IV: Roger and Graham

Roger and Graham sat on the pavement in the light of a closed women’s boutique. Between them lay a peeling plastic chessboard in the centre of which Graham placed a bishop. He returned his hand to the ear of a humourless mongrel who was too old to remember a life before this one. “What do you make of that?” Graham asked his opponent.

“I tell you what, the Russians would’ve liked it,” Roger replied.

Graham stared at the piece a moment before turning to his dog. He leant down and spoke into her ear, “Don’t mind him, he’s been drinking again. That’s Bobby Fischer right there that is.”

“Russians stealing plays from Bobby-bloody-Fischer?” Roger pointed to St Mary’s Church on the corner. “Forgot about the war, have you?”

“Well the Europeans don’t care for it now — them Indians neither,” Graham said, returning to the game. “It’s your move.”