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Booktalking "Grandmaster" by David Klass


David Pratzer, aka "Patzer-face," is  a chess novice who is surprised to learn that his father is a grandmaster at the game. Visualizing the chess board, spending hours each day studying open moves... chess is mental combat, and it emotionally and mentally exhausts its participants. To chess gurus, the game is war. Daniel's father struggles through the father-son competition in New York City. Even in the deluxe suite paid for by a teammate's rich father, he retches and his body rebels against the extreme stress that his frayed nerves cause.

Daniel is surprised to find Liu ready to challenge him in the first game of the tournament. Wearing a T-shirt that dubs his team the "Mind Cripplers," Daniel does not sweep her off her feet at their first encounter. However, they end up talking and spending some time together. Karaoke parties in a Palace Royale Hotel suite, complete with Japanese food and decorations is Brad's father's idea. Drinks and merriment and romantic liaisons.

Chess pieces, strategy and willpower stretched to the max swim together in a murky sea. Two grandmaster archenemies go at each other full-force, utilizing every psychological trick in the book. A grueling four minutes may be all that stands between them and a $10,000 first prize.

Grandmaster by David Klass, 2014

I loved having the opportunity to learn about chess in a fictionalized book.  A "patzer" is a denigrating term for beginning chess players. 


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