Two chess players:
Player One (white pieces)
Player Two (black pieces)
Player One: (Moves a white piece.) Pawn to E4. (Taps the game clock.)
Player Two: (Without deliberation.) Pawn to E5. (Straight away taps the game clock.)
Player One: (Hesitates for a moment, then makes his move.) King to E2.
Player Two: (Is taken somewhat unawares, but doesn't allow this to be seen. He can't figure out what kind of trick this is, and so decides to copy Player One.) King to E7.
Player One: (The move of Player Two slightly surprises him, and so he tries a test move.) King to E3.
Player Two: (Not allowing himself to get unnerved by this, continues his imitative tactics). King to E6.
Player One: (Becomes suspicious, and so moves the horse.) Knight to E2!
Player Two: (Grasps that Player One has figured out his tactics, hesitates for a moment, but then with a smile makes the same move). Knight to E7!
Player One: (Overcomes his anger with difficulty. Makes his move almost threateningly.) Queen to E1!!!
Player Two: (With an almost maniacal laugh.) Queen to E8!!!
Player One: (Furious, grabs hold of Player Two by the collar and starts shaking him.)
Doctor: (Briskly entering scene.) Gentlemen! Regrettably, I'm going to be forced to cancel your match!
Both Players: (Suddenly calming down.) But why?
Doctor: As your doctor I must state that your game contains dangerously high levels of unhealthy E's!
Both players are completely consternated...
(translated by G.S. Evans)
Jiří Sedláček is an actor and musician. After completing his studies at The Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno he was a lead performer for the National Moravian-Silesian Theater; he has also written a number of plays (Má želva mýdlo?, Mám na ruce prsty z nohy, Zvířata v ruksaku, and Jak šel kocour pro brejlatou princeznu) and writes for the television program Pod pokličkou.
G.S. Evans is the coeditor of The Cafe Irreal. A book of his fiction, Tajný (český) deník Fredericka Barona a jiné texty (Aequitas, Prague, 2007), was recently published in translation in The Czech Republic; his translations of the work of the Czech writer Arnošt Lustig have appeared in The Kenyon Review and New Orleans Review.
Back to the Top
story copyright by author 2007 all rights reserved
translation copyright 2007 by Greg Evans all rights reserved