Latest in January

A Fine Writer

It is hard to estimate how many newcomers to chess this book turned into lifelong devotees of the game; hundreds certainly, but probably thousands. ‘When I was a young player, I read The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played by Irving Chernev which made chess seem extremely…

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Self-Sacrifice

A landmark in chess magazine publishing passed unnoticed this week – and it wasn’t the relaunch of the BCM (that’s next week). After 56 years in print, Dragon, the bulletin of the Cambridge University Chess Club, finally entered the digital age with its 100th issue….

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Toughing Up at the Top

In a wide-ranging interview in 2003 Loek Van Wely talked to Dutch journalist Renzo Verwer about his life. This excerpt reveals much about the pressures of playing chess at the highest level and the gamesmanship of leading players. ‘. . . Man, in those top…

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Botvinnik’s Life and Games

  Mikhail Botvinnik: The Life and Games of a World Chess Champion by Andy Soltis 284 pages | hardback | 12 photos | S49.95 Jefferson: McFarland, 2014         Nagesh Havanur The Patriarch never had an official biographer. He didn’t want one. His autobiography…

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The Glorious Tradition of English Chess

‘Fifty years have passed since Pillsbury’s great triumph. Governments have fallen, tyrannies have been crushed, the energy of the atom has been harnessed, the Empire no longer has the self-assured power of 1895, but a chess tournament is again in progress at Hastings, just as…

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How to Write a Chess Book and Make Loads of Dosh

Phil Crocker   I feel impeccably qualified to write this article because: a) I have never written a chess book, and b) I am not a particularly strong chess player.   The would-be author should bear in mind the following points: (1) The most important parts…

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More #crapchessbooks

Further non-essential reading offered by chess players inspired by Tony Miles’ infamous two-word book review. (Mark Thornton) Winning Database Dumps by Many English Grandmasters (Mig Greengard)   How I Plan to Overthrow Kirsan in the Next FIDE Election by Nigel Short (Sarah Hurst)   Tarts,…

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Startling Castling

‘Security passes were something I never felt the need to wear, particularly when coupled with Rambo [John Stevens]. The way we were viewing it was, “If our hairdos aren’t our pass, well, we’ll pass on the gig, thank you.” Rambo and I got into so…

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Sarah Hurst: 20 Questions

Sarah Hurst was a regular contributor to CHESS magazine in the 1990s and also edited the British Chess Federation’s newsletter, ChessMoves. Her fine book Curse of Kirsan: Adventures in the Chess Underworld is now available on Kindle at a bargain price. Since 2002 she has been translating…

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Eye Told You So

‘John Witherow and Fraser Nelson, editors of the Times and Spectator respectively, are happy to employ a hack who regularly steals other writers’ work and passes it off as its own … This isn’t the first time the Penguin has been caught red-handed.’ Private Eye…

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