Chess Stories

Chess Stories


As a fan of many kinds of literature, I of course enjoy stories that have to do with chess.  Such stories abound and for those who might be intersted I thought I would create this blog to point you to some enjoyable reading.  Bill Wall has already created a very nice list which can be accessed here: 

I will begin with one of my favorite anthologies: Pawn to Infinity, edit by Fred Saberhagen.  This book is no longer in print but is readily available through or ABE books online.  

This anthology is primarily a collection of short stories that relate to chess.  One of these stories is "Midnight by the Morphy Watch" by Fritz Leiber.  It is about a man that comes across two pieces of incredible chess memorabilia in a pawn shop.  For those unfamiliar with these items check out Batgirls blog: Morphy's Mementos - 

You soon find that there are more to these objects that what it would appear. I don't want to give to much away, but several world champions are mentioned and this story was written shortly after Bobby Fischer became the world chess champion and he plays a minor role in the story though isn't ever mentioned by name. 

Another story of note is Poul Anderson's "The Immortal Game" wherein the famous game of the same title played Anderssen and Kieseritsky is played out in and interesting venue.  The story is told from the perspective of the pieces and so has some interesting analysis of this famous historical game. 

Another story that essentially replays a famous game is: "The Unicorn Variations" by Roger Zelazny.  Zelazny wrote this short story to include in anthologies about Unicorns, chess, and bars.  After including it in all three anthologies, plus one of his own where it is the title story he was able to pay for the cruise that he was taking when he wrote it.  It is based on a Pillsbury/Halprin game upon which he comments in the afterword. 

Other titles included in this anthology are:  "Moxon's Master" by Ambrose Bierce the humorous "Von Gooms Gambit" by Victor Contostki, the thought provoking "Unsound Variations" by George Martin. "A Game of Vlet" by by Joanna Russ, the the Title story by the editor of this anthology, as well a few others.

At the conclusion of this book is a brief essay on the chess in Lewis Carroll's famous "Through the Looking Glass."

For those interested in literature and chess, especially science fiction and chess I heartly recommend this little volume.