Mortal Games

Fred Waitzkin, Author Putnam Publishing Group $24.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-399-13827-0
Timed to coincide with the triennial chess world championship contest in September, this depiction of the brethren and of Armenian champ Kasparov will lend even more excitement to the event. (Kasparov is to defend his title against Englishman Nigel Short at still undisclosed venues and under new auspices to be determined by the contestants). Waitzkin ( Searching for Bobby Fischer ) catches readers up in the frenzy of grandmasters for whom chess is life itself, the ultimate challenge to ego. The book is organized with symmetry, concentrating on the two major events for Kasparov in 1990: the Azerbaijani pogrom against Armenians in Baku early in the year, which deeply politicized him and caused him and his family to flee and settle in Moscow, and the Fall championship contest with his nemesis Anatoly Karpov, barely won by the ill-prepared Kasparov. The book recalls their other challenges, going back to Kasparov-Karpov I in 1984, and introduces us to such renowned players as Gata Kamsky and Victor Korchnoi. Although Waitzkin, a chess zealot himself and father of well-known chess prodigy Josh, is clearly a Kasparov partisan, he doesn't altogether succeed in making the haughty, relentless, volatile champ sympathetic. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/02/1993
Release date: 08/01/1993
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Ebook - 181 pages - 978-0-7867-5497-7
Paperback - 292 pages - 978-0-7867-5487-8
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