This week's episode of the New In Chess Podcast features a narration of a chapter from The Essential Sosonko, a collection of chess portraits written by legendary grandmaster and chess author Genna Sosonko. Sosonko's chess writings, rather than being technical, chronicle the lives of the former and current top players with whom he has crossed paths.

In today's episode, Sosonko takes us along the path of his own personal history against the background of the geopolitical situation in Europe and Russia in the second half of the 20th century, and provides insight into why he took up the pen to write his chronicles.

Enjoy the stories in today's reading, narrated by professional voice actor Nick Murphy, from The Essential Sosonko Chapter 1: 'A Vanished Age'.

00:00 - Intro
01:10 - The similarities and differences between Saint Petersburg and Amsterdam
03:16 - Sosonko's childhood connections with the Netherlands
04:58 - The influences of the Netherlands on Tsar Peter the Great, founder of Saint Petersburg
06:09 - Sosonko leaves the Soviet Union and develops a new perspective on Russia
08:26 - Chess in the Sosonko family
11:35 - Playing chess with a broken arm
12:27 - Sosonko prepares for his future chess career in the West
16:20 - The present is uncertain, the future is uneasy, and the past remains brilliant for ever
19:13 - Ad break
19:46 - The response by the USSR when Sosonko decides to play for the Netherlands
24:23 - The cruise excursion to the Saint Petersburg Hermitage Museum: Sosonko returns to his Motherland
31:26 - Writing about the past requires the right distance
36:23 - Why Sosonko wrote the book
40:27 - Outro