“I stay on the 64 squares, while patrolling the center/ Trading space from material, the time zone, I enter”
There was always chess going down in the centre of Colombia’s capital, Bogota. At a number of different points throughout the city tables were set up and cats would have them packed out.
Even the rain which frequented the city daily during my visit could not stop the dirty and weathered boards being attacked by a range of eccentric characters. Players ranged from well-dressed elderly gents to odious smelling dudes, playing off last night’s hangover.
The boards were a mixture of those engaging in speed chess to those enjoying games at a more leisurely pace.
There was always a fair share of spectators including a number of kibitzers who would freely distribute their unwanted advice to players deep in concentration.
Each day, I saw this same dapper gentleman vanquish one and all. There was less than gentlemanly conduct when some opponents refused to shake his hand after he had dished out another devastating beat-down.
The rib injury that has kept me off the mats has given me more time to work on the 64 squares but my own chess game was very much in its infancy; I was scared to death of stepping up to play. Nevertheless, each day I would stop and watch a couple of boards, in the hope that I could pick up some knowledge that would elevate my suckage.