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Alekhine Checkmated

  ‘I am proud and happy’ Rare film footage of Alekhine proposing a toast to the victor after losing his world title to Euwe in 1935 ‘The greatest game that I have ever lost. This game is a perfect example of Alekhine’s courage, his self-confidence,…

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Winter Was Coming

‘Tournament conditions at London were difficult. We played in a large room in Memorial Hall. The ventilation was magnificent, but there was no fuel for heating! To keep warm, each player bundled up in his coat, hat, scarf and gloves!’ Herman Steiner Chess Review (March 1946)

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Shilling Sharks

CHESS. ___ TO CORRESPONDENTS. ANOTHER SUFFERER−We have so repeatedly warned Chess amateurs against the gentry known as the “shilling sharks” of vulgar divans, that those who now play with them have only their own folly to blame for the consequences. Take it as a rule, whenever…

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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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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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White Snow of Russia

A Soviet film about Alexander Alekhine Sarah Hurst Talking about Alekhine with chess friends recently, someone mentioned White Snow of Russia (1980), and it occurred to me that the film might be available on YouTube, like so many Soviet films – and it is. The…

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The First English Chess Explosion

‘To show the progress Chess had made of recent years, Mr. Staunton observed “that many now living could remember when there was but one Chess club in the kingdom, and the only allusion ever made to the game in our public prints was when Philidor or…

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