By Stefan Zweig
On a cruiseship sure for Buenos Aires, a prosperous passenger demanding situations the area chess champion to a fit. He accepts with a sneer. he'll beat a person, he says. yet provided that the stakes are excessive. quickly, the chess board is surrounded. in the beginning, the challenger crumbles sooner than the brain of the grasp. yet then, a soft-spoken voice from the gang starts off to whisper apprehensive feedback. There are ideal strikes and tremendous predictions. The speaker has no longer performed a video game for greater than 20 years, he says. he's absolutely unknown. yet someway, he's additionally totally ambitious!
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Extra info for Chess (Read Red)
But anyway, the unexpected prospect of drawing our game against a grandmaster thanks to his intervention was enchanting. We all moved aside to give him a clear view of the board. ’ ‘Yes, yes! ’ McConnor complied, and we tapped the glass. Czentovic returned to our table with his usual regular tread, and took in the counter-move at a single glance. Then he moved the pawn from h2 to h4 on the king’s flank, just as our unknown helper had predicted. The man was already whispering urgently: ‘Rook forward, rook forward, c8 to c4, then he’ll have to cover his pawn first.
What did I say yesterday? What must I say next time? ‘This truly unspeakable state of affairs lasted four months. Four months – it’s easy to write down: just under a dozen characters! It’s easy to say: four months – two syllables. Your lips can articulate such a sound in a quarter of a second: four months! But no one can describe, assess, demonstrate to himself or anyone else how long a given period lasts in a timeless, spaceless void, and you can’t explain to anyone how it gnaws away at you and destroys you, nothing, nothing, nothing around you, only the same table and bed and washbasin and wallpaper, and always that silence, always the same jailer handing in food without looking at you, always the same thoughts circling around the same object in the void until you go mad.
The worst was coming back to my void after the questioning, back to the same room with the same table, the same bed, the same washbasin, the same wallpaper. For as soon as I was alone with myself I tried reconstructing what I ought to have said in reply, and what I must say next time to divert any suspicion that some unconsidered remark of mine might have aroused. I thought it all over, I went back over everything, examined my own statements, checked every word of what I had said to the chief interrogator, I recapitulated every question they had asked, every answer I had given, I tried to think what they might have put down in the written record, but I realized I could never work it out, I would never know.
Chess (Read Red) by Stefan Zweig