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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Exciting Chess Fiction: Even Dead Men Play Chess and The Grandmaster's King by Michael Weitz

Chess Blog for Daily Chess News and Trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2014

Hello everyone,

Most chess players have trouble finding 'exciting' activities off the chess board or away from it. So, how about some cool chess fiction?

Michael Weitz is an award-winning writer of television commercials, documentaries and various video projects along with his novels and short stories. He is an avid chess player and student of the game, and has an eclectic mix of other hobbies and interests including bicycling, photography, pool and astronomy. Michael Weitz has taken his chess love one step further and penned two exciting chess novels. Here's a summary:

Even Dead Men Play ChessRay Gordon is a chess teacher with students ranging from homeless kids at a youth center (which he volunteers for) to local players who just want to post a few wins at the club. When one of his older students dies in a gruesome woodworking accident, Ray believes there’s more to the story. What follows is a strange set of circumstances including a kidnapping, a neighbor who’s strangely happy about the death and clues leading Ray to wonder if the victim was involved in a meth lab.

Some chess highlights: The story includes the famous Evergreen Game, discusses correspondence chess, has some chess history and even a dog named Morphy!


The Grandmaster’s KingThe US Chess Championship is underway in Seattle, WA and the leading contender, Charlie Roggenbuck, is an old friend of Ray’s. When Ray discovers Charlie’s body in a hotel room, it sets off a chain of events that sets the chess world on edge. The police have no leads so it’s up to Ray to track down the killer. With few clues to go on Ray enters the professional world of chess and finds he’s in over his head in more ways than one. Is the killer one of the chess players? And is he or she after him?
Some chess highlights: Portions of games by Fischer and Purdy are featured (full games are listed at the end,) Ray uses the abandoned chess game at the scene of the crime to help deduce clues.

No, you won't need a chess board to enjoy the chess in the novels. These books are for you if you love a good 'ol adrenalin pumpin' whodunit, have outgrown the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie, but are hungry for more... and, of course, love chess. 

The books are a great gift for someone who's just been introduced to chess, or someone whom you would like to talk about a game that's now no longer for the nerds alone. If you're a chess pro, travelling to your next tournament and don't have a companion for the train journey... check out Michael Weitz's books on Amazon!   

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  • At February 9, 2014 at 12:03 PM , Anonymous Sebastian Wolff, Washington said...

    Looks like interesting stuff. Thanks for the tip. Will check out the books. Haven't read a good chess murder mystery for some time LOL.

  • At February 9, 2014 at 12:55 PM , Anonymous SN, Colombo said...

    kindle only but I try on phone for next journey ;)

  • At February 9, 2014 at 1:31 PM , Anonymous Kasiya, Birmingham said...

    Just started reading actually the first murder chapter. Liked the language sample this - she thinks my eye color is midnight ocean my license says blue - heh heh heh


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