the book reviews
I read the autobiography of an exceptional man, Garry Kasparov. He was born in Baku, on the Caspian Sea, of an Armenian mother and a Jewish father. Kasparov is a name that you will continue to hear for decades to come. He was twenty-two years old when he won the World Chess Championship. His autobiography, Child of Change, was written with the help of Donald Trelford, two years later. The story that is told in this autobiography is informative and inspirational. Garry talks about the qualities a champion must possess. He talks about the political intrigue that lurks in the chess world, as it does everywhere. He introduces the past Grand Masters and his contemporary rivals, particularly Anatoly Karpov. Kasparov explains that the best chess players have very different ways of playing the game. There is a Swedish player who is a master at defense and can thwart any attempt to attack . Karpov's style is to play without making any bad moves. As soon as his opponent makes the slightest error, Karpov crushes him. In contrast to this, Garry is a combatant who advances aggressively, attacking and thrusting. He is also able to adjust to the constantly changing situation. Josh Waitzkin (Searching for Bobby Fisher) plays in this style. After I read Garry's book, I began to perceive the difference between him and Fisher. It is similar to the difference between Karpov and Kasparov. Fisher is totally absorbed with chess. He has no interest in anything else. This is an unbalanced approach to life. Karpov is very similar to Fisher. Karpov's lack of physical training is a weakness which can easily be exploited. Garry does swimming, he plays soccer, and he plays tennis. He also pursues academic subjects, in addition to chess. I believe this physical superiority and a balanced lifestyle helped Garry defeat Karpov during the championship of Feb. 1985. It was the longest chess competition in history. Karpov was mentally and physically drained, and he wanted to resume the contest at a later date. Florencio Campomanes, the President of FIDE, intervened on behalf of Karpov. Kasparov protested this decision, and created the Professional Chess Association. Later, he played a series of games against Deep Blue, a chess super-computer. Garry will do anything to promote chess, and whether or not you are a student of chess, you will find much of value and interest, in Child of Change.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.