By David Shenk
Chess is the main enduring and common video game in historical past. right here, bestselling writer David Shenk chronicles its interesting saga, from historic Persia to medieval Europe to the dens of Benjamin Franklin and Norman Schwarzkopf. alongside the best way, he examines a unmarried mythical video game that came about in London in 1851 among masters of the time, and relays his personal makes an attempt to turn into as expert as his Polish ancestor Samuel Rosenthal, a nineteenth-century champion. With its combination of cultural background and Shenk’s own curiosity, The Immortal online game is a compelling consultant for newbies and aficionados alike.
From Publishers Weekly
Those keen on chess and wishing to benefit extra concerning the video game (but no longer an excessive amount of extra) will welcome this available, nontechnical creation. Shenk (The Forgetting) succinctly surveys the game's historical past from its origins in 5th- or sixth-century Persia as much as the current, touching alongside the way in which on such matters as his personal amateurish pursuit of the sport, erratic geniuses like Paul Morphy and Bobby Fischer, chess in colleges this present day, machine chess and his great-great-grandfather Samuel Rosenthal, who was once an eminent participant in past due 19th-century Europe. to intensify the drama, Shenk intersperses the textual content with the strikes of the so-called "immortal game," a super instance of "romantic" chess performed among Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky in London in 1851. Appendixes comprise transcripts of 5 different nice video games, besides Benjamin Franklin's short essay "The Morals of Chess." Readers will come clear of this pleasing e-book with a robust feel of why chess has remained so renowned over the a long time and why its research nonetheless has a lot to inform us in regards to the workings of the human brain. 50 b&w illus. (Sept.)
From Bookmarks Magazine
David Shenk is the writer of 4 earlier books, together with The Forgetting, an acclaimed research of Alzheimer's, and knowledge Smog, approximately details overload within the web age. the best asset of The Immortal online game is its accessibility. via an informed layperson's wisdom of chess, Shenk makes a speciality of his subject's extra exciting issues and leaves arcane rehashes of well-known video games for extra technical texts. (An appendix obliges those that enjoy such details.) At its most attractive, the ebook meditates at the ways in which chess can improve lives. Given its brevity, Shenk's evaluation occasionally sacrifices intensity to assurance, even though such an process slightly decreases the excitement even an "wood-pusher"—chess slang for a susceptible player—might remove from this passionate and well-researched history.
Versatile writer Shenk has conceived a vibrant thought for marching throughout the historical past of chess. His identify a double entendre, Shenk alternates narrative passages at the old lineage of chess with move-by-move research of a brilliant 1851 contest that lore has dubbed "the immortal game." Shenk is additionally an Everyman-guide, and his angle is person who many readers will share--he is drawn to the game's countless chances but in addition intimidated by means of its tricky physique of analytic wisdom. attempting to grasp chess has deranged quite a lot of, akin to artist Marcel Duchamp and previous champion Bobby Fischer, however it has additionally given nice excitement to others, equivalent to Benjamin Franklin. looking a explanation for the recognition of chess from its Persian and Indian origins 1,500 years in the past to the current, Shenk makes a decision it lies in chess' fluidity as metaphor. It used to be evidently conceived as a conflict online game, yet feudal eu society stumbled on deeper meanings inside of it, as cognitive psychologists and logicians do at the present time. Rangy, anecdotal, and nontechnical, Shenk's is renowned chess historical past at its such a lot readable. Gilbert Taylor
"Elegant . . . a real page-turner, and a great creation to the sport of chess."—Wall road Journal“Clear, based, subtle and simple to appreciate. . . . simply the item to get you within the thrall of this old game.” —Los Angeles Times“Shenk, a spry writer....[offers] a robust case for the game’s bewitching power.” —The ny instances booklet Review“Fresh and fascinating...a world-spanning tale [Shenk] relates with ability and verve.” —Chicago Sun-Times