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Rolf Martens - Chess Genius - Maoist - Rebel - Alex Smith

Rolf Martens - Chess Genius - Maoist - Rebel

By: Alex Smith, Frederik Danelius, Calle Erlandsson

Hardcover | 14 September 2023 | Edition Number 1

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In 1967, 25-year-old Rolf Martens won the Swedish Championship
playing faster than anyone before
. In the Student World Championship
he defeated one of the world's ten best players, and at the end of the
year he became the first Swede to make an IM-norm. Efim Geller said:
"If Martens comes to Moscow, he will become one of the best players
in the world."
A few years later, he had quit playing to pursue political activism on
the far left. It became his vocation for the rest of his life.
When Martens' desire for chess returned, it was as an analyst. He
founded the Ultra Hypermodern Counter Attack School and has
produced more openings than perhaps any other player in history.
Rolf Martens - Chess genius, Maoist and rebel is his life story, but also
a book for anyone who wants to use his openings.
Industry Reviews
Atle Gronn (Dag og Tid): This Swedish biography is probably the best I've seen in the genre. Smith has done a great job with the book. The photos are fantastic and worth the money alone
Skakbladet (Jan Lofberg): A superb biography of the Swedish champion. Wonderful reading. One of the best chess reading experiences I have had. (...) There are certain similarities with Bobby Fischer. Politically, Martens ended up with a one-man army of obsessive-compulsive players, but like Bobby, he was a gift to chess. We can benefit from that in this book, which deserves to be read by a large audience."
Library service (Mikael Huss): Rolf Martens' unusual life has earned him a bit of a cult status in chess circles, which is why this book is very welcome. All the better that it is well researched and contains plenty of interesting details about Martens' life from a variety of sources. (...) For those of us in Sweden who have that interest, this is simply an indispensable book. Overall rating: 5.
Tidskrift foer Schack (Henrik Lindberg): The book is written with a lot of knowledge about, feeling for and love for Martens - and that's certainly not a bad starting point! Few people in Swedish chess have had such a mythological status as the man of rebellion or resistance, Rolf Martens. (...) Martens' life is really made for being documentet, and this well-written and well-researched book illustrates his many sides and peculiarities, both on and off the chessboard.
Chess History & Literature Society (Claes Lofgren): With their new book, the authors have managed to create a worthy monument for this unusual man and player

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