The Chess Machine

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Penguin Press, 2007 - Fiction - 344 pages
19 Reviews
Based on a true story, The Chess Machine is the breathtaking historical adventure of a legendary invention that astounded all who crossed its path

Vienna 1770: Baron Wolfgang von Kempelen unveils a strange and amazing invention, the Mechanical Turk, a sensational and unbeatable chess-playing automaton. But what the Habsburg court hails as the greatest innovation of the century is really nothing more than a brilliant illusion. The chess machine is secretly operated from inside by the Italian dwarf Tibor, a God-fearing social outcast whose chess-playing abilities and diminutive size make him the perfect accomplice in this grand hoax.

Von Kempelen and his helpers tour his remarkable invention all around Europe to amaze and entertain the public, but despite many valiant attempts and close calls, no one is able to beat the extraordinary chess machine. The crowds all across Europe adore the Turk, and the success of Baron von Kempelen seems assured. But when a beautiful and seductive countess dies under mysterious circumstances in the presence of the automaton, the Mechanical Turk falls under a cloud of suspicion, and the machine and his inventor become the targets of espionage, persecution, and aristocratic intrigue. What is the dark secret behind this automaton and what strange powers does it hold? The Chess Machine is a daring and remarkable tale, based on a true story, full of envy, lust, scandal and deception.

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Review: The Chess Machine

User Review  - Kelley Ross - Goodreads

This book was well-written and interesting in a historical sort of way, but it was lacking in the thrills department. In the end though, this novel didn't have enough of a historical foundation to ... Read full review

Review: The Chess Machine

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

At the centre of this novel is a hoax: the chess automaton known as The Turk. Inside the hoax is an interesting, sympathetic character, Tibor, the cwarf who plays chess from inside the automaton's ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
4
Section 3
21
Copyright

21 other sections not shown

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About the author (2007)

Robert L hr was born in Berlin and grew up there and in Bremen and Santa Barbara, California. He trained as a journalist at the Berlin School of Journalism, then worked for Sat. 1 news and for the Berlin daily paper Der Tagesspiegel, Berliner Zeitung, Neue Zeit, and Taz, and finally as a correspondent for The Washington Post. After many years writing screenplays, musicals, plays, and short stories, L hr decided to try his hand at a novel. The Chess Machine is his first.

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