Roberto Grau and his "General Treatise on Chess"

Roberto Grau and his "General Treatise on Chess"

Oct 18, 2015, 5:04 AM |

Roberto Grau was a famous Argentine chess master of the early half of the 20th Century. He was a keen player, winning the national championship seven times. He took part in many chess olympiads, being the first board in two of them. He was also one of the original signatories in the formation of FIDE at Paris in 1924.

Furthermore, he was instrumental in organising the famous 1939 Chess Olympiad in Buenos Aires, in which many European players (particularly jewish ones) decided to stay in Argentina to escape Nazism. The most famous is probably Miguel Najdorf.

Perhaps his most enduring legacy is a series of books called “General Treatise On Chess”. An incredibly famous book among spanish speaking chess players, considered by many of them ‘the bible of chess’.

The series represents a tremendous amount of work that is designed to take somebody who doesn’t even know how to move the pieces to being a strong chess player.

It’s made of of four books:

  1. Fundamentals

  2. Tactics

  3. Pawn Structures

  4. Advanced Strategy

Sadly, they’re not available in English. However, last year was the 70th anniversary of Grau’s death, which means the books are now out of copyright. Inspired by this, I’ve created a Kickstarter project to translate the second book, Tactics. The idea is to get enough contributions to pay for editing, cover design, distribution and so on. So far, I’ve translated the first two chapters (you can download them from Kickstarter) so you can get an idea of what the book would look like.

Here’s the link:

It would be fantastic if these books could finally be able to a much wider audience.

I'll leave you with one of his notable victories against Max Euwe, former world champion: