Sunday, 5 January 2014

CHESS by Stefan Zweig

I read this book in honour of being in Austria, as Stefan Zweig in a notable Austrian author. CHESS tells the story of a man on a cruise ship who witnesses a match in which the world chess champion is beaten by an amateur. The amateur then reveals that he was kept in solitary confinement during WWI, and for many months played imaginary chess to keep himself sane. The one match he plays on the cruise ship almost destroys his sanity, taking him back to his old chess mania. There's not much too it, really, being a novella; and I always struggle to enjoy very short books - they are over before you really start to care, like bad relationships.

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