Lively autobiography of reigning World Chess Champion Kasparov, who is set to meet former champion Anatoly Karpov in New York City on October 8th for the first world chess championship to be played in the US since 1907. Kasparov/Trelford (editor of the Observer) write engagingly, focusing on feelings during each game and leaving all the chess moves to the handbooks and chess magazines--although a handful of games is stuck into an appendix. An Armenian Jew born in 1963 in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, Kasparov chronicles a childhood and youth as a chess prodigy that are less flaming with incidents than those of some other famed prodigies but that move with rising excitement toward his first meaningful games in public. Interest really sparks when he begins playing against grandmasters in his middle teens and is taken on as a student by famed champion Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik. That Kasparov is a unique, emotional player, ready to set the board on fire with variations rather than rely on received gamesmanship, was clear from the start, as were his encyclopedic mastery of openings, richly creative middle game, and fearsomely concentrated end game. It was also clear from his mid-teens on that he was destined someday to face reigning champion Karpov. However, top politicians in the Soviet Union's state-sponsored chess federation had no interest in a face-off between Karpov and Kasparov: one chess king was enough. But Kasparov flattened all competitors, met Karpov for the title, lost five games, then won three, breaking Karpov's spirit--and the world match was called off"" for the players' health."" At a rematch, Kasparov took Karpov, became the youngest world chess champion ever, then was forced to meet him twice more--but kept his title. Skulduggery while the titans' battle tactics hit Olympian levels.