How Life Imitates Chess
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How Life Imitates Chess

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  596 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Garry Kasparov was the highest-rated chess player in the world for over twenty years and is widely considered the greatest player that ever lived. In "How Life Imitates Chess" Kasparov distills the lessons he learned over a lifetime as a Grandmaster to offer a primer on successful decision-making: how to evaluate opportunities, anticipate the future, devise winning strateg...more
ebook, 240 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published March 23rd 2006)
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Manny
Garry Kasparov, you will have noticed by now, is one of my heroes... but, all the same, I must reluctantly admit that this is a terrible book, and downright depressing to read. Kasparov clearly started the project with high hopes. He wants to show you how the skills you pick up from top-level chess can translate into understanding of life in general, and his opening case study, organised around his first World Championship match against Karpov, is inspiring.

Kasparov went into the match underest...more
Olegas
Great book!
I would call it the modern version of The Art of War.
Would recommended it to anyone who is interested in tactics/strategy, decision making and analysis, seeking balance of effort/result as well as looking for an example of a disciplined and serious approach towards one's self-development.
Carlos Murguia
Si la intención del libro fue ser un self help: fracaso. Además sumamente pedante hablando de sí mismo y sus victorias.
Sin embargo, debo decir que tenemos en este ejemplar una prosa agradable, con ritmo ágil; un libro erudito, con conocimiento histórico puntual (quizá cargado hacia los conflictos bélicos); y con intersantes acercamientos a las ciencias cognoscitivas.
Está salpicado profusamente con citas bien escogidas y perfectamente colocadas:
"The man who knows how will always have a job. The m...more
Andreas Kaufmann
Definetly interesting read if you play chess.

Here is my take on this topic (analogy of chess game vs life):
* Openning (Childhood/school/education) - quick developement is essential. You need to learn a lot if you want to get a good position in the middlegame.
* Middlegame (Work) - Carefully evaluate the position (work place where you get after university). Find weak points in enemy position (available opportinities), strong points in your position (your talents and knowledge). Create a plan acco...more
Marko Jezernik
... Politiki predstavljajo interese volilcev le v primeru, če so sposobni reagirati na kritiko in izpolnijo svoje poslanstvo...

Knjiga je zanimiva za vsakega, ki ga zanima Gari Kasparov, šah in njegova zgodovina in Garijev asociativni pogled na dogajanja v življenju, ekonomiji in politiki.
John
This book offers interesting insight into the mind of a grandmaster and relates the lessons of chess and life. It offers practical advice on how to think strategically and the dynamic relationship between calculation and intuition.
Jkhickel
If you want to read some great chess stories disguised as a how-to guide for career management, this is the book for you. If you are looking to unlock the secrets to a successful business career, look elsewhere.
John Doez
Después de su segunda lectura, me reafirmo en las 4 estrellas.

Desde el punto de vista ajedrecístico, siempre me he situado más cercano a Karpov, el eterno rival de Kasparov. Leontxo García solía decir que esta rivalidad se encuentra entre las mayores de la historia del deporte, en la que durante 25 años los dos más grandes de la élite se han estado enfrentando por el título. Por eso, para mí, Kasparov siempre ha sido "el ogro" a vencer. Sin embargo reconozco que ha sido el jugador más grande de...more
Oleg Kagan
Here, Garry Kasparov writes a self-help book thinly disguised as a autobiography. The self-help aspects are crystal clear and not especially noteworthy. The autobiographical details are sparse, mostly focusing on Kasparaov's professional life as a chess champion. Being a fan of chess, I found the latter sections of the book - where Kasparov describes famous chess matches of himself and others - the most interesting.

Had I listened to my inner-voice while reading the flap of How Life Imitates Che...more
Kevin de Ataíde
Here's a self-help book, sitting on the philosophy shelf in the city library, with the name of a chess grandmaster on it. I picked it up because of Kasparov and the autobiographical format. Kasparov is notable for the long period over which he maintained his title, inspite of the raising of the stakes in the game especially following the development of deep computer analysis available cheaply for PCs and the legion of young players that have grown up with such machine analysis. The author delibe...more
Daniel P
An excellent book! He excellently explains many of the lessons he was able to draw throughout his life from his experiences to how it made him grow as an individual and a champion. It is great to see such words of wisdom so simply passed on in a short book for all who would venture to read it. However, some reserves must be passed onto the would-be reader. Without a doubt, you are getting more value from this book than the money you will spend and the time used to read it. However, it is sometim...more
Frank
Questo libro di Karparov e' un misto di tante cose. E' un po' biografia perche' l'autore racconta la sua vita dall'infanzia fino ai giorni nostri. E' un po' un saggio sugli scacchi perche' parlando delle vicende, dei tornei e delle tante sfide con Karpov e gli altri Grandi Maestri, racconta la storia dei piu' grandi giocatori degli ultimi due secoli. E' anche un libro politico perche' parlando degli ultimi 3-4 anni racconta del suo impegno nell'organizzazione di un'opposizione importante nei con...more
Harry Rutherford
How Life Imitates Chess uses examples from Kasparov’s chess career as well as business and history to illustrate points about, for example, the value of preparation, and analysing your own weaknesses.

As long as he’s talking about chess, I found it really interesting. The psychology of chess, the different approaches different players take, the preparation that goes into a big match at the top level; when he’s talking about chess, he’s engaging and insightful. The self-help aspect I found less co...more
Franco Arda
The wisdom of the greatest chess player of our time in one book. Many readers will greatly profit from Kasparov's in depth knowledge in a highly competitive field, in particular on PEAK PERFROMANCE, DECISION MAKING, STRATEGY & TACTICS. The specific chess stories are short, mostly at the end of each chapter and therefore can easily be skipped by readers not interested in chess.

Does life imitate chess? Yes and no. Chess helps the training of logic and concentration. Thus, any game that helps u...more
Robert Tiess
Here are some thoughts I had after closing this book:

Much can be learned from playing chess.

It's a game that makes you think, not just of the current situation but of future moves, possible patterns, taking chances or strengthening your defenses, anticipations and surprises.

Once you consider what goes into a well played game of chess, you realize how such decisions can map rather well to the aspect of life involving logic and making choices.

To that extent, this a very well written book by a pers...more
Guillermo
Garry Kasparov is not only considered the Michael Jordan of Chess, he also does not have any cold feet in self proclaiming him so. However, in the book he tells us more than one of the mistakes he´s made and how his work in chess helped him prepare for being one of the heads of the political reform for the post soviet democratic Russia.

Not only it was one of my favorite books of lately (probably since Bill Simmons Book of Basketball), and not only because I am a chess player myself, but the book...more
Marjan
I've been reading this for two years. Slowly, chapter by chapter, always taking some time off to think and ponder. I've read some chapters two or even three times over, and I am sure I will do it again.

Why? Well, Garry is my childhood hero and an ever reoccurring idol, so there, I am a little biased, but more importantly he is a man who was one of the strongest players on Earth well before the age of 18 and the youngest World champion ever at only 22. He held his crown for a really long time and...more
Steven
Garry Kasparov and I share a birthday. And while it's not rational, it made me want to like this book more than I did.

How Life Imitates Chess is written for a business audience and it shows in its format of mildly interesting anecdotes followed by an extrapolation to a principle that can supposedly be applied to your business affairs, whatever they may be.

And that's where the problem lies. Kasparov strains to make the case that his life of playing a game has transfer to other arenas in life. T...more
Armand
Sort of a Mini Autobiography with a mixture of wise tips on how a well lived life can be played well like a chess game based partly on Kasparov's experience in the chess world. I was hesitant at first to read this book as I was neither a chess player nor a believer on a chess expert giving sound advice in the business world. Just like a chess game, it took a lot of effort to go through the opening sections and almost got bored with excerpts of historical chess games played but it soon got intere...more
Simmoril
Another in the long list of things I'm a big fan of but am horrible at, my love for it goes back to my high school days. Even back then, I was such a big fan of Garry Kasparov that I read his autobiography, "Unlimited Challenge", and it proved to be a big source of inspiration for me. Today, although chess has all but fallen by the wayside for me and Kasparov has been retired for some time now, his book still struck a deep chord with me, showing that the qualities which made him great largely tr...more
Erez Davidi
Let me start by saying that even though the title suggests that this book is about how to apply chess skills in business, not a lot can be obtained from it - business-wise. Kasparov does provide some examples of how to apply chess skills in the business world, but he doesn't analyze these examples in depth, and frankly, the connection between chess and business is pretty remote.

As a matter of fact, this book is more about decision-making and what skills are needed in general in order to succeed....more
David
A better-than-average celebrity business book, though in spots it falls subject to the anecditis typical of the genre: long series of repetitive illustrations of the same point. However, Kasparov is an interesting enough character that you can forgive some of these episodes, and there are a few genuine points to be gleaned here. The MTQ triangle (material, time and quality) is not a new concept to business managers or project leaders, but the chess illustrations (if you appreciate chess) are qui...more
Janne Järvinen
Not to diminish Kasparov's work in politics, it still strikes me as a novelty to use chess terminology to discuss other (and all) aspects of life. Sure, it can be done, and it can be quite clever at times. I just don't think it gives any additional depth or value to the lessons. Kasparov could have made all his points without any chess metaphors, if he had wanted to.

I like what the man is saying, though, even though the additional layer of cleverness felt purposeless. Good general life lessons h...more
Dayana
Garry Kasparov es considerado el mejor jugador de la historia, y no tiene ningún prurito en autodefinirse así. Sin embargo en el libro, nos cuenta más de uno de los errores que cometió y cómo su trabajo a lo largo de tantos años de ajedrez le sirvió para prepararse para encabezar la reforma política de la Rusia democrática post soviética.

Le recomiendo el libro a todos los jugadores de ajedrez, desde jugadores profesionales a casuales. Una joya de libro. Sumamente entretenido y además bien escrit...more
pierpaolo
Da 5 stelle quando si parla del mondo degli scacchi, 3 stelle per le divagazioni sul mondo reale. I consigli comportamentali e strategici sul mondo del lavoro in generale sono abbastanza noiosi e banali, � facile parlare nella condizione in cui � lo scrittore! Rimane comunque un libro molto godibile per gli appassionati di scacchi.
Rob
Part motivational pep talk, part memoir, and part chess instruction, How Life Imitates Chess shares insights accumulated through a lifetime on professional chess's world stage by the most accomplished player the game has ever known. Self-awareness is the main message, and Kasparov has a gift for making the steps to achieving it plain, if not easy. His points are well-illustrated by anecdotes from his chess and political careers as well as historic examples from the worlds of business, politics,...more
Julian
If your favorite chess player is Garry Kasparov and you love chess then you might find this book interesting. This book is definitely not for anyone that is trying to get into politics or is trying to become a professional chess player. All that you happen to learn in this book is Kasparov's match in 1984 and how important it was in the chess world.
Everything else that you learn is from quotes in the book, I personally think this was an okay book and not something I would recommend as a must rea...more
Eduardo Bedecarratz
It's great to enter in the mind of a genius like Kasparov and learn from his thoughts and knowledge of life and chess.
Jeppe Larsen
Kasparov uses examples and anecdotes from his vast experience with chess to make parallels to decisions in business strategy. Sometimes it goes okay, but other times it feels forced. The book ends up being somewhat fragmented, having long interesting passages about chess strategy and Kasparovs personal stories from his career - and then suddenly switching to ".. and this is almost the same as when a company wants to.." and so on. What he has to say about good business strategy is fine common sen...more
Taras
A great book from one of the best chess players of all time.
Before this book I thought of Kasparov solely as a chess grandmaster. Of course, I would assume he must be a smart guy, but not more than that.

The demonstrates Kasparov's knowledge in business, politics and history. The comparison of chess and life work out pretty well and puts a good picture in the reader's head.

Overall, a great book for anyone, but in particular for the ones who just start their career path in in business, management...more
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Russian (formerly Soviet) chess grandmaster, former World Chess Champion, writer, and political activist, whom many consider the greatest chess player of all time.
More about Garry Kasparov...
Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors,  Part 1 Garry Kasparov on Fischer: My Great Predecessors, Part 4 Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors,  Part 2 Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 3 Garry Kasparov on My Great Predecessors, Part 5

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