Friday, July 28, 2017

Blog Tour: The Last Gambit, by Om Swami

Welcome to the blog tour for 
The Last Gambit,
sponsored by
YA Bound Book Tours  
and hosted by Garima Om!!

For my stop, I'm featuring  an 
excerpt with mini-review!

The Last Gambit
Om Swami
Trade Paperback Edition, 208 pages
Black Lotus
January 25, 2017
Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Black Lotus
February 1, 2017
Chess, Contemporary Fiction, Diverse Reads,
Young Adult Fiction

 Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance. Vasu Bhatt is fourteen years old when a mysterious old man spots him at a chess tournament and offers to coach him, on two simple but strange conditions: he would not accompany his student to tournaments, and there was to be no digging into his past. Initially resentful, Vasu begins to gradually understand his master’s mettle. Over eight years, master and student come to love and respect each other, but the two conditions remain unbroken – until Vasu confronts and provokes the old man. Meanwhile, their hard work and strategy pay off: Vasu qualifies for the world chess championship. But can he make it all the way without his master by his side? Inspiring, moving and mercurial, The Last Gambit is a beautiful coming of age tale in a uniquely Indian context.

This mini-review is of the excerpt below, and 
not of the entire book.

This sure looks like a fascinating novel! I've never read or heard of anything even remotely like this. I have always been curious about chess, but I know it's a very complex game of strategic skill, requiring a lot of focus and patience, which I don't have much of, lol. So I definitely admire those who do! 
This novel will afford me a look at how a chess champion thinks, as well as how such a person trains to win through brilliant, well-thought out moves. And who knows? Maybe reading this book will REALLY motivate me to start cultivating the necessary patience to learn this game! 

  ‘You are a genius, Vasu,’ he said. ‘I’m investing all my time in you because I know some day you’ll surprise everyone, including yourself.’ My chest swelled with pride. ‘And that day is not far,’ he added. I felt as if I had won the world championship. He thinks I’m a genius! I couldn’t contain my smile and adjusted myself in my couch. ‘But,’ he said, gently bringing me down a notch, ‘you are not consistent. You do play some brilliant moves, but they don’t add up.’ As always, he had a nugget of wisdom. ‘Every move, Vasu, every move must put greater pressure on your opponent. To win, you must play good moves and do so consistently.’ ‘The same goes in life too,’ he continued. ‘A consistent and persistent man of average intelligence is more likely to succeed than an erratic and lazy genius. A hundred well played draws, or a hundred lost but well-fought games are better than one victory by fluke. Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance.’

Success by design is infinitely better than a win by chance – this got etched in my mind. This was it. The missing link. I had been playing in the hope that success would come, that it would just happen. It dawned on me that success was a sculpture that I had to carve and chisel at patiently. I had to design my success.

Purchase Links

Om Swami is a monk who lives in a remote place in the Himalayan foothills.

He holds an MBA from University of Technology, Sydney and a Bachelors in Business Computing from University of Western Sydney. Swami served in executive roles in large corporations around the world. He founded and lead a profitable software company for seven years with offices in San Francisco, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney and India.

Om Swami completely renounced his business interests to pursue a more spiritual life.

To access the complete tour schedule, just click on the button below!


  1. I agree that this sounds both original and fascinating. I also have not played much chess in my life. It does seem that it takes a lot of practice and skill to become a good player.

    I like quotation from the book posted above. It contains good advice.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Yeah, I've never heard of anything like this before. Maybe there are other novels out there that explore the game of chess, but I would need to search them out.

      I have in the past made some attempts to learn this game. My husband tried to teach me once. The problem was that I couldn't stand it when he beat me! Lol.

      Although there are some female Grand Masters in the world, this is basically a game mostly played by men. Perhaps that's because of its aspect of strategy, which is similar to war strategy. It's a very logical game (yes, Mr. Spock!), but yet, I think it requires some element of intuition, as well.

      A chess game can go on for HOURS, especially at the Grand Master level. Here's where REAL patience comes in. And there are people who play for YEARS, yet never become good enough to enter any kind of competition. I think this would be very frustrating for me.... Nevertheless, I would indeed like to give it another try. Especially since this game played such an important part in one of the Harry Potter novels!!

      Yes, I like that quote, as well. I see that Swami still has a business outlook toward life, in spite of his having become a monk. But he's a very remarkable guy. I Googled him, and found out that he had already become a multimillionaire by the time he was 26! Adding to my admiration is the fact that he gave it all up in order to lead a more spiritual life. WOW.

      Thanks for the nice comment!! Happy Friday!! <3 :)

    2. Hi Maria,

      If You want to learn to plan chess or even master any other skill, this book will surely be a great help.

      I don't know much in detail, but the Author has dedicated this book to Chess Players who don't get the deserved appreciation.

      Hope you enjoy reading it.

    3. Hi Brian,

      It indeed is a fascinating book. Not just chess, it help us in mastering any skill.
      Give it a read, hope You enjoy it.

      Feel free to post the review on Amazon, if you like.

  2. What an intresting plot, and author. The two conditions certainly hint at so much more to the teacher's story, I think.

    1. Hi, Verushka!

      Oh, ABSOLUTELY!! I DEFINITELY want to read this book!! I agree that there's more to the teacher's story, and I certainly want to find out more!

      Thanks for commenting!! Happy Friday!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

    2. Hi Verushka,

      They sure do, Hope You enjoy the Book

  3. Hi Maria,

    Thanks for the amazing post. I wasn't expecting a review or even a mini-review so it came as a pleasant surprise.

    Thanks for the wonderful review. Since you've already googled some bit about the Author, let me know also add to that that , He does not accept any donations for Himself and writes for a living. He says, A Monk should not be a burden on the society.

    Well, a glimpse of His strange healing powers can be read through in the books of one of His Disciples - Om Swami, As We Know Him,

    And to add to that He does not even know about this Blog Tour. His writings on the Blog and via Books has benefitted my life greatly and so as an expression of gratitude I wanted to share it with the world.

    Once you read any of His books, You will know what I mean and I am sure will be motivated to do something beautiful.

    Hope You enjoy reading This book.

    You can also read about His journey in His Memoir - If Truth Be Told, A Monk's Memoir.

    I am hosting another Tour for His Memoir by PumpUpYpur Book. If there are still some spots, please feel free to come along. It would be a pleasure to have you on the tour,

    1. Hi, Garima!

      You're very welcome for the mini-review! I always include one when I'm also including an excerpt from a book. However, I only do that when I'm REALLY interested in a book, and I DEFINITELY am interested in this one! I've been wanting to learn to play chess for some time now, so I know I'll enjoy reading this novel!

      How wonderful that Swami's other books have benefited you. I would like to read his memoir.

      Thank you for inviting me to be on the Pump Up Your Book tour. I will look into that!

      Thanks for the lovely comment!! Have a blessed day!! <3 :)

  4. Okay, I'm sharing the laptop with Mom again lol. That cover is stunning!! And this sounds so intriguing -- and we love that excerpt and how the author describes success as a sculpture that you must "carve and chisel at patiently." It's also so interesting that the author is a monk -- loved his bio. Thank you for sharing this gorgeous book and putting it on our radar! Beautiful post, Maria!! *HUGE SQUISHY HUGS* <3 <3 <3

    ~Mckenzie & Michele

    1. Hi, Mckenzie & Michele!!

      How AWESOME that "The Dynamic Duo of the Book Blogosphere" are sharing the laptop again!! You guys are THE BOMB!!!! I sincerely mean that, too!!

      Yes, this is DEFINITELY intriguing! Like both of you, I LOVE that description of success, as well as the excerpt! I've always been intrigued by chess, but have never learned it properly.

      I agree that it's really interesting that the author is a monk. I LOVE that!!

      You're very welcome for the sharing! I've added this book to my Goodreads shelves!!

      Thank you so much for the compliment!! (blush, blush) You guys lift my spirits TREMENDOUSLY!! I wish we lived right next door to each other!! <3 <3 <3

      Thanks for the lovely and very sweet comment!!! HUGE SQUISHY HUGS RIGHT BACK TO YOU BOTH!!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)


THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

As of today, 9/23/18, I have permanently enabled comment moderation, due to a sudden rash of SPAM comments. I appreciate your patience!

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)