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"Brain's Chess Mess"
Season/Series: 16
Number in season: 6b
Original Airdate: United States May 6, 2013[1]
United Kingdom April 16, 2013[2][3]
Written by: Peter K. Hirsch
Storyboard by: Allan Jeffery
"The Last Tough Customer"
"Baseball Blues"
Read transcript

"Brain's Chess Mess" is the second half of the sixth episode in the sixteenth season of Arthur.


Brain starts a chess club at school to improve his game and beat Los Dedos, the local chess master. Who knew the best player in the club would be... Rattles?[4]


Arthur and his dad are playing tabletop tennis outside, and Arthur explains to the viewers how he knows lots of people who have hidden talents, revealing that his hidden talent is tabletop tennis. He then goes on to say how some of the people he knows hidden talents don't seem to match the people that have them, like how Binky is an amazing dancer, or how Molly is good at giving advice. Arthur is about to list another example, but D.W. interrupts him and gives him a winter hat, because she says it's chilly out. Arthur asks why D.W. is acting so strange. D.W. explains that her hidden talent is niceness, and also asks Arthur if he wants some juice or a nap. Arthur is creeped out by her kindness and wants her to stop, and D.W. laughs and rubs her hands together.

Brain's Chess Mess

After the title card, Brain is playing chess with a young girl nicknamed Los Dedos at the community center, and loses to her. Los Dedos rubs her victory in Brain's face, calling him an amateur before leaving.

After this, Brain plans to form a Chess Club. Among the members are Mrs. MacGrady, Buster, Binky, George, and Fern. Brain's Chess Club turns into a failure, as Mrs. MacGrady is the only one of the club who knows how to play, but she can't ignore her duties as the school's lunch lady; the others just fool around. Brain attempts to teach the others how to play chess, but they don't really pay attention. Rattles comes in after overhearing the commotion and shows off his chess-playing skills to them, easily beating Brain in a round of chess. Brain asks Rattles if he'll join the club, but he says that he's not the club-joining type and walks off. Meanwhile, the others fool around once again by stacking up the chess pieces before they fall over, and Brain sighs.

Later, Brain tries to persuade Rattles into joining the Chess Club, even offering him free ice cream and doing his homework for him, but he refuses. Then Los Dedos arrives, and insults both Brain and Rattles before challenging Rattles to a chess match. Brain is convinced that he will probably never beat Los Dedos, but this prompts Rattles to change his mind about joining the Chess Club.

Later, Rattles decides to teach Brain and the others how to play chess properly, in order to bring Los Dedos down a peg. With his help, Brain and the others (except Binky and Buster) get better at chess.

However, on the day of the chess tournament, Brain discovers that Rattles seems to be sick with a stomachache. Left with no choice, Brain plays against Los Dedos in his place, unaware that Rattles had snuck in during the match to watch, completely fine. After a tense match, Brain finally beats Los Dedos, earning her respect as well as his friends' applause.

After talking to Mrs. MacGrady about playing a round against each other again, Brain catches Rattles walking outside and runs up to him, asking if he was even sick in the first place. Rattles admits he did had a slight discomfort, but faked being sick, knowing only Brain had enough skill to take her on. As they leave the community center, Brain asks Rattles if he would like to join the Chess Club, to which Rattles agrees, but on one condition: they should have yellow raisins as a snack. Brain laments that he is too picky, to which Rattles replies that being a chess prodigy gives him the right to be picky. The episode finishes as the boys walk down the street together.






  • Los Dedos is Spanish for "the fingers." She is called that because she drums her nails when she plays to distract her opponent.
  • Rattles is revealed to be a skilled chess player and to be lactose intolerant.
  • Arthur makes a minor appearance during the intro, and is otherwise absent from the episode.

Episode connections

  • Arthur says that Molly gives good advice, which is a reference to "Don't Ask Muffy."
  • Rattles being good at chess in mentioned again in "Slink's Special Talent."
  • In "Truth or Poll," Brain's chess club is replaced by a video game club as a result of one of Binky's polls.

Cultural references


  • When Mrs. MacGrady and George first sign the sign up list for chess club, they write in black/pencil color. Later, Mrs. MacGrady's is shown as red and George's is blue.

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