Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chessboard

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9780520267398: 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 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.

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From the Inside Flap:

"Counterplay explores the inner world of a chess player and examines how we attempt to make meaning from the game and the forms of life that surround it. Desjarlais's personal account skillfully illustrates the absorbing, enchanting, and exacting qualities of chess, while also highlighting the penury, disillusion and pettiness that regretfully permeate the game."—Jonathan Rowson, PhD, Grandmaster and British Chess Champion (2004-2006)

"This book is replete with deeply researched and closely observed details, small dramas, intriguing insights, compelling anecdotes and potted biographies—all interwoven with great authorial skill and intelligence. This is a superb introduction to the 'lifeworld' of chess that affords glimpses into the psychology of players and touches on the social and political dimensions of competitive chess. In every chapter, Desjarlais offers alluring suggestions as to what kinds of satisfaction different people find in playing chess."—Michael D. Jackson, author of The Palm at the End of the Mind

About the Author:

Robert Desjarlais is Professor of Anthropology at Sarah Lawrence College.

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520267398

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520267398

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