Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard

Chess gets a hold of some people, like a virus or a drug, writes Robert Desjarlais in this absorbing book Drawing on his lifelong fascination with the game, Desjarlais guides readers into the world of twenty first century chess to help us understand its unique pleasures and challenges, and to advance a new anthropology of passion Immersing us directly in chess s intr Chess gets a hold of some people, like a virus or a drug, writes Robert Desjarlais in this absorbing book Drawing on his lifelong fascination with the game, Desjarlais guides readers into the world of twenty first century chess to help us understand its unique pleasures and challenges, and to advance a new anthropology of passion Immersing us directly in chess s intricate culture, he interweaves small dramas, closely observed details, illuminating insights, colorful anecdotes, and unforgettable 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 Counterplay offers a compelling take on the intrigues of chess and shows how themes of play, beauty, competition, addiction, fanciful cognition, and intersubjective engagement shape the lives of those who take up this most captivating of games.
Counterplay An Anthropologist at the Chessboard Chess gets a hold of some people like a virus or a drug writes Robert Desjarlais in this absorbing book Drawing on his lifelong fascination with the game Desjarlais guides readers into the world of

  • Title: Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard
  • Author: Robert R. Desjarlais
  • ISBN: 9780520267398
  • Page: 341
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard”

    1. An exciting look at a small part of the competitive chess world. A funny, moving tribute to chess players. Filled with insights extending far beyond chess about our search for fulfilling lives. What a remarkable book.

    2. I wanted a book that talked about the emotional/mental experience of being a chess player, at various levels. This was the closest I could find, and, while it talked a bit above my head (regarding different strategies and variations), the anthropological side of the topic was very interesting. The author discusses the stresses and pleasures of chess with different players, young & old, newbies & elder statesmen, women & men. Really interesting take on chess.

    3. Purportedly an anthropological study of the world of chess, the book is really not much more than an endless collection of quotes and anecdotes by and about chess players. There's a sprinkling of academic jargon thrown in for good measure, but it's superficial and feels forced. The one redeeming quality is that the author is a NY guy and a lot of the book covers elements of the NY chess scene that I know and like.

    4. Well, it was between "Didn't like it" and "OK."The book didn't grab me at all, and its a rare book that I don't finish, but this was one.I may go back to it at one point, perhaps. But for now, other books call.

    5. I've read a lot of chess books, but none have described as accurately what it feels like to be a competitive player.

    6. Some thoughts on this book. Feel free to correct me or discuss it with me.Like many amateur players of Chinese chess, I began to play chess under my father's instruction at the age of 10. Some of the feelings and findings Desjarlais describes resonate with me (such as full concentration and pure joy) but most do not. But never mind, as I can't envision what to expect from an ethnography of chess, I just want to learn how he gives explanations of the "diļ¬€erent possible modes of engagement in th [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *