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"Hmm, what shall I do?" Damien Simpkins asked. "I let him steal a piece ... dog, I made a bad move there."

Barber Damien Simpkins (left) and friend and customer Thaddeus Johnson play a game of chess in front of the old Woolworth building along Broad Street in downtown Augusta. Mr. Simpkins cuts hair at Keep It Tight barber shop on Broad Street.  Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
Andrew Davis Tucker/Staff
Barber Damien Simpkins (left) and friend and customer Thaddeus Johnson play a game of chess in front of the old Woolworth building along Broad Street in downtown Augusta. Mr. Simpkins cuts hair at Keep It Tight barber shop on Broad Street.

"Normally you don't make those kinds of moves," Thaddeus Johnson said.

"Thad about to get beat like he stole something."

"Do you want to give me that piece, is the question."

"Was that a good move?"

"No, that was terrible. That was your worst move. Check."

"Hmm, that was good."

"I know it was."

"I'm going to eat 'em up, slowly but surely."

"You trying to be slick. He tried to sneak a move on me."

"Yeah, you better start running."

"Yeah, that was the move."

"Check ... mate"

"Yesssssssssss!"

"Good game, brother."

"I need to borrow some money."

"How much you want?"

"What can you give me?"

About twice a week, Mr. Johnson, of Grovetown, swings by Keep It Tight barber shop on Broad Street in Augusta to get a trim. Each time he comes, he joins his barber and friend Mr. Simpkins for a chess match. The pair pull out chairs and set up a makeshift table.

"He gets a beating every time he gets a haircut," Mr. Simpkins said.

For the past two weeks, they have been playing outside because the temperatures have cooled off.

"This is what I like about Broad Street. You can sit out here and do things, you know," Mr. Simpkins said. "It's kind of like camaraderie."


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