"Chess Story" by Stefan Zweig (English)

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A novella by the Austrian author Stefan Zweig which was written between 1938-1941 in a Brasilian exile and published in 1941

It's about the personal and psychological confrontation of a former prisoner of the Secret State Police with the world of the rich and superficial. A fast-pacing, great read, you really should try. 

Why? Here is my review: 
The story starts on a passenger liner from New York to Buenos Aires. The Austrian narrator and emigrant hears from an aquaintance that the world champion of Chess, Mirko Czentovic, is on board of the passenger liner. 

He tries to connect with the reserved descendant of a simple Donaub family. 

Czentovic was an orphan and a priest was responsible for his education. Yet Czentovic was slow so the priest was surprised that Czentovic won a chess game against him. 

With only 20 years, Czentovic was the world champion and hated by the Chess community because of this. 

Then, there is this rich oil baron named McConnor whose only aim on the passenger liner is to win against Czentovic.

But Czentovic only accepts the game if Czentovic is payed and can play against all those present.

In the first game Czentovic wins easy-peasy, however McConnor wants a revenge. Yet only with the help of Dr. B, a stranger, the game is drawn. However Dr B doesn't want to play another game.

When the Austrian narrator confronts Dr. B, thereupon Dr. B relates his life story.

Austria, 1930er, Dr. B was a portfolio manager in the Austro-Fascist corporative state for nobility and clerky.

Yet when armed forces marched in Austria in 1938, National Socialists were interested in him because they wanted to own the possesions of the monastries.

National Socialists locked him up in a hotel room in solitary confinement for months without any distractions. 

After two weeks, they began to interrogate Dr. B. 

For this reason, so Dr. B didn't go mad, Dr. B stole a book he felt in the insides of the pockets of a coat which hung in the waiting room of the investigation room. 

It is a collection of famous chess games

Dr. B just played chess during his senior high school, but in his solitary confinement he played the games and learnt them by heart (the last one Dr. B he succeeded in after some months). 

However his personality is split in two, in black and in white and every time one of his personalities wins, the other wants revenge. He calls that: "Chess poisoning".

Suddenly Dr. B was in a madly constitution and attacked his guard and hurt his hand by trying to smash a window. Dr. B was in hospital and his sympathetic doctor declared that Dr. B has a mental capacity so he can't stay in solitary confinement.

Is chess only a game or more?
What will happen if Dr B play chess again?
Do the occurrences under the National Socialists still affect Dr B?

Find out by reading this exciting, entertaining novella!

It's a real classic and wonderful :)!

Kind regards,
yours truly

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