By the time I turn eighteen, I've been expelled from five schools for practicing the art of the pickpocket on my teachers and the art of card manipulation under my desk. I refuse to take the basic exam to prove I can read, write, and count, and thereby jeopardise my chances of landing a job picking up garbage or operating a cash register. Instead, I leave home and become a wandering troubadour, a street-juggler without a permit who is arrested constantly ... all over the world.
No one wishes to hire me, practitioner of an absurd arrogance; for a while I make sure it stays that way. It becomes essential to write, play chess, learn Russian and bullfighting, discover architecture and engineering invent hiding places, erect tree houses, train at lock-picking - to indulge my gourmandise for knowledge while honing my perfectionism.
... to do with chess Index