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February 2022

Honouring Yuri Averbakh

Yuri Averbakh with Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislav II Class, 2019
Yuri Averbakh with Imperial and Royal Order of St. Stanislav II Class, 2019

On 8 February 1922, our senior member and oldest living Grandmaster, Yuri Averbakh was born in Kaluga near Moscow. He steadily rose in the ranks of Soviet Chess, became a GM in 1952 and participated in the legendary Zurich 1953 candidates tournament (won by Smyslov). In 1954, he won the Soviet championship and almost qualified for the next candidates tournament in the Interzonal of Portoroz. In 1962, he quit competitive chess and concentrated and chess journalism and politics. His role at the helmet of the Soviet Chess organisation is aptly summarized in his unique Centre-Stage and Behind the Scenes (New in Chess, 2011).

Given his high reputation and recognized integrity, Yuri was also chosen as chief arbiter for three world championship matches, namely Kasparov-Karpov (1984), Kasparov-Short (1993) and Kasparov-Kramnik (2000).

While these milestones in his career are already impressive on their own, they do not tell the complete biography, though. Asked in an interview for (Yuri Averbakh, The Oldest Living Grandmaster, Turns 100) about his biggest achievement, Averbakh, confessed that neither his performances in competitive chess nor in chess bureaucracy or as arbiter could qualify. Rather, he pointed to his acclaimed book on chess history! Indeed, the monograph A History of Chess – From Chatarunga to the Present Day finished in 2012 (at the age of 90!) established itself quickly as a “must-have” for chess historians. Averbakh went deep into the origins of “Chaturanga”, took account of archeological findings around the globe and showed an intimate knowledge about the main literary milestones on the game. As he observed himself: “I have been gathering material for this book all my life”.

The Chess History and Literature Society wishes to honor Yuri Averbakh for his life-long commitment to the game and his outstanding contribution as chess historian! May he enjoy many more years to come.

Prof. Frank Hoffmeister,
President ad interim as of February 2022

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Surplus Magazines – Auction Sale

Dear friends and members of CH&LS,

The Edinburgh Chess Club  is holding an auction on April 7th, here is the information they have provided:

Advance notice that Edinburgh Chess Club is planning to offer for sale the first batch of its surplus magazines and other publications in an auction which is to be held by Thomas Roddick on Thursday 7th April at 11.30am at their Carlisle saleroom.

Further details will be available much nearer the time when an illustrated catalogues will be available online at and live online bidding will be available via and

To whet your appetite the magazines on offer include:

  • Bound volumes of early rare magazines such as Volume 1 of the Chess Chronicle (published in 1841), which became the first successful English-language chess magazine, and a bound copy of Volume 1 of The Chess Monthly (published in 1879-80);
  • Many other bound volumes and single issues of old magazines such as The Chess Amateur, Chess Pie, The Chess Monthly: "Suum Cuique", Chess Chronicle, The Chess Monthly
  • Bound and unbound volumes of long running publications such as Chess (Sutton Coldfield), British Chess Magazine, both Scottish Chess and its predecessor the Scottish Chess Bulletin;
  • Some foreign language magazines such as Shakhmatnyi Bulleten;
  • Recent unbound volumes and single issues of modern magazines such as King Pin and New In Chess;
  • And last, but not least, a bundle of Edinburgh Chess Club’s own magazine Capital (Capatal) Chess!

Further details can be obtained from Ian Whittaker, Curator ().

Special offer for members: La France et son apport dans le jeu d'échecs

Bastian, Hoffmeister, Leconte - La France et son apport dans le jeu d'échecs - frontcover
Bastian, Hoffmeister, Leconte - La France et son apport dans le jeu d'échecs - frontcover

Dear friends and members of CH&LS,

I would like to inform you that the book about the online conference of 20 March 2021 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Fédération Française des Échecs has been published. It contains 12 articles by internationally renowned authors in French and English. Authors are Bastian, Baudrier, Bertola, Eales, Fiala, Garzón, Van Habberney, Hoffmeister, Leconte, Lissowski, Schulz, Teyssou.

EUR 49.90 is the normal price.
ISBN 978-3-9823864-0-9
304 pages, hardcover
Publisher: Exzelsior Verlag (with further information about the book [in German])

For CH&LS members we offer the book for 40,- (plus shipping, Germany EUR 5,-; Europe EUR 12,-).

Please indicate that you are a CH&LS member when ordering! For orders from Europe we will send you the invoice by mail first. After receipt of the bank transfer the book will be shipped (prepayment).


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