'... a human being, an intellectual human being who constantly bends the entire force of his mind on the ridiculous task of forcing a wooden king into the corner of a wooden board, and does it without going mad!'
A group of passengers on a cruise ship challenge the world chess champion to a match. At first, they crumble, until they are helped by whispered advice from a stranger in the crowd - a man who will risk everything to win. Stefan Zweig's acclaimed novella Chess is a disturbing, intensely dramatic depiction of obsession and the price of genius.
Stefan Zweig was born in 1881 in Vienna to a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. Recognition as a writer came early for Zweig; by the age of forty, he had already won literary fame. In 1934, with Nazism entrenched, Zweig left Austria for England, and became a British citizen in 1940. In 1941 he and his second wife went to Brazil, where they committed suicide. Zweig's best-known works of fiction are Beware of Pity (1939) and The Royal Game (1944), but his most outstanding accomplishments were his many biographies, which were based on psychological interpretation.