New Member: Luis Fernández Siles

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Our new member, Luis Fernández Siles from Spain, introduces himself in the members area (you must be logged in to read).

New Member: Luis Fernández Siles

New Member: Alain Barnier

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Our new member, Alain Barnier from France, introduces himself in the members area (you must be logged in to read).

New Member: Alain Barnier

New Member: Roger Lorenz

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Our new member, Roger Lorenz from Bornheim (Germany), introduces himself in the members area (you must be logged in to read).

New Member: Roger Lorenz

Matthias Aumüller - Das Schachspiel in der europäischen Literatur [Chess in European Literature]

by Siegfried Schönle [Original article in German is here. Translation by DeepL]

Das Schach hat wie die Liebe, wie die Musik die Fähigkeit, den Menschen glücklich zu machen.

[Chess, like love, like music, has the ability to make people happy.]

Source: Dr. Tarrasch, Das Schachspiel. Systematisches Lehrbuch für Anfänger und Geübte, Berlin, 1st ed. 1931 : Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, Preface p. 4.

or

Für das Schach ist wie für die Liebe ein Partner unentbehrlich.

[For chess, as for love, a partner is indispensable.]

Source: Stefan Zweig (writer); https://www.schachbund.de/zitatensammlung.html

Whether the reader of Matthias Aumüller's treatise Das Schachspiel in der europäischen Literatur will be "happy" or happier remains to be seen. But he certainly learns a wealth of knowledge and background - Europe-wide - to the texts presented, which are "primarily ... about love and its connection to chess" (p.9).

The book, which is highly recommended here, contains detailed reflections on five great chess poems

  • Fenollar, de Castellvi, Vinyoles - Scachs d’ Amor (nach 1470)
  • Vida - Scacchia ludus (1527)
  • Kochanowsky – Szachy (ca 1564)
  • Marino – L‘ Adone (1623)
  • Jones – Caissa (1763/1772)

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Collector's corner: Two different editions of a chess magazine issue

Henri Serruys
Henri Serruys

Here is the support for the last presentation at the CH&LS general meeting in Belfort on Saturday 2 September.

Henri Serruys (Belgium) presented the very special January 1888 issue of the BCM (British Chess Magazine).

Henri pointed out a curious feature of the January 1888 issue of BCM.

In fact, this issue of BCM was printed twice with slightly different layouts, by two different printers.

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Collector's corner: Draughts and Academie des Jeux

Jurgen Stigter
Jurgen Stigter

The CH&LS General Meeting concluded with two presentations of collectors' books.

The first was by Jurgen Stigter (Netherlands) and the Academy of Games.

Extract from the presentation at the AGM on Saturday 2 September: Annual Meeting of the CH&LS in Belfort
In German on the ChessBase website, by Herbert Bastian: Jahrestreffen der CH&LS in Belfort

A fascinating day at the municipal library ended with a talk by Dr Jurgen Stigter on the classic works devoted to the popular games of the time, (...). Jurgen used the example of draughts to show that it is not always possible to draw reliable conclusions about the spread of the game from the contents of books, as draughts, although a popular game, is not mentioned in some of them.

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The Chapais-Manuscript

Herbert Bastian
Herbert Bastian

Herbert Bastian (Germany) devotes a large part of his spare time to studying the Chapais manuscript, a revolutionary manuscript for the game of chess in its day.

Extract from the presentation at the AGM on Saturday 2 September: Annual Meeting of the CH&LS in Belfort
In German on the ChessBase website, by Herbert Bastian: Jahrestreffen der CH&LS in Belfort

Let us leave the floor to Herbert Bastian:

I was then given the honour of reporting on the state of research on the Chapais manuscript, Mennerat's most important contribution to chess history. The chess-historical significance of the work is now well understood and will be described in my forthcoming book on it. Chapais coined the concept of opposition, which is extremely important for endgame theory, and was the first to use the multifunctional king movement (as I call it) in a whole series of examples, which only became generally known through the famous Réti study of 1921. Chapais was the first to study the endgame king and two knights against king and pawn, which Alexei Troitsky (*1866-†1942) later used as a model, and probably communicated with André Danican Philidor (*1726-†1795) about the endgame king, rook and bishop against king and rook. My investigations of various kinds have used a variety of clues that Chapais could be a pseudonym and in fact the famous French mathematician Gaspard Monge (*1746-†1818) is hiding behind it. Even if there is no 100% proof, the weight of circumstantial evidence is, in my opinion, overwhelming.

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Folke Rogard, President of FIDE - the lawyer who organised chess in the shadow of the Cold War

Henri Lindberg

Here is the presentation given by Mr Henrik Lindberg (Sweden) at the CH&LS association's general meeting in Belfort.

Extract from the presentation at the AGM on Saturday 2 September: Annual Meeting of the CH&LS in Belfort
In German on the ChessBase website, by Herbert Bastian: Jahrestreffen der CH&LS in Belfort

Henrik Lindberg, assistant professor for economic history in Stockholm, reported in an extremely interesting lecture on the life story of the Swede Folke Røgard (*1899-†1973), lawyer and FIDE President from 1949-1970. Those who are interested in chess history during the Cold War can already look forward to the hopefully imminent publication of Henrik's book, as the title of the lecture reveals: Folke Røgard: organiser of modern world chess in the shadow of the cold war. Røgard was a well-known personality and made headlines, among other things, as the lawyer of the famous Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman (*1915-†1982), who was seen in the 1942 film Casablanca alongside Humphrey Bogart (*1899-†1957), incidentally also a chess enthusiast. Røgard got the FIDE World Championship cycle off the ground when the first interzonal tournament went to Saltsjöbaden in Sweden (1948). Through his good contacts on both sides, he also repeatedly succeeded in bringing the Soviet Union and the USA together, for example by preparing the bilateral match of 1955.

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Rare books from the Jean Mennerat collection

Clémence Tariol during her presentation
Clémence Tariol during her presentation

This is the text of the first conference held on Saturday 2 September at the CH&LS association's general meeting in Belfort.

The presentation was given by Clémence Tariol, curator of the Mennerat collection at the Léon Deubel library in Belfort.

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Annual Meeting of the CH&LS in Belfort

Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister
Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister

by Herbert Bastian

On 2 September members of the Chess History and Literature Society (formerly Ken Whyld Association, KWA) met for their annual meeting in Belfort, France, one of the magical places for chess historians. The Belfort City Library administers the estate of Dr Jean Mennerat (*1917-†2007), the most important French collector of chess literature. In the course of his life, Mennerat collected about 27,000 books and about 1,000 periodicals on the royal game, which are now preserved for posterity in Belfort.

After a short welcome in the City Library by Prof. Dr. Frank Hoffmeister, who replaced the Dutchman Bob van de Velde as President of the CH&LS last year, curator Clémence Tariol introduced the Mennerat Collection in a PowerPoint presentation. Mennerat began collecting in 1936. The dominant language of the works is English with about 6,000 titles, followed by about 4,100 German-language works. It is surprising that "only" 8% each of the works are in French, Spanish, Dutch and Slavonic. Rarer languages such as Swedish, Hebrew, Maori and Esperanto are also represented. The actual collection is located elsewhere and could not be visited. However, members were able to examine a selection of some particularly valuable items from the collection.

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