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Chess History book?

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #1


    Is there a book out there about chess history? Something about players, eras, etc. Thanks!

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #2


    The Immortal Game: A History of Chess is a good general light history of chess.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #3


    overclockedapebrain wrote:

    The Immortal Game: A History of Chess is a good general light history of chess.

    I own that and it's great. I'm looking for a more "beefy" book. Not sure if there is anything out there? 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #4


    Have you tried the Oxford Companion to Chess, by Hooper and Whyld? That is set up as a one-volume encyclopedia of almost any chess topic from A to Z. Lots of other books mention bits and pieces along the way, and this one puts a lot of explanations in one place.

    The Chess Artist by J.C. Hallman is not a reference but talks about the history and lore a lot as the author follows his friend around the world playing chess from New York to the Chess City of Kazakhstan, jail, the Manhattan Chess Club, at work, in the park, and even on the internet. He talks about all that history as he explains, so it isn't exactly what you asked for but puts it into a personal context. It may light up lightbulbs to hear the way he explains some things.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #5


    HJR Murray's "A History of Chess" has been re-released and can be bought for a song at Amazon.  No comment on Hallman, but the "Immortal Game" by Shenk is excellent.  If you like the 1950-80 era, each of Genna Sosonko's three books is a cherishable treasure.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #7



    Mortal Games by Fred Waitzkin might be something you're looking for.  It deals with the Karpov-Kasparov matches, with some great commentary about up-and-comers like Anand, Gelfand, etc.  There is no game analysis in the book; this is a journalist's view of a WCC match; just words, but a good read.

    Another general work on the history of chess is Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom.  It tells the story of "old chess" and how it evolved into "Queen's chess."  I enjoyed it; you might, too.

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #8


    Thanks for the suggestions! "A History of Chess" is being re-released this November. I'll pick that up for sure. 

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #9


    The immortal game is an excellent book as is the Oxford companion.

    I also enjoyed this http://www.amazon.com/Chess-History-Hardinge-Simpole-Classics/dp/0951375733

  • 2 years ago · Quote · #10


    As mentioned earlier, Oxford Companion To Chess is great. I bought mine 30 years ago, it's provided me with many hours of entertainment.

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