We are used to reading about glorious feats by chess masters from the past, but we often are unaware that chess drove some unfortunate ones to nervous breakdowns, asylums, and poorhouses. In contrast, the lives of child prodigies, the wunderkinds of chess, typically have overflowed with success. These prodigies have achieved unbelievable sports feats at a very young age. Yet, sometimes the promising trajectory of the wunderkind clashes with fate, leaving the youngster to take on the unfortunate plight of a martyr, too. This book recounts all of these stories: the woe of the aged master, the triumph of the prodigy, and the sometime reversal of fortune in the other extreme. From as-Suli of the ninth century to Magnus Carlsen of the twenty first – the triumphs and tragedies that shaped their lives.