Episode 80- GM Genna Sosonko

                                                 Photo courtesy of  Elk and Ruby publishing

                                                Photo courtesy of Elk and Ruby publishing

This week’s guest on Perpetual Chess is the eminent chess author, GM Genna Sosonko. GM Sosonko has enjoyed a distinguished career as a chess player.  He  was once in the top 20 of the world's players and has helped train chess legends like Mikhail Tal and Viktor Korchnoi.  But in recent years he has become best known for his beautiful chess writing. 

In our interview, we touch on GM Sosonko’s career and on the story behind his emigrating from the USSR to the Netherlands in the 1970’s, but the main focus of our discussion is his two most recent books: The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein, and Evil-Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi. We talked about:

  • What made David Bronstein's chess so brilliant? What did his peers think of him?
  • What did those who trained with Viktor Korchnoi' say about him?  Has GM Sosonko met any other chess player who could rival Korchnoi's legendary love for, will to study, and obsession with chess? 
  • What shaped the personalities of these two notoriously prickly chess legends?

In closing, we touched a bit on the modern chess landscape, and of course GM Sosonko told some great stories during our conversation.  He even recommended a book (although it may not be so easy to find. ) Thanks so much to GM Sosonko for joining me for a very entertaining and informative conversation. 

Please buy and enjoy his wonderful books here:

Evil Doer: Half a Century with Viktor Korchnoi

The Rise and Fall of David Bronstein

Click here to download the episode.