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The Marzipan Queen

‘Petroshan had outplayed Bronstein in a manner that must be a novum to the former challenger: with the exception of one knight, which showed some signs of activity around his Q5, Bronstein never got a single piece into useful play. With four moves to go—Petroshan…

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Eternal, Beautiful and True

‘The thing for which Fischer’s friends most value him is an elusive purity of spirit, an integrity of purpose which springs from his respect for chess not just as a game or an intellectual discipline, but something eternal, beautiful and true. This unbending dedication does…

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The Underdog

  The Grandmaster scowled at the autograph hunter and dutifully scribbled on the ticket. He had just blundered a game away, losing horribly in under 25 moves. That he, a World Championship candidate no less, had crushed his young English opponent in a simultaneous display the…

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‘All the Potentialities of Vice’

CHESS AND CHARACTER. To the Editor of The Daily Mail. Sir,—There appears to be a recrudescence of interest in the perennial game of chess. Most of us can play, indifferently or well; most of us play for amusement. But I wonder whether it is generally…

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How Deep Blue Knew

Daniel Johnson reviews Garry Kasparov’s Deep Thinking Times, 3 June 2017, p.16.   We know exactly why Deep Blue knew that its eighth (not seventh) move, Nxe6, was winning by force: it was programmed to play this well-known winning line.

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A Favourite Relaxation

‘PUBLIC TESTIMONIAL to H. STAUNTON, Esq.—The services which have for a long series of years been rendered by Mr Staunton to the cause of Chess are generally known. His skill as a player has only raised for himself a reputation that is as yet unrivalled,…

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The Accountant Who Shunned Percentage Chess

  H.E. Bird: A Chess Biography with 1,198 Games Hans Renette 608 pages | hardback | 150 illustrations | 1,198 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2016   Adrian Harvey   During the period after 1860 three British chess players had a plausible claim to be in…

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The Sultan of Swash: Part 2

Victor Soultanbéieff (1895–1972) was one of those strong amateur chess players whom fate dealt a tough hand. A late starter, he was well into his teens before he became acquainted with the game. Almost immediately he had to abandon toy warfare for the real thing:…

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The Forgotten American

  Samuel Lipschütz: A Life in Chess Stephen Davies 408 pages | hardback | 42 illustrations | 249 games | $65.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Hans Renette    Samuel Lipschütz   It does not take much to fire a passion. In his introduction…

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A Monument to Contemporary Chess History Writing

  Ignaz Kolisch: The Life and Chess Career Fabrizio Zavatarelli 376 pages | hardback | 63 illustrations | 174 diagrams | 324 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015         Stefan Löffler I can’t think of a chess personality who enjoyed a more adventurous and prosperous…

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