8-3 | Players and Pawns: How Chess Builds Community and Culture
Players and Pawns: How Chess Builds Community and Culture
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Prologue, introduction, acknowledgments, notes, index. 288 pp. $26.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780226264981
The subtitle of Gary Fine’s new book on chess is significant, for he is an ethnographer who is most interested not so much in the game itself as in the communities that develop around it among the players, the teachers, and the kibitzers who comment ceaselessly on matches in progress. Chess, Fine points out, is relentlessly social, for even a brilliant move (and he notes “brilliance” is a much sought-after quality in chess) requires that an opponent help create the position that makes the move possible.