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.
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!
Jean Mennerat (above)
with greetings on the back (below)
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)!
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 /
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.