Summer/Fall 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 3/4 Fiction |

Zugzwang

From the Russian Zugzwang—that's what they call it in chess. He had to make a move he didn't want to. … Sometimes it happens that a queen—all-powerful and resplendent, whose mere appearance makes the pages swoon and the young knights turn pale with the turbulence of their love, and shoot themselves—because of position, solely because of position (the crowd of dim-witted pawns tripping over each other, the clumsiness of the rooks, the indecisiveness of the bishops), begins suddenly, surprising even herself, to look benevolently upon the frail, little old man, in his heavy crown, watching her from across the board. And so the king—who all his life has moved cautiously, as befits a king, step by step, since to be trapped and perish … that would be as easy as falling off a log, in these unsentimental times—having seen the visage of the queen, fully, and face-to-face, is lost. A couple of visiting Russian poets were giving an evening reading. A quiet Jewish

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The One I Remember

By Keith Banner

From the Russian Zugzwang—that's what they call it in chess. He had to make a move he didn't want to. … Sometimes it happens that a queen—all-powerful and resplendent, whose […]

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