The Story of Chess

For the last 1500 years, the game of chess has been at the cultural forefront of a startling number of different societies, consistently enthralling millions of players while simultaneously influencing literary styles, community values and scientific development.

Explicitly geared to a general audience, the upcoming 4-part documentary series, The Story of Chess, is devoted to a comprehensive investigation of the huge impact of this remarkable game throughout its long, and ongoing, evolution.


A brief synopsis of each episode is provided below: 

Part 1: The historical importance of games, what makes chess special, different types of chess played over time and around the world.

Part 2: The socio-cultural impact of chess from 600–1500: from ancient India to Sasanian Persia to the Golden Age of Islam to medieval Europe.

Part 3: The socio-cultural impact of chess from 1500-present: from the birth of the modern game to the Café de la Régence to Fischer-Spassky to AlphaZero.

Part 4: Contemporary applications of chess to education, behavioral economics, computer science, prison reform and social inequality; what chess today reveals about current attitudes to gender, technology, sports, entertainment and the nature of play. 

Expected release: Fall 2022

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook where we’ll be sharing regular updates! You can sign up for our quarterly newsletter below. Make sure to download the new Ideas Roadshow app where you’ll be able to watch the series soon!