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.
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 !
This report prepared by Daniel Staebler