Exchanges with the French association "Théméchecs"
The president of the "Théméchecs" association, Mr. Alain Barnier (France), has contacted us for various exchanges concerning our two associations with rather similar objectives. What he proposes will interest, I hope, most of our members.
Our French association gathers chess collectors, originally rather philatelists, but also collectors of books, magazines, pictures, games and other objects, as well as amateurs of chess history and culture. A quarter of the members are outside France.
Our website is here: http://echecs.online.fr/themechecs/
We collaborate with several partner associations: Cossu in the USA, Motiefgroep Schaken in the Netherlands, GSM in Germany more recently.
I propose the idea of collaborating with you, notably by exchanging information, for example on our side:
- by mentioning the website of the KWA / CH&LS association;
- mentioning your events and informing you about ours;
- sending our newsletter to the president (3 times a year);
- giving you free access to our auctions (once or twice a year), etc.
A Letter from our president Frank Hoffmeister
Dear members of the society!
On 10 September 2022, we held our first General Assembly in the beautiful Palazzo del Doglione of Marostica. Many of our members could also see the life chess event in the evening which was shown until the end despite some heavy rain showers in between! I wish to thank in particular our Italian members Stefano Zulian and the President of the Marostica Chess Club, who helped a great deal in the preparation. Moreover, it was an honour that we could count the great Italian Chess historian Dr. D’Elia among our participants. In order to facilitate the cross-communication, I attach the list of participants with e-mails for your information.
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The long-forgotten Turkish chess automaton of the Italian Joseph Morosi
by Jean Oliver Leconte
In a previous article on my website (in French) I wrote about the visit of Kempelen's chess-playing Turkish automaton to Paris in 1783.
During my research I discovered many newspaper articles about a chess-playing Turkish automaton in Paris in the year 1800. At that time Kempelen was still alive and his automaton had not yet been sold to Johann Maelzel. But curiously, the name of the person who brought the automaton to Paris in 1800 was not Kempelen. In 1783, the newspaper articles mention a certain Anthon (who I have not yet identified). And in 1800, it is a certain Morosi. And that's when I thought something was wrong. And "Hey presto!", in the reference book "Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne" (Paris 1843), we find in volume 74, page 417 a short biography of someone called Joseph Morosi (26-06-1772 - 27-09-1840) presented as an Italian mechanic born in Ripafratta, a small village in Tuscany. The text indicates:
Read more … The long-forgotten Turkish chess automaton of the Italian Joseph Morosi
Zur Schach-Akademie in Achdorf bei Landshut und vom Sailerschen-Kreis (To the chess academy in Achdorf near Landshut and from the Sailerschen circle)
On two chess scenes of the early 19th century:
A chess academy in Achdorf near Landshut by professors from the Landshut University (1800-1826), later the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Attached to the first part is a facsimile of Prof. Mall's witty and ironic speech at the end of the chess academy entitled Zweiter Jahresbericht über die Ereignisse in der Schach-Akademie auf dem Zollhause zu Achdorf im Jahre 1814/15 erstattet bei dem Schach-Soupée am 27. Februar 1815. This report, I could only prove 3 printed originals, gives an insight into the social background of the members of the chess academy and their chess meetings in the former customs house.
In the second part, the lifelong enjoyment of chess by the later Bishop of Regensburg, Johann Michael Sailer (1751-1832), is discussed. He was friends with Johann Caspar Lavater, among others, who also discussed the chess automaton on his trip to Copenhagen in the summer of 1793. Accompanying is described J.M. Sailer, Professor of Theology, through the theological and historical conflicts triggered by the Napoleonic Wars, within and outside of the professorships in Dillingen, Ingolstadt, Landshut and Regensburg in the early 19th century.
Read more … Zur Schach-Akademie in Achdorf bei Landshut und vom Sailerschen-Kreis (To the chess academy in Achdorf near Landshut and from the Sailerschen circle)
My look back as chairman
At the General Assembly in Marostica, previous chairman Bob van de Velde looked back on his tenure. Here is his speech:
Dear members of our Society,
Today is a special day in many respects. The last member meeting of this kind took place 7 years ago in 2015. The place of performance was the library of the German city of Kiel, which properly accommodated a beautiful chess collection. Its catalog is a well-known work of reference. That meeting was the result of the courageous initiative of our creative and energic member Andreas Saremba. But sadly, he was the last one who had that courage. From then on, seven lean years begun, the years during which I was your chairman.
The 1974 Nice Chess Olympiad
Dominique Thimognier, editor of the excellent site Héritage des Échecs Français, has presented the last conference in Marostica (Italy) on Saturday September 10th. You have below the support of his conference devoted to the 1974 Nice Chess Olympiad.
This is the only Chess Olympiad organized in France, except for the one in 1924, during the Olympic Games in Paris, which was considered as unofficial. Dominique Thimognier benefited from two testimonies of the time, with Michel Benoit, French champion 1973 and member of the French team in Nice, and Louis Risacher, referee during these Olympiads.
A difficult organization: with 10 times fewer volunteers than the previous Olympics, while many more teams took part, the hotel to accommodate the teams was still under construction, etc.
The 3rd World Junior Chess Championship in Antwerp, Belgium in 1955
This is the material of the third lecture given in Marostica on Saturday 10th September 2022 during the general assembly of the international association CH&LS. The 3rd World Junior Chess Championship in Antwerp, Belgium in 1955, by Henri Serruys, treasurer of the association.
Lasker's difficult journey after the First World War
This is the material for the second lecture given during the general assembly of the CH&LS association.
Frank presented the lecture "Lasker's Difficult Journey after the First World War" by Frank Hoffmeister, of which you have the support below.
Interestingly, one of the audience members added that Lasker had gone broke twice in his life. Firstly, just after the First World War, because he had invested in German government loans to finance the war, and then after the krach of October 1929.
Chess as a means of moral education in the Middle Ages
Here is the support of the first lecture by Björn Reich.
General Assembly of the CH&LS Association and conferences in Marostica
Last Saturday 10th September 2022, the CH&LS "Chess History and Literature Society" met for its general assembly in Marostica, Italy. Marostica is famous for its chess show, which takes place every two years. A small town quite suitable for this General Assembly!
Four conferences on chess history were presented during this general assembly. I will publish the material of these four presentations on this website, as well as on my blog Le Café de la Régence.
Jean Oliver Leconte
- Lecture 1 - Chess as a means of moral education in the Middle Ages - By Björn Reich (document in English)
- Lecture 2 - Lasker's difficult journey after the First World War - By Frank Hoffmeister (document in English) [available from September 22nd]
- Lecture 3 - The 3rd World Junior Chess Championship in Antwerp, Belgium in 1955 - By Henri Serruys (document in English) [available from September 23th]
- Lecture 4 - The 1974 Nice Chess Olympiad - By Dominique Thimognier (document in French) [available from September 24th]