Sunday, 16 June 2019

Write-In 2019: 'Castling' by Kyriakos Chalkopoulos

If I am to keep up, mistakes known to lead to serious problems should be avoided. Last night I missed an appointment with an influential businessman who may well have agreed to sign a contract there and then – while now he seems unwilling to even return my calls. We were to meet at ten thirty, and I had already left my apartment one hour before that – yet I never made it past the gate of my building. I do recall how I stayed next to the wall until it was a quarter to ten, way too late for me to make it even if I was already running to the bus station, and consequently returned to my house, sighing while reflecting on what went wrong.

I distinctly remember that prior to leaving the apartment I went to the kitchen and opened the top drawer to observe the white pawns placed there on a striped napkin. It seemed to me that their position was conforming to the known rule, but it didn’t take me very long to understand my error when I returned, following my failure to leave the building.

It is a simple enough mistake to make… Castling always happens if the three pawns aren’t positioned exactly as they should. Of course I was being ambitious, and in an attempt to negate a lesser obstacle happened to resurrect a major one from the past. Besides, it didn’t matter if that other obstacle would have been dealt with, given that one only materializes when I am inside the bus, while this time I never made it to the street…

Castling must always be prevented. Due to hastiness I allowed once more a full wall to form around the building, and it does seem my prospective client walled up as well...

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