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  1. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    18 Dec '10 10:42 / 2 edits
    Back in the 80's, Walter Tevis wrote a book called the Queens Gambit, about a girl chess genius from Kentucky (which I've read countless times until the book has fallen apart). I'm sure there are a couple of others around the world, but It's very sad so few books and stories of this kind are ever published. It seems with the amount of chess players in the world, more would be available
  2. 18 Dec '10 12:26 / 1 edit
    There are 1000's of books which have chess as the background.
    OK a slight exageration....there are 100's....Well OK perhaps 5.

    But these 5 are good.

    Actually they are crap.

    The 'true' stories about real chess players are far better.
    Morphy, Alekhine, FIscher and you get the bonus of real good games thrown in.

    Not made up stuff with illegal moves and mush.

    If I recall the chess genius from Kentucky falls in love........Mush.

    Real chess players don't fall in love. They love the game, there
    is no room for anyone or anything else.

    Go here for some true chess stores. Fascinating.
    (or google 'chess + fiction' and you will get books that have chess as a theme).

    http://www.chessville.com/billwall/StrangeButTrue.htm

    One item from there caught my eye.

    "In 1938 Jack Battell lost all 11 games of the Marshall Chess Club championship
    and gave up tournament chess for correspondence chess. In a few years, he was
    the highest rated postal player in the United States."

    Next time the debate about weak OTB but good at C.C. crops up
    sling that one onto the table.
  3. 18 Dec '10 12:58
    I knew it. Chess CAN save lifes...

    "Dr. Ossip Bernstein was one of the strongest chess players of the Ukraine, who later became a grandmaster. However, in 1918 he was arrested in Odessa by the Cheka and was actually line up in front of a firing squad about to be shot. As the superior officer asked to see the list of prisoners about to be shot, he saw the name Ossip Bernstein. He then asked if this was the famous chess player. Bernstein said yes, that he was the famous chessplayer. The officer then challenged Bernstein in a game of chess, and if Bernstein did not win, he would be shot. Bernstein won and proved he was the famous chess player. Bernstein was released and escaped on a British ship and settled in Paris."
  4. 18 Dec '10 13:00 / 1 edit
    hm, hm... should have read to the end of that page...



    I knew it.... Chess CAN be deadly!

    "In 1993 a person was shot and killed while playing chess in Bosnia. It was the first time someone was killed by a sniper while playing chess."
  5. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    18 Dec '10 13:15
    Wasn't there an interesting story of a chess game played between 2 kings prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. They had agreed to peace and then played a game of chess and one accused the other of cheating and the battle was on!
  6. 18 Dec '10 13:58
    Originally posted by caissad4
    Wasn't there an interesting story of a chess game played between 2 kings prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. They had agreed to peace and then played a game of chess and one accused the other of cheating and the battle was on!
    How did the other king cheat? Did he go to the bathroom 50 times during the game?
  7. 18 Dec '10 15:27
    Originally posted by dryhump
    How did the other king cheat? Did he go to the bathroom 50 times during the game?
    He came to the board with a hand full blackberry's.
  8. 18 Dec '10 17:01
    Originally posted by greenpawn34
    There are 1000's of books which have chess as the background.
    OK a slight exageration....there are 100's....Well OK perhaps 5.

    But these 5 are good.

    Actually they are crap.

    The 'true' stories about real chess players are far better.
    Morphy, Alekhine, FIscher and you get the bonus of real good games thrown in.

    Not made up stuff with illegal ...[text shortened]... ime the debate about weak OTB but good at C.C. crops up
    sling that one onto the table.
    Thanks for setting the matter straight. Mushy books with chess in it are not frequently published because they appeal to an inane few only.

    Here's a book which is enjoyable and not mushy!


    Author: Pandolfini, Bruce.
    Title: Treasure chess : trivia, quotes, puzzles, and lore from the world's oldest game / Bruce Pandolfini.
    Publisher, Date: New York : Random House Puzzles & Games, c2007.
  9. 18 Dec '10 17:08
    Originally posted by caissad4
    Wasn't there an interesting story of a chess game played between 2 kings prior to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. They had agreed to peace and then played a game of chess and one accused the other of cheating and the battle was on!
    Completely apocryphal, dear lady! There weren't two kings at the battle of Hastings to begin with. On one side was William "Bastard" Duke of Normandy and on the other King Harold II of England. There never were many any niceties between these two except perhaps when Harold was held hostage by William for over a year. The battle ensued because Harold made a promise/oath of handing over the throne of England to William and said oath was made to secure release from captivity for Harold. The promise was made over holy relics unbeknownst to Harold. This secured the approval of the Pope for a subsequent invasion of England.
  10. 18 Dec '10 17:50
    Check out "Pawn to Infinity" short stories about sf/fantasy and chess edited by Fred Saberhagen. I especially liked the story "Midnight by the Morphy Watch".
  11. Standard member pdunne
    Badmaster
    19 Dec '10 09:44
    Here's the best three that I can think of.

    Nabokov, The Defence, perhaps the best-known. They made a rather crap film of it. It's a story of a little boy who becomes first an infant prodigy of sorts, then a grandmaster and challenger for the world title, before falling prey to that most typical malady of chess players, schizophrenia.

    Zweig, "Schach Novelle" (translated as "The Royal Game", I think) where two very different chess players meet on an ocean-liner: a boorish world champion whose chess-playing skill is the one and only thing that differentiates him from any other Balkan peasant, and a cultured representative of "old Europe", who learned his chess as a means of staying sane while in German captivity.

    Anthony Glynn, The Dragon Defence, a novel with a mix of real and fictitious chess-players. It's set in the sixties, so you get Fischer making an appearance. This one contains far more of the nitty-gritty of actual chess-playing, the round of tournaments and chess reporting and so on.
  12. 19 Dec '10 12:51
    Those three just mentioned are the current top choices that I often hear.

    Might get around to doing one myself one day.

    A guy always argues with someone on a chess forum.
    He tracks him down and discovers He is a She.
    They fall in love....Nah...Too Mushy.

    Treasure Island is a good book, there is no chess in it but there
    is no chess in an opening book on the London System either. 😉
  13. 19 Dec '10 14:18
    Juliette Stronglove wrote a great series of romantic novels about chess players:

    A Bishop for a Night
    She was the chess world champion, he was a troubled cleric. Passion ensues in Venice.

    If Rooks Could Kill
    She was a high powered executive, he was the dark and handsome chess world champion. Romance, murder and intrigue in New York.

    Secret Passion, Hidden Pawn
    The story of a chess prodigy's adolescent awakening.
  14. Standard member pdunne
    Badmaster
    19 Dec '10 14:19
    Now that I think of it, there is a novel based on Morphy's life; I've never read it, and can't even be sure of the title off-hand (and am too lazy to look it up). "The Chess Players" by Francis Parkinson Keyes, I think it is.
  15. 20 Dec '10 01:12
    Originally posted by dryhump
    How did the other king cheat?
    Moved three squares in one go.