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The Boston Globe



Chess satire is wrapped in an engaging mystery

Agatha Christie awake and return! You have a rival in the chess world, one Andrew Soltis, a premier columnist for Chess Life for many years, a NY Post chess columnist and author of many chess texts, and an accomplished tournament player. He has written a book, “Los Voraces 2019’’ (McFarland) or shall we say a chess satire wrapped in an engaging mystery that competes with the very best of whodunits.

“Los Voraces’’ concerns a tournament heavily endowed in the will of a deceased wealthy businessman that provides abundant and irresistible appearance fees and prizes for the greatest Grandmasters, who then play in the 2800 rated range. Los Voraces is a tiny town somewhere in New Mexico virtually cut off from civilization. The tycoon’s will provides funding that will attract the world’s greatest Grandmasters. The tournament must be private. It is held annually to host a collection of dedicated, in some cases narcissistic and omnipotent, achievers, including the world champion Grushevsky. They come from various nations and engulf this small town. The narrator receives excellent pay as arbiter of the tournament, and apparently as caretaker of the sometimes childish, venomous, and unmannered group of geniuses.

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