‘Funny and brutal. A big-hearted book, I enjoyed it.’
Stuart Conquest, Grandmaster
‘Carl is gifted as both a natural entertainer and storyteller. Although this memoir
is primarily about chess, the tales in it are filled with a frank and refreshing
honesty that will literally have your heart racing with adventure.’
Jovanka Houska, International Master
Chess Crusader is an absolutely fascinating memoir, and most emphatically not only a book for chess players. It reveals how chess is a metaphor for life, and how skills honed at the chess board can be applied in many real-life situations. This compelling chronicle takes you from Birmingham to Moscow, and plunges you into the life of an author with a remarkable original mind, while also highlighting the hazards of stealing a half-cooked sausage from a deranged German.
It’s a lively, enthralling account of a colourful life dominated by the black and white squares of the chessboard, and their relation to the wider issues of a troubled childhood and the challenges of work, women, love and loss. It’s a tale of adversity, but also of achievement and new friendships and experiences.
About the Author:
After 30 years working with the Ministry of Defence, Carl Portman took early retirement to concentrate on freelance photography, chess coaching, natural history travel, writing and lecturing. He is a keen arachnologist, owns a large collection of live tarantulas and scorpions, and has bred some of the rarest arachnids in the world. Married to his childhood friend Susan, they also have three border collie dogs. Born in Birmingham, (a proud Brummie) he now lives in Oxfordshire.