How Life Imitates Chess by Garry Kasparov

I’ve been slowly working my way through Garry Kasparov’s excellent How Life Imitates Chess.  I had rather low expectations, since in my experience superstars in a very narrow activity generally do not have the breadth of perspective to adequately situate what they know in broader ways.

But Kasparov’s book is excellent, a pleasant surprise. It is heavily focused on competitive decision-making of course, but he manages to abstract out lessons from chess encounters very well, so you can read the book even if you aren’t a player. It is helpful to know the basic rules of chess and the general nature of chess strategy (for example, it helps to know that openings and endgames are thoroughly studied and well-understood, while mid-games are complex), but you don’t need to know specifically what the Sicilian Defense is.

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