Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Book: Chess by Stefan Zweig

Chess is masterful novella by Stefan Zweig, an Austrian writer who sadly committed suicide with his wife back in 1942.

The story takes places on a cruise ship, whose party includes an arrogant world chess  champion. A wealthy passenger challenges the champion to a game and gets crushed. However, during a rematch, a stranger appears in the crowd and suggests moves worthy of a grand master, which puts the champion in a bind. "Chess" tells the story of this odd stranger and how he came to be so good at the game. The tales is strikingly well written, psychologically powerful, and grips you from start to end.

Well worth your time (at just 76 pages, you'll be done in a couple of sittings).

****1/2
"In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ...It is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow."

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