About Paul Hoffman

Paul Hoffman, AuthorI’ve written three works of literary nonfiction:  The Man Who Loved Only Numbers   (1998), Wings of Madness (2003), and now King’s Gambit: A Father, a Son, and the World’s Most Dangerous Game. My Web site thepHtest.com is a good way to get acquainted with my writing and what I’m thinking about. 

I’ve worked as a magazine editor, a science journalist, a publishing executive, a television personality, a puzzle composer, and a “brain-storming” consultant to Internet and media companies.  My bio gives more details.


15 Responses to “About Paul Hoffman”

  1. Alberto Alvarez Says:

    Hello Paul, Googling i found your site, a friend of me talk about Kings Gambits book, Im from Argentina, and we have a website called http://www.solo-ajedrez.com.ar, this is on spanish but u r invited to visit us.
    I want to ask if u want tosend a book to gift on my website, i like to contact writers of around the world to know other books, and keep on contact, well i dont want to bother you. If u want to talk of chess with me u can do it, im a chessplayer 2100 fide. =) see you

  2. Jay Cousins Says:

    Paul, Unbelievable book, Just got it and cant put it down! I am mid 50’s just got the book today and what a treat. Love to talk to you about Angioendema too……LOL I have the same condition and couldnt believe the reference on page 24…..I think I have found the cause….Cant wait to continue reading….If your ever in LA , CA look me up in Marina Del Rey and I take you to lunch…..Take care Paul . Check out my website. Jay

  3. Jay Cousins Says:

    ps Paul…I am friends with Emory tate . Who you probably know…interesting ..

  4. Daniel J. Andrews Says:

    Hi Paul

    I started browsing through your book while at a local bookstore, and ended up sitting down at a table with a hot drink and reading good chunks of it for the next 90 minutes. It is really good, and I couldn’t put it down. I’ll have to buy it…or more accurately put it on my wish list so someone can buy it for me…they’re always complaining they don’t know what to buy me. 🙂

    A while ago I also read and enjoyed The Man Who Loved Only Numbers, but I didn’t clue in you were the author of that till I read more about King’s Gambit. I’ll have to look up Wings of Madness now.

    Best wishes, Paul, thank you for the enjoyable hours I’ve spent reading your books. Looking forward to continuing with your King’s Gambit book.


  5. Greg Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I enjoyed the King’s Gambit very much. I’m curious about your chess. Are you still actively playing? The USCF site seems to show you stopping in 2003. As a fellow adult player, I’m curious why you stopped (if that is the case).

  6. paulhoffman Says:

    The USCF shows that the last rated tournament I played in was in November 2004. I needed to take a break to write KIng’s Gambit.

    This year I played fourth board in the Bankers Chess League in New York City for the winning Belzberg team

  7. Doug Says:

    Hey, Paul. I am reading King’s Gambit. GREAT book!! I do disagree that Kasparov is the greatest player ever. I still believe if Fischer would have kept on playing tournament chess his rating would have eventually exceeded 3000.

    Keep up the good work and I am glad I found your blog.

  8. zvooki Says:

    I enjoyed KG very much! Thanks Paul.

    My favourite line these days is (from Larry David’s “Curb your Enthusiasm”): “I’m not an inventor…but I am an improver.”

    I think 2 things you could have added in KG are:

    1.The Annonymous quote in the “Female Counterplay” chapter: “If you win – you’re not a gentelman, and if you lose – you’re not a man!”
    2. Nigel Short’s win over Kasparov with the King’s Gambit: Accepted. Bishop’s Gambit Bryan Countergambit

    Maybee in the next edition? titled:King’s Countergambit? or King’s Gambit Accepted/Declined?

    oh here’s another famous quote: “The best way to refute a gambit – is to accept it!”

  9. ann malaspina Says:

    Hi! I’m buying your book for my husband who was in his high school chess club. I look forward to reading it, too. I guess it’s been a long path from Long Lots (Burr Farms?) but not an unexpected one for the kid who always knew the answers before anyone else but never made the rest of us feel bad about it.. Congratulations!

  10. Erik Says:


    You have a unique place in the chess world! I would like to put an idea in front you of and get your quick thought. If you’re open to a quick email exchange, send me a quick email -> chessdev[@}gmail.com and I’ll send you a brief idea intro.



  11. John B. Beck Says:

    Hello Mr. Hoffman,

    I have a question about your book: “Wings of Madness: Alberto Santo-Dumont and the Invention of Flight”. On page 232 you mention that in 1982 the Smithsonian with the help of NASA tried to determine if the Aerodrome could have flown without the improvement that Curtiss made to it. You mention quotes made by Howard Wolko a Smithsonian Engineer. I was wondering if you could provide me with the text or website or source of this information? I am writing an article about who was the first to fly and would greatly appreciate it.


    John B. Beck

  12. Jared Says:

    Hi Paul,

    Are you planning on covering the 2009 US Chess Championship? This year it’s being held in St. Louis.



  13. Bill Says:

    I just read “Unbelievable” in Discover, Oct 2010, and have to admit I fell for the hot-headed, ice-boring mole April Fool’s story in 1995. Although the physics didn’t sound quite right (how many calories are needed?) that didn’t stop me from repeating it to others.

    You mentioned 4 of the 5 Discover Magazine “fools” stories. Was the final one perchance a health-related story about Uncle Otto (or Uncle Ernie?) that sat in the corner motionless for years? The author was able to diagnose hypothermia, got the families permission to medically “warm him up”, and Uncle Otto resumed a normal life — with a 10 year gap in his memory.

    Like the mole story, it sounded too strange to be true.

  14. Katy Says:

    Dear Mr. Hoffman,
    I would love it if you would provide a link or copy of the article published in the Smithsonian “A Chess Player Realizes the Game Controls His Life.” from July 1987. I read it the summer of my freshman year of High School and I still reference this article in conversations. I have looked everywhere and can not get a copy.

    Thank you for your time and consideration, and happy New Year,


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