The effect reads totally impossible, yet it is accurate in every regard. One of the most unique and baffling magical effects on stage today. Direct from Devin Knight’s own stage show and a limited release, this is based on a little known idea that Al Mann shared with Devin.
Devin’s original idea has been revised and improved upon to make it into a real visual showpiece. Read the effect and ponder how such a thing is possible:
Performer introduces a table containing a chess set. He tells the audience before the show he gave a copy of the best-selling book, “Chess Strategy” to an audience member. She were instructed to secretly take the book out of the magician’s sight and circle a chess piece on any page. She was also instructed to note the page number containing the circled piece and seal everything in a large yellow envelope.
Please note: Once the book is given to the spectator in the audience before the show, the magician never touches it again! The person in the audience holding the book chooses any two people to assist onstage and hands either one of them the book. She makes the selection (NOT THE MAGICIAN) and hands the book to either one. The volunteers are not stooges nor plants; there is no secret cueing or anything of the sort. There are no offstage assistants. Strictly a one-man effect!
Magician asks the first volunteer to go over to chess board and stand in front of it so the second volunteer and audience cannot see what he does. The first volunteer is instructed to freely choose any chess piece and place it inside a paper bag, thus allowing nobody to see it! He is further instructed to stand in front of the chess set blocking its view from the audience. The choice is completely free; there is no force of any kind — the volunteer has a free selection of any of the 32 chess pieces!
Performer then asks the second volunteer to open the envelope and remove the chess book. There is a note attached to the book indicating the page that was marked. She turns to that page in the book and, sure enough, one chess piece is encircled with a red mark. This is visible to the audience, and she shows the book to the first volunteer holding the secret piece to verify it. (REMEMBER THE PERFORMER HASN’T TOUCHED THE BOOK!)
The second volunteer is then asked to riffle through the book and to make sure no other pages have been marked. She does so and assures everyone that all other pages are mark free. The performer asks her to name the chosen piece within the book. Suppose she says, “The black bishop!”
Performer states that it would be incredible if the piece the man secretly selected was indeed the black bishop. The performer instructs the first volunteer to remove the piece from the bag, and indeed, it is revealed to be the black bishop!
Remember this is a one-man effect. There are no forces of any kind, and the performer never (even secretly) touches anything. He merely directs the spectators from a distance as to what they are to do. This is the ultimate in Two Minds, Single Thought effects; there are no switches nor sleights. The audience will go home wondering how such a thing is possible!
You get everything you need to perform this mind-boggling effect, including a beautiful chess set large enough for stage. A special carry bag to carry chess pieces, a specially gimmicked 330-page “Chess Strategy” book, the necessary gimmicks, envelopes, paper bags and detailed directions with several alternative handlings, and complete performance rights.