The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov

The novel centers around a Russian chess prodigy whose life becomes consumed by the game of chess. As he rises to international fame, his obsession with chess leads to a detachment from reality and a decline in his personal life. The protagonist's intense focus on chess strategies begins to invade his perception of the world, blurring the boundaries between the game and his own existence. This culminates in a psychological crisis during a critical championship match, where the line between his mental breakdown and a sophisticated defense strategy becomes indistinguishable, reflecting the protagonist's struggle to maintain his sanity amidst the all-consuming nature of his passion.

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