Paco didn't notice the new addition in his fifth grade classroom until after the class had started. Then he had a hard time taking his eyes off of it. While Miss Andrews talked about basics of grammar, he tried to discreetly figure out what the thing was. Fortunately Paco's desk was near the back of the class and reasonably near the shiny new thing. It didn't look like anything Paco had ever seen and that made him curious. He started to notice other students sneaking looks at the box-shaped clear cover that had caught his eye. Tim, one of Paco's friends who sat nearby, looked questioningly in Paco's direction and Paco shrugged.

Miss Andrews had noticed that the students were becoming interested in the uniquely displayed chess set that had been added to the classroom the previous evening. "OK, class," she said, "Let's take a break from English and I'll show you something new that we have in our classroom". She had them form a line and walk past the chess set so that each could get a good look. They were allowed to touch the Plexiglas cover but it was locked in place so that the board and pieces couldn't be disturbed. When Paco's turn came, he saw that the pieces were set up in two rows on each of two edges facing each other. Black on one side and white on the other. The taller pieces in back and the shorter (all the same) in a row right in front of them. Except for one. One of the smaller white pieces was near the center of the board two squares ahead of the other small ones like it. Even though Paco didn't know anything about chess, it looked like the first move in a game. He also noticed that the piece that appeared to have been been moved was in front of the tallest white piece, which had a cross on its head.

Once the students were back in their seats, Miss Andrews explained that she didn't know anything about the game of chess but wanted the students to have a chance to learn. The set they had just looked at would remain in the class for the rest of the school year. Each day when they came to class, the game, already started, would be one move farther along. Tim raised his hand and asked, "Who will move the pieces"? Miss Andrews smiled. "Let's just call them the 'Phantom Grandmaster'," she said.