The Lewis Chessmen
By Chip Brill

We are pleased to introduce The Lewis Chessmen Unmasked, available now from Woodstocker Books. The material on the book is being sent both as an attachment and embedded in the body of this email.

The actual Lewis Chessmen, the most celebrated chess pieces in the world, are appearing at the Cloisters in Manhattan, NY now through April 22, 2012. We trust the information will be of interest to you and that you will pass it along to colleagues, as well.

The book is receiving wide attention at the Cloisters and in order to expose the publication to as wide an audience as is possible, from now until March 31, 2012 it is being offered at a one-time special rate of 15% off the list price of $15.95. The total price of $18.55 includes shipping of single copies. For each additional copy, please add $1.00.

The generously illustrated, hard-cover volume features 104 photos / illustrations, 34 in color, and is annotated by chess experts, forensic scientists and archaeologists. It brings to light new evidence about the mysterious origins of the pieces. It is a fascinating look at this aspect of the history of Chess.

“… very authoritative… with very clear explanations… the pictures are just outstanding.” -Rick Knowlton

More about the Lewis Chessmen — from Annmarie Fertoli, WQXR News:

“…. The pieces, intricately carved from walrus ivory, include a startled Queen holding a hand to her cheek, a knight atop his horse, armed with lance and shield, a bishop, staff and bible in hand, and a mighty king with a ready sword.

“James Robinson, curator of the late medieval collections at the British Museum, said another figure, known as the berserker — who appears as a rook — comes from Norse mythology — a connection to myth that puts the pieces’ origins in Scandinavia.”

The berserker is “…a soldier of Odin who drives himself into a fury, and bites the top of his shield… A fierce fighting machine… he looks rather comical… with his teeth sort of hanging over the shield.”

There is the suggestion of a triangle, a trade link … “between Greenland and Norway and Britain… and that trade… was very, very brisk in the very early part of the Middle Ages.”

Thus, the Lewis Chessmen became an important bridge not only in the history of chess, but in the history of trade.

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar