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Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport (English Edition)
 
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Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Jennifer Shahade

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

In the game of chess, the strongest piece—the Queen—is often referred to as "bitch," and being female has been long considered a major disadvantage.

Chess Bitch, written by the 2004 U.S. Woman’s Chess Champion, is an eye-opening account of how today’s young female chess players are successfully knocking down the doors to this traditionally male game, infiltrating the male-owned sporting subculture of international chess, and giving the phrase "play like a girl" a whole new meaning.

Through interviews with and observation of the young globetrotting women chess players who challenge male domination, Chess Bitch shines a harsh light on the game’s gender bias. Shahade begins by profiling the lives of great women players from history, starting with Vera Menchik, who defeated male professionals with incredible frequency and became the first woman’s World Champion in 1927. She then investigates the women’s chess dynasties in Georgia and China. She interviews the famous Polgar sisters, who refused to play in separate women's tournaments. She details her own chess adventures—traveling to tournaments from Reykjavik to Istanbul. And Shahade introduces us to such lesser-known chess personalities as the flamboyant Zambian player Linda Nangwale and the transgendered Texan Angela Alston and the European female chess players who hop from one country to another, playing chess by day and partying long into the night. For those who think of chess as two people sitting quietly across a table, Shahade paints a colorful world that most chess fans never knew existed.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2506 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 320 pages
  • Editeur : Siles Press (11 juillet 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00DVWSTH0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°260.218 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 étoiles sur 5  92 commentaires
105 internautes sur 111 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Better than Polgar's Book 12 décembre 2005
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Jennifer goes into the nitty gritty of the inside world of girl's chess. The fact she is truthful and doesn't spare anyone of either the good and bad of things makes this a better book than Susan Polgar's book.

Do you want a book that tells things the way they are, or a nicy, nicy book looking at the world through rose colored glasses? True, some people want everything will butter on it and feel the world must be "fair" to all.

Perhaps some historical facts are up to debate, but a couple of the other reviewers may have their "facts" wrong themselves and need to provide their "sources" when trying to correct anyone.
75 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 AWEFULLY GOOD! 12 décembre 2005
L'évaluation d'un enfant - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is the best book with a true perspective of women's chess. Just ask Beatrice Marinello of the USCF (she is a USCF National Master, great chess teacher and has been USCF Scholastic director and Executive Director - Need any more credentials?) who attended the book breaking ceremony with Jennifer Shahade.

It appears that the INTERNET CHESS AUTHOR STALKER continues to attack Jennifer's books (rumor has it that it is a person with the initials E. L. who sued the USCF some 20 years ago or so). Just look at these recent reviews (so short so they could be written in a hurry and be plentiful).

Jennifer Shahade gives her point of view on things and says what she feels. There is no libel at all in the book as you certainly don't see any lawsuits over anything written. It is toned down mellow-yellow like the book on the Polgar sisters (which doesn't really tell it the way it is as it must be rated "G" as compared to a "PG13" for Shahade).

If you like reading a little history, yes with perhaps a little bit of gossip, then you will like this book.
60 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 GOOD BOOK - Being Stalked 24 décembre 2005
Par Antichessbookstalker - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I am the ANTI CHESS BOOK STALKER. Whenever and Wherever a Good Chess Book is being unjustly bombarded by BOGUS kids reviews (and those using fake names on their accounts) the AnitiChessBookStalker will strike. Just like superman (or perhaps in this case a superwomen) I will be there to counter strike!

First of all I have seen JENNIFER SHAHADE in person at her opening book signing and have read her book. It is targeted at an audience interested in a mature approach. This is not a scholastic chess book, though really it is fine for older kids to learn reality about an insider's view of the female chess world.

Once again the stalker will be confronted and we know where to find you!!!
30 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Chess Bargain 28 novembre 2005
Par Batgirl - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Jennifer Shahade gave us a bargain by writing three books in one. Chess Bitch is the title of her maiden book that chronicles the relationship between women and chess on historical, cultural and personal levels. Each one of these levels is a triumph on its own.
-- Historical:
Shadade gives a brief history of women's chess through the lives of world champion women players, from Vera Menchik to Antoaneta Stefanova. She also briefly takes the reader through the history of women's chess in America.
-- Cultural:
The author delves into some of the issues, real or supposed, that are exclusive to women in chess. She presents a moderate feminist viewpoint sympathetically without alienating the reader.
-- Personal:
Ms. Shahade offers her own experiences and insight into how she dealt with chess as a female while expounding on her own philosophies and ideas.

When I initially read the book my focus was on the historical information. Much of what Ms. Shahade presents, particularly in the section on American players, had been totally neglected by chess authors in the past. The biographical information on some players is sparse, but on others is quite detailed. The glimpse into Sonja Graf was basically a repeat of Shahade's fine New in Chess Magazine article from July, 2004. The biographies of Women World Champions, particularly from Menchik to Chimburdanidze, were fairly routine and handled equally well by John Graham in his "Women in Chess: Players of the Modern Age." But the author shines when looking at the post-Georgian champions. Her treatment of the American players is a delight and alone worth the price of the book.
The biographies aren't limited to world champions or US champion, but extends to many other players who are noteworthy for their potential or for their uniqueness. The tie-that-binds is their gender more than their talent. While I won't list them all here, the number of players who are profiled is astonishingly large.
The author's main technique seemed to be to introduce personalities that either followed a logical historical path or who fit under the topic of the chapter and intersperse the biographical information with tidbits of peripheral information as well as applicable cultural arguments. The result was akin to walking towards some destination, but taking time along the way to wander into some alleys or to peek inside some dimly lit alcoves that had little to do with the journey except to provide a more interesting trip. The main problem I found was that the destination was never always clear in my mind, leaving me confused at times about which was the path and which was the alley. The upside is that the journey was enjoyable enough to be an end in itself.
Ms. Shahade, rather than being the extreme feminist that many reviewers seemed to imply, appeared to me to be more a rational feminist. She questioned everything from a feminist perspective without prejudice or any hint of close-mindedness. The most obvious case in point is her handling of Alexandra Kosteniuk. While not agreeing that any publicity is good publicity, Shahade doesn't seem to condemn Kosteniuk's mixing of sex and chess. If she showed her feminist teeth at all, I would say it was most apparent in writing about Fredric Friedel, founder of Chessbase and editor of [...] and his disingenuous sexist attitudes. The implication to me being that Kosteniuk doesn't give up her integrity and separates her modeling aspirations from her chess career, while Freidel wallows in his lack of integrity and purposely integrates chess with unrelated prurient sideshows.
Some reviewers wrote this book off as a fluff piece. I don't know why. In my first reading, my focus was on certain areas that interest me most. I was able to open my mind more during my second reading and look at things more from the author's point-of-view. I was surprised and intrigued by several ideas Shahade introduced along the way. For example, one such idea led me to think back to the 19th century when chess began its change from an amateur pastime into a professional sport, a change that ignited a remarkable improvement in the quality of play and raised the bar significantly for its serious practitioners. Women's chess has only improved as the motivation for improvement became evident and only to the level that the motivation inspired. Women's chess will only rise to men's level when women are equally motivated, the way men were back in the late 1800's. The problem lies with the lack of realization that women and men are motivated differently.
I enjoyed her introspection which struck me as honest as it was insightful. What some reviewers passed off as "gossipy," I believe most readers would take to be an exclusive insider's view. For instance, I don't know Antoaneta Stefanova personally, so it's intriguing to learn what someone who does know her has to say about her. Beyond the insider's look at chess personalities, we also get a personal view into Shahade's mind as she played for the US Women's Chess Championship and what it meant to be a member of Susan Polgár's Olympiad "Dream Team."

What is the value of a book? What makes one book great and another one mediocre?

Chess Bitch never reaches the level of Great. As a history book, it pales when compared to other books covering similar territories, such as Andy Soltis' "The United States Chess Championship, 1845-1996" which covers the men's chess championship in the U. S. On a cultural level, it doesn't live up to Richard Eales' "Chess: The History of a Game" or, as a personal account, to Tal's "Life & Games of Mikhail Tal." But Chess Bitch doesn't seem to aspire to such select greatness. By choosing to tackle the issue of women's chess in a manner that's both objective and subjective - sometimes personal, sometimes journalistic, sometimes scholarly - Shahade never attains the full effectiveness of any.
Does this mean, then, that the book is mediocre? No, not in the least. Because Jennifer Shahade tackles topics against which there has been little written in comparison, because much of the subject matter has been ignored by chess writers to date, because the book, for whatever it's failings, is highly readable and ultimately satisfying and mostly because her writing caused me to think and re-evaluate my own positions on certain issues, I would put it in a class all to itself.

I noted several errors worth mentioning but not worth fretting over:
1. page 25. Vera Menchik's husband, Rufus Henry Streatfeild Stevenson, is called "Rudolf."
2. page 144. Philidor is called "the great French player from the 19th century." - Philidor (1726-1795) didn't lived to see the 19th century.
3. page 154. "...Morphy had already gone mad when he was found drowned in his bathtub - Paul Morphy neither was "mad" nor did he die from drowning,
4. page 238. "Soon after this the Queen's Pawn closed and Lisa Lane disappeared from chess." - However, the Queen's Pawn closed in 1964. Lane was the 1966 co-US Women's Chess Champion.
63 internautes sur 72 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 simply a brilliant writer / interviewer / analyst! 22 octobre 2005
Par Mark Ashland - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
First other books by women I've enjoyed: Kitchen, NP, The Good Earth, Ethan Frome, The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas, Mrs Dalloway, The God of Small Things, and The Bell Jar.

Second me: I am an American, well-read, male, feminist, CPA, lawyer, former national master (current expert), w/out an international rating, and with a graduate degree.

Finally her: CB is excellently written, researched, and a real page-turner for this well-read author's first book! Ms Shahade's choices about who to dwell on and what to reveal about them and how to blend diverse aspects into a central theme is profoundly satisfying and unique. Her leading insider status and enthusiasm for the general topic helped her presentation a lot and also very helpful to the book is her candid, direct style regardless of whether she is writing about her friends / rivals (the other current top women players) or others from the past that she had to do research to get to know and understand. As a world traveller the author has a lot of her own ongoing experiences and anecdotes to draw upon. CB is a revealing look into the mind of a leading women's grandmaster and thinker about an important sport. CB is essential to anyone such as myself who is trying to understand how feminism in a sub-culture surfaces and is dealt with reasonably.

Us the readers get a lot of value from CB regardless of whether or not we know how to play chess! I cannot emphasize that enough! CB is a bargain, really: we are getting the ultimate insider tour of a top level of women competitors plus an analysis of how feminism comes into play in various ways both subtle and profound and not in ways you would guess by yourself without the author's help. Look, this is a young, bright, energetic author who is articulate and accessible and generous and cares more about her life experiences than simply racking up championship titles. Whether the readers are already knowledgeable about feminism or not, CB in an understandable way relates feminism as it exists in the chess world.

#5 female in the world GM Alexandra Kosteniuk is given a balanced exam; the Polgars were dealt with in interesting detail as well; Susan's struggles and successes are included. Judit's the greatest woman in chess ever, but the author was not intimidated and did a great job dissecting her. Sofia's Rome fantastic result was discussed and analysed with the third best of these remarkable sisters. Their home schooling is also described in very interesting detail. The person who had a sex change operation deserved a face to face interview and her own chapter - Ms Shahade gave her both although the person is only an expert in the USA. A lot of lesser authors would have looked to the rating instead of to the story and missed writing that excellent chapter. The Iranian and Ms Nangwale and IM Krush were all three portrayed very, very positively as they all three deserved. However, the soul of the writer's attention is clearly Sonja Graf. Perhaps the author identifies subconsciously with Ms Graf the most because she really tied feminism into the top level of chess for perhaps the first time. I realized this chapter would be the most intense early on and read this great chapter last, by the way. The 1st Women's World Champ Vera Menchik, tragically killed at an early age in WWII's London Blitz after returning from safe S America, is included as is the USA's Lisa Lane and others.

That I was learning a lot of new ideas and facts and history on seemingly every page was an awesome characteristic of my CB reading experience! The author also captured the alienation of being relatively very popular with an unusually great family support but simultaneously perched precariously on the top rung of a ladder of nonstop activity that goes on for her and the others all over the world whether it is chess tournaments or exploration walks or intense conversations or chance encounters or all night long parties.

The author does a great job drawing people out and getting revealing answers and conversational exchanges going that I found to be of extraordinary intensity. Answers, if weak, got challenged vigorously and appropriately by the author. Part of the brilliant and deeply profound and unsettling ideas strung throughout CB is that this author provokes your thoughts as well as teaches and inspires you and clearly truly cares about what happens to tournament chess and to feminism and to the reader's thoughts about all this.

The theme that runs through and connects the chapters is this, I think:
Women are equal to men generally in their chess competence and in their intellects; the low % of top women players is only due to the fact that women players also have correspondingly low participation rates in chess tournaments for unclear reasons probably having something to do with females' societal constraints and responsibilities and expectations and pressures and outside interests that are generally different from males'.

The author's "babies crying overhead" co-ed chess tournament gender test is hilarious and is a challenge and simultaneously is a metaphor that fits in thematically. Great writers as a rule use symbols to explain things differently and more deeply than is possible without them and this one - Ms Shahade - is no exception to that rule. Perhaps this gifted and talented author will next apply her excellent feminist instincts and knowledge to fiction now that she has done a non-fiction book.

HIGHLY, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for both tournament chess players and non-players since feminism in a sub-culture is explored in amazingly stunning depth.
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