The chess game between Alfonsa and John Grady is intended to facilitate a meeting between them. John Grady was specifically invited to the house because Alfonsa had never met him and there were things she needed to discuss with him with regard to Alejandra.
The main purpose of the chess game is therefore the discussion of Alejandra’s reputation. This turns into a discussion on how a woman ought to keep her reputation as it is all that she has (McCarthy, 1992). It would seem that Afonsa intended to set up the game in order to convince John Grady to protect the reputation of Alejandra by rejecting her advances. The games offer Alfonsa a chance to get to know John Grady better.
From the games she comes to know John Grady as a man of great skill but also a rash man. She however comes to the knowledge of John Grady as a man who will not act wickedly or give up the game. The billiard game that Don Hector plays with John Grady offers him great insight into the character and disposition of the man. Through the game, Don Hector comes to a realization of John Grady’s strong interest in Mexico, people, lifestyle and mysteries. The game makes Don Hector acknowledge John Grady’s passion and his determination in getting what he wants (McCarthy, 1992).
He comes to the knowledge that with John’s intense passion for Mexico he is unlikely to leave the country in the foreseeable future. This episode also offers great insight into the character of Don Hector. We come to know of Don Hector as a philosopher and an educated person that quotes poets such as Cervantes. The episode also portrays Don Hector as a man of reason and rationality since he does not let his emotions take over.. We learn that Don Hector is like a father figure offering instruction to John Grady whom he deems like a son.