J. H. Donner (1927 - 1988) was a Dutch Grandmaster and one of the greatest writers about chess of all time. He was a chess reporter and a chess columnist, as well as an annotator of the game. Above all he was a witty and unpredictable commentator of everything and everybody, both inside and outside the chess world. THE KING spans a writing career of more than thirty years during which Donner slowly developed from chess player-writer into writer-chess player.
Donner's favourite themes are: Bobby Fischer, the blunder, chess as a game of luck, why women can't play chess, madness, and poor Lodewijk Prins, his rival for the Dutch National Championship for many years, who, according to Donner, "couldn't tell a bishop from a knight." THE KING is a book full of insults and ironies, but Donner wouldn't be Donner without a considerable amount of self-mockery.
About this edition:
In 1997 a part of this book (about two-thirds) was published in English, in a limited de luxe hardcover edition of only 750 copies (also titled 'The King'). It was a smashing hit with the few people who managed to obtain a copy. New In Chess publishers are very proud to have finally obtained permission, from all parties involved, to publish, for the first time, the unabridged English edition of this classic.
"His reportorial style reminds one of the 'gonzo journalism' of Hunter S.Thompson fame, and his polemics are reminiscent of such great scourges of hypocrisy as H.L.Mencken."
TAYLOR KINGSTON at THE CHESS CAF…
RAYMOND KEENE, CHESS COLUMNIST of THE TIMES (London)
"This book is about chess only in appearance, and I hope that no one will allow himself to be scared off by the diagrams and the annotations. It is in fact a magnificent self-portrait of Hein Donner, the player, the equally fearless and hilarious provocateur, who, when the chips are down, will always be found on the right side."
HARRY MULISCH, AUTHOR of THE DISCOVERY OF HEAVEN
"Donner was the wittiest, most irreverent writer of his generation. The book is a triumph."
MALCOLM PEIN, CHESS COLUMNIST of THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
"Donner was witty, opinionated and often cranky, but he was always fun to read - assuming of course you weren't the object of one of his attacks."
JOHN DONALDSON in INSIDE CHESS MAGAZINE
"The most outrageous chess book money can buy."
SARAH HURST in CHESS MOVES
"Eminently readable for chess players and non-chess players alike."
TIM KRABB…, AUTHOR of THE VANISHING
"A magnificent portrait of a remarkable man, as well as one of the funniest chess books ever written."
MIKE FOX and RICHARD JAMES in CHESS MAGAZINE
"I felt I deserved a little present and bought myself 'The King'. It is every bit as good as it is said to be."
GRANDMASTER PETER SVIDLER, FOUR TIMES CHESS CHAMPION of RUSSIA
"The book has blown me away. I am raving about it to all my friends."
17 On the justice of chess
20 The limitations of great ideas
21 Petrosian's blunder
26 Fun and seriousness
28 The prophet from Muggensturm
31 Pacing up and down
33 Mein System
36 Chess is only chess
37 A talent's childhood diseases
38 Prelogical chess
40 Brazen newcomer
41 Drawing master
43 'Rather not'
46 Typically nunrowitsch
48 The passed pawn has a soul, desires and fears
50 Blindfold chess
51 Bobby and I
52 In storm and rain
54 This will not happen to me again
56 A crime against chess
58 Chess cannot be compared with anything else
60 What makes you not make a move?
62 Teleprinter chess
66 Are bystanders allowed to think?
69 Ivkov's tragedy
72 Prins's chess
76 Prins ahead
77 A long left to the face
79 Champion Prins
80 It is still a disgrace, he doesn't have a clue
81 Peereboom cannot play chess either
83 Prins refuses challenge
84 Chess animal
85 Chess is and will always be a game of chance
87 Palma de Mallorca
92 Women and chess
94 Old chess player
97 Chess and bridge
99 Draw conspiracy
100 Drawing of lots
102 Chess in Cuba
107 On fame
111 Multatuli and Lodewijk Prins
112 S weet little thing
117 Shadow champion
123 I'll win, of course
125 The Prins Variation
127 So I lost
127 Ignore him, Gentlemen!
128 Does Canada exist?
129 Johannes Donner
135 Small world
136 Poker Ideology
144 A chess player's hell
147 Seautoscopic vision
151 Women cannot play chess
152 Manic chess against depressive chess
155 Perpetual check in deep anxiety
162 The abyss between the sexes
164 The bishop jumps, the knight goes
171 The fable of the sperm
177 Donner reads from the classics
184 I urge Jan Hendrik Timman to observe strict discipline
188 Bad habits
190 Let Fischer have his way
192 Northeast polder
194 Plenary session
197 Fischer's limit
199 B obby Fischer is insane
201 Sniffing-tactile perception
213 Such feeble, such cowardly chess
215 Young patricides
218 Idle passion
222 Amateur and master
227 For the last time: Fischer
229 Exceptio chapaisiana
252 Salvation army dislodges chess players
256 A serious setback
258 The warm nest of a tribalist past
259 Wollt ihr das totale schach!?
263 Birthday present
264 A ge
268 Distracting an opponent
273 To Argentina with a guilty conscience
276 Foul play
281 Kortchnoi adjourns in winning position
283 Kortchnoi misses win in time-trouble
285 Kortchnoi goes on until stalemate
289 Never have I been so mistaken
291 Auxiliary arbiter
296 Karpov deserves World title
297 The power of sports
300 A politically sinister affair
302 Dear Viktor
304 Two books
308 Boycott I
310 Boycott II
314 Secret match
317 Swan song
319 Timman-Velimirovic I
320 Timman-Velimirovic II
321 Timman-Velimirovic III
322 Timman-Velimirovic IV
326 Timman-Velimirovic V
327 What a fiasco! What a success!
333 Chess film
337 HŁbner's aversion to stupidity
340 A hole in the board
347 Olafsson's neck
348 Computer II
350 Are chess players insane?
354 Per line
356 Euwe: a rich, full life
359 Travelling with Euwe
361 Touch of flu
370 In support of himself
372 Her hair
373 Ich muss nach Holland bellen
375 A president for Zone 12
376 State of health
377 Chess work
381 Brain haemorrhage
383 Index of names
390 Index of Games
391 Index of Compositions