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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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Herr ‘Stemitz’ and the Librarian

Although Steinitz was celebrated for his play without sight of the board, barely two dozen of his blindfold games survive. In February 1875 he visited Oxford to give a blindfold exhibition over seven boards. He won four, lost one, with two games left unfinished. It…

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Reasons to Cancel Club Night, Part 3

  For more on the colourful life (and bizarre death) of Oxford University Chess Club President Harold Davidson see The Dabbler and Chess Notes. Source: ‘Miscellaneous papers relating to the Oxford University Chess Club, c.1870-’, Bodleian Library, Oxford. With thanks to Richard James.

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Their Finest Hour

‘Hugh had been in London and at John Lewis’s for only about a year when we were overtaken by the war which changed all our lives. In September 1939 the British team for the International Team Tournament, consisting of Sir George Thomas, Alexander, Harry Golombek,…

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Zugzwang

It seems that Julian tweeted the wrong position. KingpiLeaks is glad to put the record straight.  

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The Front Page

Poignant news from thirty years ago. Poignant because this month marks the sixteenth anniversary of Tony Miles’ premature death. The reasons for his defection became clearer four years after this story appeared when the Sunday Times published Nick Pitt’s investigation. Sharing the front page of a…

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Chess Players under the Microscope

    A Cultural History of Chess-Players: Minds, machines and monsters John Sharples ix + 225 pages | hardback | £75.00 Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017       Sarah Hurst John Sharples goes far beyond the conventional and off into another dimension in his…

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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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