Book review: The Inner Game

Andrew Paulson himself (great entrepreneur and chess impresario) recommended this book by Dominic Lawson about the esoteric yet cool: chess world championship match of 1993 between the “animal” Kasparov and Nigel Short, the greatest recent Brit but ultimately a second list name.

The book is great in exploring just this essential topic: what it means when stars say “the game is mental”. It is. Even chess which is purely intellectual is mental.

Mental as in confidence, spirit, drive, courage, and so forth.

It is this way at the lower levels too. When people get fired from companies it is MOST of the time for these latter mental failings.

You usually can’t get hired without the intellectual.

Also the book has great chess gossip. About “Lassie” the greatest woman chess master, Karpov the snake, Bobby Fischer’s precise greatness in 1962 in Iceland against the USSR, presage the greatness of Anand, the role of computers in modern chess from the early suitcase computing era. And more.

Made me want to play again. I set the airplane seatback opponent to 500 rating and eked out a win.