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The Ancient Game That Saved a Village

Palfrey, Jack

Publisher:  BBC
Date Written:  18/05/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

The village of Marottichal in India was rife with alcoholism and illicit gambling, but everything changed after one man taught the town to play the ancient game of chess.



The green paint on the walls of Marottichal's village teashop had started to flake, like coin scrapings on a scratch card, exposing a light blue tone of a bygone era. Perhaps this was once a rowdy bar or beer shop. But not anymore.

Mr Unnikrishnan, the teashop's owner, sat opposite me at one of the wooden tables, his dark eyes fixated with an intimidating intensity on the chequered board that lay between us.

A callous hand rose and elegantly gripped the white bishop, sliding it gently into the black knight and toppling it over.

"He's got you now," said the spectating Baby John, slurping his chai to suppress a grin.


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