All the Wrong Moves: A Memoir About Chess, Love, and Ruining Everything

Doubleday. Aug. 2019. 224p. ISBN 9780385545174. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385545181. SPORTS
Chapin began playing chess in high school, when he found camaraderie among a group of bookish students that formed the Pawnishers. A decade later, Chapin’s pull for the board was reignited after a game of street chess in Kathmandu. And so begins a two-year intense quest to dominate the game. After an unsuccessful tournament in Bangkok and struggling with taking his skills to the next level playing intensely addicting online games, he decides to go all in. Traveling from one tournament to another, from Manhattan to Hyderabad, he gains some wins and many losses. In St. Louis, Chapin spends a month taking lessons from a chess grandmaster, an entertaining character within the book. Over the years, he has tried to end his addiction to chess, finding that in a game with infinite possibilities his skills were not improving as much as he’d like.
VERDICT Chapin has an engaging way of describing chess games and the complexities in which players formulate their moves across the board. Chess enthusiasts will find this comical memoir with a sarcastic tone entertaining to the end when he shares the secret of chess.
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