Robert Desjarlais

in Counterplay

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267398
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948204 | DOI:

Show Summary Details


This chapter suggests that something intensely human shapes people's involvements with the game of chess. Chess reflects how people long for meaning and purpose in their lives. Chess speaks to the place of ritual and cultural forms in people's lives, and how they seek rites, devices, or magical charms to keep anxiety at bay. It illustrates the ways that people act creatively and agentively, and how they try to rework the grounds of their lives through practical efforts that can be magical in effect. The game is ever-changing. It's becoming quicker, more intense, more demanding. Kids these days teethe on cyberchess, and the deftest of them lap up grandmaster titles in their early teens. The databases are getting bulkier by the day. The pace of the game is speeding up. Ever-faster time controls tick away. Information flits from one country to another on an electronic impulse.

Keywords: game; chess; meaning; purpose; ritual; cyberchess; databases; information

Chapter.  4075 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.