Middlegame

In chess as in love, openings could be only so original.

But this was uncanny: here, in Buenos Aires in 1975, Naum and Basia were repeating the moves they’d made in 1972 in Belgrade. Could this replication of their previous game mean that she remembered it as intensely as he did?

The 1972 game had ended in a draw.

Basia had prominent, dark crescent eyebrows but now dyed her hair blonde, wavy blonde hair that hunched on the shoulders of her white leather jacket, worn over a saffron-colored dress. As before, she was playing the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defense against Naum, and, as before, in the sixth move Naum opted for the Yugoslav Attack. He sat back and rolled a cigarette.

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