On page 159 of All the Wrong Moves author Sasha Chaplin quotes an eccentric chess grandmaster who said, “The ability to play chess is the sign of a gentleman. The ability to play chess well is the sign of a wasted life.” These lines could have served as this book’s epigraph.
Twenty-something Canadian journalist Sasha Chapin is overtaken by a sudden obsession with chess. When online games no longer satisfy him, he takes lessons from a low-level grandmaster and travels the world to play in face-to-face tournaments (he seems to have an unlimited travel budget for his all-consuming hobby). Along the way he finds love, meets colorful characters, and indulges in mind-altering substances. All the Wrong Moves is Chapin’s entertaining memoir of this pivotal year and a half of his life. Recommended by Amy B.