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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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Leonid Stein: Instinctive Romantic

Leonid Stein (1934-1973), who died prematurely on this day 43 years ago, was one of the most dynamic attacking players of his generation. Krogius – Stein Kiev 1960 Black to play   Stein – Petrosian Moscow 1961 White to play   Gligorić – Stein Lvov 1962…

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The Greatest British Chess Player

  Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography 1 Tim Harding 592 pages | hardback | 95 illustrations | 1,186 games | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2015     Adrian Harvey When Nigel Short defeated Anatoly Karpov in their match in 1992 he surely secured the greatest triumph ever by…

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The Seeing Eye

  ‘The game of chess draws its life and impulse from the contrast between seeing and not seeing and the innumerable gradations between the two. The optical is more powerful than the technical and theory has little significance if it is not associated with the…

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A Difficult Game

  ‘. . . chess is a difficult game. If it were less difficult it would not be so much fun . . . . . . what most captures my imagination and arouses my admiration is neither the perfect technique nor the stunning combinative…

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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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Misha’s Vodka

Stuart Conquest The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal M. Tal Cadogan, 1997, 496 pp., £17.99 I recently had the good fortune to pass the night chez one of the strongest Swiss players of all time. Drooling over his amply stocked bookshelves I came across…

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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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