“If you’re a fan of good chess and good prose, you should pick up Jesse Kraai’s new book, Lisa, A Chess Novel.”
– Bruce Pandolfini, the most famous chess coach.

“Two thumbs up. This is the most realistic chess novel ever.” Full review here.
– Chess Writer Dana Mackenzie

“When Lisa study with Igor secretly using the money she won the tournament, it reminded me that I used to go to chess club secretly in Mongolia when I was in middle school because my parents wouldn’t let me pursue chess. I pay my teacher using the lunch money I saved everyday instead of eating lunch at the school.”
– Women’s Master (WFM) Uyanga Byambaa

“Lisa will give non-chessplayers a glimpse into what living in this bubble is really like…. The main character of Lisa was unique and completely unexpected for me. I don’t know any chessplayer quite like her, but I’m sure that almost any of us could find a little of ourselves in her. The situations she finds herself in are also quite realistic for a young player moving up the ranks. Igor was more expected for me, and I found him quite convincing. He’s like a stereotypical Russian GM, Mr. Miyagi, and Jesse all rolled into one. There might even be a little Yoda in there. The type of teacher almost anyone would want, yet almost be afraid to have.”
– Grandmaster and chess writer Josh Friedel

“What struck me first and foremost about this book was how true it was. As someone who has spent a lot of their life in the chess world, detail after detail (and of course I am thinking more of emotions, feelings, philosophy than of sizes and colors of pieces and boards) rang 100% true to me. This book is fantastic at providing insight into the chess world, the real world, and its characters.”
– International Master and chess writer David Pruess

“…el entrenador de Lisa, en la novela, es un GM de la ex unión soviética, o sea nada menos ni nada más que el entrenador que muchos hubieseis querido tener. Él le explicará a Lisa. la tradición rusa, el tipo de respeto que nuestro juego merece y el cual debemos darle.”
– Chess writer Maximiliano Ifran Marquez, full review here.

“I don’t know the author. I do play chess, virtually every day of my life. I was astonished by this book. It is filled with insight and beautifully written. I hope this author becomes widely known and receives the appreciation due to those with rare talent. This is not just a book about chess: it is literature.”
– Anonymous Amazon reviewer

Published excerpts:

Lisa’s first encounter with Igor is at
Igor tells Lisa the history of his chess board at
Lisa spends some time at the Polgar tournamenet at
Lisa asks Ruth about Igor and Chess at

Audio Interview at Voice of Russia.

Get a copy of Lisa here!

Also available as a audiobook.

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Lisa: A Chess Novel