‘A powerfully unconventional and mind-expanding book … A generous, nuanced and witty meditation on confronting the challenges life throws at us all’ Oliver Burkeman, author of The Antidote Refined and perfected throughout human history, chess has long been a touchstone for shrewd tacticians and master strategists. But enfolded within this ancient game can be found a singularly resonant metaphor for the challenges, thrills and setbacks that fill our lives with meaning and complexity. Jonathan Rowson’s competitive success as a Grandmaster and his work as a philosopher of public policy have given him a unique perspective on why the great game is more important than ever for understanding the conflicts and uncertainties of the modern world. In sixty-four witty and addictive vignettes, Rowson takes us on a tour of life where everything is at play – an exhilarating journey from the aesthetics of cyborgs to the psychology of gang violence, the joys of parenting to the ultimate endgame of death. Chess emerges as a rich and endlessly evocative way of thinking about the desires that shape the world around us. The Moves That Matter celebrates the redeeming power of intense concentration, while offering a humane and compassionate account of our interdependence and need for community. Jonathan Rowson reveals, one move at a time, what it means to love, think or care deeply in the intricate game of life.