notes from the road

A short story where Justin tells how he smashed a 6 year old girl in a late night game of chess.

Thinking of ways that I can meet new Frenchies, I remembered that my pal Frederic plays in a Chess club every Friday so I called him and agreed to go with him last night. We rode out there on bikes – me on my new housemates mountain bike with a very stiff front tyre and Frederic on his well oiled and smooth light weight steed. The going was tough and the 10km seemed much longer. Despite the near zero temperatures and snow that covered the path I was sweating profusely when I arrived. A taste of things to come.

That night the chess club was mainly filled with children under the age of 15 and I’d heard from Frederic that some of them were pretty good, so I was ready to be embarrassed by a little French fry or two.  I lost the first two or three games pretty quickly but then managed to pull a draw and then a win against a novice 14 year old. But he was a novice and I was a novice and I was 8 years older than him, so I couldn’t feel too good about myself. At about a quarter to 12 I had just finished being wiped by another little kiddy when I was about to take a bathroom break. I knew we were going to finish soon and I thought my chess games had finished for the night.  Just as I got up to leave my table, I almost stepped on a tiny little girl who was resting against the window and although she looked like she was ready to hit the hay (in a little pink cot probably) I asked her if she would like a game, and she readily agreed with a cheeky smile. Of all the people I played that night, she was by far the smallest and I couldn’t help but smile as I looked at her peering out from behind the pieces on the board. I don’t normally go all coochie coo, but she was just so tiny and adorable. As it turned out she was also the under 6 years district age champion, so she knew her chess. The game started out pretty evenly each taking a piece for a piece – the war of attrition. As the minutes wore on everyone else started to pack up and we were issued with a tappy tappy timer to speed up our play – just like the mad chess players have. So there we were, the tiny little french girl and I tapping away and shifting our pieces on the board. As it was nearly closing time and everyone else had finished they all gathered around to watch the match – and I  felt like every move I made I was being judged. Despite my nerves at appearing silly infront of some vastly superior players I managed to keep myself together unlike my petite opponent. With less than two minutes on the clock she crumbled under the pressure and made a silly move gifting me her Bishop.  I capitalised and with the time literally ticking through the last couple of seconds on our timer I had her checked and mated! Boooyah little girl! You got served!

Ho ho ho, I felt like a King smashing a chess champion!

Sure judge me if you will, but without this bravado I don’t think I would have been able to cycle that stiff and difficult bike back into Nancy and then out to Frouard.

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One response

  1. great story Justin. nicely done.

    stay well Bud.

    16,February, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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