Juan Morgado and his opus magnum
by Bob van de Velde
For chess historians, bibliographers or collectors – in short for most members of our membership – Argentina is from their point of view a far away country that doesn’t show many unsuspected or exciting activities on their field of interest. That’s to say, at first Eurocentric sight this can seem so. However, here too, as is so often is the case, a first sight leads to a wrong view. Of course, we all know that the two events that probably had the most far-reaching consequences in the modern chess history, took place on Argentinian soil in the second quarter of the 20th century: the world championship match between Capablanca and Alekhine in 1927, and the 8th Chess Olympiad in 1939. The first event had a major impact on the participation in the top tournaments in the ‘30’s as Alekhine didn’t want to play his rival in a tournament; because of the outbreak of the 2nd World War during the tournament, the second event had an enormous effect on the organised chess world in almost every aspect.
Both events however have in common that the reporting mostly came from European hands – participants, administrators, journalists, eyewitnesses –, anyway, rarely observations and reflections were heard from Argentinian side, neither can we say that abundantly South-American sources were cited. But this situation drastically has changed since in 2012 our member Juan Sebastián Morgado has begun to publish his Complete history of Argentine chess.
Failing better. Beckett's game with chess in Murphy
by Dr. Bernd-Peter Lange
A game's trajectory
Beckett´s lifelong obsession with chess has become a household word. From his childhood with its games in the family, through his participation in matches of the chess team of Trinity College Dublin, facing the Danish master Aaron Nimzowitsch in a simultaneous exhibition, losing many chess games to Marcel Duchamp in his French exile, games in the Vaucluse hideout in the second World War to many occasional friendly games against many partners well into old age, Beckett never lost his fascination with the game. (Knowlson, 1996) The chess books in his library had a focus on the contemporary chess scene, specializing on game collections of the World Champions of chess from Capablanca in the 1920s to Kasparov in the 1980s. (Van Hulle/Nixon, 2013, 261-287) The most concentrated literary reflection of Beckett´s preoccupation with chess came early in his career with the writing and publication of Murphy. The novel is a rarity among thematically related fictions since it integrates the notation of a complete chess game and notes commenting on some of its moves.
Read more … Failing better. Beckett's game with chess in Murphy
Literature, women playing chess and Bertolt Brecht
The society has recently published a very interesting essay from our member Bernd-Peter Lange about the German playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht and chess playing women around him.
As it is in German, you can find the article in our German website here:
Invitation of CH&LS members to the CCI meeting in St. Louis, Missouri USA
Tom Gallegos, President of CCI-USA, has informed us about the CCI Conference to be held July 6-9 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, while also inviting all CH&LS members to attend.
Here is his email: (The attachment with program and registration form mentioned in the email is at the end of the text).
Dear CCI Members, Guests, and Friends,
Read more … Invitation of CH&LS members to the CCI meeting in St. Louis, Missouri USA
Chess Theory from Stamma to Steinitz, 1735–1894
by Jean Olivier Leconte
The McFarland publishing house (USA) has a whole branch specialized in books about chess history, which is to their credit, because the target audience is rather limited. Note that the published books are always of good quality.
I recently acquired one of their latest publications, with the book of my friend Frank Hoffmeister. His book, to which I contributed very modestly, does not differ from McFarland's books. It is a book of great quality for those who are interested in the history of chess and the beginnings of the opening theory for example.
In his introduction, Frank indicates that he started writing this book in ... 2009 (!) for publication in 2022. Such a length of time does not surprise me, considering the richness of the book. Note that in the February 2023 issue of the New In Chess magazine, the British Grandmaster Matthew Sadler publishes a long article about this book and gives it the maximum rating of 5 stars!
Paris celebrates the Café de la Régence
A landmark in chess history. On Tuesday 4 April 2023, the ceremony for the inauguration of the commemorative plaque of the Café de la Régence took place at N°161 rue Saint-Honoré in Paris.
This ceremony marks the end of a cultural project led by Jean-Olivier Leconte (FIDE master and chess historian) and that lasted several years, in particular to convince the City of Paris of the interest to pay tribute to this place known worldwide by chess players.
The ceremony took place with several deputies of the Mayor of Paris, as well as the president of the French Chess Federation.
Ghosting Karl Marx. Hidden Agendas of a Muzio Gambit
by Dr. Bernd-Peter Lange
The Marx that nobody Read
In a recent film directed by the Haitian director Raoul Peck, The Young Karl Marx, the eponymous hero appears as, among other better known pursuits, a genius on the chess board. In two of the scenes set in pubs he triumphantly checkmates Friedrich Engels and clinches a victory over his political rival, the Anarchist Bakunin by decisively pinning one of his opponent´s pieces.
Neither of these games in the film relies on documentary evidence. However, there are two notations of chess notations that Marx has been credited with for a long time, one an impressive win in a Muzio gambit against the contemporary problemist Heinrich Meyer, the other one a mating attack against the famous Prussian master Gustav Neumann, both around 1870. The notations of these games have been republished frequently in Russian journals from 1926 and 1938, respectively, but also in other countries, even though doubts on their authenticity have accompanied their publication throughout. In recent articles in chess journals, these doubts have peaked in definitive refutations of the involvement of Marx in the two games he has been credited with, albeit without much of an impact on the conservation of the view of the philosopher as chess prodigy.
Read more … Ghosting Karl Marx. Hidden Agendas of a Muzio Gambit
75 Jahre Uedemer Schachklub 1948 – 2023
by Siegfried Schönle
Surely some readers immediately have questions when hearing this title:
Uedem? Where is it? I don't know (the reader will find an answer briefly and with spice on pages 36-39 - of 251 pages - without advertising)!
In short: near the Dutch border, on the Lower Rhine, in the district of Kleve and has around 8,600 inhabitants.
A club unpacks? What is the content of the "package" and how could it be packaged?
A package is generally looked at after it has been received, and the type of packaging allows initial and quite vague conclusions to be drawn about the content. This "package" is now exceptionally carefully packed:
- format 215x300 mm;
- 251 p.;
- solid cardboard cover;
- colored print, numerous easy-to-read facsimiles, photos, tables on good quality paper;
- 25,- €, edition 200 pcs.
All this is offered in a professional layout and in high print quality! The editors were the association members Heinz Aldenhoven, Hans-Josef Arts and Michael Venhoff.
To order: https://uedemer-schachklub.de/kontakt-2/ and/or firstname.lastname@example.org
A Letter from our president Frank Hoffmeister
Dear members of the society!
This year, our society will exist for 20 years. After its initial conception in Amsterdam, the founding session took place in November 2003 in Braunschweig. In view thereof, the board has decided to organise a little birthday celebration on 23/24 June 2023 also in Braunschweig.
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An early testimony of organized women's chess in Germany
by Siegfried Schönle
Once again it is my pleasure to present to the readers of this website a book by the director of the Löberitz Chess Museum, Konrad Reiß.
He seems to have turned almost every "chess stone" in recent years and in this way has contributed and continues to contribute significantly to the fact that chess history in the (chess) triangle Löberitz - Ströbeck - Magdeburg, i.e. Saxony-Anhalt, is well researched and documented. Numerous of his earlier publications bear witness to this, as does the one presented here in an elegant way!
Der Correspondenz–Schachkampf zwischen dem Dessauer Schachverein und Frauen des Schachdorfes Ströbeck 1886/87.
Ein frühes Zeugnis des organisierten Frauenschachs in Deutschland
Löberitz, Zörbig, Leipzig 2023. 96 p. + front matter and VIII endpapers.
Edition 100 Ex.
Hardcover, colored print on lightly toned paper. Numerous illustrations and facsimiles of correspondence chess cards.
This can be obtained from the author (KonradReiss@web.de) for €20 + postage.
Read more … An early testimony of organized women's chess in Germany