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Chess: History of the Game [Hardcover]

Richard Geoffrey Eales
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 29 Nov 1984 --  
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Book Description

29 Nov 1984
Not since Murray in 1913 has there been a seriously researched history of chess which is also readable. Eales concentrates on what can be identified through archaeological and written evidence. The key text for lovers of chess history.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Batsford Ltd (29 Nov 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713446072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713446074
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,286,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Who better to write an account of the history of the game of chess than a chess Master and well-established Historian? In this revealing work by Richard Eales, the various cultural influences of the game are discussed with analytical ease, shedding light on chess in its own social and historical context. A must have for any chess enthusiast.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis 6 July 2007
Format:Paperback
Not since Murray's classic work of 1913 has there been a seriously researched history of chess which is also readable. Eales' Chess - The History of a Game takes the reader from the origins of chess over one thousand years ago down to modern competitive play where chess may be regarded as a high earning sport. Avoiding idle speculation, Richard Eales concentrates on what can be identified through archaeological and written evidence. This book remains the key text for lovers of chess history and is regarded by academics and enthusiasts alike as the most reliable work in this area.
Richard Eales has played chess for England and once tied for second prize in the British championship. He is a noted historian in his own right and has been Head of History at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most readable chess history 17 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
if you are interested in chess history then this is the book for you-it is readable , flows well and is written by the former head of the history dept at the university of kent in canterbury who also happens to be a strong chessplayer. eales once shared silver medal in the british championship.
you dont even need to know how to play chess to follow this book since there are virtually no chess moves or diagrams.at the moment there is a fierce controversy raging on american internet bulletin boards about whether chess is a sport and whether chess should be in the olympics and if so should chessplayers submit to drugs tests etc etc--- this book provides a welcome corrective to that and shows the different ways chess has been perceived over the ages.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the most readable chess history 8 July 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
murrrays history of chess is the one usually quoted but the book by richard eales is vastly more readable-the print is better and clearer-it is not packed with obscure footnotes and it is much more up to date. also - even if you cannot play chess at all -there is still plenty in this book to enjoy-no knowledge of the moves is required at all.eales also has the advantage of having written after the ussr took such an interest in chess and after bobby fischer had made his impact.for a good read on the history of the game this book has no equal.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best modern history of chess 24 Oct 2004
By Michael Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Murray's A History of Chess (Oxford 1913) covered the early history of chess in great detail; Eales' Chess: the history of a game is the only recent work on the 1500-year history of chess by a professional historian. Eales covers the history of chess with more emphasis on modern chess than Murray. His judgements are reliable, with the many gaps in our knowledge acknowledged. Eales is a strong amateur player, which has helped him cover modern chess better than Murray (who was a weak player).

The present edition is a reprint of the original hardback edition (Batsford 1985). It is essential reading for anyone interested in the subject.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Evolution of Chess 31 July 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Who better to write about the History of Chess than a chess master and well established historian? In Eales' 'Chess - The History of a Game', we are taken through the various influences that cultures and social circles have had on chess through the years. Not only will this book interest the regular chess enthusiast - it will also provide a fascinating read for anyone interested in the evolution of a game - a game that ' has been variously described as a sport, a science or an art' and has captivated peoples for over a thousand years.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Writing, Poor Text 26 May 2004
By Centerra - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is written for the Hardinge Simpole 2002 softcover. The narrative in this book is excellent. Eales writes a history readable for the layman. It is a complete history, from the origins in Islam through to the 1980s. This is, after all, a digital reprint of the 1985 publishing. Which brings me to why I rated this only 3 stars: the print is blurry. Simply put, it looks like poor quality photocopying. With the small font (definitely smaller than 12pt) the fuzzy quality is quite the eye strain.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good General History of Chess 4 July 2006
By R. M. Snyder - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This really nice hardcover book is part of of what I had accuulated as a several thousand volume chess library. Call me a chess nut or not, but in order to write about chess you must have some sampleS? Ha, Ha, to say the least - chess has made a living for me, therefore, I need to hear what others say about it in all fairness.

This is in my opinion the second best history of modern chess ever written (well "Murrays" - "History of Chess" cannot be beat for the "development of how chess is played" since the beginning of time, and "Olson's" - "The Chess Kings" in 2 volumes, cannot be beat for a more modern aspect over the last several hundred years).

This is a very good book if the last several hundrend years of chess history is what you are after along with "The Chess Kings". To be fair I must cetainly recommend getting both for the most comprehensive coverage of 1700 to present chess history.
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