King Sacrifice

Original title: Le Sacrifice du Roi

Author: Hoemmel, Livie (pseud.)

Publication Date:

May 2022



Original language and publisher

French | Massot Editions

Territories Handled

World excl. French, English, Spanish


Crime & Thrillers, Literary Fiction

King Sacrifice

Original title: Le Sacrifice du Roi

Author: Hoemmel, Livie (pseud.)


The great mystery of the king of chess finally solved.

In 1972, Bobby Fischer became World Chess Champion, thereby ending several decades of Russian domination. In the midst of the Cold War, a new and equally decisive game was then played out – not over the 64 squares of the chessboard this time, but in the corridors of the KGB, which enlisted its best agent to bring down the man who had had the insolence to defy the Kremlin.

The world was shocked when Bobby Fischer declined to defend his title in 1975. Had he lost interest in life? Had he gone mad? Was he afraid of his opponent, the formidable Anatoly Karpov?

Fifty years later, this novel, drawing on actual events, tells a remarkable story of the machinations by the Russian secret services to regain the much-coveted world chess title.

We are immersed in the world and mind of this American icon and child prodigy, who took his first steps towards world chess domination amid the hustlers of Central Park and ultimately reached such a standard of brilliance that nobody seemed capable of beating him.

Except perhaps someone of equal genius – a woman recruited by the KGB who challenges him not over the emblematic 64 squares but on the terrain of the mind, taking the mad gamble of proposing to Bobby Fischer a game against God himself.

An incredibly suspenseful novel that takes us into the orphanages and psychiatric hospitals of the Soviet Union, the corridors of the Kremlin and the secret heart of the KGB, leading up to an explosive encounter between two superior intelligences.
Will the King sacrifice himself for his Queen?

From a very young age, Livie Hoemmel was initiated into chess by his father, who was himself an international master. Together they studied the games of the leading grandmasters, and in particular the wonderful strategic games of the greatest player of them all, Bobby Fischer.

After many years of research, during which he gained access to confidential documents, the author has finally made good on his promise to his father: to tell the true story of Bobby Fischer and solve a 50-year-old mystery.

Marketing Information

  • Currently being adapted by a leading Hollywood studio and is scheduled for release in the autumn of 2022.
  • A major media campaign will accompany the release of this hot title for 2022.
  • The author is a chess expert and well-known figure on the international chess scene, where his book is eagerly awaited.
  • English translation available soon