CJA member Howard Goldowsky informs, "My book, Engaging
Pieces, a collection of my interviews, fiction, and in-depth
reviews from the past six years, goes to the printer this week."
Review copies for the book should be available by the beginning
of June ... CJA members wishing to review the book should contact
Howard. The scheduled release date is June 19.
A URL to the Amazon page (pre-orders are being accepted) is http://tinyurl.com/2bmzat
During the last six years, I’ve contributed interviews, fiction,
and opinions to a variety of state, national, and online chess magazines.
This book, a complete collection of my chess writing, is the culmination
of that work. Its title, Engaging Pieces, describes both
the art writers strive to create and the medium with which chess
players strive to create art.
I compiled this book for the same reason I began writing about
chess in the first place: I wanted to share my curiosity about the
cultural, social, and competitive nature of the game. Thus, the
topics running through these pages include complex, contemporary
issues that I wanted to make accessible to the public. Some of these
topics include the details of chess rating systems, the interaction
of artificial intelligence with chess computers, the relationship
between feminism and women’s chess, the marketing and promotion
of chess, and the question of whether or not chess is a sport. Simply
put, I’m a chess fan. Each article and story represents the type
of in-depth and entertaining chess writing that I, and other chess
fans, deserve to read.
After reading this book, it will become evident that chess players
and those surrounding the game are dynamic and passionate people.
For example, my first interview, a profile of Michael de la Maza,
was written because I was curious about his obsession with chess
tactics, and I was fascinated by his rapid rating ascension; Maurice
Ashley’s vision of chess promotion prompted my essay about the HB
Global Chess Challenge; the humble yet impudent personality of a
young Hikaru Nakamura inspired a conversation with him right before
he won the U.S. Championship in 2005; and a brash, chess-playing
homeless man panhandling in Harvard Square became the archetype
for a character in the short story “When the Balance be in Your
It is rare to see both fiction and non-fiction published in one
volume. Yet having all of my chess writing collected in one place
ties my work into a convenient package, and helps bring closure
to one stage of my writing career. In the future, I’d like to spend
more time improving my chess ability and pursuing other literary
Lastly, many of the pieces here contain a postscript. These are
brief, one hundred to seven hundred word updates about related events
that have transpired since an article was originally published.
These postscripts add a current perspective to each article, and,
if necessary, they will help bring the reader up to date. I hope
these articles and stories prove to be as enjoyable to read as they
were to write.