My hands are clasped below my chin. My eyes rest on a board of squares.
The Black knight sweeps in imaginary arcs. I extend a finger to position him near White’s castle. “Check,” I say and my opponent sighs.

Whispers and murmurs pass through the crowd.

The 14-year-old boy opposite me tips his king.

I extend my hand for a shake, then walk away. Our only connection, the last four hours spent locked in battle.


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