It was impossible to say when the next move would come, or why. There were days when I'd think of nothing but the game, and I'd puzzle over the next move until at last, just before bed, the perfect stratagem would come to me. There was my next move, ready to dispatch without a moment's notice. Then on the other hand, entire seasons would pass me by as I'd forget about the board altogether, its drama hidden underneath a hundred other concerns, big and small. Until one day, without notice, inspiration would arrive from an unlikely source - a dog cavorting in the park, rain pitter-pattering into an old ceramic pitcher along the side of the house, an email alerting me to a a new statement available online from my bank. In any case it would rouse some idle thought and without fail, a few days later I'd parry back with something clever, a piece sliding across the board into an unlikely spot.