A nice little story from the NY Times Metropolitan Diary section (for which people send in quirky NYC experiences) earlier this year:
New York City is such an ethnic mix that speaking a foreign language is never a guarantee of privacy.
One summer afternoon I sat down to play chess with a stranger at one of the stationary chess tables at the southwest corner of Washington Square Park. I immediately recognized his distinctively Russian accent — soft consonants, elongated vowels, rolled r’s. It was familiar to me because I grew up speaking Russian at home with my parents. He and I chatted, exchanged brief bios and settled down to play.
It was my move at a critical stage in the game. As I was intently studying the position, a family of four — father, mother, teenage son and daughter — sidled up to watch. “He’ll move the bishop,” the father whispered in Russian after a few moments. “No, I think he’ll move the pawn,” said the mother softly, also in Russian. The daughter agreed with the father; the son agreed with the mother. I noticed a faint smile on my opponent’s face, but he didn’t say a word.
I considered both of those options. And then I announced as casually as I could, in Russian, “No, I think I have to move the rook.” The embarrassed looks on the observers’ faces quickly gave way to smiles all around.
By the way, I am about to finally take advantage of the offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10, trusting the assurances of various people who know more than I do about these things that it shouldn’t cause any problems. If it does, I may be offline until I get it sorted out. Pray for me in this hour of my trial!