The Inner Game

Publication Date:

November 2021



Original language and publisher

English | Silvertail Books

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia


Narrative Non-Fiction

The Inner Game


A wonderful achievement… so tense, so gripping and so readable. — Stephen Fry

[The Inner Game] has wrenching immediacy, conveying the tension of every ploy, bluff, miscalculation, and inspired gambit. — Kirkus Reviews

A remarkable book – The Inner Game has all the compulsion of a good thriller … Perhaps the most intimate portrait of a chess genius ever written. — Robert Harris

An engrossing study of a rarified world of eccentricity and achievement… [a] tale of guile and skulduggery: bugged rooms, bribed coaches, tapped telephones, bluff and counterbluff. Much of it reads like a le Carré novel… A closely observed and hugely entertaining portrait of a prodigious British talent. — Sunday Telegraph

Riveting… Lawson writes with brio and uncanny insight into chess’s mental and strategic dimensions. — Publishers Weekly

Lawson does a superb job of evoking tension and narrative… the dirty tricks and psychological warfare make good, sensational reading. — Literary Review

If Nigel Short is the John Major of chess, Dominic Lawson is the Jeffrey Archer… Whether you like Archer or not, you’ll love Lawson. — The Times

Lawson creates great drama out of his material… the tension is brilliantly sustained. And no, you don’t have to be a chess expert or even to have played the game at all to enjoy this book. — Independent on Sunday


A gripping insider’s account of the 1993 World Chess Championship, for fans of Bobby Fischer Goes to War by David Edmonds & John Eidinow, Endgame by Frank Brady, How Life Imitates Chess by Garri Kasparov, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess by Bobby Fischer, Modern Chess Openings by Nick de Firmian, and The Queen’s Gambit by Walter Tevis (adapted into the hit Netflix series).

The 1993 World Chess Championship was one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes in the game’s rich history.

On one side was Garri Kasparov, the greatest in a long line of Russian World Champions and a player whose remorseless aggression both in play and in person seemed to terrify his opponents.

Across the board was Nigel Short, a bespectacled, guitar-playing 28-year-old Lancastrian who had earned his place in the contest over a grueling three-year qualification campaign.

Their epic duel of the intellect was fought out in the full glare of the world’s media and the intricacies of the battle captivated observers around the world – chess experts and novices alike.

The Inner Game is an intimate and gripping insider’s account of this unique sporting contest. It reveals the secrets of chess at the highest level, from dirty tricks behind the scenes to bugged conversations, stolen tapes and sexual intrigue, and opens up the strange inner world of the Chess Grandmasters, men of a narrow but all-consuming passion.