By Gilbert Cruz
September 07, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

King's Gambit

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The first chapter of King’s Gambit, Paul Hoffman’s chess-obsessed book, includes the phrase ”an early light-squared bishop sortie by White.” If those words send you running for the relative simplicity of a Parcheesi board, fear not. Hoffman, the former editor-in-chief of Discover, weaves a layman-friendly work about family (specifically his father, a chess-playing pathological liar) and the neurotic personalities who are consumed by bishops, rooks, and Sicilian openings. Whether pondering why top female players are so scarce or detailing his tense journey to a Libyan tournament (where he is suspected of being a CIA agent), Hoffman traps readers from his opening moves. A-

King's Gambit

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  • Book
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  • Hyperion
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