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The King

Chess Pieces
by J.H. Donner

The King
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Our Price: $ 29.95 (Paying in US$ only for customers in the US and Canada)

Publisher: New In Chess, 2006
Edition: Paperback large
ISBN: 90-5691-171-6
Pages: 392
Second Edition: 2008
Language: English

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J.H.Donner (1927-1988) was a Dutch Grandmaster and one of the greatest writers about chess of all time. He was a chess reporter and a chess columnist, as well as an annotator of the game. Above all he was a witty and unpredictable commentator of everything and everybody, both inside and outside the chess world.

THE KING spans a writing career of more than thirty years during which Donner slowly developed from chess player-writer into writer-chess player.

Donner's favourite themes are: Bobby Fischer, the blunder, chess as a game of luck, why women can't play chess, madness, and poor Lodewijk Prins, his rival for the Dutch National Championship for many years, who, according to Donner, "couldn't tell a bishop from a knight."

'THE KING' is a book full of insults and ironies, but Donner wouldn't be Donner without a considerable amount of self-mockery.

"After I resigned the last game with perfect self-control
and solemnly shook hands with my opponent in the best
of Anglo-Saxon traditions, I rushed home where I threw
myself onto my bed, howling and screaming, and pulled
the blankets over my face."

Shortlisted English Chess Federation 2006 Book of the Year

The first unabridged English edition of this classic

Lubosh Kavalek, The Washington Post:
"[An] acclaimed masterpiece. The late Dutch Grandmaster was a brilliant, amusing, provoking and self-mocking author, a master of vertical hyperboles and shortcuts."

Taylor Kingston, ChessCafe:
"His reportorial style reminds one of the 'gonzo journalism' of Hunter S.Thompson fame, and his polemics are reminiscent of such great scourges of hypocrisy as H.L.Mencken (...) If you do not buy this book, and you later realize just how good it really is, and what a treasure you have missed, you will feel depressed, and deservedly so."

Raymond Keene, chess columnist of The Times (London):
"Absolutely wonderful."

Harry Mulisch, author of 'The Discovery of Heaven':
"This book is about chess only in appearance, and I hope that no one will allow himself to be scared off by the diagrams and the annotations. It is in fact a magnificent self-portrait of Hein Donner, the player, the equally fearless and hilarious provocateur, who, when the chips are down, will always be found on the right side."

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