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The Last Gambit

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  263 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his ma ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 25th 2017 by Black Lotus
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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  263 ratings  ·  45 reviews


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Lynda Dickson
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 13+
Shelves: young-adult
The year is 1983, and Vasu has just turned fourteen. At a local chess tournament, he meets the mysterious Anand Sharma, who sees his potential and offers to teach him how to become a grandmaster. Who is this old recluse, and how does he know so much about the game? After intensive lessons and no wins against the master, Vasu becomes discouraged. Over the years, he also struggles with school works, bullying, tough teachers, mean girls, and unpleasant chess opponents. But he is rewarded by his inc ...more
Ally Swanson
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
---4.5 Stars---

This is one of those books that is all about apples, but really isn’t about just apples. As you peel each layer or say page there’s actually more to the story and you’re actually learning not just about those apples or even just other fruit, but the whole food system. Okay, yes, this book has nothing to do with apples lol, but that was the first analogy I thought of.

This book’s outlined story is about a young teen boy learning to play chess from his chess grandmaster. The teen boy
...more
Girish Pednekar
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring! Motivating! Enthralling!
It's been a long time I have read anything fictional.I got this book directly from Swamiji's Ashram with Swamiji's personalized signature. :)
This book takes your grip right from the first page as the mystery begins there. You cannot put this book down once you start reading.Though this book is classified under 'Fiction' it can easily go under 'Self-Help' 'Motivational' section.Simple story but there are nuggets of wisdom in this book one would like to follow in
...more
E.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars


“The Last Gambit” by Om Swami is, on the surface, the story of a young boy learning how to excel at chess. There are so many other levels that can be appreciated and the author’s voice effortlessly captures that of a youngster as he grows, so it is impossible to be bored even though the game of chess has never held a particular allure for me. I was fascinated to get a glimpse of Indian culture and mores even as I enjoyed the pearls of wisdom imparted to a young child who must learn to
...more
Deepika Bandaru
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is difficult to put this book down midway and it had me hooked right from the first page. I liked how well placed the wise life lessons were, within the chess lessons and that one didn't need to have a chess background to empathize with Vasu.

It starts on an inspirational note with ideas such as "Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance." But the end is rather emotional with views such as "(In life) Unlike chess, it's not your opponent but your loved ones who conquer you, c
...more
Hitessh Panchal
Jul 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Concise But Powerful !

Lessons Of Life Taught , while you enjoy the game of Chess.

Simple Language, Simple Story, But Strong Lessons.

Should Read ! Must Read !!
Ramesh Menon
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Inspiring Story told in the backdrop of chess! Despite a lot of cliched bollywood movie like moments it is still a fine read .
prithvi krishna
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I literally cried in end 😭
Sahil Pradhan
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, exclusive
"Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance."

Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle.
Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbro
...more
Shelby Jo
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, self-pub
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Raj Nandani
Mar 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book turned out to be a surprise to me. I was not expecting much from this book but have bought it just by looking at the cover. The same cover that tempted me to purchase it was unable to tempt me to pick it up soon. Still I picked it up and then suddenly I was sucked into it.

One day. That's all I needed to read it. Although due to my busy schedule I am unable to read books enough but this one here once tasted, pulled me into it completely. This is a story about game and life but the autho
...more
Abhijit Sahoo
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book! Inspiring!

It is not only a beautiful story about the young Chess player and his master, rather it draws parallels to real life. Travelling through ups and downs very much like life, the story illustrates the journey of an aspirant towards success. The wisdom of the simple looking master was imparted patiently to the young boy that slowly transformed him. Chess was the master's life, however, the master taught more on Life than on Chess. Not only, he made the young boy successfu
...more
Shriraj Nayak
Nov 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mehul
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Completed this beautiful Fable with a pearl of tear shining in the corner of my eye. The first Fiction work from Om Swami and what a narration. A complete story book for a block buster movie which will motivate and inspire you to the fullest. And the life lessons shared and gently mixed with chess lessons and give us a smoothie to imbibe. "Master the basics , Know when to float verses when to swim or steer". An awesome read.
Ashok Gyanchand
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring and motivating with number of spiritual wisdom embedded in the story

Inspiring and motivating with number of spiritual wisdom embedded in the story. Gripping you with suspense and excitement to follow.
Aaditya Khandelwal
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Awesome Story line. Best to read during leisure time or any part of the day. Very simple language and easy to go pace.

I realised the importance of my mentors and have developed more respect for them.
A good read for all.
Swapnil
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Epic!
I liked it so much so that I bought it and will now preserve it forever. I cried in the end.
One who is in process of discovering himself\herself can only understand the importance of Master. And one who understands that, will understand this book. Kudos to the author. Awesome!
Sheetal L
Simple story with lots of positive lessons and messages.
Deepak Singh Bisth
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it.
Shreya
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I feel humbled. Thank you, Om Swami.
Subhash Iyer
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very exciting reading this book.
Makesh
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a wonderful read... A fable set in Indian background with lots and lots of nuggets of wisdom.. A must read and re-read...
nishchay malakar
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it
The story is not something extraordinary. But the writing is easy and keeps the user intrested. story pace is good.
Abhishek
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An inspiring and educational read about chess and even more so about life - What it takes to achieve mastery and how it's mindless pursuit can cost one that which is meaningful.
Bineydeep Singh
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
A book to be read when you are in your teens. Certainly better than Chetan Bhagats like! But not a book I would recommend to anyone!
Suresh
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Finished it in one sitting. Truly captivating and has some beautiful lessons about life as well in it.
Nilesh Kulkarni
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As a story, it has a rare plot - that of a student and teacher. As a spiritual read, it slips in the meaning within you, touchingly. Loved the book. My daughter loved it too.
Rahul Mengji
Jan 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it is a must read. It was like a movie playing in front of me. Awesome story telling with good message.
Adithya Krishnaswamy
Good in parts
Raghu Ram
One time decent read

I perhaps expected lot more from Om Swami - this book was more like a Bollywood movie. quite predictable, nothing exceptional, but lucid and engaging read.
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“The consistent and persistent man of average intelligence is more likely to succeed than an erratic and lazy genius.” 1 likes
“Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance.’ Success” 1 likes
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