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The Rookie


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A doomed-to-fail attempt to become a grandmaster offers a wry take on both chess and midlife identity

About the Author

Stephen Moss was born in Newport, South Wales, and studied modern history at Balliol College, Oxford. In a long journalistic career - too long, his critics would say - he has written mainly for the Guardian. He is one of a select band to have met Bobby Fischer, Garry Kasparov and Magnus Carlsen, three of the game's greatest world champions. He has even faced Carlsen and Kasparov across the board, losing insipidly on both occasions. Whether any of this constitutes a qualification for writing this book is highly questionable.


The Rookie is actually a life lesson much more relevant than all of those self-help books * The Daily Mail *
Stephen Moss's highly readable book, The Rookie, is a brilliant account of the emotional roller coaster of an average club player trying to become seriously strong ... Many will empathise with Stephen's tribulations and can learn something about themselves. Recommended. -- Leonard Barden * The Guardian *
There is wit and humour in abundance in the book * Surbiton Chess Club *
Deserves to do for chess what Fever Pitch did for football -- Charles Cumming
An engaging memoir [and] a... spiritual journey * Daily Mail *

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