Two new old articles

Emil Joseph Diemer and Sonja Graf
Sonja Graf

Two German-language articles by Michael Negele from 2007 were only available as PDF files. These are on the one hand the article Schicksal eines „Fräuleinwunders“ – der Lebensweg der Sonja Graf-Stevenson from 10.02.2007, published in a shortened form in Karl 3/2004, pp. 28-34. And secondly, Emil Joseph Diemer, ein Eiferer zwischen Wahn und Wahrheit, published in excerpts in KARL 1/2007, pp. 28 to 36. Both articles are now also available here in edited form as news articles and sorted according to the publication date.

Click here for the articles:

Homage to a chess master

by Michael Dombrowsky

It seems an irony of history that he of all people wrote a biography about Kurt Richter. I talk about Alan McGowan who has written the biography “Kurt Richter – A Chess Biography with 499 Games”. There are some differences between protagonist and author: The year the book comes on the market is the 50th anniversary of the day of death for Richter and the 65th birthday of the author.

And something else distinguished both: McGowan is born in Glasgow. He saw most of Scotland and the rest of Great Britain. When he was 34 years old he moved to Canada and saw a lot from North America. He still lives in Waterloo (Ontario), not far away from Toronto. Richter was born in Berlin (1900) and died in Berlin (1969). He hated it to travel. Inside Germany it was ok. But journeys over the border were very, very seldom. For playing chess Richter left Germany only three times. Once for the Chess Olympics 1931 at Prague, where he wins the bronze medal with 10,5 points out of 15 games (+7 =7 -1) at board four. The second time he played 1936 in an international tournament of Podebrady in Czechoslovakia (a small spa around 40 kilometers east of Prague), where he wins the ninth prize with 9 points out of 17 games (+5 =8 -4) behind Salo Flohr, Alexander Alekhine, Jan Foltys, Vasja Pirc, Gideon Stahlberg, Erich Eliskases, Paulin Frydman and Jiri Pelikan, but ahead of greats like Valdimirs Petrovs, Lajos Steiner or Karel Opocensky. And the third time was a match Germany – Hungary 1939 at Karlsbad, the city was after the German annexation part of the “Protectorate of Bohemia and Moldavia” and belonged for six years to Germany. Kurt Richter wins both games against Geza Füster, who immigrates after WW II to Canada.

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Hans Holländer: Arbeit am Labyrinth

Arbeit am Labyrinth - front cover

The great cultural historian Professor Hans Holländer (1932-2017, see our obituary Memories of Hans Holländer) who produced so many fascinating essays and books on the game of chess has left us some texts from his last chess project. Austrian publishing house Sonderzahl (http://www.sonderzahl.at) has announced to publish them in April 2019 under the title Arbeit am Labyrinth. We recommend to make good use of the subscription offer and attach the information flyer (in German).

Andreas Saremba

More information:

Highly interesting auction items

On March 28, Forum Auctions is auctioning off some interesting chess books, including the only known Greco manuscript that is not in a state library or similar facility.

For more information about the books, visit the Forum Auctions website.

Massimiliano De Angelis: Antichi scacchi italiani

Antichi scacchi italiani - front cover

Recent book written by our former KWA-member Massimiliano [Max] De Angelis (President of CCI Italia)

The book is in English and Italian, and the preface is by the renowned Alessandro Sanvito who confirms it fills a void in our knowledge of the history of chess and is a detailed research showing a passion for the subject. It deals specifically with antique Italian non-figural chess sets, used in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The topic required careful research as these pieces are rare and unknown even to the most knowledgeable collectors. There are coloured photographs on most pages. Basically the study confirms that chess playing Italy produced its own chess sets and used them routinely.

Michael Wiltshire

More information:

Obituary of Bernd Schippan

Calle Erlandsson and Bernd Schippan, June 2014
Calle Erlandsson and Bernd Schippan, June 2014

Bernd Schippan

* 09-01-1946   † 07-02-2019

Again it is my sad obligation to say "farewell" to a long-term chessfriend, but a quite silent member of our small collector's realm. When I moved to Wuppertal in 1999, Bernd Schippan was a well-known (and renowned) chessplayer of master strength in the so-called "Industriegebiet".

However, I only noticed him as an ardent collector of valuable chess literature and especially of chess autographs, after the foundation of the Ken Whyld Association. In the early years of our association, we had many email exchanges about "market evaluation" and "prices", mainly based on David DeLucia's A Few Old Friends (2003). Laterly, I was often amazed by the "bidding contests", Bernd Schippan was involved at the auctions in Brunswick.

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Vacant position as bibliographer

We are now looking for persons who are willing to contribute to the Tobiblion project. We are especially looking for someone who has a keen interest in bibliography and would like to enter data on books into our system.

As a bibliografer you must obey to the rules on the classifications you are working on and must be meticolous and accurate when entering meta data and descriptions on books.

Our Tobiblion webmaster and advisory board, will facilitate instructions on rules and policies on the individual classifications. You must have your own scanner and IT equipment in order to fill the position.

Salary will be 2,- € for each fully described item, approved by the webmaster.

If you are interested, please contact the Tobiblion Webmaster at

Interview with Michael Negele

Michael Negele
Michael Negele

Shortly before the 150th birthday of Emanuel Lasker, the first volume of the new Lasker biography was published. Hartmut Metz conducted an interview with Michael Negele, one of the editors of the three-volume monograph. The English translation is now available on ChessBase:

The German original version is available here:

Birthday greeting for our Alessandro Sanvito

Alessandro Sanvito at a lecture in Bolzano, May 2011, assisted by Luca D'Ambrosio.
Alessandro Sanvito at a lecture in Bolzano, assisted by Luca D'Ambrosio: KWA Meeting at Bolzano 18 to 20 May, 2011

Alessandro Sanvito from Bresso-Milano, celebrates yesterday his 80th birthday.

Unfortunately, his appreciation in Wikipedia is still only insufficiently maintained.

https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alessandro_Sanvito

However, it expresses in a way, the importance of this Italian chess scholar in our small realm of 64 squares.

Ad multo annos, dear Alessandro

Michael Negele

Web Editor wanted

Since the recent launch of our new website our webmaster Wilfried Krebbers, together with especially Michael Negele, but also with other members of the Board, has done a lot of work to get the website going. But now the point of no return has arrived: the growing number of news entries and other informative contributions makes it necessary to create the function of web editor.

The task of the web editor will consist mainly of:

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