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A Chess Reading List for Watching ‘The Queen’s Gambit’

How Netflix’s sleeper hit made chess exciting, the best ways to learn to play, and other fascinating reads about the ancient game.

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Read when you’ve got time to spare.

Chess is officially sexy thanks to the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit, but that’s just scratching the surface of the drama and intrigue of a game that dates back some 1,500 years. Read on for stories of international chess skullduggery, pawn-pushing prodigies, undercover grandmasters, and human vs. machine duels. Plus: how to upgrade your own chess skills and Chess... the musical!


Jonathan Rowson

The challenge of chess—learning how to hold complexity in mind and still make good decisions—is also the challenge of life.


Dave McKenna

The supremely old-school game of chess is dealing with a very avant-garde brand of unsportsmanlike conduct