Dr. Jean Mennerat 88!

Jean Mennerat in his library

Jean Mennerat in his library
Even at the age of 88 Jean Mennerat hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for chess literature, a passion that took hold of him already at an early age and then accompanied him all his life. Quite recently he received with great pleasure the new Zukertort biography and he was already interested in publications of the Ken Whyld Association on which the work is still in progress. We believe we can promise to make him happy with new reading material from the pen of KWA members at least in the course of the next year. Until then we ask our French friend for a bit patience and we still wish him many happy and healthy returns of the day!

In the following we would like to remind of some "cornerstones" in Jean Mennerat’s life, supported by photos and illustrations he kindly put at our disposal.

Greeting card

Card by Jean Mennerat (above)
with greetings on the back (below)

Mennerat's greetings

The earliest publication of Jean Mennerat known to us is a remarkable letter written to the editor of CHESS, B.H. Wood and dated January 29th, 1946 which was published afterwards in the March issue of CHESS. In this letter Jean Mennerat – only 28 years young at that time – not only castigated in plain words the opportunistic conduct of the world champion A. Aljechin during the Nazi regime, he also goes briefly into his selfless commitment in the French Resistance movement and mentions his more than one-year involvement in a spy network under de Gaulle.
>> Please click on the small preview picture (right)!
Preview article CHESS 1946

Preview L'Echiquier de Paris 1947
After WW II a very active chess phase in Jean Mennerat’s life started: he intensified not only his collecting activities, but also brought – in a joint effort with his professional colleague Dr. G. Schlesinger – a new chess magazine into being: but the L’Échiquier de Paris was granted only a short life, already in 1947 the cooperation of the two doctors was finished. Our "copy" from issue No. 6 / Dec. 1947 verifies that even then Jean Mennerat has worked in the field of endgame studies.
<< Please click on the small preview picture (left)!

Much later Jean Mennerat took up the subject "endgames" again in a publication: Un Manuscrit Méconnu. Le Manuscrit de Chapais was created over the period October 1990 – February 1992, we have already presented this paper briefly in the "Publications of our Members". The illustration opposite shows an edition in a different binding / colour.
Le Manuscrit de Chapais

On the occasion of Jean Mennerat’s 88th birthday an article was recently published: in "A French collector’s shining for chess books" (New in Chess 2005/5, p. 70-73) the author Christophe Bouton reports on his visit to Jean Mennerat and naturally tells some things about him. Needless to say that this article is a compulsory reading for all chess collectors!

You will find some photos of the library ("Ali Baba cave") on the next page.