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Ahead of His Time

  Louis Paulsen A Chess Biography with 719 Games Hans Renette 448 pages | hardback | 108 illustrations | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2019 Jonathan Hinton Author Hans Renette has established himself as a leading chess historian with the publication of his immense 2016 biography of…

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The Chessplayer-Tramp

‘This book is definitely for chess players who enjoy reading crime—by a chess player who really knows his underworld.’ Jim Phelan (1895–1966) led an eventful life, but what is known of his chess life?

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The Sultan of Swash: Part 3

In a recent Perpetual Chess Podcast the chess writer and translator Douglas Griffin pointed out how much fine chess literature is waiting to be translated into English; most of it is in Russian, as you might expect. Griffin has been mining Soviet chess archives for…

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Music

‘Music seems to me one of the few things (like chess) which really last through life, and gives one almost as much pleasure towards the end as in the early days.’  H.E. Atkins quoted in R.N. Coles, H.E. Atkins: Doyen of British Chess Champions (London:…

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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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