This Page is dedicated to the
Memory of Ken Whyld






"Always forgive your enemies;
nothing annoys them so much."
(Ken Whyld)


Ken Whyld, one of the most eminent and worldwide known chess historians and authors, is no longer with us. Most of our group only met him once and came to know him as a kind elder gentleman, who attended our first meeting in November 2002 and livened up the discussion about our bibliography project. The photo below was taken on that event.


Ken Whyld together with
Austrian chessplayer Herbert Rudolf


We learn quite a lot about Ken Whyld from his (very worth reading) interview he gave Sarah Hurst ("A Walk on the Whyld Side", CHESS XI 1998; reprinted in S. Hurst, Curse of Kirsan, Milford 2002); for example, that at 13 or 14 the highly gifted boy read Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and one year later he dealt with Lenin and Freud. Later on he earned the nickname "The Omniscient One", due to his encyclopaedic knowledge of chess history.

The high respect which Ken Whyld enjoyed in the chess world cannot only be attributed to his immense knowledge, but largely to his pleasant co-operative behaviour. His willingness to share his knowledge with others at any time and to answer precisely each enquiry was widely known and made him many friends. Having also a fine sense of humour, Ken Whyld, in his personality as a whole, was an absolutely exceptional person.

May be, that Ken Whyld's first marriages have suffered from his chess enthusiasm, a fate he probably shared with many other chess fans. He had married his great love for many years, Pat Frankish, only recently in April 2002. It is very sad to hear that they could spend only 15 months together at their home in the village of Kirton Lindsey (near Caistor).


Ken Whyld flanked by Gert Timmermann and Jurgen Stigter
(Amsterdam Meeting November 30, 2002)

You may find further photos of Ken Whyld at the Website of the Lasker Society .


Many obituaries and tributes appeared after Ken Whyld's death, online and in traditional chess magazines, and his large number of publications was recalled. We will select here only the most prominent ones and add a separate list of all his books.


Books by Ken Whyld


First of all, the outstanding work he created together with co-author and long-time friend David Hooper, The Oxford Companion to Chess. Certainly this wonderful book will offer help and advice to further generations of chess players and researchers, "a masterpiece representing a landmark in the literature of our game", as Edward Winter, another great chess historian, commented. For many of us this gem of an encyclopaedia would be the favourite for the so-called "desert island book".




Secondly, his The Collected Games of Emanuel Lasker, is the result of decades of games collecting. Including 1,390 games and 32 compositions (endgames, problems) of the former WM, it remains the most reliable source on the subject.

Third, his volume Chess Columns: A List, which can be seen as a successor to Gaige's Chess Personalia, is the attempt to give a complete alphabetical list of all chess columns which were ever published in serials and newspapers. Surely not a book to read through, it is a reference book of supreme importance and a must for each serious chess library.

Ken Whyld will live on not only in his books, but also in the name of our Association, which has itself set the task of honouring his memory. As a first step we will support the edition of a reprint of Ken Whyld's Chess Reader, whose publication we are planning for this year's November (2003).



Additional information