“Vivid journeys through the territories of friendship, passion for a game, and chess history. Readers who may be indifferent to the game of chess will be charmed by the people, politics, exhibitions, and backrooms of this world.” The Boston Globe

“J.C. Hallman may not know how to play like a master, [but] he knows how to write like one….Two parts travelogue to one part history…Hallman’s first has echoes of the new journalism espoused by the likes of Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson….From the opening paragraph…The Chess Artist transcends its subject…[Hallman is] a writer who displays…artistry writing about chess.” The Financial Times

“Educational, fanciful, entertaining, this is a book that will make every reader see the game of chess in an entirely new – if slightly weird – light.” Booklist, starred review

“[Mr. Hallman] has a flair for travelogue, reminiscent of Bruce Chatwin….a worthy and readable treatise of the chess scene.” The Wall Street Journal

“The entire opus…functions as an intellectual journey through the chess sands of time and space… To be sure, some of Hallman’s characters are Kafkaesque…” The Los Angeles Times

The Chess Artist is a chess book like no other, irreverent, insightful and funny.” The Chicago Tribune

“Interweaving art and literary references along with the game’s 1,200-year history, Hallman summarizes the many meanings and metaphors of chess…[a] delightful tour.” Publisher’s Weekly

“A fascinating peek inside both the cult of international chess and various cults of personality, not to mention an excellent travelogue about the chess-mad Russian autonomous province of Kalmykia…” Metroland Newsweekly, Best Books of 2003

“He takes a game long dominated by Russians and often seen as inscrutable…and makes it human and comprehensible.” Charlotte Observer

“Hallman…writes as a cult insider.” The Arizona Republic

“Start with…a wicked writer [and] a reclusive chess master, and assign them to write a tell-all book about the history of chess.” San Antonio Express-News

“A window into the world of chess… Part history, part travelogue, part memoir – all interesting!” Juneau Empire

“Hallman has an uncanny ability to describe a player in a few lines…the rare chess book that non-chess players might enjoy reading…..Recommended.” IM John Donaldson,

“For once I could not wait for the review copy. I needed it, now….The book is well researched and at times the prose is first rate….An earnest attempt at an impossible subject. I wish the author well.” The London Telegraph

“Stylistically, the book is excellent…Hallman displays a tight, deft prose style with a flair for the apt metaphor, pithy phrase, and telling detail.”

“…a fascinating read….Hallman’s views are thoughtful.” Chess Life