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Chess Story

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  46,131 ratings  ·  3,072 reviews
Chess Story, also known as The Royal Game, is the Austrian master Stefan Zweig's final achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only a matter of days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological.

Travelers by ship from New York to Buen
Paperback, 104 pages
Published December 9th 2005 by NYRB Classics (first published 1941)
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bxa Thanks - I read your comment only after finishing the book myself. And it is exactly the sentence you mentioned (and the following one) that I stood…moreThanks - I read your comment only after finishing the book myself. And it is exactly the sentence you mentioned (and the following one) that I stood out to me and which I highlighted.(less)

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Mohammed  Ali
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كيف تعرف أنّك بصدد قراءة عمل عبقري ؟

بالنسبة لي صراحة هو تلك النوعية من الأعمال التّي تفاجئك، التّي تخبطك، التّي تلطمك، تصفعك، تضربك .. لا أدري كيف أصف حقيقة أو ماهية هذا الشعور، و لكن أظن أنّ أغلبكم قد جرّبه.
تختار قصّة ما أو رواية أو حتّى كتاب وتبدأ في القراءة وكحال البدايات دائما ما يكون هناك نوع طفيف من الملل .. وأحيانا يصاحب هذا الملل نوع من النّدم على هذا الإختيار، وهنا أنا أتحدث عن شعور ضئيل جدا ولكنّه موجود، ثم فجأة ومن دون سابق إنذار تجد نفسك تجري بين السطور متعلقا ومنغمسا بمعاني الكلمات،
Glenn Russell
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I detect strong parallels between reading a novel and the game of chess: there is the author sitting on one side, playing white, the reader on the other side, playing black; instead of the chess board and chess pieces there is the novel; the author’s opening chapter is the chess player’s opening, the middle of the novel is, of course, the middle game, and the closing chapter is the end game. If both author and reader expand their literary horizons and deepen their appreciation of life’s mysterie
Jun 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Alejandro by: Florencia
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An interesting short story that it's one of the most famous works by the writer Stefan Zweig that even sadly was published after his suicide.

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When a story is presented in another language, some elements are lost in the translation, and I think that while Chess Story is a pretty good title, its original title was "The Royal Game" that I think it gives to the story an air of refinement, class and elegance.

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Besides my interest to try this author, I was intrigued ab
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to s.penkevich by: The review titled 'If suicidal, don't read this'
The more one limits oneself, the closer one is to the infinite; these people, as unworldly as they seem, burrow like termites into their own particular material to construct, in miniature, a strange and utterly individual image of the world.

Chess, the ‘Royal Game’, ‘regally eschews the tyranny of chance and awards its palms of victory only to the intellect, or rather to a certain type of intellectual gift.’ Stefan Zweig plunges the reader into this cold, calculating world through a simple prem
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We Are Never Alone

With astounding concision in a short story about chess, Zweig outlines a profound psychological theory: that a human being’s greatest resource - the ability to reflect upon himself and his actions - is also his greatest vulnerability.

Experience alone, without the capacity to reflect upon it, provides rigid rules for responding to situations which never quite repeat themselves. Reflective ability creates the ability to cope with entirely novel conditions through the power to re

This book is about the workings of the mind.

But before I go into that, let me start by saying that to me the name of Stefan Zweig evokes a feeling of nostalgia. Of course, this is foremost due to the title of his famous memoirs, and because we know that he belonged to a world that was disappearing. And probably because he realized this he decided to depart from it.

But for me it creates an additional longing. It makes me yearn for a world in which I did not yet exist, a world that followed Zweig’
°°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο   Αμ
"άλλο δε ζητώ παρα να μου δοθει ετούτη η χάρη, να μιλησω απλά..."

Παρά την μικρή του έκταση είναι ένα πολύ γεμάτο και διεισδυτικό βιβλιο. Μας ταξιδευει μέχρι τα όρια της ανθρώπινης αντοχής όταν καποιο άτομο έχει εγκλειστεί στο τίποτα του εαυτου του και έχει αγγίξει τη φρίκη της κοινωνικής απομόνωσης.

Με κεντρικό θέμα την σκακιστική δεξιότητα που μπορεί να θριαμβεύει σχεδόν το ίδιο σε ένα φτωχό,άξεστο και αμόρφωτο άτομο όσο και σε έναν άλλο πνευματικά καλλιεργημένο,κοινωνικά καταξιωμένο αλλά και δ
Stefan Zweig created an extraordinary, exciting, thought provoking novel in a typical, virtuosic self-writing style.
Ahmad Sharabiani
Schachnovelle = Le jaueur d'echecs = Chess Story = The Royal Game, Stefan Zweig
The Royal Game (also known as Chess Story; in the original German Schachnovelle, "Chess Novella") is a novella by Austrian author Stefan Zweig first published in 1941, just before the author's death by suicide. In some editions, the title is used for a collection that also includes "Amok", "Burning Secret", "Fear", and "Letter From an Unknown Woman".
Driven to mental anguish as the result of total isolation by the Nat
فهد الفهد
لاعب الشطرنج

أحببت هذا النمساوي المنكوب منذ قرأت له (حذار من الشفقة)، ثم أكثر عندما قرأت له مذكراته (عالم الأمس)، وها هي روايته القصيرة هذه التي كتبها في أيامه الأخيرة تزيد هذه المحبة عندما تروي لنا هذه القصة الممتعة والمؤلمة، يأتي جانب الإمتاع في شق الرواية الأول، الراوي الذي يحاول اكتشاف وفهم لاعب شطرنج عالمي يرافقه على باخرة تغادر العالم القديم إلى العالم الجديد، هذا اللاعب الغريب والفذ الذي يرفض أن يسمح لأحد بالاقتراب منه، ويلاعب الجميع باستخفاف وغرور مستفز، الشق المؤلم للرواية يبدأ عندما يظ
...nothing on earth exerts such pressure on the human soul as a void. (19)


Black. White. Which is it? Which one is our nature? We can be good, we can be cruel. We praise ourselves saying being human entails being good. We have daily proofs that is not necessary the case. If we are meant to be good and we are not, our mind have lost the battle against a deviation. Or against our true nature.
Now that is a depressing thought.

I had this book on my to-read shelf for months. And I wasn't going to re
Ahmed Ibrahim
رواية عكست ما يختلج بداخل زفايج بصورة بشعة، ونهايتها مؤلمة لأقصى حد.
لو صمد اللاعب المجهول لبعض الوقت لهزم خصمه ومات الملك، لو لم يقع زفايج في هوة اليأس لشهد موت الملك.

ظل اللاعب المجهول يعاني مما لاقاه على يد ظباط الجستابو فلم يستطع أن يتحرر من الحدود الذي حصروه فيها، ظل محصورًا داخل رقعة الشطرنج يحاول الإمساك بزمام نفسه لكن دون جدوى.
أما أشهر وأفضل لاعب شطرنج في العالم كان جاهلًا بكل شيء إلا بالشطرنج.. اكتشفوا موهبته صغيرًا ثم ما لبث أن أصبح أفضل لاعب شطرنج بالعالم.

لو نظرنا للحالة التي كان عليه
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
The chessplayer and the non-chessplayer will read this classic novella in different ways. The non-chessplayer sees it as a tragedy where the noble but unworldly Dr. B is defeated by the oafish but practical Czentovic. Chess is used to symbolize the pure world of the mind, where Dr. B should triumph due to his superior intellectual powers, but discovers that his opponent's ruthlessness and greed are stronger. Czentovic cannot win fairly, but is perfectly happy to cheat.

The chessplayer would like
Stefan Zweig

Before the start of review, let me put across a warning to all probable readers of this novella that this book has two active beings- one is the reader of course but other one is the author himself, he keeps on following you or rather your moves right to end of the book or the game more appropriately. It may sound strange- so it is and Zweig is but only pleasantly, more you will come to know through the course of this review. Chess, the ‘Royal Game’ is not just a book it’s a gam
فايز Ghazi
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- هل هي رواية ام تلخيص للحياة؟

- لنبدا من سطح النهر، قصة عن ثلاثة اشخاص، اولهم بطل شطرنج، ثانيهم محب للأشياء الغريبة المثيرة وثالثهم "إله شطرنج" ولكن بالصدفة!!.. يجتمع الثلاثة على متن سفينة تحتاج 12 يوماً لتصل الى وجهتها وتجري القصة واللعبة بينهم مع سرد لطيف لخلفياتهم وكيفية اتقانهم للعبة...

- هيا لنغص قليلاً اكثر، الأبيض والأسود، الشر والخير، التناقضات الماركسية او الديالكتيك، كلها في هذه الرواية..

- لنغص اكثر قليلاً، العقل البشري وقدرته على خلق العوالم، و"الجنون" الذي يصيبه حينما يشغل منطقة جديدة
Jeffrey Keeten
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
”My pleasure in playing became a desire to play, a mania, a frenzy, which permeated not only my waking hours but gradually my sleep too. Chess was all I could think about, chess moves, chess problems were the only form my thoughts could take; sometimes I awoke with a sweaty brow and understood that I must have unconsciously gone on playing even while I slept, and if I dreamt of people, all they did was move like the bishop or the rook, or hopscotch like the knight.”

 photo Chess Board_zps0leviioh.jpg

We never are formally introdu
Raya راية
Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"أو ليس من الهيّن أن رجلاً يحسب نفسه عظيماً إذا كان هذا الإنسان يجهل أن الدنيا قد عرفت رمبرانت وبيتهوفن ودانتي؟"

قد تحتوي المراجعة كشفاً لبعض لأحداث الرواية

كانت معرفتي الأولى بستيفان زفايغ في صفحات كتابه "ماري أنطوانيت"، تلك السيرة التي جعلتني أنبهر بكل التفصيلات التي أوردها وأسلوب السرد المتماسك المدهش والغني، فكانت بحق وجبة دسمة تمنّيت لو لم تنتهِ أبداً. وقد قرأت اسم رواية "لاعب الشطرنج" هنا على هذا الموقع، وكانت اكتشافاً جديداً لزفايغ.

تدور الرواية الصغيرة حول لعبة الشطرنج، التي لم أعرف كي
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Agir(آگِر) by: Shayan Foroozesh
بعضی وقت ها تک تک خط های کتابی را درک می کنیم ولی دریغ از فهمیدن خط اصلی کتاب
یعنی آن چیزی که نویسنده را واداشته تا چنین کتابی را بنویسد
چیزی که می خواهد به ما بگوید
نمی توانستم باور کنم که کسی بتواند تمام وجود و روح و روانش را در دایره ی این بازی محدود کند


اینجاست که باید بری سراغ نویسنده و اوضاع اجتماعی و دنیایی که او در آن زندگی کرده است
مخصوصا چنین کتابی که روز بعد از اتمام آن، استیفن تسوایگ و لوته(همسرش) محلول کشنده ورونال را سر کشیدند


کتاب شطرنج را در کشوی میزکارش پیدا کردند و سال بعد در استکهل
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing

If you want to experience the wonders of a powerful novella without compromising much on time front but at the same instant ready for a deep emotional involvement which would accelerate your heartbeat, if not at a fatal but abnormal rate then Chess Story is for you. A gripping work of fiction with unique characters and an impeccable narration that would not only make the fascination about the game of chess come alive but also convey the dynamics of human mind during the most testing times which
One gets the sense that Zweig was projecting his inner turmoil, his insanity, into the character of Dr B. This projection was much too real, too disturbing to be fiction. Dr B's mental frailty was brought on by mental torture, total isolation, at the hands of Germany's Gestapo. Zweig's was troubled by the isolation from his country (Austria), his people, his culture. Dr B found his relief in the game of Chess, Zweig found his in writing. Quite a powerful story to be packed into 84 pages. 4.5 sta ...more

I always considered chess the most boring game in the world. Two people sitting opposite each other, and between them chessboard with these funny figures that players move after few minutes cogitation. It seemed as exciting as snail racing.

Apparently I was wrong. Chess Story centres around two extraordinary men, being opposites in every term, personality, background, approaching to life. A chance meeting on an ocean liner gives them possibility to chess duel. It’s a great psychological study,
بثينة العيسى
زلزال في الرأس.
Araz Goran
عبقرية زفايغ وغموض النفس البشرية ..

دائماً ما كنت أتساءل عما يمكن أن يفعله الإنسان مع الفراغ القاتل ، مع الفراغ المطلق ، العدم، اللاشيء ، الهدوء اللانهائي ..
لا يمكن أن يتخيل المرء نفسه في تلك الحالة ولا يمكن تخيل ذلك على العقل البشري، لأننا في حالة وجود دائم في وجود اشياء حولنا ، هناك اشياء تتغير واناس يتحدثون وظلال واشجار وسماء ، نحن الغارقون في الوجود وعدم الفراغ ليس بوسعنا ان نتخيل ذلك الجحيم ..
أجل هو جحيم أبدي، جحيم لا يطاق ، يستنزف كل الملكة العقلية للإنسان، يهوي بك في حالة من الشك في وجود ذ
Steven Godin
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My my, how times do change, they don't make um like this anymore. As for time, what a way to spend an hour. Exceptional!

Stefan Zweig’s final achievement, and what an achievement, completed in Brazilian exile and sent off to his American publisher only days before his suicide in 1942. It is the only story in which Zweig looks at Nazism, and he does so with characteristic emphasis on the psychological. Travelers by ship from New York to Buenos Aires find that on board with them is the world champi
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those containing Black and White
Recommended to Dolors by: Garima
Shelves: read-in-2014, dost
A chessboard with sixty-four squares hidden in the folds of a checkered pattern bedspread represents much more than a mere pastime in Zweig’s short novella.
The dichotomy of black and white pieces of divided consciousness locked inside a man struggling to keep sanity over mental torture.
Chess moves, chess problems, imaginary games played in frenzied compulsion, both ruin and salvation of someone who has been deprived of the warmth of humanity, become the only means of creating meaning out of th
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
¡Qué pequeña gran novela esta de Stefan Zweig!
Siempre digo que cuando se leen libros como estos (se me vienen algunos a la cabeza como “El extraño caso del Dr. Jekyll y Mr. Hyde”, “La muerte de Iván Ilich” o “La Metamorfosis”), uno los disfruta tanto que a veces aprende mucho más que lo que puede darnos una novela de mil páginas.
La historia que se nos plantea en “Novela de Ajedrez” se compone de tres partes: por un lado la inusual vida de Mirko Czentovic, ese muchacho completamente ignorante, i
Sohaib Ibn hossain
رواية جميلة و رائعة وووووو و تحمل معان كبيرة جدا في أعماقها رغم قصرها و محدودية أبطالها😍😍
Erasmia Kritikou
"Αλλά για το σκάκι, όπως και για τον έρωτα, είναι απαραίτητος ένας σύντροφος"

Τίποτα λιγότερο απο 5 αστέρια και πάλι για τον Zweig, για την μαεστρία της πένας του, για την λογοτεχνία της έκφρασής του, για το γεγονός ότι, εμένα που δεν ξέρω σκάκι και που μ' έχει κατά τ' άλλα κουράσει το -συνεχώς αναμασώμενο- θέμα του Β' Παγκοσμίου Πολέμου, με κράτησε καθηλωμένη, μην μπορώντας ν' αφήσω το βιβλίο απ τα χέρια μου προτού να το τελειώσω, και δεν πα να παίζαν γύρω μου παιδιά, να μου απύθυναν μάλλον και
Νομίζω δεν έχω διαβάσει ένα βιβλιαράκι (για την έκταση και μόνο χρησιμοποιώ αυτό το –άκι) που να εξερευνά τόσο διορατικά και αριστοτεχνικά την αλαζονεία της ανθρώπινης φύσης, τα ανθρώπινα όρια, την πνευματική μονομέρεια και την απομόνωση του ανθρώπου. Και όλα αυτά με φόντο το Β ΠΠ και τις κτηνώδεις πρακτικές των ναζί. Θα έλεγα επίσης ότι το σκάκι ήταν το ιδανικό μέσο για να μιλήσει ο Τσβάιχ για όλα αυτά που θίγει: άσπρο ο πνευματικός πλουραλισμός, μαύρο η μονομέρεια/ άσπρο η βιενέζικη, πολιτισμέ ...more
Kostas Papadatos
Αυτό το βιβλίο το λάτρεψα. Ο Τσβάιχ μέσα σε 120 σελίδες κατάφερε να δημιουργήσει ένα πραγματικό αριστούργημα. Ένα έργο το οποίο γράφτηκε κατά τη διάρκεια του Β’ Παγκοσμίου πολέμου, με θέμα, την αλαζονεία της ανθρώπινης φύσης, την μονομανία και την ψυχική φθορά, στον αγώνα του ανθρώπου για επιβίωση. Όλα αυτά με φόντο το ασπρόμαυρο σκηνικό μιας σκακιέρας.
Ανήκει στην λίστα με τα αγαπημένα μου πλέον.

Υ.Γ. Δε μπορώ θα το πω. Το ξύλινο ανθρωπάκι στο εξώφυλλο, πιάνει αυτό που νομίζω;
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Stefan Zweig was one of the world's most famous writers during the 1920s and 1930s, especially in the U.S., South America, and Europe. He produced novels, plays, biographies, and journalist pieces. Among his most famous works are Beware of Pity, Letter from an Unknown Woman and Mary, Queen of Scotland and the Isles. He and his second wife committed suicide in 1942.

Zweig studied in Austria, France,
“Besides, isn't it confoundedly easy to think you're a great man if you aren't burdened with the slightest idea that Rembrandt, Beethoven, Dante or Napoleon ever lived?” 121 likes
“In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ...
It is as paradoxical, as attempting to jump over his own shadow.”
More quotes…
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