Conference in Kraków

At the first May weekend a group of chess historians met in Kraków to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the first Kraków chess club (founded 1893). Tony Gillam has written a summary of the event and Marek Skrzypczak has provided a lot of photographs.

Kraków, the "Rynek" (Central Grand Square)
Kraków, the "Rynek" (Central Grand Square)

A meeting of chess historians was held at the former capital of Poland, Kraków, from the evening of Thursday, May 2nd to the morning of Sunday, May 5th. The venue was the Hotel Europejski, close to the main railway station, where the different age championships of Małopolska (Small Poland, an area which centres on Krakow) were also being held.

The venue and organisation (by Mr and Mrs Kusina) were excellent. About 14 historians assembled of whom only Messrs. Meissenburg, Hebeker and Gillam were not from Poland. The programme included talks by several of the Polish historians present on matters with a Polish background and by Egbert Meissenburg on efforts to chart the development of castling and the reconstruction of a position from a medieval poem.

In between, the organisers took us on trips to the Hanseatic city centre, a major local library with some ancient chess books and to Wawel Castle (the royal residence when the city was the capital).

A well organised and entertaining trip.

Tony Gillam, May 2013

The Conference Schedule (PDF) gives an overview of the speakers and their topics, and the Papers contain more or less detailed summaries of the presentations.

Below we give a selection of photographs.

The following books belong to the inventory of the Princes Czartoryski Library:

Gustavo Seleno
Das Schach- oder König-Spiel von Gustavo Seleno
Lipsiae, 1617

L’Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers
Paris, 1789
Tome XI, Echecs, p.597

François-André Danican Philidor
Traite du Jeu de Dames
Amsterdam, 1785

Juliusz Cesar
Najnowszy almanak dla grających w karty i w szachy
Wrocław, 1810

All photos courtesy of Marek Skrzypczak.

You may enjoy still more photographs in his gallery.

Go back