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Black starts and wins (based on a true nightmare)

Today my personal fitness trainer, a hefty black man who in his real life goes by initials DJ and reminds me of a good-natured hippopotamus from a cartoon popular in my child-years, showed up with a large box in his hands. Inside the box something rattled, and I thought that my trainer once again came up with a new trick. Although I have been training with him for almost three years, twice a week, each session he would manage to come up with a new exercise targeting some type of muscles, the existence of which I never even suspected.

However, this time there was something quite unexpected. It turned out that we will be playing chess. Now that I thought about it, I realized that all our previous sessions had been slowly but steadily pushing me toward that, I just did not understand the inner lining beneath the surface, so to speak. Of course, chess it will be.

I got the white pieces and arranged them just to discover with some surprise that my partner also plays white, though if you look closely, it is clear that his figures were originally black before some hands had covered them with a layer of white paint with rather nervous brushstrokes. Some black clearings would still get out here and there, “as a wolf’s ears would stick from under his hat,” I thought. I gave out a nervous laughter which ceased immediately as I caught his stare, a look that told me everything: his silent reproach and my inevitable defeat. Of course, it would be very inappropriate to expose him, a black man as he stands, by making him put his black pieces on the board in all their shameless nudity, nothing short of a racist outburst. I do not understand now how I could even think of him using black pieces!

I opened the game by moving my King’s pawn from e2 to e4 and he immediately mirrored my move. I moved my Queen’s Knight to c3 and he kept repeating my moves, just as I always mindlessly repeated after him when he trained me. Soon the whole board was uniformly lined with the pieces, and for a casual observer it might have appeared that the figures of the two partners were indistinguishable but we knew which belonged to whom as if by some barely noticeable secret marks. Presently I could clearly see that I can checkmate black in two moves, so I moved my Bishop and checked his King. “Check”, repeated DJ. It turned out that it was my King that was checked and the next move would be a checkmate. Obviously, at some point I inadvertently had started to play with his figures against myself. If only it would be possible to go back in time and find this ill-fated point at which everything got mixed up but unfortunately we did not make records. And besides the chess board turned into a carpet on my wall.

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