Anthropology and Chess

The Boston Globe discusses Robert Desjarlais’ latest book, “Counterplay: An Anthropologist at the Chess Board:’’

Anthropology is the study of humanity and its many aspects. It generally divides its work into four fields: cultural, archeological, linguistic, and biological. Its horizons, of course, are simply as infinite as the experiences of mankind.

We have never thought of chess as being a subject of anthropology, but it is in fact a separate culture, with its plethora of customs, pleasures, foibles, and eventualities. Now anthropologist and author Robert Desjarlais, a professor at Sarah Lawrence College, has put the microscope to this great board game in the same way an expert might study indigenous aborigines.

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Chess notes
By Harold Dondis and Patrick Wolff Globe Correspondents / July 11, 2011

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