(From the publisher):
In Vienna, in the winter of 1910, the world of chess is aghast and the city abuzz. The unthinkable has happened: in the fifth round of the World Championship, the renowned defending champion, Emanuel Lasker, has made an elementary error and lost a match. The little-known Austrian challenger, Carl Haffner, stands in the limelight, the title within his grasp. Haffner is a fragile man, brought up in extreme poverty, whose only escape is his exceptional gift for chess. He has an obsessive fear of defeat, and his tactics are based on the sheer artistry of defense. But this confrontation with Lasker is not merely a clash between rook and knight; it is a collision between two men with vastly differing attitudes to life: the wealthy, worldly, self-confident Lasker on the one hand; the lonely, idealistic, penniless Haffner on the other.
Carl Haffner is modeled on the Austrian grand master Karl Schlechter, and Thomas Glavinic brings to life both the events surrounding the championship and the atmosphere of the cafes and chess clubs of middle Europe in the years before World War I.
Original title: Carl Haffners Liebe zum Unentschieden
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 20th Century
Fiction→ Historical→ European→ Germany, Austria, Switzerland