There is a special magic in seeing a group of angry old men playing chess in a Starbucks midmorning.
They play cut throat chess here.
Once the game begins, each player has one minute to make their move, then slap the big red button on the timer and then talk shit for 1 minute until the button is slapped again.
And the shit talking is stunning to behold.
Sexuality, race, geneology and hygene are on the table and are free play here.
I even heard a few mother slams thrown in there.
The distraction level is somewhere up in the rafters. But the game play is high level.
I used to study/play chess and I have seen several high end named strageties going on.
Add the distractions to the game restrictions and you have a setting that even Bobby Fisher would be someones prison bitch inside of an hour.
I saw video of Fisher playing once and he looked brittle like a chihuahua.
The high point of the morning was when the fight began.
For the sake of brevity, (And you know how I love to be brief) Iwill simply use the names they used.
John, it seems, tried to finish a move when time had run out, and refused to move his piece.
T, his opponent, is not having it.
Mel, observing/on deck to play next, is on John’s side.
Hack, observing but not playing, doesn’t seem to be doing anything, except talking shit.
John: My piece was moved. I made my move!
T: You have you hand on your piece, that is contemplating a move, NOT finishing a move! Time Ran Out. Put your piece back!
Mel: Man had his piece in place, thats a move.
Hack: Did you eat my cookie? (Not said to anyone in particular.)
John: You losing the game, just have some dignity, T.
T: Talk to yo momma about dignity, and while your at it, tell her you a cheat.
Mel: Aw, that ain’t right.
Hack: My mother died when I was 12.
At this point, the edge of the board was “Accidentally” bumped by the agitated T, who was TOTALLY losing at this point, knocking over most of the pieces.
And all hell broke loose.
T proclaimed his innocence, John proclaimed his guilt, Mel made generic guilt statements, and Hack found his cookie. (Who buys a cookie and puts it in his pocket?)
And then, the really big offense was made.
T gestured with his hand and knocked over the timer.
You would think someone hopped up on the table, dropped trou and took a dump on the board.
And the “Fuck you, T!” was almost anti-climatic.
But the game is over for today, everyone is leaving like there was a fart in the car.
And then they were gone.
All except Hack, who just sat there eating his cookie.
Sorry never underestimate how serious some people take their hobbies.
Because nothing ruins morning coffee quicker than foul mouth old men.
And thats a damn shame.