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Counterplay – An Anthropologist at the Chessboard - California Scholarship Online
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Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard

Robert Desjarlais


“Chess gets a hold of some people, like a virus or a drug,” states this book. Drawing on a lifelong fascination with the game, the book guides readers into the world of twenty-first-century chess to help them understand its unique pleasures and challenges, and to advance a new “anthropology of passion.” Immersing us directly in chess's intricate culture, it interweaves small dramas, closely observed details, insights, anecdotes, and biographical sketches to elucidate the game and to reveal what goes on in the minds of experienced players when they face off over the board. The book offers a com ... More

Keywords: chess, anthropology of passion, play, beauty, competition, addiction, fanciful cognition, intersubjective engagement, games

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780520267398
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520267398.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Desjarlais, author