I was working in an hostel, and met a Polish guy.
I was also living there, smoking too much weed than my non-social self could handle. The guy was also working there. As Polish people, he had a more whatever and down to earth personality. So it was cool.
One time we figured we both played chess, we found a board in our quite abundant spare time. We looked for missing pieces, and put them in the opening position.
We were in the centre of the room. It felt like we belonged there. Like the action was not outside in the talk and chatter going around, but there, between us.
I could barely concentrate with the crowd and the fine music going trough the even finer sound system. The wooden furniture and floors gave an awesome tune to it.
But anyway, the place was crowded, I was trying to focus and was making my chess partner slightly impatient.
Not sure when, but at some time I realized I had to give up on trying to win. And just go with the game. Letting me enjoy the unknown, communicating with my partner, following his unspoken advise to move that piece. The uncertainty, the music, my thoughts, his moves, I started caring about what he played. He didn't seem afraid to mess up like me. And so the game at some moment really began.
The music and laughs had depth and meaning, people were envy or noticing that the real action was there, between us, silently unfolding.
A guy seated next to the table talking something, this or that, giving some tip, maybe trying to divert attention. He found a wall, I think I made him shut. He was not welcome to disturb with his drunkness, fishing friendly vibe and non-sense.
If I remember correctly in the end I won. I learned a ton. The queen seemed to be governing the game (it's natural based on how far she moves), but the king had also an interesting role not as useless as it might seem usually. I ended up without queen I think, just in the very end, but with a position that made an unexpected, for both, check mate.
Incredible insights and experience. I wish I was also able to give him some insight about something.
Thanks for reading.