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Monday, October 17, 2011

How Life Imitates Chess, by Garry Kasparov

Book cover
The complete title of the book is How Life Imitates Chess: Making the Right Moves, from the Board to the Boardroom, which is a mouthful, but very precise. It does explain how principles of chess, economics and politics apply in all three fields and how Garry Kasparov has evolved from chess player to world champion and, nowadays, into a political anti-Putin figure.

If you ask me, abandoning chess to get into business and worse, politics, it's a complete loss. However I do understand the guy, he got bored. Someday I may abandon computer programming.

Back to the book, though, it felt a lot like The Art of Learning, also written by a brilliant chess player (who incidentally also abandoned chess... hmm). It was more precise, most logical, though, looking at things from a more of a clinical perspective. I would have wanted to learn more about Kasparov's relationship with Karpov, for example, since he is always calling him his nemesis, but never says anything about how he felt about the guy.

This book is peppered with good advice, historic comparisons and great quotes from chess players and great men. Also, short descriptions of the relationship between famous "chess pairs" are giving the book an extra chess dimension. All in all I recommend it highly, although it felt more like a useful reference than a soul book like The Art of Learning.

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