When it is discovered that the reigning world chess champion, Mirko Czentovic, is on board a cruiser heading for Buenos Aires, a fellow passenger challenges him to a game. Czentovic easily defeats him, but during the rematch a mysterious Austrian, Dr B., intervenes and, to the surprise of everyone, helps the underdog obtain a draw. When, the next day, Dr B. confides in a compatriot travelling on the same ship and decides to reveal the harrowing secret behind his formidable chess knowledge, a chilling tale of imprisonment and psychological torment unfolds.
Stefan Zweig’s last and most famous story, ‘A Game of Chess’ was written in exile in Brazil and explores its author’s anxieties about the situation in Europe following the rise of the Nazi regime. The tale is presented here in a brand-new translation by Peter James Bowman, along with three of the master storyteller’s most acclaimed novellas: ‘Twenty-four Hours in the Life of a Woman’, ‘The Invisible Collection’ and ‘Incident on Lake Geneva’. Published by Alma Classics.
“Perhaps the best chess story ever written, perhaps the best about any game.” The Economist
One of the most prominent European writers of the 1920s and 1930s, Stefan Zweig (1881–1942) left his native Austria in 1934 following the rise of Nazism, committing suicide in exile in Brazil.