【翻译 | 双语】罗恩 · 韦斯莱的魔法象棋比赛是如何体现出他真正的潜力的
How Ron Weasley’s wizard chess match showed his true potential
Philosopher's Stone showed us that if there's one thing Ron Weasley is good at, it's wizard chess. But this skill actually reveals so much about Ron’s character.
哈利波特与魔法石一书向我们展示了罗恩 · 韦斯莱最擅长的事情，那就是巫师象棋。但是这个技能实际上揭示了很多关于罗恩性格的东西。
The Ron we meet in Philosopher’s Stone isn’t exactly brimming with self-belief. He’s embarrassed about his hand-me-downs, overshadowed by his older brothers and burdened by the weight of family expectation. It’s really no surprise that the Mirror of Erised shows him basking in the glory of being the best Weasley boy – something, he gloomily tells Harry, is unlikely to happen in real life:
‘Everyone expects me to do as well as the others, but if I do, it's no big deal, because they did it first.’ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
All that sibling rivalry, plus the added factor of being the best friend of the incredibly famous Harry Potter, all seems to contribute to knocking Ron's self-esteem, and it can lead him to being pretty jealous at times. But in his very first year, Ron shows poise and bravery while battling Professor McGonagall's huge enchanted chessboard, one of the many obstacles protecting the Philosopher's Stone. He's even willing to sacrifice himself by being knocked unconscious by the giant chess pieces so Harry and Hermione can move on. It's a hugely mature decision for someone so young, especially for someone who can be a bit immature at times like Ron.
所有的兄弟姐妹之间的竞争，加上成为不可思议的大名鼎鼎的哈利 · 波特最好的朋友这一附加因素，似乎都在损害罗恩的自尊心，有时还会导致他相当嫉妒。但是在他的第一年，罗恩在与麦格教授的巨大魔法棋盘——保护魔法石的众多障碍之一——较量中表现出镇定和勇敢。他甚至愿意牺牲自己，被巨大的棋子击昏，这样哈利和赫敏就可以继续前进。对于一个如此年轻的人来说，这是一个非常成熟的决定，尤其是对于像罗恩这样有时有点不成熟的人来说。
Here's why Ron's chess match was so important.
He's in control
Ron's part of a big family, constantly jostling for room. At Hogwarts, it's even worse: not only does he have the legacy of his two eldest brothers to contend with, he's also got perfect Percy and practical jokers Fred and George on his case.
If everyone expects certain things of you, it's hard to feel in control of your own choices. Chess might be an unpredictable game, but when Ron is directing his pieces around that chessboard it's just him and his opponent.
It's all about strategising
Ron can be impulsive, reckless and irrational – such as stealing his dad's car in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, for instance – or falling out with Harry over his Triwizard Cup entry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Chess, however, is a long game with only three possible outcomes. Chess forces Ron to think strategically, and quickly. This is where he's at his best. He thrives on action and at the very least he likes a plan. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he initially struggles with the randomness of his Horcrux journey but later, during the Battle of Hogwarts, he has the idea of gathering Basilisk fangs to destroy the remaining Horcruxes — the kind of thinking on the spot that chess encourages.
There are no expectations
He says it himself — at every point in Ron's Hogwarts journey, from the Sorting Hat to his lessons to the Quidditch pitch, he's burdened by expectation: all his family were Gryffindors, Bill was Head Boy, Charlie was Quidditch captain, Percy's a prefect and Fred and George make everyone laugh.
But a game of chess demands nothing of you except that you play, and in Ron's case, he plays well. To lose is disappointing, but not devastating (or at least until he comes to play Professor McGonagall's giant set), and in any case, he doesn't often lose.
He can be instinctive, without feeling self-conscious
It's precisely because nobody expects anything in particular of him that Ron can play wizard chess without feeling self-conscious. When Ron makes it on to the Gryffindor Quidditch team, his anxieties about becoming the new Keeper become so overwhelming that they affect his ability to play – especially joining the team years after Harry did. His insecurities really play havoc with his intentions in Deathly Hallows, when he abandons Harry and Hermione after one too many Horcrux-influenced bad thoughts. He has no such insecurity when faced with a chess board so he just plays instinctively, analysing nothing but his opponent.
He knows he can do it
In Half-Blood Prince, Ron's pre-Quidditch match nerves get so bad that Harry pretends to add a drop of liquid luck to his pumpkin juice. It’s only then that Ron starts to feel confident. But when he comes across Professor McGonagall's chess set in Philosopher's Stone, he already has the confidence to know he doesn't need luck. He wastes no time telling Harry and Hermione what to do — he knows he's the best chess player, so he takes charge and says so.
It's all his
Above all, wizard chess is Ron's game. Elsewhere he is overshadowed and sometimes entirely overlooked, but when faced with a chess board, he knows he's playing to his strengths.
This is what gives him the confidence to face McGonagall's merciless white queen. When he steps across the square knowing he will be attacked by a large stone chess piece, he does it so that Harry can checkmate the king. Sure enough, Ron is knocked out with rapid brutality, but his strategising works and Harry and Hermione can move on.
Ron's a Gryffindor, so of course there are many moments where he proves his bravery and determination — attempting to save his sister in Chamber of Secrets, ignoring a broken leg to challenge Sirius in Prisoner of Azkaban, battling Death Eaters in Order of the Phoenix, to name a few. But off the chess board, he generally works best as part of a team.
He has a family full of high-achieving siblings and friends like Harry and Hermione, so the moments that Ron gets to singlehandedly save the day are few. Chess gives him an opportunity to shine, and the things it teaches him — strategy, quick thinking and the importance of self-belief — are pretty important lessons.
Fifty points to Ron.
If you want to revisit Ron's epic chess match again, you can read Chapter Sixteen, 'Through the Trapdoor' here.
如果你想再回顾一下 Ron 那场史诗般的国际象棋比赛，你可以去阅读第十六章"穿过暗门"。