Texts by Zachary Mainen e Razvan Sandru, Stefano Salis, Adolivio Capece
2022 / 168 PAGES
Chess and chessboards – a deceptively simple game and objects that hide a wide range of possibilities – are the main characters of this book, which explores their manifold aspects on a journey between art, literature and science.
Chess has always proved intriguing, and even more so in recent times thanks to its portrayals in Western culture. The volume starts from the scientific aspect to trace the game’s success back to its origins: the brain mechanisms activated during a game are the subject of a critical essay by neuroscientists Zachary Mainen and Razvan Sandru.
The essay is followed by an excursus by writer and journalist Stefano Salis, who guides the reader along an itinerary depicting the origins and evolution of the game and describes its effects on cinema, figurative art and literature.
The volume ends with an appendix edited by chess player Adolivio Capece, who provides a summary of the rules of play as well as a collection of famous games.
The importance of chess over time is further attested to by the objects people once played with: chess sets were among the most valued gifts. Noble metals, the rarest of woods and ivory were carved down to the last detail by the best craftsmen and goldsmiths. The illustrations in this book feature the most exquisite pieces from one of the most prized private collections in the world, masterfully photographed by Massimo Listri.