From the plane we headed straight to playing, All the chips already have been set; Paparazzi to their oars are laying, Taking pictures, thinking Iím upset. But no man can ever put me down, These reporters fuss for no reward - Not my skill will help me win the crown: This smart Fisher wonít stand a round When he sees what happens on the board. He is white - heíll rush ahead, itís clear; He has never lost a game with white. To E-4 heís moved his pawn. Oh, dear! Once I saw that move - so itís all right. What to do? I blindly feel the road With my hands like in the woods at night... Seems to me, the king leaps like a toad Left and right as well as backward - forward, And the shape of L is for the knight. To my workshop friend Iím so grateful - How to bid and deal he had explained. I was stunned but it turned out later, That a classic opening I played!
         
Iím alert - his menace never passes, Yes, the chef was right - imagine if We replace these pieces with wine glasses, Then heíll see who is a real chief! Now his forkís impending, harsh and mortal, Wants to eat my queen - Iíll let him try... Such a snack! It just demands a bottle, But itís banned - the match is bone dry! Tea and eggs are not in my good graces; I am starving, but itís all they gave... Squares grin at me with ugly faces, I confuse these silly kings with aces And a knight Iím taking for a knave! Itís beginnersí luck - I am attacking, Taking risks, Iím taking all I can... I will win by checking and forechecking, Heíll be down if I crown my men! I am shilly-shally - itís a folly! Iíve to strike a blow, not to sway... What to use? A rook? Itís kind of early; Maybe then a hook? Itís kind of surly, Since it is the first game that we play. Quashing my defense - thatís what his aim is; And he breaks my Indian in a flash; It reminds me vaguely of that famous Indo-Pakistani border clash! Started playing tricks this phony Fisher: Jumping, whistling, twisting... What the heck!? Wants to win my rook just for a bishop, Heís afraid of me, a treacherous ill-wisher, ĎCause I press three hundred on my back! I must add more vim, he soon will splinter! And my odds are high as all have seen... Training hard, in chess a pawn turns into Any piece but, mostly, a queen. Stop your jokes, Fisher, hold your horses; You may only break your neck, instead... If his checking brings me heavy losses, I can jab him with my heavy crosses, And my knight will move - right on his head! I assessed his slim and weakly figure, And as soon as he announced: ďCheck!Ē I displayed the biceps of a digger, Hung my blazer on the chairís back. Silence fell. The audience was waiting, I began to rise and this he saw - He at once forgot about mating And this Fisher with his starry rating Promptly said: ďOK, the gameís a draw!Ē
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton