New Member: Hanon Russell

Our new senior member, Hanon Russell from Portsmouth (US), introduces himself in the members area (You must be logged in to read).

New Member: Hanon Russell

General Assembly in Marostica

The new chairman: Frank Hoffmeister
The new chairman: Frank Hoffmeister

Dear members and friends of the Chess History and Literature Society!

As announced by our previous chairman, Bob van de Velde, the new board of our society has assumed office. It gives me great pleasure to announce that Henri Serruys (Treasurer - Belgium), Jean-Olivier Leconte (Webeditor - France) Claes Løfgren (Secretary - Denmark) and John Donaldson (Vice-President - USA) will work together with me as new President (Frank Hoffmeister - Belgium).

As one of our first activities, I would like to invite you all for a GENERAL ASSEMBLY on 10 September 2022 in Marostica (Italy) from 10 am to 5 pm. Dr. Roberto Xausa President of the Banca Popolare di Marostica Volksbank Foundation has granted the holding of the General Assembly at the Sala del Buongoverno Palazzo del Doglione - Headquarters of the Foundation in the famous Piazza degli Scacchi! This offers many of us occasion to meet in person after a long period of travel and meeting restrictions. In the evening, you have the possibility to participate in the "Chess-live" event.

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Deutschlandfunk: "Schachspiel - Schachsport"

Our member Siegfried Schönle would like to draw attention to a three-part German-language radio show on the subject of chess.

Deutschlandfunk: "Schachspiel - Schachsport" (in German)

The 65th birthday of Michael Negele

Michael Negele, 2018
Michael Negele, 2018

On February 22nd our Honorary Member Dr. Michael Negele celebrated his 65th birthday. This day coincided with the day on which, although still informally, the new Board of the CH&LS took office and during the following weeks in which the transfer of tasks took place this special day for our Honorary Member passed unnoticed. So, prior to our warmest congratulations we have to apologise for our lack of awareness to look on time on the birthday calendar!

Michael belonged to the founding fathers of the CH&LS, that started almost 20 years ago as Ken Whyld Association, a small group of collectors, bibliographers and historians. The idea was to connect the few people around the world that were interested in chess book collecting, in problems of chess bibliography, and in chess history, and to exchange information, data, books, and to try to build a kind of ‘wiki’ chess bibliography. The early members of the informal Association had the hope that the number of members could grow up to at most 30, but to a large extent thanks to Michael’s boundless energy, first as treasurer and later as chairman, the membership expanded within 10 year to almost 200 members. When you dive into the historical pages of our website, you can get an impression of his activities and his contributions, for instance when you look under Archive, especially under Expeditions of Michael Negele. During that period he was a true ambassador of the Association.

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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.

Read more in the member area: To whom it may concern (You must be logged in to read).