King's Gambit: A Son, A Father, and the World's Most Dangerous Game
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As a young man, Paul Hoffman was a brilliant chess player . . . until the pressures of competition drove him to the brink of madness.
In King's Gambit, he interweaves a gripping overview of the history of the game and an in-depth look at the state of modern chess into the story of his own attempt to get his game back up to master level--without losing his mind. It's also a father and son story, as Hoffman grapples with the bizarre legacy of his own dad, who haunts Hoffman's game and life.
glimpse of the disheveled genius disembarking on the tarmac in Reykjavík. “You take these things pretty seriously when you’re about to turn forty and review what your life has amounted to,” Short told me. “I met Simon Webb a few times at tournaments in the seventies—he seemed kind and gentle. I’m a chess player because of Fischer. And I was not world champion because of one man, Garry Kasparov.” Short had not expected Kasparov’s retirement. “He was one of the greats if not the greatest player
this legendary player who had always been higher rated than me? But that was my honest assessment. I thought I had identified his weaknesses, and might succeed if I aimed solely at his weaknesses rather than playing to my strengths, which were to some degree his strengths, too. I made him uncomfortable, and it worked. I remember comments afterward by people like Susan Polgar—Karpov played very badly. Yes he played very badly, but I made him play badly. That’s the point. That’s what she didn’t
all of his time for chess” [Tim Hanke, “Finding Bobby Fischer,” American Chess Journal, 1992, No. 1, p. 63]. CHAPTER 3: The Pandolfini Variation 1: There are tournaments in which all the players, despite beginning the game with more than two hours for forty moves, end up in time trouble. In AVRO 1938, the world’s top eight players came together in the Netherlands for a double round-robin. “The outstanding feature of [the first] round, one which was to prove characteristic of the entire
him!” I LEFT THE INTERNET CAFé AND HEADED TO TVERSKAYA STREET, MOSCOW’S equivalent of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. I found a fancy coffee shop and ordered a cappuccino and tarte tatin. A middle-aged man was sitting there at a wooden chessboard with a gnarly hand-carved set. I smiled when he looked at me, and he motioned enthusiastically for me to join him. He gave himself the White pieces and placed a large Soviet-era chess clock next to the board. He conveniently adjusted the minute hands so
and that Grayson subsequently had the marriage annulled. “I thought, No, you weren’t married to her,” Plenty told me. “Then I did a Freedom of Information search on Claude. It took a couple years and I get this large file from the FBI that says he may have married Grayson.” Plenty also found an article by a journalist who tracked Grayson down and said the actress did not confirm or deny if she knew Bloodgood. PLENTY ASKED ME FOR ONE LAST BLITZ GAME. HE TOOK WHITE AND ANNOUNCED, as he pushed