Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Running the Gauntlet

I found this article from Slate on "How to play street chess without getting scammed":
...Dinesh D'Souza describes how he got taken for a ride on the streets of San Francisco. Though "no Gary Kasparov," D'Souza is "a decent enough player" who "can usually give the bums a fair game." While playing for $5 he was "measurably ahead" after 15 minutes. " 'I'll be right back,' my opponent excused himself. 'I have to take a [expletive deleted].' He made his way to a nearby hotel visible from the street." Well, a few minutes later one of the spectators pointed out the obvious to D'Souza: The guy wasn't coming back, and D'Souza wasn't getting his five bucks.
Back in the early 90's I had a six-month consulting assignment in Washington, DC and lived in an apartment in Dupont Circle during the week. I checked out the hustlers in the Circle on many occasions but never mustered the courage to sit down for a game. I've also never played in Harvard Square, though I have watched several times. One might think that I've decided that the best way not to be hustled is not to play hustlers, but perhaps it is more accurate to say that I prefer to be hustled by club members I know (through entry fees) than by strangers.

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