Review of The Grandmaster: The Upcoming Book About the 2016 Chess Match
The Grandmaster by Brin-Jonathan Butler - Simon & Schuster pp210 On Sale Date 11/06/2018
*This book is the story of the match and contains no games or analysis.
Every few years it seems that there is an effort by the mainstream to engage in some sort of crossover with chess.
Often it's in the form of a movie, such as Pawn Sacrifice, The Queen of Katwe, The Luzhin Defense, and many others.
Occasionally it is a TV show such as Endgame which makes the effort, and from time to time this happens in the form of a book, such as Searching for Bobby Fischer, or this latest effort from Simon and Schuster, The Grandmaster: Magnus Carlsen and the Match that Made Chess Great Again.
In the opening pages of the book we learn that the author was tasked by Simon & Schuster to write a book about the upcoming (at that time) match between World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen and the challenger Sergey Karjakin.
His editor wanted the book to contain the answers to three questions.
- Why is Magnus Carlsen not more of a household name?
- What is the secret to his chess greatness?
- How can he continue to do it?
The publishing house wasn't looking to have a chess writer take the lead on this since they were looking for a more mainstream approach to the story. However, what the editor at Simon & Schuster didn't know at the time was that the author was an enthusiastic casual player.
From the standpoint of the reader this last fact is important, at least in my mind, because it saves us from the often awkward attempts at describing chess that non-players tend to make.
Anyone who has ever read an article in their local paper where a journalist is trying to describe what happened at a tournament or exhibition knows what I mean.
Best Chess to You,