways too. This petite beauty of white skin and blue hair is Shiro from No Game No Life. Abandoned by her parents, Shiro remains very close to her stepbrother, Sora. Shiro is socially awkward and relies a lot on Sora to help her with human interactions and understanding the emotions of others. But it is her keen and natural ability for science and mathematics, along with her masterful analytical skills, that make her the Chessmaster that she is. She uses her intelligence to calculate the situation and makes minor changes in the games to manipulate the outcomes in her favor. 

Light – Death Note

If ever there was the ultimate Chessmaster, it might just be Light from the great series, Death Note. Starting out as a genius and overly confident high school student who is bored with life in general, Light comes across a book in the schoolyard. Whoever’s name is written in the book will die. The unfathomable power to take any human life within seconds without even leaving his seat leads Light to become drunk with this power. He uses it to try and shape the world into his own utopia where he would be a god to his people. While Light feels that he is doing the right thing, the Death Note consumes him and the Chessmaster plays the board and manipulates society without any regard for whoever gets in his way.

Lelouch – Code Geass

Brought up in an aristocratic home and the 17th heir to the throne, Lelouch has a surprising hatred for nobility. A highly intelligent man that is bored with his studies, he receives his Geass ability from C.C, an immortal who is immune to the Geass. Lelouch gains the Geass which gives him the power of absolute obedience. He uses this power to plant commands into the minds of anyone he needs to… This is how this Chessmaster plays his game. He uses this unfair advantage over others to fulfill his political plans. He aims for revolution and hopes to do this through military precision. Lelouch forms The Order of the Black Knight to assist him on his road to power and control.  

While all of the Chessmasters are different, there are a few characteristics that they share. The Chessmaster has to have the perfect combination of all of these traits. They are all goal-orientated and determined, refusing to be moved or persuaded from their objectives. They are all extremely intelligent, being able to calculate a plan and analyze what needs to happen for the desired outcome. They use their keen skills to anticipate the next move and are always ready for their opponent’s strike. But lastly, and probably the most important is a special ability that sets them apart from the rest of the world. Ciel has his butler, Shiro has her superhuman intelligence, Light has the Death Note, and Lelouch has his Geass. 

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