The Last Checkmate

The Last Checkmate by Gabriella Saab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a midst of WW2, Maria enters Auschwitz. During her first moments in the camp, she catches the attention of a sadistic camp deputy, Karl. After that point, her life in the camp is divided into before and after. An innocent child that has entered the camp has been reborn into a new individual, prisoner #16671. Her new goal is to survive the war and bring her enemies to justice.

The Last Checkmate is a story of a young child who enters Auschwitz, and never returns. Auschwitz has taken everything from Maria, her childhood, her hopes, her love for chess, and her family. The story has so many “what if” moments. And just like a domino effect, one unfortunate situation has brought a series of unlucky events on a young girl.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. My heart broke every time Maria had to mourn a loved family member or a friend. The last chess game with Karl brought even more pain to Maria, and it made me sad that she didn’t get to fulfill her wish. Nevertheless, this has been a great read about resistance, love, loss, and the courage to move forward.

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