Genius, Obsession, Suspense: Stefan Zweig’s Spectacular “Chess Story” (1941)

On Art and Aesthetics

That’s a student of my dad’s, Leon Luke Mendonca with Garry Kasparov in Hong Kong. (Credit: Lyndon Mendonca)

My father is a chess player with an international (“FIDE”) rating. He got the passion from his grandfather, who had passed away before his birth. My dad discovered the old pieces, heard the stories as a little boy. He then taught himself the game, learning some German and Russian in the process to be able to read the best literature available on the subject. In his prime, at his peak—in the 70s and 80s—when the sport was not as commercialised as it is today, he was India No. 10. Now he coaches kids (mostly over Skype) who regularly compete at tournaments and championships in Europe and Asia.

Naturally, I grew up in a house that buzzed with lengthy lessons and discussions on strategy and tactics, that was filled with encyclopedia, periodicals…

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