CH&LS with a new board

On Tuesday March 22nd, 2022 Bob van de Velde has written these email letter to the Council of Representatives and to the members of the new Board and the former Board of the CH&LS with regard to the new Board composition:

Dear Members of the Council of Representatives,
dear new Members of the Board,
dear former Members of the Board,

at 00:00 h this morning the term of four weeks has been passed by without a reaction from the Council of Representatives on the proposal of the former Board (email of 21st of February) to appoint the four candidates, mentioned in my email below, as members of the Board:

Frank Hoffmeister as chairman/president,
Claes Løfgren as secretary,
Henri Serruys as treasurer and
Jean-Olivier Leconte as member and website editor.

From now on, together with John Donaldson, vice-chairman/president, they will form the new Board of the Chess History & Literature Society (formally still Ken Whyld Association) .

I am happy to be the first one who can gratulate them with their appointment and to wish them all the success in their efforts to overcome the negative effects on the CH&LS of the lockdown period during the corona pandemic. At the same time I thank the members of the old board for their cooperation during my two-plus terms as chairman and their willingness to improvise during the corona period, and especially I am grateful for Karl Klittich’s support and for his inventiveness to find solutions for almost all problems that arose during the last two years.

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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

More photos:

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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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News for members

Our membership secretary, Claes Løfgren, has published a message for all members. Registered members can read it under News for members: Membership fee.

If you are a member and do not yet have login data, please contact our webmaster Wilfried Krebbers, .

To whom it may concern

Michael Wiltshire
Michael Wiltshire

The President of the Chess Collectors International (CCI), Michael Wiltshire, offers all interested members of our Society a copy of Sotheby's 1874 catalogue of George Walker's chess library.

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A request from Norway

Heading of the first article, January 1952
Heading of the first article, January 1952

Our member Claes Løfgren has received a request from Terje Kristiansen from Tønsberg, Norway. Mr. Kristiansen is a member of Sjakkhistorisk Forum and specialist for Soviet chess history.

Here is the request:

Dear Mr. Løfgren,

Dr. Albrecht Buschke, the German Jew who emigrated to the USA in 1938 with a huge collection of chess books, letters, autographs and magazines, wrote many columns in the 1952 American chess magazine Chess Life called: Alekhine’s Early Chess Career. Additional data by A. Buschke. V. Alekhine in Soviet-Land. He claimed that the 1921 versions of Das Schachleben in Sowjet-Rußland were either edited or shortened by the publisher Bernhard Kagan:

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Brochure to the exhibition "Schach. Spiel - Sport - Wissenschaft - Kunst" appeared

Schach. Spiel / Sport / Wissenschaft / Kunst - frontcover
Schach. Spiel / Sport / Wissenschaft / Kunst - frontcover

Dear Colleagues,

the chess exhibition in the Thüringischen University and State Library has now been closed. But for all those who did not have the opportunity to go to Jena, a real “consolation” has just appeared, the brochure with the title

Spiel / Sport / Wissenschaft / Kunst. Aus den Beständen der ThULB.

Game / Sport / Science / Art. From the ThULB holdings.)

76 p. With numerous colored illustrations. The brochure costs 4.25 EUR / pc. The delivery will be on account (plus shipping and packaging costs). Please send your orders directly to Ms. Heike Rothenburg:

The following three photos are intended to give a first impression of the new release. Pages 42-43 are from the VI. Section: Schachmeister (Chess masters).

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The date of Rubinstein’s death 4

Certificate of death from Akiwa Rubinstein (excerpt)
Certificate of death from Akiwa Rubinstein (excerpt)

The well-known Belgium chess historian Hans Renette, the author of inter alia thoroughly researched biographies on Henry Bird and Louis Paulsen, has solved the problem of the correct date of Akiwa Rubinstein’s death. He has sent us a copy of the official death certificate:

Certificate of death from Akiwa Rubinstein

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LSAK chess book auction November 2021

by Michael Clapham

Lund Chess Academy recently held the latest of its regular online chess book auctions and many interesting and valuable lots went under the hammer. The auctions are admirably organised and conducted by Per Skoldager abd Calle Erlandsson whom I thank for allowing reproduction of the auction details and images.

There was keen competition for several scarce and sought after periodicals including the following:

  • British Chess Review, edited by Daniel Harrwitz, London, volume I only for 1853. This sold for €500 which was possibly good value as a full run of this periodical (12 issues for volume I and six issues in 1854 for volume II) sold in an LSAK auction earlier this year for €2,071.
  • A complete three volume run of The Amateur Chess Magazine, edited by James Chatto, London, 1872 to 1874, realised €270. From May 1873 the title changed to The Amateur and the chess content gradually diminished in favour of other amusements.

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