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Chess Fiction Worth Reading

Richard L. Pangburn
 
The Queen's Gambit: A Novel
The Queen's Gambit: A Novel
"By the author of THE HUSTLER.  Goes against stereotype.  Chess talent can spring up anywhere, even in Kentucky."
The Dragon Variation
The Dragon Variation
"Quirky characters and a good story well told.  Chess talent can spring up anywhere, even in Iran."
Tactics of Conquest
Tactics of Conquest
"A wacky, quirky, funny SF novel.  Malzberg says he was inspired by Fischer/Spasky.  Even funnier than Ted Mark's SEX MATES OF A CHESS MISTRESS."
The Squares of the City
The Squares of the City
"Heck of a SF chess novel.  Dramatic social commentary."
Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw
Carl Haffner's Love of the Draw
"A rather slow-moving character study.  I really liked this one.  Several of my non-chess playing friends did not."
Pawn To Infinity
Pawn To Infinity
"Paul Anderson's "The Immortal Game," Fritz Leiber's "Midnight By The Morphy Watch," George R. R. Martin's "Unsound Variations," Joanna Russ's "A Game of Vlet," Saberhagen's "To Move And Win," others."
Reality Inspector
Reality Inspector
"Smart, but not as smart as David Hood's THE CHESS MEN.  Both are hard to find."
The Flanders Panel
The Flanders Panel
"Still one of my favorite chess novels despite its acknowledged faults."
The Eight
The Eight
"Raiders of the lost chess set.  I loved this novel and the good news is that she's been working on a sequel."
Tower Struck by Lightning
Tower Struck by Lightning
"A multi-level literary tour-de-force, as chess novels go.  Not for everyone.  Read the Amazon synopsis."
The 64-Square Looking Glass: Great Games of Chess in World Literature (Other)
The 64-Square Looking Glass: Great Games of Chess in World Literature (Other)
"The best anthology in the game.  A treasure chest of chess delights."
King, queen, and knight: A chess anthology in prose and verse
King, queen, and knight: A chess anthology in prose and verse
"Another wonderful anthology, kind of an elaborately annotated bibliography of other works.  .  Some of my favorite stuff was discovered in here."
The Defense
The Defense
"Obsession and madness have become stereotypical in one genre of chess novels.  If that is to your liking, you'll like this one."
The Chess Players
The Chess Players
"Out of print, but not hard to find.  This was Keyes' most spendid work of historical research-as-novel, and it is dark because the true story is dark."
Sinister Gambits: Chess Stories of Murder and Mystery
Sinister Gambits: Chess Stories of Murder and Mystery
"Chess mysteries in short stories.  Not the best, but worth reading."
Alekhine's Anguish: A Novel of the Chess World
Alekhine's Anguish: A Novel of the Chess World
"Historical fiction.  In the Nabokov school of anguish.  If you like this genre, see also THE LUHZIN DEFENSE."
King-kill
King-kill
"Historical novel that tells the tale of Poe's automan; see the real story beautifully told in Tom Standage's THE TURK."
The Luneburg Variation
The Luneburg Variation
"A short novel.  Read this one in tandem with Stefan Zweig's "The Royal Game.""
The Immortal Game
The Immortal Game
"One of my favorite chess novels, a parody of Raymond Chandler who often wrote about chess and used it as a metaphor in THE BIG SLEEP."
Los Voraces, 2019: A Chess Novel
Los Voraces, 2019: A Chess Novel
"A futuristic chess novel.  Not for me, but it might be for you."
Shadow Without a Name: A Novel
Shadow Without a Name: A Novel
"The Nazis, the Russians, history, & chess."