First book of 2005

Although not the first book I start­ed read­ing in 2005, the first I’ve fin­ished is *Search­ing for Bob­by Fis­ch­er* by Fred Wait­zkin. A quick and enjoy­able read, I went through it in about three days. I’ve seen the movie of the same name a few times but until I saw it on the shelf had nev­er thought about whether it had been based on a book. Wait­zkin is a sports writer, so it seems nat­ur­al for him, nei­ther the forced (and/or ghost­writ­ten) zeal of a father who can­not write, nor the pure detach­ment of a jour­nal­ist. His prose is trans­par­ent, car­ing, and unhur­ried. A real plea­sure to read com­pared to the Dan Browns of the world try­ing to force some­thing out of each clum­sy page

There was lit­tle about what goes on on the six­ty-four squares of a chess­board, no strate­gic secrets or tech­niques. But the book does suc­cess­ful­ly bring the read­er into the chess world. A few weeks ago I got beat­en pret­ty sound­ly in my first game in six months (prob­a­bly my sec­ond game in five years) and after read­ing *Search­ing for Bob­by Fis­ch­er* I’m itch­ing for a rematch.

2 Replies to “First book of 2005

  1. Quite a coin­ci­dence. I just
    Quite a coin­ci­dence. I just fin­ished blast­ing through “Bob­by Fis­ch­er Teach­es Chess.” There was a lot of bio stuff in the intro, but the chess was extreme­ly basic. Still made me want to push some wood. I don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly like com­put­er chess. It’s too slow and forces me to play stodgy care­ful games instead of the slash-and-burn queen sac­ri­fice type of game that is so fun to play. (Because it intim­i­dates your opponent!)

    I am rea­son­ably sure that you were my last game.


  2. The library did­n’t have
    The library did­n’t have Bob­by Fis­ch­er Teach­es Chess when I looked for it, and that’s when I stum­bled upon Fred Wait­zk­in’s book. I end­ed up find­ing a paper­back of Fis­cher’s book in a store and buy­ing it, and I’ve just start­ed read­ing it. It was rec­om­mend­ed by a friend who trounced me recent­ly, so if it’s that basic I’ll take it as a reflec­tion of how poor­ly I played that night. In any case, I’m hop­ing that I find some­thing in there that I’ve missed or for­got­ten. I’m not used to get­ting beat­en, except by you!