This particular man beat me three times in a row - but he had been playing for many years. I spoke no Italian, and he spoke little English, but the proprietor told me the man had been there over sixty years. He had been playing as a young lad when the Allies had bombed Rome.
The one thing I really wish for St Louis would be if a group of men could gather in the park next to my house to play chess. Now that would be cool.