Its 2006, Fiona Cummins is on her honeymoon in Queensland, and some husband-baffling chess assist comes from an unexpected source

As a former show business columnist, Ive encountered my fair share of fames George Clooney and Michael Jackson to name( lowering) a couple of them and been invited to the glitziest parties in the -Alist calendar. But in December 2006, make was the farthest occasion from my mind.

Id simply married my lovely partner Jason, and we were beside ourselves with enthusiasm at the prospect of our three-week honeymoon in Australia. Lizard Island, the most northern resort in Queensland and located on the Great Barrier Reef, was the first stop. It was the perfect neighbourhood to relax after the hectic run-up to our wed. We expended long, lazy periods strolling across the sand and snorkelling. Most evenings, we would enjoy a leisurely dinner before heading to the bar for a few boozings. Inevitably, one of us would suggest a game of chess and then it was war.

I hate to say Im competitive, but I formerly upended the Scrabble board because I was forget, so youll have some notion of the bets. On one darknes, it was not looking good. Jason, who is much more of a strategist than me, had already claimed several of my sections. Grinning at the prospect of another victory, he disappeared to the bathroom while I examined my next move.

At that minute, a shadow loomed over me, and a gravelly singer ended my glum designs of demolish. You need to move that piece there, illustrated the expression. And when youve said and done, move this fragment over here.

With nothing to lose, this sounded like superb advice, and I glanced up to thank my riddle saviour. Holding next to the counter, scrutinising the board with a sound of concentration, was none other than Donald Sutherland.

Given the nature of my job, I was not often starstruck, but the sight of Hawkeye Pierce from the movie form of M* A* S* H giving me tips-off on how to triumph at chess rendered me essentially speechless.

I mumbled my appreciation and he gave me a conspiratorial smile before ambling off. When Jason reappeared I casually moved my slice as suggested, and within a few minutes victory was mine.

My new husband was baffled by my abrupt change in fate and, of course, I milked it for all it was worth. Nonetheless, I did finally confess all in the end, though. It turned out that Mr Sutherland was biding on small island developing while filming the cinema Fools Gold , but we didnt verify him again for the rest of our stay.

Which meant that was the last experience I trounce Jason at chess.

Fiona Cumminss debut felony thriller Rattle issued by Macmillan at 12.99. Order a imitation for 11.04 from bookshop.theguardian.com

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