Latest in Reviews

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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Self-help

Chess Improvement It’s all in the mindset  Barry Hymer and Peter Wells 334 pages | Softback | Bibliography | Index | £15.99 Crown House Publishing, 2020 Carl Portman   This is not so much a review as a summary of my thoughts as a passionate…

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Chess is Never Square in The Queen’s Gambit

Sarah Hurst The Queen’s Gambit is an entertaining Netflix drama based on a novel that presents chess in a positive light and makes all the right points about women’s struggles on and off the board. It’s hard these days not to see all period drama…

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Horsing Around

Writer Patrick Leigh Fermor and wife Joan social distancing with friends on the Greek island of Hydra in 1954 (Clockwise from top left: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Cyril Connolly, Maurice Bowra, unknown, Joan Leigh Fermor) Joan Leigh Fermor (née Rayner) was ‘addicted to chess’ (obituary, Daily…

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Chess and Recession

“There is a new era in chess. For the past three years new clubs have been springing up in mushroom growths, chess books of all sorts are avidly bought, library shelves are depleted of these volumes. Newspapers are giving more space to the game, recognizing…

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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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