The Queen's Gambit

Walter Tevis
Published 14/04/2016
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When she is sent to an orphanage at the age of eight, Beth Harmon soon discovers two ways to escape her surroundings, albeit fleetingly: playing chess and taking the little green pills given to her and the other children to keep them subdued. Before long, it becomes apparent that hers is a prodigious talent, and as she progresses to the top of the US chess rankings she is able to forge a new life for herself.

But she can never quite overcome her urge to self-destruct. For Beth, there's more at stake than merely winning and losing.

'Few novelists have written about genius - and addiction - as acutely as Walter Tevis' The Telegraph