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August 2018

Our member Timothy Harding recently published British chess literature to 1914 (McFarland 2018), an impressive book that will interest many chess historians, especially those who are specialized in the 19th century. With his permission, we took away following summary of its content from the blog of our fellow member Michael Clapham who reviewed the book thoroughly. There the interested reader will find his complete review (https://chessbookchats.blogspot.com/2018/08/british-chess-literature-to-1914-by.html):

Dr. Timothy Harding, author of previous deeply researched works on chess history including Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987, 2011, Eminent Victorian Chess Players, 2012, and Joseph Henry Blackburne, 2015, all published by McFarland, surveys British (and Irish) chess literature up to the First World War in this latest work.

The Preface sets out clearly the aims and content of the book which has a special emphasis on chess columns, and these are comprehensively examined in the first four chapters, plus the very detailed 45 page Appendix I. British and Irish Chess Columns to 1914: An Annotated List, describing nearly 600 columns. Chess Periodicals also receive extensive coverage, especially The Chess Player's Chronicle and its successors which are covered in a separate chapter of 54 pages.

The history and description of chess columns and periodicals take up six of the seven chapters, and 230 of the 274 pages which discuss chess literature, leaving just one chapter of 44 pages for the comparatively weak examination of chess books; and anyone hoping for a thorough review of the rich history of British chess books will be very disappointed. As early as page 10 Harding dismisses old chess books as having "little to offer the historian" and it is clear that the author is much more inclined towards chess columns and periodicals than general chess books.

Jørn Erik Nielsen, 2013
Jørn Erik Nielsen, 2013

Jørn Erik Nielsen

* 12-05-1948   † 03-08-2018

Our friend Jørn Erik is dead after a long cancer illness. He was not a very strong player himself, but he left his mark on Danish chess through his untiring work in teaching and history research.

Jørn Erik was educated as a teacher and worked for many years at the Brundlund school in his home town of Aabenraa in southern Jutland. Of course it was important to him that the pupils also became acquainted with chess, and thanks to his engagement. Brundlund won the Danish schools’ team tournament in 1994 and went to Iceland to represent Denmark in the Nordic championship. This peak performance was documented by Jørn Erik in a booklet containing games, pictures, Icelandic history and geography – undoubtedly the trip was a memory for life for all participants! The teaching material Jørn Erik created for his pupils is still in use in school clubs all over Denmark.