Wednesday 6 September 2017

Travel sets

We're back!

Couple of days later than I'd planned, to be honest, but it was a particularly knackering journey back home on Saturday, including several hours at Stansted Airport, perhaps my least favourite place on Earth - though while running the gauntlet of the duty free shops, which go on for about the length of the Streatham High Road, I did spot this advert.

So who are B&O Play and what do they want from us? They're Bang & Olufsen of Leeds and as far as I can see they want us to play chess while listening to one of their devices, thereby no doubt ruining both experiences.

I've got a chess set like that though, which I bought at the end of Charles Bridge in Prague, albeit not this year but 1997. Leaving Prague after playing chess this year, I passed this set at the airport

tantalisingly out of reach, downstairs from Departures where I was headed. So where is it, Arrivals? Is there somewhere for your guests to wait when their plane's arrived and you need to finish your game?

Another tanatalising set was this one, sat with its owner outside the National Gallery while I was en route to the stop for the number 23 bus and thence to Paddington and Maidenhead.

The bloke had just finished a game when I took the photo, and I didn't have time to have a word with him, let alone a game. (Stupid really: I could have had a game and then taken the Underground instead.) So I don't know who he is, whether he's local, whether he'd spent the whole summer in London, where if anywhere he was going next. If any other readers met him, and had the time to give him a game and have a chat, I'd be keen to know about it.

In chronological order that's Prague, London, Stansted. In between the first two, on the way to the UK, we stopped in a campsite near Rouen and what should be in the games room but...

...a giant outdoor chess set. Not that it was outdoors, obviously. Nor that there was anybody else to play with, equally obviously.

Still, I didn't want it to go entirely to waste. So as there was chess on the internet that evening, I played out one of the games on the giant set as the moves came in.

What game?

I'm sure you can tell me.

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