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Old April 19th 04, 06:06 PM
Harry Haller
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players? (Besides Nabokov's wonderful "The Luzhin Defense" of
course.) Great non-fiction reads on chess are also of interest.


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Old April 19th 04, 06:20 PM
Chess One
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?


"Harry Haller" wrote in message
...
Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players? (Besides Nabokov's wonderful "The Luzhin Defense" of
course.) Great non-fiction reads on chess are also of interest.


Harry, a few:

Shadow Without a Name, Ignacio Padilla
The Queen's Gambit, Walter Tevis
Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw, Thomas Glavinnic
The Luneburg Variation, Paolo Marensig
The Flanders Panel, Arturo Perez-Reverte.

Cordially, Phil Innes




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Old April 19th 04, 08:58 PM
Louis Blair
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

Harry Haller wrote:

Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving
the game of chess, and chess players?


_
Here is some of what was posted in a previous discussion
of chess-related novels:


2002-01-10 17:10:02 PST

The Eight


2002-01-10 19:11:59 PST

There is a very entertaining novel by Stefan Zweig; I've
forgotten the title. It deals with a pedestrian world
champion playing a sophisticated nobleman who suffered a
split personality when he was kept in solitary confinement
with only a chess book for diversion.


2002-01-10 19:30:17 PST

Is it The Royal Game?


2002-01-11 01:30:08 PST

It's called 'Schachnovelle' in German, which means
something like 'chess novel', except a novelle isn't a
quite a novel.


2002-01-11 01:46:19 PST

A few well known litterary works:
- Nabokov's 'The Defense' (aka Luzhin's Defence I think).
Nabokov got the Nobel price for his novel 'Lolita'.
- Stefan Zweig's 'Schach Novelle' (not a novel but a
short story)


2002-01-11 05:03:48 PST

I've compiled a list of novels written about chess
with a minor blurb written about each one. I have not
read every book on the list. The list can be found at:
http://www.metrowestchess.org/study_group/Reviews/Books
/Book_Review_Fiction_List.htm

The list is not complete. I have some more books to add,
and I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll try to
provide the site manager with an update.


2002-01-11 06:04:01 PST

Here are some others that I haven't seen mentioned:

Walter Tevis wrote a novel called 'The Queen's Gambit'
about a US female wunderkind. It's one of the only
literary treatments of chess that displays any
acquaintance with the tournament scene.

There was a Rex Stout mystery novel called "Gambit"
involving chess but I don't recall many of the details.

In science fiction, the John Brunner novel "The
Squares of the City" has the premise that most of the
characters are being manipulated as chess pieces.

The Brunner device, in which the action is a chess
game carried out on some sort of large scale, has been
used before in sci-fi, usually with horrible results.
There was one novel, whose name and author I have
forgotten, in which you are told in chapter one that
the Glopdrans can teleport from Alpha 1 to Alpha 2,
Alpha 3, etc., or to Betelgeuse 1, Centauri 1, Deneb 1,
but the Bargoons would have to go from Alpha 1 to
Betelgeuse 2, etc etc etc etc argh.

I should definitely mention "The Lymond Chronicles",
a sequence of historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett
which is absolutely a completely excellent and stunning
collection and which everyone should try to get through.
The titles are "Game of Kings", "Queen's Play",
"Disorderly Knights", "Pawn in Frankincense", "Ringed
Castle", and "Endgame", and should be (all) read in that
order. "Game of Kings" at least has chapter epigraphs
from Caxton's medieval chess treatise. But there is
little if any actual chess in most of the books. "Pawn
in Frankincense", however, actually does have one of
those living-piece affairs (with a reduced piece set)
in which the captured pieces get killed. (It is
especially bad cheating, however, to skip the first
three books and get "Pawn" out of the library and skip
ahead to page 400 or so to just find the chess game!)


2002-01-11 06:48:44 PST

There's an excellent detective novel, "Night Moves" by
Alan Sharp, that was made into a decent movie (starring
Gene Hackman and including a very young Melanie Griffith).

And of course the Ian Fleming novel / James Bond film
"From Russia with Love", with the chessplaying spy
plotter.

"The Queen's Gambit", by Walter Tevis (author of "The
Hustler") is an OK potboiler.

John Griffiths's "The Memory Man" is a good thriller
about a GM who gets entangled with the CIA.

"The Squares of the City", sci-fi by John Brunner, has
an interesting "living chess" theme, but I didn't
particularly care for the book.

Paolo Maurensig's (sp?) "The Luneburg (sp?) Variation",
is definitely worth a read.

"The Chess Garden" by Brooks Hansen has a strong chess
theme, but is kind of weird (lots of Swedenborgian
philosophy).


2002-01-11 09:06:17 PST

One novel that has yet to be mentioned is "The
Chessplayers," a fictionalized account of the life of
Paul Morphy. It was written by Francis Parkinson Keyes,
once a wildly popular novelist, now all but forgotten.
The novel was probably published in the late 1950s or
early 1960s.


2002-01-11 10:11:18 PST

Walter Tevis wrote a novel called "The Queen's Gambit".

Given that Tevis is supposed to be at least a
C player the description of the games was
astonishingly bad, that of the tournaments
even worse.

It's been so long since I read it that I'm not
sure what I thought of its non-chess merits.
I didn't hate it but I've felt no urge to
reread it, either.


2002-01-11 10:16:29 PST

For sake of cross-checking with other lists which
might be posted here, below is a list of chess fiction
(author, title, publisher, date, ISBN) from my library:

Coggins, The Immortal Game, Poltroon, 1999, 0-918395-17-8
Glavinic, Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw, Harvill, 1999, 1-86046-676-1
Glyn, The Dragon Variation, Simon and Schuster, 1969, 671-20488-2
Hasen, The Chess Garden, HarperCollins, 1995, 94-10873
Maurensig, The Luneburg Variation, FSG, 1997, 0-374-19435-1
Nabokov, The Luzhin Defense, Penguin, 1994, 0-14-018732-4
Neville, The Eight, Random House, 1988, 0-345-41908-1
Perez-Reverte, The Flanders Panel, Bantam, 1996, 0-553-37786-8
Tevis, The Queen's Gambit, Random House, 1983, 0-394-52801-8


2002-01-11 11:32:34 PST

Two that have not been mentioned so far:
Celestial Chess - Thomas Bonty - blurb reads: In the 12th
Century, the Devil walked the earth: And one medieval monk
- Geoffrey Gervaise, master of every forbidden art of church
and darkness - challenged him to the ultimate game of life,
mind, and soul - Celestial Chess. ... Across the immortal
reaches of eternity, the two are locked in a match suspended
between heaven and hell until American scholar David Fairchild
deciphers the Westchurch Manuscript ... Electrified by the
chance to confront the Prince of Darkness ... Fairchild picks
up the last peice of the game and moves the cosmic balance ....

The Tower Struck By Lightning - Fernando Arrabal
The final, definitive match in the competition for the World
Chess Champioship is about to begin. Contenders Elias Tarsis
and Marc Amary take their places at the board. ... But before
the players can maek their first moves, they are distracted
by news of the kidnapping of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat
.... So begins the game, and so begins the darkly comic,
metaphysical mystery novel ... As the players make their moves
(diagrams of which are provided) and we learn how thier lives
have led them to this climactic moment, the chess match becomes
a fierce, seriocomic contest of egos and ideologies ... In the
end, the player's lives, the hostage crisis and the World Chess
Championship climax in a series to twiest and surprises that
challenge our sympathies and our intellects.
btw - the game is a Tarkatower variant of the QGD


2002-01-11 14:59:40 PST

Have a look at http://users.raketnet.nl/rob.spaans/


2002-01-14 07:25:05 PST

I have not been following the thread closely. Perhaps someone
has already mentioned the nice science fiction story "Squares
of the City", in which chess figures prominently but in a way
I cannot reveal without giving plot information, by John
Brunner.


2002-01-15 01:47:09 PST

There is also a "section" on chess in "Forrest Gump" (the
book not the movie) by Winston Groom.


2002-09-27 07:18:56 PST

Warren Murphy wrote one called "The Grandmaster". I haven't
read it but since he authored the "Destroyer" series and the
"Trace" series, he has proved that he is a writer of much
talent.


2002-09-27 11:07:43 PST

Apart from the ones mentioned, two very good ones are "The
Luneberg Variation," by Paolo Maurensig and "The Flanders
Panel," by Arturo Perez-Reverte. The latter is an
especially good mystery story set in two different eras,
the 20th century heroine trying to find out who is killing
the people around her, while trying to learn "who killed
the Knight?" in a 15th century painting.

"The Eight" is another popular one, but not very good in
my opinion. It can be agonizing to read someone who barely
knows how to play try to write about chess. "The Tower
Struck by Lightning" by Fernando Arabal works a real game
into the plot, which involves an international terrorist
playing in a match for the world championship, while
torturing and murdering hostages on his "rest" days.

Not exactly a chess novel, but a new one in which the
central character's interest in chess plays a prominent
part is "The Emperor of Ocean Park" by Stephen Carter.
Carter is a professor at Yale Law School, who until now
has been known for his non-fiction works about religion,
culture, and race relations, turns out to be an excellent
mystery writer.


2002-09-27 13:11:57 PST

Here are two excellent links to chess fiction. The first
link is to the Metrowest Chess Club's website (Boston,MA),
and the second link is to Harold Bearce's website of short
stories about chess. (My story "Chess as A Sport" was
supposed to go up there, but alas, it has not been updated
since June, 2002. "Chess as A Sport" can be found in the
archives at chesscafe.com, and it is a fictional piece
that points out some of the similarities between a
competitive game of chess and American football. It's also
supposed to be a touch inspirational

Here are those two links:
http://www.metrowestchess.org/study_group/Reviews/Books
/Book_Review_Fiction_List.htm

http://www.homestead.com/seventhrank/stories.html

I have not read a "chess novel" in a while, but off the
top of my head, here are some thoughts: _The Defense_, by
Nobakov is classic literature, and _The Eight_ by Neville
is not literature, but it's not bad if you want to be
entertained. (You can read a small blurb at the Metrowest
site.) _Carl Heffner's Love of the Draw_ is reviewed very
positivly at Jeremy Silman's website
http://www.jeremysilman.com , but to be honest with you,
I got about half way through this book and couldn't go any
farther. It was that bad. It was written by a European IM,
and my uninformed opinion is that he was published just
because he is an IM, and not because he is a good writer.


2002-09-28 05:40:05 PST

In addition to the Luneburg Variation and the Flanders
Panel, I'd also recommend The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig.
It's excellent. I'd place it alongside Nabokov's Defense
as the best chess novels written. I'd also recommend The
Luneburg Variation over the Flanders Panel.
  #4   Report Post  
Old April 19th 04, 10:00 PM
Goran Tomic
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

I cite:
--------------------------
He used two chess games to illustrate the psychology of Nazism. Czentovic, a
semiliterate Yugoslav peasant chess champion of the world travels on ship
from Europe to South America. He plays a game of chess with the passengers
for $250 a game. He wins the first game. He is about to win the 2nd game
when one of the passengers, Dr. B, shows a forced draw. Dr. B is a Viennese
lawyer and refuge who has recently escaped from a prison hospital. He was
imprisoned and tortured by the Nazis in an attempt to force disclosure of
some trust funds. Dr. B has started to play chess with himself in solitary
confinement when he is arrested by the Gestapo. He took a chess book from
one of the jailors pockets, a collection of 150 master chess games. He
learns all the games by heart. He then starts to play chess games against
himself, which ultimately drives him insane (chess poisoning).

After his escape and restoration to sanity, Dr B. avoided chess to prevent
another breakdown. But the sight of the chess pieces and the chance to play
a real person proved too great a temptation. He could not restrain himself
from aiding the passengers

Requested to play a game by Czentovic, Dr. B first refused. But on learning
that he was the world champion, he decides to play. Dr. B beats the world
champion in the first game and Czentovic knocks all the pieces off the
board. He challenges Dr. B for a second game (10 minutes per move).

During his second game against Czentovic, Dr B. breaks down. Dr B. announces
a non-existent check to Czentovic's king. Dr. B is then forcibly prevented
by the other passengers from continuing the game. Czentovic looks at the
half finished game and remark, "Pity. The attack was quite well conceived.
That gentleman is really exceptionally able. For an amateur."

The story has a lot of opposites such as educated vs uneducated, gentleman
vs peasant, mania vs calmness, smart vs stupid, quick vs slow.

In his story, Zweig observes that chess is "more lasting in its being and
presence than all books and achievements, the only game that belongs to all
peoples and all ages of which none knows the divinity that bestowed it on
the world to slay boredom, to sharpen the senses, to exhilarate the spirit."

-----------------------------------------

By the way, Zweig described our chess player. "Czentovic" was in reality
Yugoslav GM Bora Kostic, who escaped from Austria "military exercise" and
went across the ocean. GM Kostic sent the telegram to ministry of Austria
about his decision. Zweig lived in Vienna and was provoked by that telegram
so he described Czentovic with anthipaty.
By the way, if Kostic had gone to "military exercise" he would be sent in
war against his compatriot in Serbia.


Goran Tomic


  #5   Report Post  
Old April 19th 04, 10:22 PM
Harry Haller
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

Thank you, everyone.

"Louis Blair" wrote in message
senet.com...
Harry Haller wrote:

Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving
the game of chess, and chess players?


_
Here is some of what was posted in a previous discussion
of chess-related novels:


2002-01-10 17:10:02 PST

The Eight


2002-01-10 19:11:59 PST

There is a very entertaining novel by Stefan Zweig; I've
forgotten the title. It deals with a pedestrian world
champion playing a sophisticated nobleman who suffered a
split personality when he was kept in solitary confinement
with only a chess book for diversion.


2002-01-10 19:30:17 PST

Is it The Royal Game?


2002-01-11 01:30:08 PST

It's called 'Schachnovelle' in German, which means
something like 'chess novel', except a novelle isn't a
quite a novel.


2002-01-11 01:46:19 PST

A few well known litterary works:
- Nabokov's 'The Defense' (aka Luzhin's Defence I think).
Nabokov got the Nobel price for his novel 'Lolita'.
- Stefan Zweig's 'Schach Novelle' (not a novel but a
short story)


2002-01-11 05:03:48 PST

I've compiled a list of novels written about chess
with a minor blurb written about each one. I have not
read every book on the list. The list can be found at:
http://www.metrowestchess.org/study_group/Reviews/Books
/Book_Review_Fiction_List.htm

The list is not complete. I have some more books to add,
and I haven't gotten around to it yet. I'll try to
provide the site manager with an update.


2002-01-11 06:04:01 PST

Here are some others that I haven't seen mentioned:

Walter Tevis wrote a novel called 'The Queen's Gambit'
about a US female wunderkind. It's one of the only
literary treatments of chess that displays any
acquaintance with the tournament scene.

There was a Rex Stout mystery novel called "Gambit"
involving chess but I don't recall many of the details.

In science fiction, the John Brunner novel "The
Squares of the City" has the premise that most of the
characters are being manipulated as chess pieces.

The Brunner device, in which the action is a chess
game carried out on some sort of large scale, has been
used before in sci-fi, usually with horrible results.
There was one novel, whose name and author I have
forgotten, in which you are told in chapter one that
the Glopdrans can teleport from Alpha 1 to Alpha 2,
Alpha 3, etc., or to Betelgeuse 1, Centauri 1, Deneb 1,
but the Bargoons would have to go from Alpha 1 to
Betelgeuse 2, etc etc etc etc argh.

I should definitely mention "The Lymond Chronicles",
a sequence of historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett
which is absolutely a completely excellent and stunning
collection and which everyone should try to get through.
The titles are "Game of Kings", "Queen's Play",
"Disorderly Knights", "Pawn in Frankincense", "Ringed
Castle", and "Endgame", and should be (all) read in that
order. "Game of Kings" at least has chapter epigraphs
from Caxton's medieval chess treatise. But there is
little if any actual chess in most of the books. "Pawn
in Frankincense", however, actually does have one of
those living-piece affairs (with a reduced piece set)
in which the captured pieces get killed. (It is
especially bad cheating, however, to skip the first
three books and get "Pawn" out of the library and skip
ahead to page 400 or so to just find the chess game!)


2002-01-11 06:48:44 PST

There's an excellent detective novel, "Night Moves" by
Alan Sharp, that was made into a decent movie (starring
Gene Hackman and including a very young Melanie Griffith).

And of course the Ian Fleming novel / James Bond film
"From Russia with Love", with the chessplaying spy
plotter.

"The Queen's Gambit", by Walter Tevis (author of "The
Hustler") is an OK potboiler.

John Griffiths's "The Memory Man" is a good thriller
about a GM who gets entangled with the CIA.

"The Squares of the City", sci-fi by John Brunner, has
an interesting "living chess" theme, but I didn't
particularly care for the book.

Paolo Maurensig's (sp?) "The Luneburg (sp?) Variation",
is definitely worth a read.

"The Chess Garden" by Brooks Hansen has a strong chess
theme, but is kind of weird (lots of Swedenborgian
philosophy).


2002-01-11 09:06:17 PST

One novel that has yet to be mentioned is "The
Chessplayers," a fictionalized account of the life of
Paul Morphy. It was written by Francis Parkinson Keyes,
once a wildly popular novelist, now all but forgotten.
The novel was probably published in the late 1950s or
early 1960s.


2002-01-11 10:11:18 PST

Walter Tevis wrote a novel called "The Queen's Gambit".

Given that Tevis is supposed to be at least a
C player the description of the games was
astonishingly bad, that of the tournaments
even worse.

It's been so long since I read it that I'm not
sure what I thought of its non-chess merits.
I didn't hate it but I've felt no urge to
reread it, either.


2002-01-11 10:16:29 PST

For sake of cross-checking with other lists which
might be posted here, below is a list of chess fiction
(author, title, publisher, date, ISBN) from my library:

Coggins, The Immortal Game, Poltroon, 1999, 0-918395-17-8
Glavinic, Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw, Harvill, 1999, 1-86046-676-1
Glyn, The Dragon Variation, Simon and Schuster, 1969, 671-20488-2
Hasen, The Chess Garden, HarperCollins, 1995, 94-10873
Maurensig, The Luneburg Variation, FSG, 1997, 0-374-19435-1
Nabokov, The Luzhin Defense, Penguin, 1994, 0-14-018732-4
Neville, The Eight, Random House, 1988, 0-345-41908-1
Perez-Reverte, The Flanders Panel, Bantam, 1996, 0-553-37786-8
Tevis, The Queen's Gambit, Random House, 1983, 0-394-52801-8


2002-01-11 11:32:34 PST

Two that have not been mentioned so far:
Celestial Chess - Thomas Bonty - blurb reads: In the 12th
Century, the Devil walked the earth: And one medieval monk
- Geoffrey Gervaise, master of every forbidden art of church
and darkness - challenged him to the ultimate game of life,
mind, and soul - Celestial Chess. ... Across the immortal
reaches of eternity, the two are locked in a match suspended
between heaven and hell until American scholar David Fairchild
deciphers the Westchurch Manuscript ... Electrified by the
chance to confront the Prince of Darkness ... Fairchild picks
up the last peice of the game and moves the cosmic balance ....

The Tower Struck By Lightning - Fernando Arrabal
The final, definitive match in the competition for the World
Chess Champioship is about to begin. Contenders Elias Tarsis
and Marc Amary take their places at the board. ... But before
the players can maek their first moves, they are distracted
by news of the kidnapping of a high-ranking Soviet diplomat
... So begins the game, and so begins the darkly comic,
metaphysical mystery novel ... As the players make their moves
(diagrams of which are provided) and we learn how thier lives
have led them to this climactic moment, the chess match becomes
a fierce, seriocomic contest of egos and ideologies ... In the
end, the player's lives, the hostage crisis and the World Chess
Championship climax in a series to twiest and surprises that
challenge our sympathies and our intellects.
btw - the game is a Tarkatower variant of the QGD


2002-01-11 14:59:40 PST

Have a look at http://users.raketnet.nl/rob.spaans/


2002-01-14 07:25:05 PST

I have not been following the thread closely. Perhaps someone
has already mentioned the nice science fiction story "Squares
of the City", in which chess figures prominently but in a way
I cannot reveal without giving plot information, by John
Brunner.


2002-01-15 01:47:09 PST

There is also a "section" on chess in "Forrest Gump" (the
book not the movie) by Winston Groom.


2002-09-27 07:18:56 PST

Warren Murphy wrote one called "The Grandmaster". I haven't
read it but since he authored the "Destroyer" series and the
"Trace" series, he has proved that he is a writer of much
talent.


2002-09-27 11:07:43 PST

Apart from the ones mentioned, two very good ones are "The
Luneberg Variation," by Paolo Maurensig and "The Flanders
Panel," by Arturo Perez-Reverte. The latter is an
especially good mystery story set in two different eras,
the 20th century heroine trying to find out who is killing
the people around her, while trying to learn "who killed
the Knight?" in a 15th century painting.

"The Eight" is another popular one, but not very good in
my opinion. It can be agonizing to read someone who barely
knows how to play try to write about chess. "The Tower
Struck by Lightning" by Fernando Arabal works a real game
into the plot, which involves an international terrorist
playing in a match for the world championship, while
torturing and murdering hostages on his "rest" days.

Not exactly a chess novel, but a new one in which the
central character's interest in chess plays a prominent
part is "The Emperor of Ocean Park" by Stephen Carter.
Carter is a professor at Yale Law School, who until now
has been known for his non-fiction works about religion,
culture, and race relations, turns out to be an excellent
mystery writer.


2002-09-27 13:11:57 PST

Here are two excellent links to chess fiction. The first
link is to the Metrowest Chess Club's website (Boston,MA),
and the second link is to Harold Bearce's website of short
stories about chess. (My story "Chess as A Sport" was
supposed to go up there, but alas, it has not been updated
since June, 2002. "Chess as A Sport" can be found in the
archives at chesscafe.com, and it is a fictional piece
that points out some of the similarities between a
competitive game of chess and American football. It's also
supposed to be a touch inspirational

Here are those two links:
http://www.metrowestchess.org/study_group/Reviews/Books
/Book_Review_Fiction_List.htm

http://www.homestead.com/seventhrank/stories.html

I have not read a "chess novel" in a while, but off the
top of my head, here are some thoughts: _The Defense_, by
Nobakov is classic literature, and _The Eight_ by Neville
is not literature, but it's not bad if you want to be
entertained. (You can read a small blurb at the Metrowest
site.) _Carl Heffner's Love of the Draw_ is reviewed very
positivly at Jeremy Silman's website
http://www.jeremysilman.com , but to be honest with you,
I got about half way through this book and couldn't go any
farther. It was that bad. It was written by a European IM,
and my uninformed opinion is that he was published just
because he is an IM, and not because he is a good writer.


2002-09-28 05:40:05 PST

In addition to the Luneburg Variation and the Flanders
Panel, I'd also recommend The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig.
It's excellent. I'd place it alongside Nabokov's Defense
as the best chess novels written. I'd also recommend The
Luneburg Variation over the Flanders Panel.





  #7   Report Post  
Old April 20th 04, 11:06 AM
Edmondx
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

"Harry Haller" wrote in message ...
Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players? (Besides Nabokov's wonderful "The Luzhin Defense" of
course.) Great non-fiction reads on chess are also of interest.


Have you read Battle Royale by Steve Lopez:
http://www.chessbaseusa.com/NY1924/ny1924.htm
  #8   Report Post  
Old April 20th 04, 02:50 PM
Taylor Kingston
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

"Harry Haller" wrote in message ...

Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players?


Being something of a popular romance, it may not qualify as
"quality/classical," but "The Chess Players" (1960) is not bad. It is
an historical novel, a part-fact part-fiction account of the life of
Paul Morphy, by Frances Parkinson Keyes.
Of recent chess-related novels, by far the best I've seen is "The
Lüneburg Variation" by Paolo Maurensig.
You may be interested in "The 64-Square Looking Glass" (edited by
Burt Hochberg), an examination of the uses of chess in literature.
Another interesting anthology is "Pawn to Infinity" (edited by Fred
Silverberg, IIRC), a collection of science fiction short stories with
chess themes.

Taylor Kingston
  #9   Report Post  
Old April 20th 04, 08:00 PM
[email protected]
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

(Taylor Kingston) writes:

"Harry Haller" wrote in message ...

Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players?


Being something of a popular romance, it may not qualify as
"quality/classical," but "The Chess Players" (1960) is not bad. It is
an historical novel, a part-fact part-fiction account of the life of
Paul Morphy, by Frances Parkinson Keyes.
Of recent chess-related novels, by far the best I've seen is "The
Lüneburg Variation" by Paolo Maurensig.
You may be interested in "The 64-Square Looking Glass" (edited by
Burt Hochberg), an examination of the uses of chess in literature.
Another interesting anthology is "Pawn to Infinity" (edited by Fred
Silverberg, IIRC), a collection of science fiction short stories with
chess themes.


Fred Saberhagen.

Many of the best SF-related chess stories are by Fritz
Leiber, who was a strong expert back in the 1950s. Leiber
returned to chess in the mid 1970s, and some here may have
played him, though he was no longer a strong player.

Among his stories about chess a

"64 square Madhouse"

"Midnight by the Morphy Watch".

I think the narrator of his late novel "Our Lady of Darkness"
was an elderly chess player much like Leiber himself, though
chess isn't the subject of this novel.

Nimzowitsch also shows up in another story (as world
champion, no less), but I forget the title.

Also: "The Chessplayers" by Charles L Harness is a funny
story about a chessplaying rat (OK, OK, we get the obvious
jokes).

William Hyde
EOS Department
Duke University
  #10   Report Post  
Old April 20th 04, 11:28 PM
gorkov43
 
Posts: n/a
Default Chess novels?

One I haven't noticed mentioned yet is called "Miniature Man" or maybe
"The"etc.
I can not remember who wrote it, mainly because it was pretty weak as far as
literature went, but it is very much chess themed.


"Harry Haller" wrote in message
...
Can anyone recommend quality/classical novels involving the game of chess,
and chess players? (Besides Nabokov's wonderful "The Luzhin Defense" of
course.) Great non-fiction reads on chess are also of interest.




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