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Learning Chess Through History

What’s the best way to improve your chess? Great Moves: Learning Chess Through History blends the intricacies of chess play with the game’s compelling and colorful history, putting real people at the 64 squares.

Tracing the development of chess from its origins in ancient India, the authors take the student on a far-ranging journey through the palaces of medieval and Renaissance Europe to the cafés of the Enlightenment and the dawn of the Industrial Age, with a focus on the leading personalities of the royal game and on their contributions to the understanding of it. Rogues and champions, tragic as well as inspirational human stories all serve as the backdrop for illustrative games and exercises of increasing complexity highlighting their discoveries, and invite the student to grasp the potential of chess to fascinate.

Much more than a primer for beginning chess players and their teachers, Great Moves shines a light on the lives of famous players of bygone eras, helping experienced players to fill in the gaps in their chess culture.

What people are saying

“An exciting new idea which makes the game’s rich history come alive.
I can see Great Moves becoming as popular with adults as it will
surely be for students.”

–  Judit Polgar, Grandmaster and Chess Educator

“A long needed scholastic workbook that places chess within the history
of ideas and brings students into practical contact with the evolution of chess thought.”

– Dr. Jeff Bulington, 2018 UT Dallas Chess Educator of the Year

“The authors take readers through a deep analysis of the game’s ties to politics, culture, and religions, creating a fascinating timeline about how the modern game was shaped
by the past, how the game has adapted, and how these nuances can influence
strategy for the present-day.”

– The Children’s Book Review

Great Moves: Learning Chess Though History is a
Curriculum Development Project of the National Scholastic Chess Foundation.
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This Project was Generously Supported by

The Chisholm Foundation

Special thanks to Ellis Lindsay and Family.

©2017, 2024 NSCF: The National Scholastic Chess Foundation