How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves—from the Board to the Boardroom

Garry Kasparov, Author, Mig Greengard, With . Bloomsbury $25.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-59691-387-5

With millions of serious chess players and Kasparov a regular in international news headlines, a business manual by the champion-turned-activist seems a no-brainer. Kasparov discusses each element of chess and strains to find parallels in “life” and “the boardroom.” Yet the book is surprisingly serious and readable, even if those who persevere won't necessarily be convinced that chess is “an ideal laboratory for the decision-making process.” While offering real insight into the game, Kasparov offers somewhat less into general decision making, urging readers to be “aware of your routines, then break them” and emphasizing both “precise calculation” and “intuition and optimism.” The author's attempts at chess metaphor are often a stretch: after all, chess matches are one-on-one and win-lose-draw, resembling war far more closely than anything in the boardroom. In fact, Kasparov's examples more often come from the battlefield than from business. Without a more direct business connection, his advice reverts to platitudes (“To achieve success, our strategy must be implemented with accurate tactics”). More engaging are the author's autobiographical anecdotes about his face-off against IBM's Deep Blue computer and his 2005 transition to becoming “a full-time member of the Russian political opposition movement.” Kasparov fans will find much to enjoy, but serious business readers should look elsewhere. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 07/23/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-59691-388-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4272-0228-4
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-59691-827-6
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