échec et mat

by jemma margaret

Some people take their out of town visitors to Michelin star restaurants or on tours of famous monuments.

Others might take their guest to a park, teach them the words “prochain jeu” and stand back to watch nervously. Such was my situation in le Jardin du Luxembourg as Bobby settled among red nosed smoking men for a small game of l’échecs.

L’americain immediately showed that he was no dummy, with the man at my left remarking with surprise, “he plays often”. The game was short and the clock faced away from me. At one point I bystander nudged our hero and gestured frantically at the clock. Didn’t he realize he was running low? But a calm collectivity dominated the game, and eventually hands were shook over a victory for team USA.

We left with many merci’s and au revoir’s, unlike these poor unfortunates of 15th century Belgium.