The Queen's Gambit: A Novel

By Walter Tevis

8 year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by way of all appearances unremarkable. that's until eventually she performs her first video game of chess. Her senses develop sharper, her considering clearer, and for the 1st time in her existence she feels herself absolutely up to the mark. via the age of 16, she’s competing for the U.S. Open championship. yet as she hones her talents at the specialist circuit, the stakes get better, her isolation grows extra scary, and the concept of break out turns into the entire extra tempting. attractive and fast paced, The Queen’s Gambit speeds to a end as based and enjoyable as a mate in 4.

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Inside of that they had this thick-carpeted room with the large white rest room and fluffy crimson towels and an immense plate-glass reflect overlaying one wall. there has been a colour television at the cloth cabinet and a bright-red bedspread on all the beds. Mrs. Wheatley used to be examining the room, checking the cloth wardrobe drawers, clicking the television off and on, patting away a wrinkle at the bedspread. “Well,” she stated, “I requested them for a delightful room, and that i think they gave it to me. ” She seated herself within the high-backed Victorian chair through her mattress as if she had lived within the Gibson resort all her lifestyles. The match was once at the mezzanine within the Taft Room; all Beth needed to do used to be take the elevator. Mrs. Wheatley came across them a diner down the road the place that they had bacon and eggs for breakfast, then she went again to mattress with a duplicate of the Cincinnati Enquirer and a pack of Chesterfields whereas Beth went all the way down to the event and registered. She nonetheless didn't have a ranking, yet this time one of many males on the table knew who she was once; they didn’t attempt to placed her within the newbies part. There will be video games an afternoon, and the time regulate will be 120/40, which intended you had hours to make 40 strikes. whereas she was once signing in, she might pay attention a deep voice coming via one of many double doorways that stood open to the Taft Room, the place the video games will be. She appeared that means and observed a part of the massive ballroom, with a protracted row of empty tables and some males jogging round. while she walked in, she observed an odd guy slouched on a settee with black-booted toes resting on a espresso desk. “…and the rook involves the 7th rank,” he was once asserting. “Bone within the throat, guy, that rook there. He took one examine it and paid up. ” He leaned his head opposed to the again of the couch and laughed loudly in a deep baritone. “Twenty greenbacks. ” because it was once early, there have been in simple terms part a dozen humans within the room, and not anyone used to be on the lengthy rows of tables with paper chessboards on them. everybody used to be hearing the fellow speaking. He used to be approximately twenty-five and appeared like a pirate. He wore soiled denims, a black turtleneck and a black wool cap pulled all the way down to his heavy eyebrows. He had a thick black mustache and obviously wanted a shave; the backs of his palms have been tanned and scraped-looking. “The Caro-Kann Defense,” he stated, guffawing. “A actual bummer. ” “What’s fallacious with the Caro-Kann? ” a person requested. A neat younger guy in a camel’s hair sweater. “All pawns and no wish. ” He diminished his legs to the ground and sat up. at the desk was once a dirty outdated beige-and-green chessboard with battered wood items on it. the top had fallen off the black king at it slow or different; it was once hung on with a bit of gritty adhesive tape. “I’ll exhibit you,” the guy stated, sliding the board over. Beth was once now status subsequent to him. She used to be the single lady within the room. the fellow reached all the way down to the board and with unbelievable delicacy picked up the white king pawn along with his fingertips and dropped it frivolously on king 4. Then he picked up the black queen bishop pawn and dropped it on queen’s bishop 3, positioned White’s queen pawn at the fourth rank and did a similar with Black’s.

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