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Irving Chernev (1900-1981) was born on January 29, 1900 in Priluku, Ukraine
In 1904 (some sources say 1920), Chernev’s family emigrated to Brooklyn, New York.
In 1912, Irving Chernev’s father taught him chess.
In the 1930s, Chernev won several very strong rapid transit chess tournaments at the Marshall Chess Club.
In 1942, Chernev played in the U.S. Championship, won by Isaac Kashdan. In 1942, he won 4 games, lost 7 games, and drew 4 games. He scored 6-9 to tie for 10th-11th place out of 15.
In April-May 1944, Chernev played in the U.S. Chess Championship, won by Arnold Denker. Chernev won 1 game, lost 11 games, and drew 3 games. He score 4.5-12.5 for 16th place out of 18.
In 1950, Irving Chernev had a rating (inactive) of 2158 on the first rating list published by the USCF.
From 1957 to 1968, Chernev worked for Marquardt & Company in New York City. He then moved and retired in San Francisco.
In 1976, Chernev listed his choice of the 12 greatest chess players. In order, they were, Capablanca, Alekhine, Lasker, Fischer, Botvinnik, Petrosian, Tal, Spassky, Bronstein, Rubinstein, and Nimzovich.
He also listed the 10 best chess books. They were:
My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1923, Alekhine
Masters of the Chessboard, Reti
My 60 Memorable Games, Fischer
My Chess Career, Capablanca
One Hundred Selected Games, Botvinnik
My System, Nimzovich
The Book of the International Chess Tournament 1924, Alekhine
Das Internationale Schachmeisterturnier in Karlsbad 1907, Marco
IV Internationales Schachmeisterturnier – Karlsbad 1929
Manual of Chess, Emanuel Lasker
Chernev played in numerous New York state chess championships.
Chernev is the author of 20 chessbooks and one checkers book.
Chernev was employed in the paper industry.
His wife’s name was Selma Kulik. They had a son, Melvin Chernev.
In his younger days, Chernev was considered a master in chess and checkers.
Chernev died of cancer in San Francisco on September 29, 1981 at the age of 81.
Chess Strategy and Tactics (with Fred Reinfeld), 1933
Curious Chess Facts, 1937
Chessboard Magic!, 1943
An Invitation to Chess (with Kenneth Harkness), 1945
Winning Chess Traps, 1946
The Russians Play Chess, 1947
The Bright Side of Chess, 1948
Winning Chess (with Fred Reinfeld), 1948
The Fireside Book of Chess (with Fred Reinfeld), 1949
1000 Best Short Games of Chess, 1955
Logical Chess: Move by Move, 1957
Combinations: The Heart of Chess, 1960
Practical Chess Endings, 1961
The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played, 1965
The Chess Companion, 1968
Chess in an Hour (with Frank Marshall), 1968
Wonders and Curiosities of Chess, 1974
The Golden Dozen, 1976
Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings, 1978
The Compleat Draughts Player, 1981
200 Brilliant Endgames, 1989