The intrusion of the black knight in the middle of the mindless crowd of pieces on the left flank, its occupation of the Grand Master's QN4 square, was in itself a matter for serious concern.
The Grand Master realized that in this position, on this green spring evening, the myths of his youth wouldn't do. Lovable fools like cabin boys called Billy, cowboys called Harry, beauties called Mary and Nellie, may well roam through a world in which a brigantine sets her sails. But there comes a moment when one feels that threat from the real proximity of a black knight on his QN4 square. He was faced with a struggle—complex, subtle, absorbing and intricate. Life was ahead of him.
The Grand Master captured an enemy pawn, took his handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose. During the few moments of perfect privacy, while his nose and lips were hidden in the handkerchief, his thoughts wandered off into anodyne philosophizing.
You strive and strive for something, and then what? You're after it all your life and finally you win—victory is yours. But then happiness still does not come...or take Hong Kong, a city so far away and mysterious...well, I've been there. I've been everywhere, and....
In his position, the Grand Master thought, Petrosian would have already resigned.
The loss of the pawn didn't worry G.O.: he had just captured an enemy rook, hadn't he? He responded by moving his queen in a way that gave the Grand Master heartburn and a twinge of headache.
The Grand Master saw that there were still some pleasures in store for him. There was, for instance, the joy of the long diagonal sweeps of his bishop: sliding the bishop ever so lightly over the board can replace, in some measure, the sliding of a skiff over the sunny surface with shady patches of that pond just outside Moscow—from sun into shade, from shade into sun. The Grand Master felt a passionate urge to take possession of square KR8 because it was a square of love, a hillock of love over which hovered transparent dragonflies.
"That sure was smart, the way you made up for that rook. And I fell right into it," G.O. said hoarsely. Only the last phrase betrayed his annoyance.
"I'm sorry," the Grand Master said very quietly. "Would you like to play the last few moves over?"
"N—no, I want no favors. I insist on following the rules," G.O. said. Intoning the song "I'll give you my dagger, my gun, and my horse," he plunged into strategic reflections.