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.
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. 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.
A king of chess literature has left us. The studied germanist and pedagogue
succumbed suddenly and unexpectedly shortly before the end of his 85th year on 2019-10-22 to a serious illness.
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.
by Alan McGowan
This event, the last of a number of training tournaments prior to the Munich Olympiad was held June 14-21 in a popular Baltic Sea resort (now Świnoujście in Poland). The town had hosted a chess event every year since 1930: international tournaments in 1930 and 1932; the 1931 German Championship; a Berlin Chess Association tournament in 1933; preliminary rounds for the German Team Championship 1934 and a zonal qualifying tournament for the 1935 German championship.
The event was held in the Dresdener Hof, a hotel located at Wilhelmstrasse 9, a few steps from the Kurhaus and the sea.
Leonard Raymond Reitstein
* 06-06-1928 † 02-08-2019
We just received sad news from Cape Town. One of our founding members, Leonard Raymond Reitstein - for many years known as "Mr Chess of South Africa" - passed away on Friday. Our sympathy is with his wife Ruth and all the family members and friends.
We have some good news to share with you. The last copies of NEBEA (Nuevo Ensayo de Bibliografía Española de Ajedrez. Autores: José A. Garzón, Josep Alió & Miquel Artigas. Valencia, 2012) are currently available for purchase at a special price.
Member of CH&LS can buy both the Deluxe and Collector's edition, with an additional discount (-5%) through online shop:
During the buying process the system will ask do you have a promo code? You must then introduce CH&LS for the discount to be automatically applied.
The New Survey of Spanish Chess Bibliography (NEBEA) is an arduous work of research in which the authors cover 8 centuries of Spain’s history and culture through Spanish books and manuscripts, most of which are widely unknown, about the game of chess. It is a completely thematic bibliography, since all the Spanish chess (XIII-XX centuries) works are investigated in it, with a complete and rigorous study of each of them, and with the incorporation of original images from all of them, something of extraordinary interest, without any comparable antecedents in the vast field of the humanities. It is, in short, a work of remarkable interest for the chess scholars.
Technical summary of the book:
- Very important news about Scachs d´amor, and the books of Vicent (1495), Lucena (c. 1497), Damiano (1512-1564), Ruy López (1561), including biography of all of them
- 1001 footnotes, 664 pages
- 266 images, many never published. Numerous diagrams and photographs
- Index, tables, and Glossary
- Deluxe Edition and Collector´s Edition
José A. Garzón, Josep Alió & Miquel Artigas
by Alan McGowan
Most of our members will remember Alan McGowan from Canada as the author of the marvelous Kurt Richter book, published last year (Alan McGowan: Kurt Richter - A Chess Biography with 499 Games). However, Alan is also a renowned historian for Chess Scotland. We are most grateful that he just contributed an overview, to be shared with our community.
On the eve of the Saturday auction Adelheid Klittich-Pfankuch and our board member Dr. Karl Klittich invited the CH&LS members and guests to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the antiquarian bookshop Karl Pfankuch, founded in 1919.
Karl explained in a short speech the relation between the Klittich-Pfankuch auction house and the still existing Karl Pfankuch & Co, nowadays a renowned stamp & coin dealer.
Also Karl summarized, how our late friend Roger Klittich, a lawyer by training, had started the auction business. Just be chance, as a great number of confiscated Russian Icons had to be auctioneered for the Brunswick authorities.