The effect: Six chess boards are shown, each missing a different piece and then one board is chosen at random. Multiple chess pieces are shown and one is chosen by a different random method. That turns out to be the piece that is missing from the previously chosen chess board.
Perfect as a “synchronicity” routine for couples.
Chess has been going strong for about 1,500 years and is going through kind of a “fad” phase right now (the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, etc.) so there’s never been a better time to introduce a chess-themed routine into your act.
(And even after the fad fades, whenever that will be, the game of chess is still such a big part of most cultures that the routine will continue to feel relevant to audiences.)
Coincidence At Play is a close-up effect, but “plays big enough” that it could easily be used in a parlor-type situation. I made a couple changes to the props and it’s perfect for that — and I give you the way to make those changes yourself, too.
The download PDF version of Coincidence At Play (25+ pages) has everything you need to get started:
The Presentation and Script
And it includes a “Print Your Own Props” section that allows you to make the needed props on your own printer (or the quick print place down the street).
Print the chess boards on regular paper, print the chess piece cards on thicker paper or Avery business card blanks (it’s all set up for that), glue the numbers on poker chips or similar, and you’re good to go.
I’ve even included larger chess boards to print in case you want to go for a parlor-style version.
Coincidence At Play is a fun routine to perform and fun and mystifying for your audience. While not technically a mentalism piece, it can easily be used as a way to get to the subject of mental powers, intuition, etc.
I wouldn’t exactly call it self-working, but there’s no sleight of hand required to perform and no “gimmicks” to go haywire, so you can focus on the presentation. That’s the way I like my routines. — Jay Jennings