Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mr Peru

Mr Peru plays chess in the street on a giant, homemade board. He is the only chess player I have ever seen with a gimmick. Mr Peru's gimmick is that he is an Inca, which he illustrates thusly: he wears a fedora with 'Inca' written on it, and adorns his neck with gold. I wonder if there are other chess players wandering around with similar gimmicks.

Mr Peru's story is written out in slightly imperfect English on the ground beside him. It says "Chess genius, Mr Peru beated his father when he was four years old." and then in larger writing, it inexplicably says "Mr Peru, Chess Genius, Actor, Dancer, 8-year-old boy." Mr Peru may have been an 8-year-old prodigy, but he's pushing 60 now. When I went by he wasn't playing chess, he was attempting with some difficulty to change the batteries on his CD player. I wonder what music he listens to when he plays? I shall never know, unless I chance to see him again.

I would quite like to see him face off in a street chess match against a voodoo chess witch doctor, or perhaps a man claiming to be an android.

Just remember the old Italian proverb: After the game the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

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