🗽Your Shout #1: The Chess Pigeon of Washington Square Park
A Reader Submission from Nazareth Rivas
Your Shout is a collection of New York stories from you, the reader that I illustrate with a cartoon. Think of it like the Metropolitan Diary in the NY Times. But on Substack. And longer.
This week’s Your Shout reader submission comes from: Nazareth Rivas
Having just arrived in New York, I felt like a tiny pawn on a giant chessboard. Although I was new to the city, I decided to explore it and among my strolls, I found a park with chess tables and very focused players.
Intrigued by the game, I approached a table where two women were having an exciting game. One of them, with a very confident air and a mischievous smile, noticed my interest and challenged me to join in. I accepted with a mixture of nervousness and enthusiasm. Although my knowledge of chess was basic, I was not going to miss the opportunity to enjoy the challenge. My opponent gave me some quick directions, and we began the game.
My moves were clumsy and somewhat confusing, but I was having fun trying to apply some tactics I remembered from movies. The people around us watched us curiously and some laughter escaped from time to time.
At one point, as I was looking for my next move, a mischievous pigeon decided to perch right on the board and took one of the pieces with its beak - it was daylight robbery! Everyone present burst out laughing, including my opponent.
With a mixture of amazement and laughter, we continued the game with the pigeon as an impartial judge. Every time I tried to move a piece, the pigeon would step in, as if to suggest the best move.
Incredibly, in the midst of this comic chaos, I began to make better decisions. It seemed that the pigeon had a master strategy hidden in its feathers. My moves, now more confident and sure, surprised my opponent.
In an unexpected twist, I managed to corner his king and the pigeon made his last and final contribution to the game: he threw a breadcrumb that distracted the opposing king, leaving him exposed and vulnerable. "Checkmate!", I shouted excitedly.
The people around us burst into applause and laughter. I had won my first chess game in New York, thanks to the unusual and amusing help of a pigeon. My opponent congratulated me with a smile and we shared a laugh together over the unusual situation.
From that day on, I became a regular chess player in that park. The story of how I won my first game always brings smiles to those who hear it, and the naughty pigeon has become my chess lucky charm. Undoubtedly, my arrival in New York was marked by laughter and an unforgettable victory on the funniest chessboard of all.
Thank you to Nazareth Rivas for your story.
If you have your own New York story you’d like to submit for Your Shout, please…
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