When contacting us by e-mail, correspondents are asked to include their name and full postal address and, when providing information, to quote exact book and magazine sources. The word ‘chess’ needs to appear in the subject-line or in the message itself. There is also a form available for submitting games.
As mentioned in C.N. 9368, we show recent signed items from our collection only occasionally. The latest addition, a photograph taken during the first round of the Sinquefield Cup in St Louis on 23 August 2015 and signed by all ten participants, has kindly been sent to us by Yasser Seirawan:
To state the obvious, or what ought to be, great wariness is required over ‘community’ websites which, instead of trying to get matters correct from the outset, allow individuals, usually unnamed, to post whatever they choose. The onus is placed on others to try to make rectifications if they can be bothered.
In the particular case of Wikipedia, the quality of chess entries varies enormously (C.N. 5919 named two good ones, and there has been considerable overall improvement to the site since then). Discernment remains essential, and quoting Wikipedia is not a step to be taken lightly.
In C.N. 8110 (see Chess: The Need for Sources) a correspondent pointed out that in The Immortal Game by David Shenk (New York, 2006) ‘details of Spassky’s chess career are attributed to a Wikipedia entry’. Recent books with no qualms about citing Wikipedia include Miguel A. Sánchez’s volume on Capablanca (C.N. 9456); see pages 509 and 527. From the latter page:
McFarland books really should do better than that.
In Players and Pawns (C.N. 9500) the endnotes offered by Professor Gary Alan Fine include one on page 241 which gives a Wikipedia link combined with a reference to an atrocious book by Larry Evans, This Crazy World of Chess. On page 256 the Professor refers to Wikipedia for information about Claude Bloodgood.
On page 9 of Carlsen move by move (London, 2014) the vastly over-published Cyrus Lakdawala even quoted Wikipedia on matters of opinion:
The most glaring example found so far of a chess book’s lazy use of Wikipedia is on page 11 of Chess Openings for Dummies by James Eade (Hoboken, 2010):
Joose Norri (Helsinki) notes an article by T.G. Whitworth about the 1922 study on pages 69-70 of EG issue 69 (July 1982): ‘Kubbel – A Case of Lèse Majesté?’.
From Jan Kalendovský (Brno, Czech Republic) comes the front page of the Dutch publication De Revue der Sporten, 7 January 1909:
The position is recognizable as from the second match-game, a draw played on 27 December 1908.
Jan Kalendovský has also sent the items below:
De Revue der Sporten, 8 November 1911, page 410
De Indische Courant, 30 December 1935, page 13
De Telegraaf, 7 October 1937, page 4
Position after 20 bxa6
Source: page 24 of Solitaire Chess by I.A. Horowitz (New York, 1962). Horowitz had not included that curious remark when his article, ‘Spielmann Outspielmanned’, was published on page 9 of Chess Review, January 1955.
The full game-score, for ease of reference: 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 e6 3 c4 Nd7 4 Nc3 Ngf6 5 Bg5 Bb4 6 cxd5 exd5 7 Qa4 Bxc3+ 8 bxc3 O-O 9 e3 c5 10 Bd3 c4 11 Bc2 Qe7 12 O-O a6 13 Rfe1 Qe6 14 Nd2 b5 15 Qa5 Ne4 16 Nxe4 dxe4 17 a4 Qd5 18 axb5 Qxg5 19 Bxe4 Rb8 20 bxa6 Rb5 21 Qc7 Nb6 22 a7 Bh3 23 Reb1 Rxb1+ 24 Rxb1 f5 25 Bf3 f4 26 exf4 Resigns.
As shown on pages 167-168 of our book on Capablanca, the Cuban annotated the game in an article on pages 1 and 2 of the New York Times, 13 March 1927. Among his comments: ‘We have been warmly congratulated by amateurs and experts alike for the manner in which we conducted the attack.’ He also provided notes on pages 245-248 of A Primer of Chess (London, 1935).
In the 1920s, other annotators included Maróczy (Kagans Neueste Schachnachrichten, April-June 1927, pages 304-305) and Alekhine in Das New Yorker Schachturnier 1927. (The English translation of the notes on pages 116-117 of the ‘21st Century Edition!’ (Milford, 2011) made no attempt to capture Alekhine’s prose style.) Réti gave the game in Masters of the Chess Board.
On page 143 of The Immortal Games of Capablanca (New York, 1942) Fred Reinfeld presented Capablanca v Spielmann as follows:
It was also the game that Harry Golombek picked for the section on Capablanca on pages 222-224 of The Game of Chess (various editions). The introduction stated:
A detailed set of annotations, by John Nunn, was published on pages 149-152 of an anthology which he co-wrote with Graham Burgess and John Emms: The Mammoth Book of The World’s Greatest Chess Games (London, 1998). From the introduction:
This photograph of Spielmann and Capablanca in the New York, 1927 tournament is in our monograph on the Cuban:
From ‘60 Seconds with ... Grandmaster David Smerdon’ on page 7 of CHESS, October 2015:
Leaving aside the confusion over Rowson’s Chess for Zebras and Webb’s Chess for Tigers, we suggest that, regarding his third choice, David Smerdon should read Copying.
C.N. 9470 discussed how Petrosian wrote his name in the Roman alphabet. David DeLucia (Darien, CT, USA) now reports that he has a copy of Tigran Petrosian His Life and Games by Vik L. Vasiliev (London and New York, 1974) in which Petrosian signed the first photograph in the plate section:
As shown in Zukertort v Blackburne, London, 1883, page 238 of the August 1963 BCM briefly noted that Edgard Tchélébi had died (aged 34, in fact):
The book referred to, Le secret de Morphy (Limoges, 1960), is scarce, and most writers on the great American master have ignored it, the preference nowadays being for material easily accessible on-line.
There was nothing austere about the 284-page hardback, and in the introductory matter Tchélébi’s multiple exclamation marks and SUDDEN CAPITALS were an unbecoming way of conveying his unreserved admiration. From page 8:
The Morphy v Anderssen game referred to was on pages 231-235:
That encounter between Morphy and Anderssen (1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 Nxd4 e6 5 Nb5 d6 6 Bf4 e5 7 Be3 f5 8 N1c3 f4 9 Nd5 fxe3 10 Nbc7+ Kf7 11 Qf3+ Nf6 12 Bc4 Nd4 13 Nxf6+ d5 14 Bxd5+ Kg6 15 Qh5+ Kxf6 16 fxe3 Nxc2+ 17 Ke2 Resigns) was one of only two match-games by the American which Steinitz believed could be called brilliant. On page 7 of the January 1885 International Chess Magazine he wrote:
Morphy’s ‘secret’ was explained by Tchélébi on page 11:
David Hooper sprinkled some vinegar on Tchélébi’s book, and on Morphy, in a short review on page 148 of the May 1963 BCM:
Before concluding ‘it may also be pointed out that Morphy sometimes made unsound sacrifices’, Hooper commented:
Information about Tsar Nicholas II and the ‘Grandmaster’ title has yet to be found in Russian sources at the time of the St Petersburg, 1914 tournament, but Dan Scoones (Coquitlam, BC, Canada) notes a Soviet perspective by Lev Travin on pages 4-5 of the 14/1974 issue of 64:
Our correspondent has translated the relevant section, at the start of the article:
The photograph taken in The Hague in 1928 serves as a reminder of a problem published on page 79 of David Przepiórka A Master of Strategy by H. Weenink (Amsterdam, 1932):
A fine copy of the photograph in C.N. 6154 was published opposite page 72 of Comparative Chess by Frank J. Marshall (Philadelphia, 1932):
On page 27 of Comparative Chess Marshall gave some singularly unhelpful notes to the start of the game between ‘Makaarzyk’ (Makarczyk) and Steiner, Prague International Team Tournament, 1931:
In C.N. 5935 a correspondent enquired about a ‘Blackburne-Mackenzie’ game which he had seen only on page 456 of Carlo Salvioli’s Il Giuoco degli Scacchi (third edition, Livorno, 1921):
Our item asked what was known about the game, noting that it was still being given in much later editions of Salvioli’s book, e.g. on page 546 of the eighth edition (Florence, 1961).
Vitaliy Yurchenko (Uhta, Komi, Russian Federation) remarks that the game is on page 338 of T. Harding’s new book about Blackburne: Blackburne v Arthur John Mackenzie, simultaneous exhibition, Birmingham, 18 October 1894, as published in the Birmingham Weekly Mercury, 20 October 1894.
We note Harding’s comment that it was included in the book ‘chiefly to clear up a confusion because the win has sometimes been attributed to G.H. Mackenzie’. The corresponding endnote (page 552) provides no information as to where any such attribution has been made, but refers only to our C.N. item, posted ‘on 34 [sic] January 2009’. That material (C.N. 5935) did not mention G.H. Mackenzie.
C.N. 9457 observed regarding Joseph Henry Blackburne. A Chess Biography that ‘the work as a whole would have benefited from greater attention to certain C.N. material’. Page 111 of the book provides another example:
The picture shows not Henry Edward Bird but Henry Thomas Buckle, as was pointed out in C.N. 8346 in connection with page 29 of the hardback edition (1977) of Harry Golombek’s Encyclopedia of Chess:
The Harding book (as well as Emanuel Lasker Denker Weltenbürger Schachweltmeister – see page 691) took the illustration from opposite page 194 of A Century of British Chess by P.W. Sergeant (London, 1934):
We do not know why Sergeant/Diggle thought that the
picture was of Bird.
It was included in an item about Buckle (C.N. 3464), and below are the frontispiece and title page of Essays by Henry Thomas Buckle (New York, 1863):
Copyright: Edward Winter. All rights reserved.