|Pages/Publication Date:||224 / 2015|
As much as it is a political and military battlefield in miniature, chess also reflects the history of civilization itself, with clear roots reaching back 1500 years. That progress is charted here in 50 brief chapters—illustrated in color with 150 photos, artworks, and diagrams—beginning with board games in Egypt and East Asia that spread along silk trade routes. From its most obvious ancestor, the Indian game of chaturanga, we see chess moving to Africa, Russia, and Europe, where it takes the form we know today. Great players and matches are chronicled, as are trends and patterns of play, the intersections of chess with codes and computers, and how chess is played in the internet era.
"[Bill] Price convincingly explores the early history of chess and the social contexts that have supported it to the present: royal courts, coffee houses, parks, and Soviet schools, to name a few. Price invites readers into the game and introduces them to the varied strategies of modern masters, including André Danican Philidor and the utilization of the pawn, the aggression of the Romantics, the use of positional play by Howard Staunton, and the tactical considerations of Hypermoderns. This is not an overly technical book, and famous moves such as the Sicilian Defense and Nimzo-Indian Defense are only really mentioned in passing. However, with the focus on the characters who loomed large and the environments that they helped shape, this is a great book to orient casual readers and direct them to other sources according to their interest. It is attractively designed with plenty of photos and illustrations."—Publishers Weekly