Book Review: Kasparov Against the World By Gary Kasparov and Daniel King

Posted on May 23, 2011

What is the most interesting ‘sport’ to read about? Chess, definitely. Or is it Mancala? The jury’s out. Kasparov Against the World is about the former. Let’s take a trip back to 1999. Times were simpler then. Microsoft wanted to show the power of the internet and Kasparov wanted to bring a lot of traffic to his new website. So they devised a scheme. Kasparov would literally take on the world, at chess.

Here’s how it worked. There were 4 grandmasters who each proposed a move. The internet then voted on the moves. The move that garnered the highest number of votes was taken. Each team moved once a day.

Kasparov starts off pretty casually. He really doesn’t take it all that seriously. It isn’t until after the development that his friend calls him up (probably on a land-line) and says “Gary you aren’t taking this seriously enough.” Gary is down a piece and is really behind in development.

The thing about most games of chess is that you’re usually only playing one game for about 4-5 hours (longer for tournaments). So, after the king is toppled, you can put it behind you. Not this game. This game absorbs Gary’s life. Every year he takes a vacation in Croatia, but instead of getting some well needed R&R he finds himself obsessing over his position.

Soon he daily meetings with his training team. He can’t prepare adequately for tournaments. It reaches a level of obsession that is reserved for crime novels.

I’m not going to tell you who wins. It does come down to the wire.

Here’s the thing, this book is for any level of chess player. Even if you don’t know how to play chess, you just might have a little fun. Kasparov not only talks about his chess strategy, but he talks about what was going on in his personal and professional life. Want to know what 3 and a half months of a chess prodigy’s life is like? This book provides a good picture.

This is a well written annotation of a complicated game. Kasparov goes deep into his tactics. You might want to have a chess board around so you can go through some of his positions.

Yeah, I enjoy reading annotated games. They’re a great way to improve your game (at the advanced level, they are often the only way). This is a first person account of what Kasparov refers to as the toughest game he has ever played. You’ll see the creative thinking that makes him one of the best in the world. His calculation skills will astound you.

One thing I can definitely promise is that you will never, ever read a book that is quite like Kasparov Against the World.

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One Response to “Book Review: Kasparov Against the World By Gary Kasparov and Daniel King”

  1. Những kỷ lục trong thế giới cờ Vua! - .::Thăng Long Kỳ Đạo::. on August 3rd, 2011 10:26 pm

    [...] chí *Nguồn: Chess Records by Edward Winter Kasparov Against the World – By Garry Kasparov Book Review: Kasparov Against the World By Gary Kasparov and Daniel King : Who gave Heath a blog? __________________ Email: [...]

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