About My Latest Book: King’s Gambit


Buy This Book: Amazon.com | BarnesandNoble.com

“Hoffman’s masterful, exhaustive tale of chess, its soaring triumphs and crushing discontents is filled with enough international intrigue and warped, shady characters to pass for the latest James Bond sequel.” —starred review, Publishers Weekly

Of my 11 books, King’s Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game is by far my most personal work.  It is part memoir (my retreat as a troubled child into the seemingly tidy black-and-white world of chess) and part an intimate look at the cutthroat world of championship chess.  My Website has an excerpt and reviews of King’s Gambit as well as a Q&A with me about the book.


7 Responses to “About My Latest Book: King’s Gambit”

  1. Michael Goeller Says:

    Great site — and great book! I am reading “King’s Gambit” and can’t put it down. I’ll have to post at least a brief review, even though I’m swamped with work.

  2. George Eraclides Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I enjoyed your book very much (also the previous one on Paul Erdoes). I bought an extra copy for a chess friend as well. It brought back many memories about chess, and many of the experiences you relate are common to most chess players – even the plastic/woodpushing kind, like me.

    I have tried to recount some of my experiences with chess and also written about chess (because I like to; why not?) in a blog I have entitled most appropriately, “Pawn’s Progress”.

    The progress is slow, but the fun is still there. Alas I am flagging with keeping up the posts to my own blog, due to work commitments. At least it is a good place to store some of my chess writing, at Google’s expense.

    A shame about ‘Bobby’ Fischer on a number of levels (funny how we always called him ‘Bobby’; a name from some USA idyll of youth, even though Fischer was no ‘Leave it to Beaver’ TV character). I imagine many people may feel freer to write about Fischer now. He is certainly deserving of a substantial work (not just the chess, which Kasparov covered in his impeccable ‘me now’ style).

    I wonder whether you have considered such a book?


  3. paulhoffman Says:

    Frank Brady’s classic book on Fischer, Profile of a Prodigy, is excellent. Maybe Brady will revise it to include Fischer’s post-championship years.

  4. Chris Lemoi Says:

    Mr Paul,
    My father and I loved your book.
    I learned to play chess @ 7 y/o from my Dad an amateur club member. He had tons of chess books which I never even cared to look at. I did find that the game a, its history and its legendary Masters fascinating .
    However I realized at a young age that I didn’t desire, temperament and stamina to put the time in and hole up in theory.
    My father and I played games often and I never won, though he provided ample opportunities to seize had I been gifted.
    Alas We both knew we both weren’t chess prodigies.

    I love the aspects of chess personalities and anecdotes in your book.
    Such a mix of vanity, self absorption, fanatic discipline and humiliation and honor.

    Bravo Sir!

    One last Question:

    Why does your younger brother appear in only one sentence?

    I apologize if this intentional omission is a subject that personal or sore and you wish to keep it private.
    I wish you the best in future endeavors,

  5. Interested in chess, food, science or words? | Science Cheerleader Says:

    […] at Discover, then as the President of Encyclopedia Britannica and more recently as the author of The King’s Gambit: A Son, a Father, and the World’s Most Dangerous […]

  6. Timothy Chow Says:

    What a wonderful and delightful book! I’m recommending it to all my friends.

    I was wondering…would you be willing to make available the game scores of all the games that you discuss in the book—or at the very least, the games in which you were one of the players? I understand why you may not have wanted to clutter the book with game scores, but chess players would love to be able to study the actual games alongside your riveting descriptions of them.

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