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Zugzwang

by Ronan Bennett - £7.99  Bloomsbuty Publishing (2008)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780747587293 | ISBN 10: 0747587299

Zugzwang: Used in chess to describe a deadly position in which a player is obliged to move, but every move only makes his position even worse.
 
St Petersburg, 1914. Dr Otto Spethmann, a famous psychoanalyst, is implicated in a murder. But he is preoccupied with Avrom Rozental, the brilliant chess master who is due to play the most important competition of his life but is on the verge of a breakdown.
 
With the city rife with speculation and alarm, Spethmann broods over his own chessboard, its pieces frozen mid-battle, and contemplates the forces - political, historical, sexual - that are holding him in their grasp.

(Price & availability last checked: August 2018)

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