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Two Sultans

Two remarkable players, Sultan Khan (1905–1966) and Victor Soultanbéieff (1895–1972), met at the International Team Tournament at Folkestone in 1933. Sultan Khan, one of the game’s most naturally gifted stars, represented the British Empire, and Soultanbéieff his adoptive country, Belgium. In a dazzlingly short career…

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Deep Bloke, Shallow Book

Fred Reinfeld The Man Who Taught America Chess, with 282 Games Alex Dunne 194 pages | Softback | Bibliography, Indexes | $45.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2018 Tim-Jake Gluckman This biography of Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964) covers the chess life of an outstanding producer (writing, editing, ghosting and…

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Girl Power

The 7th London Chess Conference Sarah Hurst When I heard that the theme of this year’s London Chess Conference was going to be ‘Chess and Female Empowerment,’ I wanted to be there. I didn’t know what chess and female empowerment was, exactly, but it sounded…

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Pop Philosophy

  The Moves That Matter A Chess Grandmaster on the Game of Life Jonathan Rowson 352 pages | hardback | £20.00 London: Bloomsbury, 2019 Sarah Hurst   The Moves That Matter is the very personal story of Jonathan Rowson’s search for meaning in life and…

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Hapless Miguel

‘Najdorf is harping on his constant “bad luck”. . . We are not sharing this impression. We think differently and to better explain the why and wherefore, we cite the insurance companies which have statistics for everything. When a person has an accident and everything…

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Alekhine’s Kindness

CORRESPONDENCE B.H. WOOD, Esq., CHESS. Dear Wood, There is one aspect of Dr. Alekhine’s character which may come as a surprise to chess players generally, for in that respect he has not been very widely advertised, that of kindness and readiness to help. In 1938…

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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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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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The Executioner from Berlin

Hans Renette     Kurt Richter A Chess Biography with 499 Games Alan McGowan 380 pages | 93 photos | hardback | $75.00 Jefferson: McFarland, 2018 A few months ago McFarland’s new-born chess book saw the light of day. After working for over four decades…

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