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Thursday, June 30, 2011

THE CHESS ARTIST by J. C. Hallman

The Chess Artist

One of my favorite books on the subculture of chess players, THE CHESS ARTIST is a psychological travelogue about spending time on the road with a chess master. The book is a journey of discovery into the obsessions, passions and - at times, negative impact - chess can have on an individual's life.

Part insider, part outsider, like Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, J.C. Hallman is able to explore an adventurous but sometimes darker side to 'the chess life' as he follows chess master Glenn Umstead first around the U.S. as he enters various tournaments, and eventually to the small impoverished Russian province of Kalmykia (ruled over by its president-dictator Kirsan Ilyumzhinov).


By having this double vision, this book both encapsulates and surpasses the ambitious world of chess into more universal expressions of what it means to devote your life to a single focused pursuit, to travel as an expression of identity, to win or lose and what they mean, and most of all, to develop friendships that are complex, challenging and rewarding all at once. THE CHESS ARTIST is a must for chess fans and readers interested in human psychology. 


Click here to buy THE CHESS ARTIST on Amazon.
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