Written by George Dean with Maxine Brady and an introduction by Garry Kasparov, this book includes one thousand years of extraordinary chess sets. The remarkable chess sets featured in this volume span time and history, chronicling the game and its design from the earliest known pieces to surprising present-day concepts. Some were collected or commissioned by Catherine the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, President Eisenhower, and other world leaders. The engaging text considers chess through the perspectives of art and history, touching upon the influences of local cultures and available materials, as well as the battles, rulers, and political factions that often inspired thematic sets.
Works of art, these sets were fashioned of gold, silver, ivory, or uranium glass, and made by Wedgewood, Murano, and other great craftsmen. Chess Masterpieces also includes the first-ever comparison of two sets created by Faberge (only one of which was previously known to exist), and extensive examples of twentieth- and twenty-first-century sets crafted by artists such as Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Salvador Dali, and Damien Hirst.