That was the second big challenge I had to face. He had to reconstruct the scene of the events, that is, the Buenos Aires of 1927, with its tango cafes, its variety theaters, its music magazines and, above all, with the flood of musicians, composers and interpreters that populated at that time. River Plate nightlife. And it was a fascinating life. To understand it better, I dived into the history of tango, whose birth in the outskirts of the city was still very recent. For several months I heard tango and only tango, morning, afternoon and night. I studied the lives of the main singers (men and women) of the bandoneon players, of the pianists; I followed their trail through the cities of Plata and through Europe; I met his friends, lovers and human miseries. I found out the programs of the main theaters and the artists who performed. I studied the restaurants, cafes and confectioneries that were located in the streets of the center, like Corrientes, for example. I got to know the cabarets and the singers, the songs that they premiered in those days. In short, everything that was related to the bohemian world of the River Plate.
On the other hand, I read the history of the city, the country and the main characters of that time. But I studied mostly the world of human relations that surrounded Capablanca during her stay in the city. And in the midst of that intense social life, I placed the protagonist of the novel, a Cuban with enormous sympathy, a kind of playboy of his time, a man with a magnetism that electrified the crowd wherever he appeared. The truth is, it was not difficult for me to conceive this facet of human activity in Capablanca, or to see him immersed in all that Buenos Aires hubbub. On the other hand, the local people received him with expectation and during his stay in the city they surrounded him with constant displays of affection and sympathy.
Finally we have Capablanca, and that omniscient narrator who shares everything with the character. Do you think Capablanca would have shook the hand of that narrator?
When I chose the point of view of the narrator of the events, I took into account my intention to convey the sensations, joys and sufferings of the central character of the novel, that is, José Raúl Capablanca, who was the one who, ultimately, would live the part most dramatic ever. That is why I wanted to see and narrate the events through the perspective of the champion who, after a certain number of life events and Buenos Aires adventures, would lose the title of the highest authority in universal chess.