My Turn To Make A Move
Photographs copyright: DAVID McMAHON
These shots were taken on the island of Langkawi, Malaysia, during our recent holiday. I noticed these four men playing draughts (or checkers, as some of you know it) and I walked over and asked if I could take a photograph.
They nodded, happy to give me permission, so I hit the trigger immediately. I chose a horizontal frame, wide open to include their surroundings as well as their clothing and the relaxed manner in which they were concentrating on the game.
Then, just as the rest of the Authorblog clan climbed into a taxi, I walked in the opposite direction, to thank the men for their kindness. They asked me where I was from and as I replied, I noticed one of them had his hand hovering over the board, in preparation for a strategic move.
In mid-sentence, I lifted the camera again, quickly adjusted the focal length and shot this frame.
Only at this stage did I realise that the men were not playing on a conventional board. Look closely at this and the next shot (below) and tell me if you see the extent of their creativity. There is dark green tape (probably electrical tape, because it is fairly thick and wide) marking the boundary of their makeshift "board" on the white table.
Now look closely and you’ll see that the black and white squares are all painted uniformly onto the surface of the table.
It was only as I sat down to write this post that I realised I’ve never seen four people play a game of draughts/checkers before. I can only assume that there were two alternative explanations. Either they were playing in teams of two; or they were playing one-on-one, with the other two waiting to play the next game.
And what of the Authorblog clan, waiting for me in the taxi? They were not stressed. They know I always like to follow a trail when I have a camera in my hand.
And in this case, the trail led me to a memorable sight - I’ve never been invited to witness such a unique board meeting.
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