Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Grandmaster by David Klass

Because I'm not feeling a rant today and the fact I need to promote my blog as a reviewing site as well, I've decided to...well...put up a review. This is one of those books that nobody reads. I mean if you haven't figured it out yet, it's a chess book. But, I am I chess nerd, and while I don't study famous openings, middles, and end games, I can pummel by siblings to the dark ages. Even if you don't love chess (or don't even know what it is), you have to read this book.

Summary: Daniel Pratzer is a patzer (a term which basically means you terribly suck at chess), yet when Eric Chisolm and Brad Kinney, two of the most popular seniors at his high school, invite him to the father-son chess tournament, Daniel is shocked. Why would the valedictorian of the senior class and the most popular jock, dating the prettiest freshman Brittney, ask him to a chess tournament. Later, he figures out why, his dad is a grand master, the highest rank you can achieve in Chess (like a chess god). In this father-son tournament, you have to have a team of 6, but every round they take the five highest scores (where a win is 1 point, a draw is half a point, and a loss is nothing), so essentially, they don't need Daniel. But when they get to New York, the plan for Daniel and his fellow Mind Cripples (the team name they made up) to win the 10,000 dollar prize starts to unravel. Daniel's father Morris starts to freak out during games, threatening his opponents and sweating a lot,  to the point where he can't even eat, not to mention Brad is having his own issues with his girlfriend and his dad. The question is, what are they willing to risk to win it all?

What I like: Well, first off, it's a chess book for teens. I mean, I love chess and books, but this is the only book about chess I've seen that doesn't just tell you how to play it. It's a legitimate novel with a plot, characters, setting everything, and I love that it's such a rarity. Other than that, it's what every good book normally has, some action, a good romance line, that one dude that's a villain, it's got all of that, and in some ways it's actually educational and even has a moral- which would be don't judge a bald, old man who's secretly one of the greatest chess players of his time by it's cover (or something like that). For a chess book, Grandmaster has a surprisingly large amount of good action.

What I didn't like:  Not to be a hypocrite, but I felt like it didn't have enough action, but of course that's because it's a chess book. Chess only gets you so far with intriguing and fun exciting scenes. There aren't any guns, evil bad guys, or fights in chess (well there are fights in this book, but still...) so I guess I should be thankful for the amount David Klass puts in, but I wish he could've blended in more. Also, I'm surprised he made one of the main characters a delirious wacko who should've been dead twenty times over throughout the book. Normally I like unique characters, but this was a character trait I could've done without.

Rating on 'the scale': 9.1 out of 10

Why? Yes, this beats Spaced Out. It's one of those books where, if you have the heart and mind to really get into it, the ending touches you, which is what it did to me. It's only a low rating because I feel like the majority of you wouldn't care to spend a couple hours reading about chess, but if this blog was based around me, it'd be much higher.

Related: I don't know, again chess books are rare.


  1. This book sounds cool I think I'll read it

  2. This book sounds cool I think I'll read it

  3. *adds to list of 75+ things I'm planning on reading this Summer*

  4. Lol! I love chess! I'm pretty good at it(in my school at least. I wouldn't last a minute with a grand master). I'm gonna read it!

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