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Diploma thesis – chess in the Soviet Union

  • #1

    After I have read the book "Der KGB setzt matt: Wie der sowjetische Geheimdienst die Schachwelt manipulierte" ("The KGB Plays Chess: The Soviet Secret Police and the Fight for the World Chess Crown" by Boris Gulko, Yuri Felshtinsky, Viktor Korchnoi, Vladimir Popov) I thought about writing my diploma thesis about chess in the Soviet Union and am now looking for relevant literature. Therefore, I wanted to ask you all if you know any good/helpful books on this topic. If you can help me, I would be very grateful and appreciate it very much if you could post any suggestions. Many thanks in advance.

  • #2

    I think it depends on how deep you wish to go if it is only Russia and the political involvement, or the whole Soviet Union with its surrounding state. On top of my mind, I'd recommend work of Genna Sosonko or Andrew Soltis. 

  • #3
    claranow hat geschrieben:

    I think it depends on how deep you wish to go if it is only Russia and the political involvement, or the whole Soviet Union with its surrounding state. On top of my mind, I'd recommend work of Genna Sosonko or Andrew Soltis. 

     

    Thank you! I have to read more on the topic for now, then I will decide if I'm going to focus on Russia or on the whole Soviet Union.

  • #4

    "White King and Red Queen: How the Cold War was Fought on the Chessboard" is a must read, IMO.Try to interview some of the ex-Soviet chessplayers to give a unique touch to your thesis.

  • #5

      Talk to Staff member "batgirl".

  • #6

    The book of Donner's articles may be of some use.  I think it's called The King.  Also Sosonko

     

  • #7
    Make sure you really dig deep to corroborate anything you read in Red Queen White King.

    I'd say required reading for this topic would be "Notes of a Soviet Master" by Ilyin-Genevsky, "The Soviet School of Chess" by Yudovich and Kotov, and "Soviet Chess" by Soltis.

    I have some quite detailed notes about Ilyin-Genensky that I used for a lecture I gave. PM me if interested.
  • #8
    Yes, anything by Sosonko is a must.
  • #9

    Kasparov talks quite a bit about Soviet chess in My Great Predecessors II, III and V.  Mark Dvoretsky's Profession Chess Coach is a kind of memoir.  R.G. Wade came out with a book called Soviet Chess in 1976.

  • #10

    Sosonko's books contain many wonderful portraits of the famous--and lesser known--figures in Soviet Chess. Andy Soltis has written a book, "Soviet Chess," that is more of a political and cultural study of the development of Soviet chess. It's a very good read

  • #11

    Thank you very much to everyone!

  • #12

    I agree with mickynj that Soviet Chess 1917-1991 is a very useful book. Good luck in your thesis.

  • #13
    asdf234 hat geschrieben:
    I agree with mickynj that Soviet Chess 1917-1991 is a very useful book. Good luck in your thesis.

    Thank you!

  • #14

    Yes! I forgot to say "good luck!" 

  • #15
    ChrisWainscott wrote:
    Yes, anything by Sosonko is a must.

    Absolutely agreed! happy.png Also talking to living players from the time would really be a great addiction happy.png 

  • #16

    It would certainly be interesting to interview an ex-Soviet player! Maybe I'll try to contact one of them happy.png

     

     

  • #17

    You should certainly read two books titled Chess is my Life. One is by A. Karpov, the other is by V. Korchnoi. Read them together. Compare them.

  • #18

     Mark Taimanov, who had some problems with Soviet authority after his loss to Fischer, wrote a book "I was Fischer's victim" (I didn't find translation on any language, russian name of this book is "Я был жертвой Фишера"). He mostly focuses on chess games, but in second chapter of this book he tells some stories about him losing some national titles, having problem on border and so on, because this loss was considered as intentional loss to american chess player.

  • #19
    Ziryab hat geschrieben:

    You should certainly read two books titled Chess is my Life. One is by A. Karpov, the other is by V. Korchnoi. Read them together. Compare them.

     

    Thank you!

     

     

  • #20
    asolovyev hat geschrieben:

     Mark Taimanov, who had some problems with Soviet authority after his loss to Fischer, wrote a book "I was Fischer's victim" (I didn't find translation on any language, russian name of this book is "Я был жертвой Фишера"). He mostly focuses on chess games, but in second chapter of this book he tells some stories about him losing some national titles, having problem on border and so on, because this loss was considered as intentional loss to american chess player.

    Thanks! I am fine also with books in Russian, so this one will definitely be helpful

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