All the Wrong Moves: A Memoir About Chess, Love, and Ruining Everything

Sasha Chapin. Doubleday, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-54517-4
In this thoughtful and clever memoir, journalist Chapin chronicles his two-year submersion into the world of chess. Bored with life in Toronto, he “became obsessed with chess after I ran away to Thailand with a stripper I just met.” She returned to Canada, but Chapin traveled and got hooked on the game by Nepalese street players in Kathmandu. He returned to Bangkok and descended “into an Internet chess wormhole,” playing with a club and entering tournaments. Throughout, Chapin describes the highs of playing well and the lows of when his “incompetence was outstanding.” After a few months he moved back to Toronto and fell in love with his magazine editor, Katherine, who distracted him from his chess obsession. In order to fully commit to Katherine he decided to play one last tournament—for a chance to compete against a high-ranked player at the Los Angeles Open—and began training with a chess coach. Leading up to the tournament, he fluidly explains the intricacies of chess, and through his training he comes to realize that, win or lose, his “place in humanity” is not as a chess champion but to be with Katherine. Chapin’s sincere memoir of self-discovery will charm chess enthusiasts, as well as those searching for their next move in life. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/12/2019
Release date: 08/13/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 240 pages - 978-0-7710-2432-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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