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John Donaldson - Bobby Fischer and his world

John Donaldson - Bobby Fischer and his world - frontcover
John Donaldson - Bobby Fischer and his world - frontcover

Our member and temporary deputy chairman John Donaldson has published his third book on Bobby Fischer:

Bobby Fischer and his world - The man, the player, the riddle, and the colorful characters who surrounded him.

Includes 99 annotated games
Los Angeles: Siles Press, © 2020; xx + 664 pp.
ISBN 9781890085193

This real magnum opus is John Donaldson’s third book on Fischer after his A Legend on the road: Bobby Fischer’s 1964 simul tour (1994) and, with co-author Eric Tangborn, The unknown Bobby Fischer (1999). So it is – in terms of soccer – also his hattrick on the 11th world champion.

Already at first glance we see that the work is the result of his chess life long preoccupation with all aspects of Fischer’s chess life. At the same time, browsing the almost 700 pages is enough to understand that the author documents more or less ‘en passant’ important parts of the American chess history of the second part of the 20th century. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future the register of his book (pp. 633-644) will be also used by historians as a kind of encyclopedic reference work. If ever the ‘definitive’ biography of Bobby Fischer will be written, here the biographer finds an essential part of its foundation.

[Update 2020-12-30] John has sent us following reactions in response to some of our remarks regarding his book:

“Like many players of my generation I started playing as a result of the Fischer - Spassky World Championship match. While I never saw Fischer play or had the opportunity to meet him many of my friends did. Their stories of Bobby, often at odds with accounts of him in the main stream media, piqued my interest. Of course I was always interested in his games and what he wrote. My fascination with Bobby only increased after I wrote two small books on him roughly twenty years ago (A Legend on the Road and The Unknown Bobby Fischer).

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Marten Coerts - Meester in het schaken, grootmeester in het uitgeven

Marten Coerts - Meester in het schaken, grootmeester in het uitgeven - frontcover
Marten Coerts - Meester in het schaken, grootmeester in het uitgeven - frontcover

In Holland, a biography on the chess publisher, journalist, writer and player Wim Andriessen has been published. Andriessen was an independent person in the Dutch chess scene, who as publisher of the magazine Schaakbulletin (Chess Bulletin) gave room to other voices than heard in circles of the Dutch chess establishment. As he was probably rather unknown abroad and because the biography has been written in Dutch, we requested from the author Marten Coerts, a former member of our Society, a short introduction of the biographee.

Bob van de Velde

Book about publisher, chess player and chess writer Wim Andriessen

Three and a half years after he passed away, the publication of Wim Andriessen - Meester in het schaken, grootmeester in het uitgeven (Master in Chess, grandmaster in publishing) is a fact.

This book describes the personal and work life of Wilhelm Fredrik (Wim) Andriessen (1938-2017), publisher of chess books and magazines, chess player and chess writer. In the Netherlands Wim Andriessen was a well-known person. When he died a lot of Dutch newspapers wrote obituaries in their weekly chess columns.

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Chess Auction - Antiquariat A. Klittich-Pfankuch 21st November 2020

by Michael Clapham

The auction house Antiquariat A. Klittich-Pfankuch held its bi-annual chess auction last week with many rare and important books, manuscripts and other collectable items going under the hammer. Recent auctions in Braunschweig have included many rare items from the library of the late Lothar Schmid and again, some of the choicest items came from this source.

Approximately 750 lots of books included the following Schachraritäten:

  • An Inquiry into the Antient Greek Game, supposed to have been invented by Palamedes..., by James Christie, London 1801 which sold for €1,200;
  • the first printing of the first edition of Philidor's L'Analyze des Echecs, London 1749 - €1,600; and a later printing in the same year - €950

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Frank Hoffmeister - 100 jaar Belgische schaakgeschiedenis

Frank Hoffmeister - 100 Jahre Belgische Schachgeschichte - frontcover (German edition)
Frank Hoffmeister - 100 Jahre Belgische Schachgeschichte - frontcover (German edition)

In 2020 the Royal Belgian Chess Federation exists 100 year. As a contribution to the celebration of this jubilee our member Frank Hoffmeister wrote a personal homage to the Federation, 100 years Belgium chess history, and included 50 games of historical interest. As is not unusual in Belgium when more or less official publications are meant for national dissemination, the book has been written in the three languages of the country, Dutch (also called Flemish), French and German.

One year later than the Belgium Federation the French Federation was founded and in 1924 the Belgium Federation belonged to the founding members of the FIDE.

Frank Hoffmeister,

100 jaar Belgische schaakgeschiedenis - Een persoonlijk eerbetoon aan de Koninklijke Belgische Schaakbond met 50 partijen
132 pages
ISBN 9789492510990

100 ans d’histoire du jeu d’échecs en Belgique – un hommage personnel à la Fédération Royale Belge des Échecs avec 50 parties
132 pages
ISBN 9789464201000

100 Jahre belgische Schachgeschichte; Eine persönliche Hommage an den königlichen Schachbund Belgien mit 50 Partien
132 pages
ISBN 9789492510983

It will be published within a few days by Thinkers Publishing, Moorstraat 12, 9850 Landegem, Belgium. On the website of the publisher you will find a so-called teaser (pdf).

Bob van de Velde

Tim Harding: Steinitz in London, A Chess Biography with 623 Games

Tim Harding - Steinitz in London - frontcover
Tim Harding - Steinitz in London - frontcover

by Fabrizio Zavatarelli

Our well-known member Tim Harding had recently added a new monograph to his previous seminal works. Steinitz in London, A Chess Biography with 623 Games (415 p., McFarland, ISBN 978-1-4766-6953-3) in fact goes beyond its title, since it adds a comprehensive account of the Bohemian Caesar’s early activity in Vienna (chapt. 1) and casts a glance at his late years, as well (chapts. 12 and 13). Several pages are also devoted to London chess life and especially to its clubs (in chapts. 3, 5, 9 and 10).

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Die Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch

Die Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch - frontcover
Die Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch - frontcover

Five years ago our member Fabrizio Zavaratelli published his impressive biography of a now hardly known, but nevertheless rather mythological chess master from the 19th century, Ignaz Kolisch. His book Ignaz Kolisch The life and chess career was introduced on our website by webmaster Ralf Binnewirtz (see Zavatarelli on Kolisch).

This year Fabrizio Zavaratelli, together with our member Luca D’Ambrosio and with Michael Burghardt, have published a kind of complementary work Die Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch (544 p., Edition Marco, ISBN 978–3-924833-82-4). On the website of the Glarean Magazin Ralf Binnewirtz, now a former member, has published an extended review of this new publication on and of Ignaz Kolisch. You will find it on F. Zavatarelli u.a: Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch.

By the way, on these Swiss website Ralf Binnewirtz reviewed in depth many chess books, for instance recently the biography of Hein Donner by the late Alexander Münninghoff.

Below the first paragraph of the review is shown.

Bob van de Velde

Das schachjournalistische Phänomen Ideka

von Ralf Binnewirtz

Drei Schachhistoriker und -autoren haben sich zusammengetan, um die 92 sonntäglichen Feuilletons von Ignaz Kolisch – erschienen 1886-1888 in dessen eigener Wiener Allgemeinen Zeitung – in einem kompakten Band zu vereinen, der weit über die Schachwelt hinaus Interesse beanspruchen darf. Denn diese Feuilletons tangieren und reflektieren nahezu alle Bereiche der Gesellschaft und vermitteln in der ausgefeilten Prosa des Autors ein Zeit- und Sittengemälde Westeuropas aus der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts.

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Alessandro Sanvito, RIP 1938-2020

Alessandro Sanvito, Vienna, 2010
Alessandro Sanvito, Vienna, 2010

Our Honorary Member Guy van Habberney has informed us about the sad news that our old-time member Alessandro Sanvito passed away, and sent us the obituary below. In addition to it we republish Michael Negele’s article My unforgettable stay at Ermide’s and Alessandro’s home which he wrote for our Chess Stalker Quarterly six years ago.

[Update 2020-11-13] Our member Siegfried Schönle advised us that there is a second volume of the Festschrift in honor of Alessandro Sanvito. A PDF with its content and the multilingual title pages was added at the end of the article. [/Update]

Alessandro Sanvito, 1938-2020

Alessandro Sanvito, one of our earliest members, passed away in Milan on October 21st, aged 81. He had been suffering since a couple of years. Born is 1938, Alessandro’s early youth was marked by the second world war. Then, in 1959, he became seriously ill, to the extent that he was unable to finish his studies. His 9 years older brother Luciano, a famous designer, subsequently helped him to set himself up as a reputable jewelry and diamonds appraiser. In 1965 he married his wife Erminde, with whom he had 4 daughters. They all survive him.

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Dr. Diego D'Elia: Il codice Vittorio Emanuele 273 della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma: analisi storico-culturale e codicologica

Dr. Diego D'Elia - Il codice Vittorio Emanuele 273 della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma: analisi storico-culturale e codicologica - frontcover
Dr. Diego D'Elia - Il codice Vittorio Emanuele 273 della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma: analisi storico-culturale e codicologica - frontcover

The book Il codice Vittorio Emanuele 273 della Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma: analisi storico-culturale e codicologica (The Vittorio Emanuele code 273 of the National Central Library of Rome: historical-cultural and codicological analysis) published for the publishing house Itinera progetti di Bassano del Grappa is the latest in chronological order of the great research work on the history of chess carried out by Dr. Diego D'Elia, among the world's leading experts in this sector.

In this essay, accompanied by a large and well-documented critical apparatus, a detailed and in-depth overview of the late medieval chess literature is provided, based on the direct study of the sources, in a process that culminates in the analysis of an important 15th century codex, kept at the National Central Library of Rome, guiding the reader in a study path that will allow him to learn about the fascinating world of board games such as chess, backgammon and the game of filet (derived in part from the Arab tradition), which were widespread in our society throughout the centuries of the late Middle Ages, seen and interpreted in their historical and cultural context.

It will thus be understood the late medieval chess literature, which will form the basis for the training of world-class chess players both Italian and Spanish in the Renaissance era, among the first to apply the current rules of the game of chess, among which the Venetian champion is also included the priest Lorenzo Busnardo. A book that is, let us be permitted, a very important text for the history of the most widespread game in the world, and which finally puts order, correcting some historical and methodological errors, in one of the most compelling fields of study in the context of the most characteristic of knowledge and our culture.

Stefano Zulian

For any information and any purchases write to or look at Itinera Progetti

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New book about japanese chess shogi

Fabian Krahe (Ed.) - Shôgi Hamburg - frontcover
Fabian Krahe (Ed.) - Shôgi Hamburg - frontcover

From the editor of the book mentioned below, we got this information, that could be of interest especially for members who are Shôgi players themselves or have historical interest in the game:

Dear Members of the Chess History & Literature Society,

I recently published a book with articles of my german blog about japanese chess called Shôgi Hamburg. It covers the time from 2013 to 2019. It's mostly accounts of tournaments in the city of hamburg, but it also includs four very short essays about the history and culture of shôgi. Maybe it is of interest for your society or some of your members.

Fabian Krahe

Fabian Krahe (Hrsg.): Shôgi Hamburg. Beiträge aus den Jahren 2013 bis 2019.
Norderstedt: Books on Demand 2020
108 pages
15,00 Euro
ISBN-13: 9783751920216

With contributions from: Uwe Frischmuth, René Gralla, Fabian Krahe, Jürgen Woscidlo

For more information:

Latest news regarding the CCI meeting in St. Louis

Tom Gallegos and Luann Woneis gave further information about the CCI meeting in St. Louis. The message also contains photos of the display shelves at Link, bulging with sets, just to whet your appetite.


Greetings CCI Members and other Chess Friends,

Just a quick reminder: Don't forget to bid on Chess SETS, Chess BOOKS and much more at Link Auction Galleries in St. Louis, September 5, 2020 at 10:00 in the morning, Central Daylight Time. That’s 16:00 (4 pm) for the UK; and 17:00 (5 pm) for most of the rest of Europe.

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Again news regarding the CCI meeting in St. Louis

With regard to the 19th Biennial CCI Congress in St. Louis we received the following announcement of Luann Woneis and Tom Gallegos who had organised the original meeting, but due to Covid-19 were forced to adapt the Congress drastically.

Dear CCI Members and Friends,

You are invited to a Zoom webinar.

When: Sep 3rd and 4th, 2020, beginning at 09:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: CCI 19th Biennial Congress Lectures Sept. 3-4, 2020

Register in advance for this webinar at:

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News regarding the CCI Meeting in St. Louis

Tom Gallegos and Luann Woneiss, the organizers of the scheduled meeting of the CCI in St. Louis in September, write us:

Dear CCI Members and Friends,

We hereby announce that CCI’s 19th Biennial will be what is called a “hybrid” event – part in-person, and part online. We cordially invite you to attend, from the comfort of your own home.

PLEASE ATTEND OUR SCHEDULED WEBINARS, 9 am to noon, CDT, September 3 and 4, 2020.

It breaks our hearts that so many of our friends and fellow collectors cannot be with us in St. Louis for our meeting in September.  We’d been hoping to welcome as many as 60-80 of you on the originally scheduled date, back in May.  Now, with our September postponement date just around the corner, and the pandemic grinding on and on, it looks like the actual number of attendees will be much closer to 10. (And we need every last one of these folks!)

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Robert Johnson: Adolf Anderssen - Combinative Chess Genius

Robert Johnson - Adolf Anderssen - frontcover
Robert Johnson - Adolf Anderssen - frontcover

Our member Tony Peterson would like to draw our attention to a new book about Adolf Anderssen:

Adolf Anderssen - Combinative Chess Genius.
An autobiography with 80 annotated games.

Self-published, Australia, 2020
Large heavy hardback (22 x 30cm), pictorial covers.

353pp., 36 fine large photos (3 in colour of Anderssen's grave),
comprises ten chapters with biography and 80 annotated games using contemporary annotations where possible,
appendix with Steinitz's Obituary of Anderssen, bibliography and indexes.

Printed on high quality paper with large type and diagrams. The author has "endeavoured to present the fullest, most accurate possible account of Anderssen's life in English."

[Update 2020-10-22] Although the book is sub-titled An Autobiography it is in fact a biography. Most of the information about Anderssen's early life is sourced from the Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (1900). Its Anderssen article was written by Max Lange, a personal friend and chess colleague of Anderssen's. The book also draws from the German works of von Gottschall and Riemann, as well as nineteenth century books and magazines. [/Update]

Signed and dated by the author on the endpaper.

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Tobiblion update

Per Skjoldager has updated the database of the BoC-Project. 140 new descriptions have made it into Tobiblion as well as the data of the 74th Klittich auction. They are now available for members in Tobiblion.

Blitz tournament for all Chess Collectors in the world


It is intend to run a blitz tournament, 5 minutes + 2 seconds per move, online at during the time when the GSM meeting took place every year, i.e. Ascension Day 2020 Thu 21.05.2020 at 20:00 CET. Duration 100 minutes. Run the tournament without affecting your personal score and without berserk mode. All members of the GSM, CCI, CHLS and MOTIEFGROEP SCHAKEN are invited.

Important: If you don't have a free account at, you have to register in time. If you want to participate, please email () me or contact me at Then I remind all interested parties in good time. The winner receives a free membership for one year and has thus paid the contribution for 2021.

Best regards from Jena,
Wolfgang Pähtz (chairman GSM)

New Senior member

Bernd Segebarth, Brunswick 2015
Bernd Segebarth, Brunswick 2015

From our Chairman:

We congratulate our member Bernd Segebarth at the occasion of his promotion per Januari 1st of 2020 to Senior Member of the Chess History & Literature Society as in this year he will reach the age of 75. We wish him many happy years in his seniority!

Postponement of the biennial international CCI Congress in St. Louis

Our chairman Bob van de Velde has received the following message from Tom Gallegos und Luann Woneis, the organizers of the 19th Congress of the Chess Collectors International to be held in St. Louis, U.S.A., originally in May 27-31, 2020:

It has been a difficult decision, but with Coronavirus-related closures and travel restrictions worsening by the day, I'm afraid we must bow to the inevitable, and postpone CCI's 19th Biennial Congress (currently scheduled for May 27-31) until September 2-6, 2020. This new date is provisional, of course. If the pandemic is not over by that time, obviously we might have to postpone it further, or even cancel it altogether. We should know more as events continue to unfold over the spring and summer.

After having explained that the new dates are very favourable for especially the American attendance, Tom Gallegos continues with a short survey regarding the exhibition, exposed during the Congress.

As all members of our Society should know, they have a permanent invitation to attend the congresses and the meetings of de CCI. Therefore we publish the complete letter of Tom Gallegos below.

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The annual meeting of the Chess Collectors International in 2020 cancelled

Our chairman Bob van de Velde informed us that the German branche of the Chess Collectors International hat postponed its annual meeting for 2020 to 2021. The meeting was originally planned from 24th tot 27th of September in the German city of Wernigerode in the Harz. More information will follow in due time.

No meeting of the chess motive collectors this year

Our member Wolfgang Pähtz informed us, that the Collector meeting 2020 of the GSM (Gemeinschaft der Schachmotivsammler) in Bad Salzuflen will not take place this year!

More information:

A fresh look on a historical tournament

From our chairman:

On our request Johannes Fischer, a long-time friend of the Chess History and Literature Society, wrote a review of Michael Dombrowsky's Cambridge Springs 1904, the tournament book to which the chess world has looked forward for more than a century. The name of Cambridge Springs is better known as a defensive variation of the Queen’s Gambit than as the spa where the first ‘top tournament’ on American soil was organised. The reviewer is a productive contributor to the German language magazine Karl, das kulturelle Schachmagazin, as far as I know, from its start (2000-2001) in the current format until today, and is collaborator of ChessBase.

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Juan Sebastián Morgado: El impresionante Torneo de Ajedrez de las Naciones 1939

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 [/Update]

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Best Trainer Award for John Donaldson

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:

Russian Chess Literature: Early Periodicals - Table

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

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