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Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
Genre: Historical fiction
Length: 104 pages
First Published: 1943
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig’s final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.
Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champion of chess, an arrogant and unfriendly man. They come together to try their skills against him and are soundly defeated. Then a mysterious passenger steps forward to advise them and their fortunes change. How he came to possess his extraordinary grasp of the game of chess and at what cost lie at the heart of Zweig’s story.
This new translation of Chess Story brings out the work’s unusual mixture of high suspense and poignant reflection.
About Stefan Zweig
Stefan Zweig was born on November 28, 1881 in Vienna, Austria. Being the son of a wealthy Jewish businessman, he was able to pursue his education with complete freedom, guided only by his taste which inclined him to literature, philosophy and history. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of imperial Vienna favored in young Zweig a curiosity of the wider world, which quickly turned into bulimia, pushing him towards all theater premieres, all new titles not yet critically acclaimed, all new forms of culture. At 23, he received a doctorate in philosophy. Visit the author’s website→