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Checkmate in Prague The Memoirs of a Grandmaster

Ludek Pachman

Published by Ishi Press
ISBN 10: 4871874931 / ISBN 13: 9784871874939
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Title: Checkmate in Prague The Memoirs of a ...

Publisher: Ishi Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

Book Type: Paperback

Description:

Paperback. 216 pages. Dimensions: 8.5in. x 5.5in. x 0.7in.By 1969, chess grandmaster Pachman seemed to have it made. Although not personally satisfied. with the lack of freedom in his Soviet-dominated native land, he was a hero in his country: Champion of Czechoslovakia seven times and a shining star of international chess competition. Suddenly his world collapsed. He was arrested and thrown into prison. He was charged with subversion, sedition, defaming a member of the government, and holding illegal meetings. After countless Kafkaesque interrogations, investigations and examinations where various charges against him were made and withdrawn, after detentions, releases, re-arrests, and a total of two years in assorted jail cells, Pachman was finally brought to trial three years after his initial arrest. He was sentenced to two years - which he had already served, and released. In the meantime, he had been banned from chess by the Czech Chess Federation, expelled by that organization and prohibited from representing his country in international tournaments, the first chess player ever to be expelled on political grounds. His appeals to FIDE, the international chess body, were of no avail and to this date he is banned from the game because that international body is afraid of a Soviet boycott if they were to readmit Pachman. Not being able to earn a livelihood (his wife had been dismissed from her job) and unwilling to give up his quest for Freedom, Pachman was finally allowed to emigrate to the West after being forced to deed all his property to the state. Ludek Pachmans account of his political struggles is interspersed with numerous chess anecdotes about many of the masters he faced in tournament play, such as Alekhine, Bobby Fischer, Botvinnik, and Tal; he also tells about his meetings with Castro, about his activities during the Prague Spring, and about his early chess career under Nazi occupation. Checkmate in Prague is a remarkable document of a mans determination to survive, and his unwillingness to surrender his love of liberty. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9784871874939

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Synopsis: By 1969, chess grandmaster Pachman seemed to have it made. Although not personally satisfied. with the lack of freedom in his Soviet-dominated native land, he was a hero in his country: Champion of Czechoslovakia seven times and a shining star of international chess competition. Suddenly his world collapsed. He was arrested and thrown into prison. He was charged with subversion, sedition, defaming a member of the government, and holding illegal meetings. After countless Kafkaesque interrogations, investigations and examinations where various charges against him were made and withdrawn, after detentions, releases, re-arrests, and a total of two years in assorted jail cells, Pachman was finally brought to ?trial? three years after his initial arrest. He was sentenced to two years - which he had already served, and released. In the meantime, he had been "banned" from chess by the Czech Chess Federation, expelled by that organization and prohibited from representing his country in international tournaments, the first chess player ever to be expelled on political grounds. His appeals to FIDE, the international chess body, were of no avail and to this date he is banned from the game because that international body is afraid of a Soviet boycott if they were to readmit Pachman. Not being able to earn a livelihood (his wife had been dismissed from her job) and unwilling to give up his quest for Freedom, Pachman was finally allowed to emigrate to the West after being forced to deed all his property to the state. Ludek Pachman's account of his political struggles is interspersed with numerous chess anecdotes about many of the masters he faced in tournament play, such as Alekhine, Bobby Fischer, Botvinnik, and Tal; he also tells about his meetings with Castro, about his activities during the Prague Spring, and about his early chess career under Nazi occupation. Checkmate in Prague is a remarkable document of a man's determination to survive, and his unwillingness to surrender his love of liberty.

About the Author: Ludek Pachman was born in Bela pod Bezdezem, Czechoslovakia on May 11, 1924. Czechoslovakia went to political extremes, first being occupied by the Nazis and then being liberated by the Communists. Pachman was in the middle of all of this, first being sent to a Nazi concentration camp and later being imprisoned by the Communists. Pachman's first big break came at an international tournament in Prague in 1943 with Alekhine and Keres. Pachman finished in the top half and created a sensation. Pachman led a remarkable and amazing but somewhat tragic life. Although one of the world's strongest players who won 15 international tournaments, he missed qualifying to the World Champion Candidates Tournament by a half-point twice. He got into serious political trouble by first being a staunch pro-Communist who supported the 1968 reforms of Alexander Dubcek, the head of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party. He spent months in prison without being charged. He was released in 1970 but was rearrested in January 1972. He was released again in the summer of 1972. In November 1972, he was allowed to leave the country with his cat and he settled in West Germany. Ludek Pachman died on March 6, 2003 in Passau, Germany.

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