Today’s episode of the New In Chess Podcast features a narration of a chapter from The Essential Sosonko, written by grandmaster Genna Sosonko. Sosonko, in addition to being a two-time Dutch Chess Champion, is a prolific author of chess books. His works are non-technical, instead chronicling his personal experiences and the lives of famous players he competed with. The Essential Sosonko is a collection of these player portraits.

Today's reading centres around Tony Miles. Miles, the first Englishman to achieve the grandmaster title, reached the pinnacle of the chess world in the 1970's and 1980's, scoring victories over several current and former world champions. He was a controversial figure; his legendary on- and off-board antics, like beating then-World Champion Karpov with the move 1...a6 or winning a tournament while lying horizontally on a massage table, angered and amused the chess world in equal measure. Sosonko personally faced the late Miles in many tournament games, and his account offers a unique combination of source material and first-hand experience of the eccentric British GM. 

00:00 Introduction
01:18 British chess in the era of chess dominance
03:05 Tony Miles bursts on the chess scene with passion and confidence
04:29 Tony Miles, the first British grandmaster
06:00 Miles, the best player in the West
10:02 His opening approach
12:26 The experience of playing Tony Miles
16:21 Tony Miles' writing 
19:31 Miles the eccentric
20:47 Tony's first brushes with chess
22:42 His clashes with Raymond Keene and the British Chess Federation, and subsequent mental health issues
26:37 Moving around the world, his personal life
28:52 His relationship with Nigel Short
31:06 His declining play
34:20 His worsening health
36:56 The end of his life
39:00 Tony Miles, once one of the best chess players in the world

Enjoy listening!