Chess : A Novel, Paperback Book
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)

Description

On a cruiseship bound for Buenos Aires, a wealthy passenger challenges the world chess champion to a match.

He accepts with a sneer. He will beat anyone, he says. But only if the stakes are high. Soon, the chess board is surrounded. At first, the challenger crumbles before the mind of the master.

But then, a soft-spoken voice from the crowd begins to whisper nervous suggestions.

There are perfect moves and brilliant predictions. The speaker has not played a game for more than twenty years, he says.

He is wholly unknown. But somehow, he is also entirely formidable!

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by
5

The entire action of this brief, taut novella takes place over the course of a few days a cruise ship from New York to Buenos Aires. Ultimately, it portrays the battle of two very different types of character and genius facing off against each other in a game of chess.The first to be introduced is a wily Slavonian peasant who was discovered as an instant and natural chess genius when he completed a game left by a priest despite never having been taught anything. He is mostly focused on playing chess for money and, secondarily, glory and despite being defeating all of the world's champions cannot play blind chess--he needs to see the actual pieces.At first he is playing against a collections of passengers from the ship, when a mysterious man comes along who helps them fight to a draw. The mystery is deepened when the man states that he has not played chess for twenty years and even then was a mediocre player. Eventually his story comes out, but suffice it to say that it entails becoming increasingly focused on visualizing chess games without the help of a board or pieces--a deeply cerebral approach that is the opposite of the more crude and natural style of the Slavonian player.Eventually the two of them meet for a solo match and the book depicts a fascinating and respectful clash between these two titans.An underappreciated modern classic.

Review by
4

This is a fascinating book. It starts off innocently enough with a description of the Chess champion. It starts innocently enough with a description of the first game, and the history of the bystander. Then, when the duel between the champion and the bystander starts, the book gets really fascinatingThe mental duel has been described brilliantly, and the manner in which the champion wears down his opponent is brilliant. The moves that his opponent studied while in jail are brilliant in their execution, yet theoretical knowledge cannot by itself compete with mental toughness and mind games of the real world.The book captures the tension and the ultimate breakdown brilliantly. Highly recommended

Review by
5

The entire action of this brief, taut novella takes place over the course of a few days a cruise ship from New York to Buenos Aires. Ultimately, it portrays the battle of two very different types of character and genius facing off against each other in a game of chess.<br/><br/>The first to be introduced is a wily Slavonian peasant who was discovered as an instant and natural chess genius when he completed a game left by a priest despite never having been taught anything. He is mostly focused on playing chess for money and, secondarily, glory and despite being defeating all of the world's champions cannot play blind chess--he needs to see the actual pieces.<br/><br/>At first he is playing against a collections of passengers from the ship, when a mysterious man comes along who helps them fight to a draw. The mystery is deepened when the man states that he has not played chess for twenty years and even then was a mediocre player. Eventually his story comes out, but suffice it to say that it entails becoming increasingly focused on visualizing chess games without the help of a board or pieces--a deeply cerebral approach that is the opposite of the more crude and natural style of the Slavonian player.<br/><br/>Eventually the two of them meet for a solo match and the book depicts a fascinating and respectful clash between these two titans.<br/><br/>An underappreciated modern classic.

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