This research paper presents a unique argument that delves into the intricate connections between music making and chess, two art forms with which I’ve maintained a deep familiarity spanning over 25 years. This work has evolved from segments of my manuscript, “Chess Power,” an endeavor that commenced in 2010. Although I had initially secured a publishing agreement, circumstances led the publisher to withdraw their support from the project. The resulting book amalgamated points that might challenge the comfort zones of those invested in chess discourse and history, as it introduced critical and even satirical perspectives. In contrast, this current paper maintains a more focused approach, concentrating squarely on the matter at hand.

Subsequently, in 2018, I crafted all the accompanying visuals and refined the manuscript, which I then submitted to academic journals. The editorial process proved time-consuming, with one journal taking over 9 months to respond, relaying comments from a reviewer whose objections I found somewhat unfounded. A challenge arises when integrating critical viewpoints from social scientists such as Pierre Bourdieu, whose work occasionally exceeds the grasp of typical anonymous peer reviewers. This led me to ponder:

Is it worthwhile to invest considerable time and effort into a project only to have it subsequently subjected to alterations by individuals unacquainted with its essence? Furthermore, why did I dedicate over two decades to diligent research if certain gatekeepers aspire to confine it?

The notion that scholarly impact hinges solely on publication within myriad specialized journals appears rather illusory. This epiphany ultimately guided me to this endeavor—a website that unites all my contributions across diverse fields of engagement. This experience is not unprecedented; my PhD thesis encountered similar obstacles, particularly due to its critical stance on UK government agencies. The unequivocal clarity of my assertions raised concerns about ruffling influential feathers. This tendency to appease, commonly exhibited by academics who veil themselves in critical thought, often results in convoluted language aimed at safeguarding their ideas. It’s evident that my intellectual pursuits are unbound by the confines of an arbitrary system, and you’re engaging with this content likely due to a shared resonance with this sentiment.

Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes

Rodrigo Ferrari-Nunes, Ph.D, is a social and cultural anthropologist, independent consultant, music producer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, artist, public intellectual and communicator.

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