The novel is of interest to chess players if only for its title: "Zugzwang". By way of introduction, the paper describes the title as:
A chess term derived from the German: Zug (move) + Zwang (compulsion, obligation). It is used to describe a position in which a player is reduced to a state of utter helplessness; he is obliged to move, but every move only serves to make his position even worse.
The first 2 chapters can be read here.