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Beth Cassidy was an Irish chess player who employed her journalism skills for the BCM. She was also a photo-journalist to whom we owe a debt for her many chess photos over the years. She eventually moved to New York and managed the Manhattan Chess Club during the '60s. She knew many chess masters among which was Bill Lombardy, the subject of the following sketch that appeared in "Chess Life," Aug. 1967 upon the occasion of Lombardy's ordination..
it is really nice ... and this article is great batgirl ... it is great and thank you for it ....
A few days after I was born. Thank you.
Thanks batgirl! With Lombardy another piece of chess history is gone.
Not sure about 'the first chess books ever written' though!!
Nice. I played Lombardy in a US Team in the 80's. He was very gracious and went over the game with me.
Did Ruy Lopez really write 'place the board so the sun is in your opponent's eyes'?
He did but he copied it from Lucena.
Very early, but not the first by nearly a century. Even the opening bearing his name first appeared possibly 90 years before Lopez' " arte del juego del Axedrez," in a manuscript though (the famous Gottingen manuscript). William Caxton published his book "The Game and Playe of Chesse" (in English) around the same time, maybe even earlier, as the Gottingen manuscript appeared.
Thank you Batgirl for pulling this great old Chess Life article about Fr. GM William Lombardy.
A good (but difficult) book is 'The Classical Era of Modern Chess' by Peter Monte.
If we count shatranj into chess history - I think we should but that's just my opinion - then the following may be of interest re the 'earliest chess book' question. (as-Suli's work contains an ending that can be found in Hooper and Whyld's books.)
Quick thought. Is there anyone who played in a U.S. Olympiad team with Lombardy still alive?
My best to all.
There's a difficulty, or at least I have a difficulty, in defining "book." We have writings from antiquity such as tablets, scrolls, codices and mss, but, even when tabulated or bound, only fit the modern definition of book rather loosely. The "Kitab ash-shatranj," despite the name were mss. So, while it is indeed one of the earliest known writings on chess, was it a book? I won't try to answer that, but I will say, I use post-Guttenberg printed material as my own reference point.
As eye candy, here are photographic copies of some pages from al-Suli's manuscripts:
For my own purposes, I consider games like Chatrurang or Shatranj to be proto-chess. So, I draw my line at Medieval Chess (even though it has a very strong association with Shatranj). But everyone is entitled to his/her own perspective.
Lombardy played on seven Olympiad teams. Here's a breakdown of teammates still living:
1978: Lubomir Kavalek, Anatoly Lein and James Tarjan are all alive.1976: Kavalek and Tarjan 1974: Kavalek and Tarjan1970: Pal Benko1968: Benko1960: Raymond Weinstein1958, all 5 members of the American team have passed away.
Below are two photos of the 1958 team from "Chess Review," Nov. 1958:
USCF Pres. and team Captain, Jerry Spann (top), Larry Evans (l), Art Bisguier (r), and Nicolas Rossolimo (carrying bag)
Very interesting thread Batgirl. I see that there is a very nice Blog here at this site regarding GM William Lombardy entitled " Serendipity: An Unforseen Friendship " ( written by Pia_Swe ). It mentions a meeting of GM William Lombardy and Pia_Swe in San Francisco during Sept 2017. The Blog covers some of the problems that Lombardy had later in life ( old age was not kind to him ). As a person who is getting on a bit myself I found the info quite interesting.
Btw GM Lombardy had a chance to see the " Pawn Sacrifice " film, I gather that he was not impressed ( Peter Sarsgaard played Lombardy in that movie ).
Cool reply. Many thanks!! Had forgotten that kavalek played for the U.S, and of course, pal benko is very much still with us, and active in the world of chess studies.
Loved the scans of the as-Suli stuff. No idea where you found them - know there are copies in the Bodlean library, but lost my contact there years ago, sadly.
Many thanks for the education!!
Please do not use my threads to advertise. -batgirl....