PfeilJohn S. Hilbert
 

Writings in Chess History



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Introduction

The book before you consists of forty chapters, originally individual essays or reviews written over the past several years, collected now for the first time. Several originally appeared in small circulation journals, likely unavailable to even the most hardened chess history aficionado. Every essay has been revised, some through minor changes, others receiving a major overhaul, including new material. Over 500 chess games are presented, most long forgotten by lovers of the game. After a fashion, this work stands as a companion volume to my Essays in American Chess History (Caissa Editions: Yorklyn, Delaware 2002), which brought together thirty of my earlier pieces.

Each piece, whether essay or review, began as an exercise in making sense of some small portion of the vast material avai1able to chess historians (a general and admittedly imprecise term I use to associate individuals whose interests include chess biography, chess tournaments, matches and exhibitions, as well as chess politics, patronage and personalities of an earlier day). Chess figures as well known as Steinitz, Lasker, Staunton and Marshall are considered, along with the more obscure, but in ways no less fascinating, such as Sellman, Whitaker, Chajes and Smythe. In reviewing books, particularly in reviewing annual collections of chess magazines such as The Chess Player s Chronicle and The British Chess Review, I have attempted more to explain something about their importance as resources for enlarging our knowledge about our game's past than merely suggesting whether a given volume should be purchased. How successful I have been in conveying something of my love for chess and its past is left to each reader's judgment.

No work about the past can be successfully written without thanks to many in the present. Among those who have he1ped directly or indirectly with producing whatever value this book has are Vlastimil Fiala, Jeremy Gaige, Kathy McCrory, Eduardo Mercere, Jacques N. Pope, Olimpiu Urcan, and Edward Winter. I thank them all. Special thanks go to John Donaldson, my co-author for Chapter 25, and to Neil Brennen, who had the patience to interview me (Chapter 23). Thanks, too, to Jeffery Martin, former Reference Librarian at the John G. White Collection, Cleveland Public Library. Errors appearing herein are my responsibility.

John S. Hilbert

Amherst, New York

January 2012

iii Contents

v Introduction

Essays and Interview

001 Chapter 1: Forgotten Games: Additions to the Steinitz Cannon

022 Chapter 2: Zukertort in Canada: The Story of an Exhibition

058 Chapter 3:How Odd(s), or Leveling the Playing Field For Fun and Profit Before the Almighty Rating

070 Chapter 4: Lost Promise: George N. Cheney

078 Chapter 5:Henry Thomas Buckle: A Life, with Chess

108 Chapter 6:The Chess Games of Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862)

173 Chapter 7: The Short, Tragic Life of Alexander G. Sellman

187 Chapter 8: The Chess Games of Alexander G. Sellman (1856-1888)

271 Chapter 9: Philadelphia's Rex: How Small Club Play Helped Chess Flourish in Philadelphia a Hundred Years Ago

324 Chapter 10: California Chess, 1858-1859

332 Chapter 11: Howard Staunton and Chess by "Electric Telegraph"

340 Chapter 12: The Rich Body and Complex Texture of Correspondence Chess in America

350 Chapter 13: Emanuel Lasker: The Challenge for a Biographer

358 Chapter 14: Emanuel Lasker at Haverford College

361 Chapter 15: Norman Tweed Whitaker: The Georgia Connection

374 Chapter 16: Hermann Helms and Correspondence Chess Coverage in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle

385 Chapter 17: Jacob Elson's Early Years

390 Chapter 18: The Marshall Canon: Unexplored Treasure for Future Historians

427 Chapter 19: New York 1891: A Day to Remember

450 Chapter 20: Oscar Chajes, Chess Master

458 Chapter 21: Master "Without Portfolio": Franklin Melville Teed

465 Chapter 22: Collaborative Chess Journalism: An Underused Opportunity

468 Chapter 23: Conversation with a Correspondence Chess Historian: Interview with John S. Hilbert, by Neil Brennen (circa 2002)

480 Chapter 24:The "Megaphone Man": The Curious Story of J. Henry Smythe, Jr.

495 Chapter 25: Philip R. Geffe: A Chess Story (Written with IM John Donaldson

Reviews 505 Chapter 26: Of Life and Games: Philidor

512 Chapter 27: A Tale of Splendor and Woe: PoIlock Memories

517 Chapter 28: The Art of Chess Biography: The Chess Biography of Marcel Duchamp, Volume One

523 Chapter 29: Displaced Person ... Universal Talent: EImer Zemgalis

529 Chapter 30: When Daniel Seeks the Lion's Den The British Chess Review

537 Chapter 31: Conflict on-and off-the Chessboard The Chess Player 's Chronicle, New Series (Second Series)

544 Chapter 32: Irregular Regularity, Or, The Chess Player 's Chronicle, Fifth Series

552 Chapter 33: Victorian Restraint ... or Lack Thereof: The Chess Monthly, Volume 9

560 Chapter 34: The Diligent Harlequin: Hoffer and The Field

567 Chapter 35: A World of Chess: The Chess World

574 Chapter 36: Winding Through the Past: The American Chess Journal

582 Chapter 37: When Chess Historians Meet

588 Chapter 38: Russian Silhouettes

595 Chapter 39: The Gambler, Cured: Curse of Kirsan

601 Chapter 40: A Cornucopia of Chess ... and then some: A Chess Omnibus

611 Index of Games




Price: 
 
Article number:
LXHILWICH
 
Category:
Pfeilchess history
 
Language:
English
 
Publisher:
PfeilMoravian
 
ISBN-13:
978-8071896340
 
width: 
15.3 cm
 
height: 
21.1 cm
 
weight: 
0.620 kg
 
John S. Hilbert: Writings in Chess History
616 pages, hardback, 1st edition 2012.
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