I am only seven, and I am usurping a king.
I know this as I stare into his eyes, my glare echoing the steely eyes of a hardened general. Pawn to A5. The wrinkle in his face winks at me as he reaches for hisKnight, then rears back again. His right eye twitches, the same twitch I see during cricket matches against Australia or when Michael asks for more pocket money. He eventually castles and smiles glibly.
“You are getting better at this, you know.”
I know. Bishop to D7.
The voice on the living room television changes from advertising patter to rugby commentary, the harshness of the Afrikaans accent hacking through the sound of thestewbubbling in the kitchen pot. The voice is listing the names of the forwards now; it won’t be long until the game starts.
Suddenly, he makes an implausibly easy move. A lone pawn, moving from the ranks, abandoning his post. I pounce on his mistake. Queen to C5.
“Checkmate!” I squeal.
With a wan smile he shakes my hand and sits on the couch. The game is starting, the oval ball arcing into the air.
I am almost eight, and I usurped a king.