Books (8): Hoffman’s King’s Gambit

There are not many top [non-chess] writers or columnists out there who understand the chess world well. For instance, Charles Krauthammer, the Pulitzer prize-winning conservative columnist, is known to have been very interested in chess but he has often committed some of the most embarrassing errors when he referred to the game in his writings. He simply doesn’t understand the game’s history/culture and its inner universe. By contrast, Paul Hoffman, the science writer who is also known for hosting the PBS’ television series Great Minds of Science, is a bright exception. Discovery‘s former chief editor and the former editor and publisher for the Encyclopædia Britannica is a decent player himself and for a long period of time was obsessed with the game and some of its most fascinating characters. Through his own life story, travels and observations of this peculiar community, Hoffman produced a most interesting account: King’s Gambit: A Son, A Father and…

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