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The Immortal Game: A History of Chess Paperback – October 2, 2007
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More About the Author
Shenk's work inspired the Emmy-award winning PBS documentary "The Forgetting," and was featured in the Oscar-nominated feature "Away From Her." He has advised the President's Council on Bioethics, and is a popular speaker. His original term "data smog" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.
Top Customer Reviews
Is this a dry and boring history of chess? Absolutely not! You will find numerous interesting stories about some of the top chess players in the world, but also there is a heavy focus on famous people who play chess (who didn't gain their fame from chess). The author is quick to point out when something is a "story" or "legend" and that often a certain amount may contact some fact.
Do you need to know how to play chess to enjoy and learn from this book? No! In fact as you go through the book, basic rules are pointed out. Though not intended to be a book that teaches chess, for an absolute beginner, you will be gently introduced to the basics. There are a nice number of diagrams, pictures, maps and complete games (with light analysis to make the book of interest to the casual chess player). Great detail with diagrams for every move of the "immortal game" is given in segments throughout the book - an interesting way of going through the game - you can skip over the in between pages if you want to follow the game from start to finish with a diagram for each move (the pages with the game stand out and are easy to find).Read more ›
The Immortal Game gives a history of chess and also presents interesting highlights of world history along the way with many insights into man's psychological constitution, proclivities, etc. It is also a cultural commentary and uses the game of chess as a metaphor. I think it's a quite clever concept for a book.
The parallels between chess as war and various military campaigns and personalities is used a lot to bring in a world history perspective. I like the way he used this theme throughout the book and he relates it back to psychological and sociological evolution in interesting ways. He also highlights the influence of the game on various world leaders throughout history.
This book is primarily geared toward novice players. This makes the book an easy read for everyone, but perhaps serious chess players would appreciate more in-depth chess specifics. There are other reviews below that place more emphasis on this dimension of the book's contents.
This thought provoking book also makes reference to some good research material on neuroplasticity, strengthening cognition, etc. The author relates some of this research to chess and speculates that chess improves memory and cognition. This is good speculation in my opinion and quite likely true. He also talks about computers and chess and references a few of the famous matches between humans and computers.
In short, this is good writing. I recommend this book highly. It is great food for thought and engages the mind in many imaginative, entertaining and informative ways.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave this as a gift to a friend who is a Chess Master. He liked it and was pleased.Published 18 days ago by Eve Everly
Outstanding book and you need not be a chess player. A fascinating look into not only what chess players call "The Immortal Game" (this is a specific game that was played... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
A very enjoyable and well laid out book on the history of chess and one important game.
For chess lovers and not the general public.
I was happy to read it.
A book you can read for the rest of your life...the best of
I fear that I'm not going to add much to the reviews already done, as I agree that this is a most enjoyable and entertaining book, but I was quite surprised at how much I liked it,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by TopCat19