Chess has a double claim to fame. As well as being a challenging intellectual problem, the pieces have inspired great craftsmen and artists throughout the ages. Chess sets are things of beauty. The use of Chess shapes as symbols is universal.

As a leading curator of a Chess collection, Dr Victor Keats M.Phil Ph.D. continually researched the provenance of his pieces, bringing him into contact with the early literature on the subject. This is little known and in languages which are difficult of access to most people.

Hence this series of books, in which he renders the subject accessible to the general public for the first time. The books map the evidence for a beginning in the Middle East and gradual diffusion through trade routes and conquest into the rest of the world. Much of the evidence is in Hebrew writings because the Jews, more than anyone else, preserve their books. Their influence in the transmission of culture cannot be overestimated.


"Memoirs of a Chess-nut perhaps the only known autobiography of a curator of chess sets. The two other titles are the historic works Chess in Jews History and Hebrew Literature and Chess: Its Origin. Both are based upon a profound study of early references to chess including translations of some chess-related books and documents from the seventeenth century that have never before been accurately available in English.

These books contain ideas and discoveries that future historians will be unable to ignore." The Independent Newspaper

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