Stefan Zweig's classic novella of obsession, madness and chess.
The more a man restricts himself the closer he is, conversely, to infinity'
On a cruiseship bound for Buenos Aires in 1941, a group of eager passengers challenge the world chess champion to a match. He accepts. He will beat anyone, he says. At first, the challenger crumbles before the mind of the master. But then, a soft-spoken voice from the crowd begins to whisper nervous suggestions. Perfect moves, brilliant predictions. The speaker has not played a game for more than twenty years, he says. He is wholly unknown. But somehow, he is also entirely formidable.
Stefan Zweig's acclaimed novella Chess is a disturbing, intensely dramatic depiction of the cost of obsession, set in a world of Mitteleuropean civilization traumatised by tyranny.
“Zweig is one of the masters of the short story and novella, and by 'one of the masters' I mean that he's up there with Maupassant, Chekhov, James, Poe, or indeed anyone you care to name”
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
“His greatest achievement in short form”