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Chess has been played and influenced by Silk Road traders, medieval nobility, U.S. political leaders, and ordinary citizens of many nations. There is even a musical called Chess, illustrating the clash of freedom and state control during the Cold War. Tracing chess through history teaches students about other times, places, and cultures, helping them see patterns of continuity and change.
Alexey W. Root is a senior lecturer in education at The University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, and a former U.S. Women's chess champion.
"The concept is clever. . . . An exercise based on Benjamin Franklin's 'morals of chess,' a list of golden rules to be observed while playing the game, is also fascinating, as are studies of famous chess players and foreign chess terms." - Arches