A Game of Chess

by Rachel on February 28, 2013

The sign of a great Master is his ability to win a won game quickly and painlessly.  –  Irving Chernev

We have had quite the variety of displays recently, so I thought I would continue to share them!  One of our displays this week, A Game of Chess, features fiction and non-fiction titles about chess and infamous chess players.

Our featured title is A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer duBois.

“Gorgeous . . . a thrilling debut . . . [Jennifer] DuBois writes with haunting richness and fierce intelligence. She has an equal grasp of politics and history, [and] the emotional nuances of her complex characters. . . . DuBois’s evocations of Russia are lush, and her swashbuckling descriptions, whether of chess games, a doomed political campaign, or the anticipation of death, are moving yet startlingly funny—full of bravado, insight, and clarity.”—Elle

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest: He launches a dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin. He knows he will not win—and that he is risking his life in the process—but a deeper conviction propels him forward.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, thirty-year-old English lecturer Irina Ellison struggles for a sense of purpose. Irina is certain she has inherited Huntington’s disease—the same cruel illness that ended her father’s life. When Irina finds an old, photocopied letter her father wrote to the young Aleksandr Bezetov, she makes a fateful decision. Her father asked the chess prodigy a profound question—How does one proceed in a lost cause?—but never received an adequate reply. Leaving everything behind, Irina travels to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer for her father, and for herself.

Other featured titles:
The Immortal Game: A History of Chess by David Shenk
The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis
The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon
Improve Your Chess Tactics by Yakov Neishtadt
End Game by Frank Brady
The Chess Player's Bible by James Eade
Chess: A Pop-Up Set by Sam Ita

Now, if only I could play…