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Boy George

© Thomas family collection This is the earliest known photograph of George Thomas (later Sir George). It was taken in Southsea in September 1895 when George was 14 years old. A few weeks earlier he had been a spectator at the great Hastings tournament where…

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The Mystery of the Chilled Chess Champ

Ron Katz* The Carlsen/Niemann/Chess.com dust-up has recently been resolved, but not explained. This fictional explanation fills that gap… “According to this article,” Barb Silver said to her husband, Bernie, “Baby Boomers like us are responsible for inflation.” She was peering over the newspaper she held,…

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It’s Really Him

Nearly fifty years ago CHESS published this irate letter: CHESS (October 1973) It provoked a lively response: CHESS (November 1973) One reader sprang to Mr Lorley’s defence with knowing verve: CHESS (December 1973)   Having made his point, Mr Lorley kept a dignified silence. No…

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Steinitz the Great and Grumpy

Adrian Harvey     Steinitz in London A Chess Biography with 623 Games Tim Harding 421 pages | 84 photos | hardback | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2020 For three reasons this reviewer regards Steinitz as the greatest chess player of all time. In the first…

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A History of Chess Theory

Adrian Harvey     Chess Theory From Stamma to Steinitz, 1735–1894 Frank Hoffmeister Foreword by Peter Heine Nielsen 492 pages | 83 illustrations | 407 diagrams | softback | $99.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2022   This is a very substantial work that embraces all the major developments…

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Michael Basman’s Questionnaire

  What is your earliest memory of playing chess? I went up to Selfridges with my dad and we bought a wooden set for 10s. 6d. He taught us to play chess that evening. I remember him showing us the knight move.   What is…

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Basman at the British

Michael Basman Editor’s note: What is striking about these games is how each highlights different aspects of Mike’s playing style. As you might expect, there is his calling card – the outlandish opening 1 e4 g5 (‘totally bonkers’ –Nigel Short), but next is an epic…

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B is for Basman

In 1968, the American magazine Chess Review introduced Michael Basman as ‘another bright B’ in the tradition of famous British chess players represented by Bird, Blackburne and Burn. That’s some billing for a 21-year-old. Basman would never be the brightest chess star in this firmament…

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Poetry Corner

In Memoriam Brian Eley (1946–2022) British Chess Champion, Suspected paedophile So. Farewell Then, Brian Eley, Fugitive chess master, Touch and move suspect, Reported to the BCF for alleged misconduct in 1979.   Fifty years ago You were the British Chess Champion In Brighton.   Thirty years…

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