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Samuel Beckett’s Chess Library

Playwright Samuel Beckett’s interest in chess is well known, but what did he read about the game? There are several chess books among the 757 works in Beckett’s online library. ‘He also studied the chess columns regularly in Le Monde and spent hours playing chess…

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‘Disgusted with the Chamber of Horrors’

Chess and Early Cold War Propaganda Chess, like many sports, has been used as a political instrument. Files recently released by the National Archives reveal how the Soviet Union exploited chess for propaganda during the early years of the Cold War (1953–1960). In December 1953,…

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Tiger v Anaconda

‘But Kasparov is not a man to limit his goals or his spheres of action. Stocky and strong, with black hair already streaked with grey by the pressure of his life-style, Kasparov lives in perpetual whirlwind of activity. Naturally this is reflected in his speech,…

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Searching for André Philidor

Interest in François-André Danican Philidor revived in 1926, the 200th anniversary of his birth. Celebrations were planned at his birthplace, Drieux in the Champagne region of France, and Biarritz. In England too chess players were keen to mark the occasion. Bust of Philidor (Cleveland Public Library…

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Three Prussian Lives

    Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle 19th Century Berlin Chess Biographies with 711 Games Hans Renette and Fabrizio Zavatarelli 384 pages | hardback | 66 illustrations | 711 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2018   Jonathan Hinton Collectors of modern books on chess history, particularly those…

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For the Ladies

Euwe: Plays to win in every game. His colleagues unreservedly acknowledged him an authority on the game. Stahlberg: Obviously quite out of form. Does too much journalism. Always plays the same rather dim openings. Keres: Admired of all the ladies, quite outshining Anthony Eden and…

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Fiendish Moves #3

 Uitumen – Lein Sochi, 1965 Black to play      12…h5!! A fine move, and the only good one.      13 fxe5 Bg4 14 Qb3 Qf2      15 Qxb7? It was better to play 15 Rd1, and if 15…Be2 only then 16 Qxb7.  15…Qxe1…

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A Famous Critic Writes

‘No game has bred more metaphors than chess, the royal game. Indeed, no game has a literature a thousandth the size of it. That is not really surprising; from the moment the board is set up, chess mimics humankind in countless ways. War, cunning, power,…

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H.J.R. Murray: Historian, Chess Player, Poet

Today marks the 150th birthday of Harold James Ruthven Murray (1868–1955), best known for his A History of Chess, published in 1913. The fruits of fourteen years of research, this monumental work of scholarship has been described as ‘perhaps the most important chess book in English’…

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