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3.90  ·  Rating details ·  760 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Freshman Daniel Pratzer gets a chance to prove himself when the chess team invites him and his father to a weekend-long parent-child tournament. Daniel, thinking that his father is a novice, can’t understand why his teammates want so badly for them to participate. Then he finds out the truth: as a teen, his father was one of the most promising young players in America, but ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  760 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Jul 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book reminded me the reasons why I fell in love with YA genre (which also coincidentally due to one of David Klass' books).
YA genre has been saturated with so many books and sometimes I felt like I read the same plots over and over again.
Grandmaster is a book that stands out among them. The story setting is unusual (How do you make chess interesting? David Klass managed it). It was thoughtfully well written. It portrays well-rounded believable characters (main or minor characters). It reall
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Starting with a confession. I was in the chess club, for one year -- in sixth grade. Okay, so I joined because I knew fully well that I would be the only girl in the room, and sixth grade is right about the time to start seeing a room full of boys as a tremendous asset. I did know how to play chess, on a very basic level, but I didn't know enough to ever win. Plus, the boys in chess club didn't turn out to be the type of boys who appealed to my sixth grade self anyways, so I ended up quitting ch ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Daniel Pratzer has just taught himself chess six months ago but decided to join his school’s chess club for want of any other extra-curricular sports activity to do. He is of small built like his father, average in all aspects of life, and seemed predestined to accomplish nothing extraordinary.

In contrast, the co-captains of the school chess team, Eric Chisolm and Brad Kinney, seem to have everything going for them. They are both tall, athletic, good-looking and belong to rich families. They cal
Tim Pollock
Nov 18, 2014 rated it liked it
More like 3.5 stars.

Won't blow your mind, but it's a good story.

Go, chess!
When freshman Daniel Pratzer is unexpectedly included in the school chess team's roster for an upcoming tournament in New York, he quickly learns the team's motivation for including him. As he watches his accountant father, once a promising young grandmaster, rise to the occasion, he also sees a side of his father that is frightening. The author does an excellent job of capturing the emotions of chess players during intense competition as well as describing the obsession with which many of them ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
OK, I had my doubts…a novel about chess players? But I gave it a whirl – HOLY SMOKES! – this reads like a thriller – I couldn’t put it down (OK, I went to the bathroom and I also got a snack)) – this is the most absorbing, page turner that I have read since Moses was a pup.

This has it all – a kid bullied at school who learns about integrity, the love of a once distant dad, and self-confidence under excruciating pressure.

Grab this page turner – you’ll want to finish it before you do anything else
Raquel Evans
This is a story about that moment in growing up when you realize that your parents are real people who have real life stories from before you were around, and also about the choices you make that affect your life's direction. It was a solid story that tugged on my emotions a few times, and I liked the setting of the chess tournament, but it didn't suck me in enough to be a new favorite.

As far as content, nothing bad happens 'on screen' but there are themes of suicide/mental health, bullying to
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Great YA book about an unusual subject. It reminded me of Louis Sachar 'The Cardturner' but that was about Bridge and this is about Chess. I don't know anything about either but love a book that draws me into a world that I know nothing about especially a sport.

Daniel is the kind of guy I root for--not mainstream but not a bad boy either. I loved the contrasts between three different types of fathers and the influence they have on the sons they are each raising. The book makes Daniel'
Sep 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: k
I debated about giving this 2.5 stars or 3. The book itself is kind of meh, but it did surprise me by avoiding a lot of cliches and it does have a good message ("face your fears" and "mental health is important"). A lot of characters wind up subverting your expectations and that was very refreshing after many of them seemed to be stereotypes. I also think people will be surprised to see how hardcore chess tournaments are. ...more
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't often say this, but this is an outstanding book and I thoroughly lived it. The author tells a wonderful tale of a father and son who don't know each other very well and shows how one weekend can change everything. Chess is used as both a background and the main setting, but even those who don't know the game will be able to relate to its presence on the story. ...more
Spencer Borup
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
David Klass writes great YA stories, and Grandmaster is no exception. This one tells the story of a shy high-school freshman who attends a chess tournament with his father. It delves deeply into relationships between children and their parents, and the mental strain of stress and obsession.
Caleb Haley
Sep 12, 2017 rated it liked it
It was an okay book. The story line wasn't great and it wasn't written great, but there isn't many chess novels out there. I like the way they show what it feels like to be in a tournament. ...more
Jul 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
The story tries to improve parent-child relationships but it was written to make a fascinating movie out of it. Tournament's description is completely opposite of a real tournament for parents and children. The issues that may be a little relevant in tournaments with big prizes for world's best players definitely do not apply to the story's tournament. If you don't believe me, you can visit US Amateur Team Championships held every year on Presidents Day weekend in 4 places around the US. 4 winne ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a fictional book about a father-son chess tournament that Daniel and his GM (grandmaster) father go to over a weekend. Daniel the son, finds out his father's connection to chess and he bonds with his father better than before. I found it interesting the fathers relationship to chess and how he reacts when the pressure gets to him. However, I also think the story could be improved as Brittney and Brad didn't really seem to make an impact on the story. Some ways that the author shows how t ...more
Yip Jung Hon
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Reading GRANDMASTER took me back to when I was a child, when I loved to play chess daily. You don't have to play chess to find this book relatable. The lessons the book teaches -- about not giving up when the going gets tough, finding yourself through adversity and confronting your inner demons -- applies to every challenge.. GRANDMASTER is about talent lost and found, about nurture and growth, about breaking out of the cages our minds impose on us. It is as readable as any coming-of-age novel, ...more
Anh Nguyen
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was immediately attracted to the book the moment I spotted its cover out from the rest at the library. The book was labeled with only one word "Grandmaster". What could be more intriguing than that? So, I've read and read, the more I explore the world inside, the more I was hooked. The tension and the stress a chess game can do to a person is unimaginable. Behind every move of the game is calculations, strategies and human manipulations that we've could never foreseen. At the ending, the book ...more
Rachel Rooney
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A 2016-2017 Missouri Truman Readers Award nominee (grades 6-8).

3.5 stars rounded up.

Daniel Pratzer is shocked when a couple of the most popular seniors at his high school approach him and ask if he and his dad would play in a chess tournament with them that weekend. As far as he knows his dad doesn't even know how to play chess. Nope. His dad used to be a chess grandmaster, and he reluctantly agrees to enter the tournament with Daniel.

This was much better than I thought it would be despite a fa
Heidi Stallman
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
My sons are starting to enjoy chess tournaments, so this was an enjoyable and interesting look at the world of competitive chess. I especially liked the relationship between the father and son. Although the son is the MC and the book is told from his POV, the character arc of the father and his healing journey was the most compelling part of the story for me.
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought it was a nice book to read. It exciting to read a book about chess, and how it affects the relationship between the characters. The suspense was a little too much at the final chess match, though it was right for the part of the story, I think it was just too much. I thought it was a little cliche at some parts, and also about some qualities of the characters that made the moment feel odd. though putting that aside I liked the book, and I enjoyed reading it.
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this book now just do it ........................... VERY GOOD BOOK
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! Though it tends to get a little dark at times so not for most younger readers.
Beth  C
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Full of idiots and a chess tournament with intensity dialled up to max at ALL TIMES.
Silas James
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As an avid chess player, I really enjoyed this book, although the Fried Liver isn't exactly sound :) ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A young adult story about about, his father, growing up and chess. I really enjoyed it a lot. The story keeps moving. It is a quick read with many short chapters. I didn’t want to put it down.
William Holden
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-books, fiction
Fun quick read about a father and son relationship
Nov 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow. I never saw this book coming until I could not put it down. Fantastic and completely unlike any other book I’ve read.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Check my review here: https://theroyalpolarbearreads.wordpr...


GRANDMASTER: A Novel by David Klass was my first October reads – and I didn’t expect it to be that good – probably better. With that kind of first line in the first chapter, with that kind of writing style – You will definitely continue the novel through the end and that was just happened to me. In a span of 4 hours including eating my late lunch and dinner, I finished the book within the
Shelby Goyer
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
"Think chess isn't a contact sport? Think again." In "Grandmaster", by David Klass, chess is so much more than just a game. It is war. In this novel, chess is a battle between two minds that ends in stress, pain, and pushing your brain to the limits. Or past the limits. I believe that this book was a fairly good book and that it would suit just about anyone.

This book's characters experience a lot of terror. This is true because of the main character, Daniel, being terrified of two of the guys
Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
Feb 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-the-blog
Being one of the little gems hidden in the teen shelves at the library, Grandmaster is apparently one of the few books about chess that's fiction and not a how to book or a book about the best moves to smack your opponents down in chess.

It is also a book that I have completely mixed feelings about – a book that I completely relate to as a chess player (I AM a girl, thank you very much), Grandmaster deals with the darker side of chess at the higher level competition in a thriller-like fashion. As
Colette Book
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved the different topic - chess as a competitive sport. Very interesting to read about the inside world of chess intertwined with the story of a father and son relationship developing.
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David Klass is the author of many young adult novels, including You Don’t Know Me, Dark Angel, and Firestorm (The Caretaker Trilogy). He is also a Hollywood screenwriter, having written more than twenty-five action screenplays, including Kiss the Girls, starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd, Walking Tall, starring The Rock, and Desperate Measures, starring Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia. Klass g ...more

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