Juan Sebastián Morgado - El impresionante Torneo de Ajedrez de las Naciones 1939: Tomo 1 - cover
Juan Sebastián Morgado - El impresionante Torneo de Ajedrez de las Naciones 1939: Tomo 1 - cover

Our chairman writes:

From our Argentinian member Juan Sebastián Morgado we have received the announcement of his three-volume monograph on the Chess Olympiad 1939 in Buenos Aires: El impresionante Torneo de Ajedrez de las Naciones 1939. Although written in Spanish and therefore not so easily accessible for all lovers of chess history, it will be a most welcome additional source of information to the issue of Karl, das kulturelle Schachmagazin (3/2019) that recently was devoted to this famous tournament, and the single-volume tournament book the Australian author Justin Corfield wrote on the tournament, Pawns in a greater game; The Buenos Aires Chess Olympiad August-September 1939 (Gentext Publications: Lara [Victoria] 2015).

Juan Morgado was as kind as to send us on our request a extensive synopsis of his work, which we publish here.

[Update 2020-02-18: The PDF that contains the complete text of volume 1 of Juan Morgado’s monograph is available for members under Lectures and Articles]

Cover of the American Chess Magazin, Issue 14-15
Cover of the American Chess Magazin, Issue 14-15

From our chairman :

Our representative for the American members and as well the deputy chairman of our Society John Donaldson recently has been featured in the American Chess Magazine. The immediate cause for it was the The Best Trainer Award presented to him by the FIDE Trainers’ Commission for his captaincy of the successful US Teams (gold and silver) in the Olympics 2016 and 2018. We congratulate him heartily on this honourable award!

Bob van de Velde

More information:

Sakharov 1968 - Shakhmatnaya Literatura SSSR; Bibliografia (1775-1966), Moscow 1968
Sakharov 1968 - Shakhmatnaya Literatura SSSR; Bibliografia (1775-1966), Moscow 1968

by Michael Clapham

Part one: Russian Chess Literature: A brief history
Part two: Russian Chess Literature: Early Periodicals
Part three: Russian Chess Literature: Early Periodicals - continued

Below is a Table of bibliographic references from four sources for Russian chess periodicals up to 1917. The sources are as follows:

  • Sakharov 1968 - Shakhmatnaya Literatura SSSR; Bibliografia (1775-1966), Moscow 1968
  • Sakharov 2001 - Shakhmatnaya Literatura Rossii; Bibliograficheskiy Ukazatel (1775-1997), Moscow 2001
  • LN - Bibliotheca van der Linde - Niemeijeriana, The Hague 1955
  • Di Felice - Chess Periodicals; An Annotated International Bibliography, 1836-2008, Jefferson 2008

by Michael Clapham

Part one: Russian Chess Literature: A brief history
Part two: Russian Chess Literature: Early Periodicals

7. Shashechnitsa: Ezhemesyachnyĭ Zhurnal, Moscow 1891. edited by D. I. Sargin and P. P. Bobrov. Sakharov (1968) 211, Di Felice 2439, LN 6314.

Shashechnitsa was launched in July 1891, six months after the St Petersburg magazine Shakmatnyĭ Zhurnal had commenced, and for the first time, Russia had two contemporary chess journals. Although titled Shashechnitsa (Draughtsplayer), the magazine was conceived as a publication equally devoted to chess and draughts. However, chess predominated from the outset; the first issue included 38 pages of chess and 10 pages of draughts.

by Michael Clapham

Part one: Russian Chess Literature: A brief history

This second article on Russian chess literature provides information on early chess periodicals, in chronological order. Further bibliographic details can be found in Chess Literature, USSR, (1775-1966), by N. I. Sakharov, Moscow 1968, and Chess Periodicals, by Gino Di Felice, Jefferson and London 2010. The LN catalogue: Bibliotheca van der Linde-Niemeijeriana, The Hague 1955 only lists the library's holdings.

Painting depicting a scene from a Russian folk epic (bylini).
Painting depicting a scene from a Russian folk epic (bylini).

by Michael Clapham

This is the first of a series of articles tracing the history of chess literature in Russia and the Soviet Union. The information has been compiled from many sources, mainly in the English language; these are listed in the Bibliography at the end.

This is very much a work in progress, and further information may be added. My knowledge of the Russian language is non-existent and some of the sources give conflicting or incorrect information. Furthermore, Russian writers and historians generally praise highly their literary heritage while Western commentators are usually more measured in their views. I therefore invite comments on any errors or omissions so that a comprehensive and accurate account of Russian chess literature can eventually be completed.

Salomon Landau (1903-1944) vs. Count Johannes van den Bosch (1906-1994), c. 1930.
Salomon Landau (1903-1944) vs. Count Johannes van den Bosch (1906-1994), c. 1930.

by Bob van de Velde

Several years ago, Reuben Fine and Salo Landau’s Schaaksleutel (= Chess Key) was presented in the Nieuwsbrief (Newsletter) of the Max Euwe Centre (no. 76, April 2011) as an exceptional object ‘from bygone days’. It is a kind of disc made of thin cardboard, the size of an LP[1]. When this disc is turned inside a frame, which is also made of cardboard, it shows a multitude of chess opening variations, 116 in number. As far as I know, this was the first time that someone attempted to present chess opening theory in such an easy-to-use, systematic way. No wonder that MEC trained the spotlight on this copy of the second, improved edition (≥ 1936) of a quite rarely preserved instrument! Initially it couldn’t be retained in the MEC collection, but eventually the Amsterdam chess centre was able to obtain it after all.

Albin Pötzsch

A king of chess literature has left us. The studied germanist and pedagogue

Albin Pötzsch

succumbed suddenly and unexpectedly shortly before the end of his 85th year on 2019-10-22 to a serious illness.

An obituary by Wolfgang Pähtz (in German).

Dale A. Brandreth
Dale A. Brandreth

Dale A. Brandreth

* 17-12-1931   † 09-09-2019

An excerpt from Wayne Komer's obituary on ChessTalk.com:

Dale A. Brandreth (17-12-1931 - 09-09-2019; Hockessin, Delaware), a founding member of our association, has passed away. He was a chess writer, a collector, historian, publisher and book-dealer.

On September 26th, Forum Auctions is auctioning two extremely rare eighteenth century broadsides advertising The Famous Chess Automaton.

For more information, visit the Forum Auctions website (LOT 92 and LOT 93).