THE ROYAL GAME (Die Schachnovelle) has been written in 1937.
An austrian accountant/banker is arrested by the Gestapo who wants him to reveal the name of his clients. He's locked up in a Vienna hotel room for months with nobody to talk to between interrogations. He manages to rob a book about chess and soon fights his loneliness by playing chess mentally. This activity leads him on the border of schizophrenia.
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Two or three years later, once released, the accountant has the opportunity to play against the chess world champion on a cruiseboat. He beats the champion but at what price !
The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler