Chess (Read Red) by Stefan Zweig

By Stefan Zweig

On a cruiseship sure for Buenos Aires, a prosperous passenger demanding situations the realm chess champion to a fit. He accepts with a sneer. he'll beat someone, he says. yet provided that the stakes are excessive. quickly, the chess board is surrounded. at the beginning, the challenger crumbles prior to the brain of the grasp. yet then, a soft-spoken voice from the group starts to whisper anxious feedback. There are excellent strikes and amazing predictions. The speaker has no longer performed a video game for greater than 20 years, he says. he's utterly unknown. yet one way or the other, he's additionally fullyyt bold!

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Asking him to accept Czentovic’s challenge, he was obviously taken aback. It turned out that he had never guessed he had acquitted himself so well in our game against a grandmaster, indeed the most successful grandmaster of all at the time. For some reason the information seemed to make a particular impression on him, for he kept asking again and again whether I was sure that his opponent had really been the acknowledged world champion. I soon realized that this fact made my errand easier, and I merely thought it advisable, sensing the delicacy of his feelings, not to tell him that the financial risk of possible defeat would be covered by McConnor’s funds.

McConnor pledged himself to meet the expense. Since inquiries put to the steward had by now produced the information that the unknown man was an Austrian, I was charged, as his fellow countryman, to convey our request to him. It didn’t take me long to track down the man who had fled in such haste. He was on the promenade deck, reclining in his deckchair and reading. Before going closer, I took the opportunity of observing him. His head with its sharply cut features was resting on the cushion in a slightly weary attitude; once again I was particularly struck by the strange pallor of his relatively young face, framed at the temples by dazzlingly white hair.

One evening I really did reach that point; when the jailer happened to bring my food at that moment of suffocation, I suddenly shouted, “Take me to be questioned! I want to tell them everything! I want to make a statement! I’ll tell them where the securities are, where the money is!

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