Friday, 14 September 2007

King's Gambit: the review

We've had a week of the "King's Gambit: A Son, A Father and the World's Most Dangerous Game" here on Chess Tales.

When the book came through, I arranged for our contributor Martin Seeber to take a look and share his thoughts:

"We’re going to write a review said Roger, a review about a book from America. A book about chess from the land of Bobby Fischer. America.

When you read it you’ll realise that its not like other books.

Since I was a child I have loved to listen to stories and tell them too. Well Paul Hoffman you’re a great storyteller and a clever biographer. And the story, well its chess and that’s our favourite. Like a set of beautiful short tales, all interwoven together, Kasparov storming out in defeat, Karpov trying to deny his losses, genius and madness, coaches and pupils, almost undercover in Moscow, simultaneous exhibitions, epic battles between the two Ks. It’s a wonderful game so good you want to keep it all for yourself and to quite honest Mr Hoffman’s done such a brilliant job that a few more millions will join the global chess community.

I felt very touched by his references to his own game development, only one player can be world champion but many of us take part and many of us dream of being better than we are. I am sure Paul is being modest for if he played like he writes he would be cheered out of the chess hall.

Sharing your life and intimate thoughts with others is the key to any art and Paul has let us in to his personal world. My father is 82 and still has a big role in my life but I’d find it difficult to tell thousands of people about our thoughts. Paul Hoffman’s book is filled with courage and insight.

The game of chess is as modern as the latest computer and as ancient as civilization. Play it with friends, inside, outside , as a sport, pull up your chair on a winter’s night, sit on your dad’s knee, show your granddaughter the moves, imagine it all the young and the old, handicapped who play without disability, and there in the great chess libraries around the world there’s a book to inspire us all and on its cover we can read the name Paul Hoffman. Okay Paul I’m taking the King bishop’s pawn and of course without hesitation the book." Martin Seeber

Our first competition to win a copy finishes today (so hurry up with your entries). We'll have a second competition starting tomorrow.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.