• All the Wrong Moves

  • A Memoir About Chess, Love, and Ruining Everything
  • By: Sasha Chapin
  • Narrated by: Sasha Chapin
  • Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An enthralling journey into the world of chess - a story of heartbreak, obsession, failure, and the hunger for greatness.

Sasha Chapin is a victim of chess. Like countless amateurs before him - Albert Einstein, Humphrey Bogart, Marcel Duchamp - the game has consumed his life and his mind. First captivated by it as a member of his high school chess club, his passion was rekindled during an accidental encounter with chess hustlers on the streets of Kathmandu. In its aftermath, he forgot how to care about anything else. He played at all hours, for weeks at a time. Like a spurned lover, he tried to move on, but he found the game more seductive the more he resisted it. 

And so, he thought, if he can't defeat his obsession, he had to succumb to it. 

All the Wrong Moves traces Chapin's rollicking two-year journey around the globe in search of glory. 

Along the way, he chronicles the highs and lows of his fixation, driven on this quest by lust, terror, and the elusive possibility of victory. Stylish, inventive, and laugh-out-loud funny, All the Wrong Moves is a celebration of the purity, violence, and beauty of the game.

©2019 Sasha Chapin (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“The quest memoir is a balky beast. To tame it as well as Canadian journalist Sasha Chapin does in All the Wrong Moves, you’ll need an obscure but preferably universal target of obsession - chess mastery, in his case - a vague discontent with your present existence, a lover or two, a guru and the globe-trotting freedom to pursue your quixotic quarry.... ‘It’s tricky to explain the appeal of chess to someone who doesn’t play,’ Chapin concedes, yet he makes all the right moves in doing just that.” (Washington Post

“A briskly told coming-of-age memoir.... Chapin has a fine eye for the game’s beauty.... In the course of his entertaining odyssey, Mr. Chapin offers a Zen-like secret to chess, and to living.” (Wall Street Journal)    

“A witty, entertaining memoir about competitive chess and the author’s obsession with same, which takes him around the world, and brings him glory - along with no small number of humiliating defeats.” (LitHub.com) 

What listeners say about All the Wrong Moves

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

nice story, horrible narration.

solid, heartfelt memoir. But yet another example of why authors shouldn't read their work. He is at times (actually most of the time) stultifyingly robotic. Seriously, at first I thought there was some kind of joke going on, as if someone told him it would be cool to sound like a robot reading your book.
but still.. a solid, heartfelt memoir.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Bad narration and ending.

The writer is good, as displayed in the first 8 chapters and has an interesting story. In chapter 9 he proceeds give himself an interview out of the blue without letting the reader know which completely goes against the rest of the book. It almost made me stop listening, it was that aggravating.

The writer also doesn't narrate well. He pronounces every part of his words and gives wrong emphasis. It's probably a much better read than a listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Some authors should be read and not heard

The book itself is great, but the narration reminds me of a second generation Speak & Spell. I will be keeping my Kindle copy and returning the Audible as soon as I submit this review.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Ended in a draw

The story was mildly interesting. I do, however, believe it would have been a better read compared to listening to it on Audible. Author comes across as whiny and insecure while reading his story. Seemed to get lazy in his writing near the end with the constant barrage of questions. Also, not sure how or why the criticism of St. Louis helped to tell his story of being chess obsessed.

1 person found this helpful

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Best book on chess/life/self-identify ever written

In this case, the author was the absolute best person to read the story, without holding back any of the emotions with which everything was written.

2 people found this helpful

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jfg review

This is an interesting story, very well written and told by a man exploring the limits of his skill and passion by delving into the world of tournament chess. It's an entertaining incite into that world which is filled with interesting characters and few surprises as the author learns what it takes to be great.