The Art of the Game of Chess is the first English translation of Fr. Ruy López’s 1561 book about chess, Libro de la invención liberal y arte del juego del ajedrez. López was a priest who served as King Philip II’s confessor and royal advisor. As a connoisseur of chess, King Philip II promoted the game in his court, and it did not take long for López to become known as Spain’s and one of Europe’s greatest chess players.
López is widely acclaimed as one of the most influential chess thinkers of all time whose theories of chess are an integral part of how chess is played today. Academics, including historians, linguists, sociologists, and Hispanists, as well as non-academics, especially chess enthusiasts, will appreciate this translation, which opens with a Foreword by Andrew Soltis, who is a Grandmaster and a United States Chess Hall of Fame Inductee, and includes a critical introduction and more than 275 footnotes.
"Makes significant contributions on several fronts. Lopez’s book marks a key moment in the history of chess, to be sure. But in addition it contributes to our understanding of book history and the commercial book market."~Jenny Adams, University of Massachusetts
"This book is an event. Michael McGrath has brilliantly rendered into English the most influential chess treatise of early modern Europe."~Juan Manuel Escourido, East Carolina University
"Michael McGrath’s erudite introduction, clear, engaging, and richly annotated translation of Ruy López’s The Art of the Game of Chess is a major (and delightful) contribution to our understanding of Philip II’s broad humanistic project in the 1560s and 1570s, of which the game of chess, not unlike the Relaciones topográficas, was one signal aspect. This book is a major contribution to the cultural history of early modern Spain and Europe as well as to the history of chess." As an added benefit for historians of early modern Spain and, at the same time, devotees of the game of chess, this translation is a wondrous present to be read with care as we play Ruy López’s opening moves again and again on our boards or computers."~Teofilo F. Ruiz, University of California Los Angeles