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A battle

The old chess matador meets a challenger who changes his life From "Three stones and a reflection" Translated by Julian Evans and Peter Howarth

By Patrick Süskind   November 1996

Early one August evening when most people had already left the park, two men confronted each other across a chessboard. It was in the pavilion on the north-west side of the Jardin du Luxembourg. Their game was followed with such eager interest by a dozen or so spectators that although the hour for an aperitif was drawing near, no one dreamt of leaving the scene until the battle had been decided.

The interest of the little crowd was concentrated on the challenger. He was a youngish man with black hair, pale of face and with blas? dark eyes. He uttered…

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