Read and digested....
Deasey/Lyons, The British Chess Company, CD, Great Britain 2010, authors ed., lots of illustrations,gbp 20.- (available here)
Books On Chess Pieces
Liddell/ Maunoury/ Pfeiffer, Chessmen, Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York 1937
Very rare book, one of the first in modern times on chess collecting...reedition in 1976, and 2008y in fotocopied by Ishi Press.....
Alex Hammond, The Book of Chessmen, 1.ed 1950, Arthur Barker Ltd., London160 pp, lots of illustrations in b/w - many subsequent editions. Can frequently be found in antiquarians shops or on flea markets, even ebay.
This book was written by an eminent chess antiquarian on the London scene - who according to later testimony was not averse to fiddling the market a bit....a lot of interesting information, and adequate (for the time) illustrations.
A.E.J. Mackett-Beeson, Chessmen, London 1967, George Weidenfeld & Sons, 97 pp, many subsequent editions , also in other languages.
Copiously illustrated book, with many colour illustrations - presents a brief history of chess, according to the information then available, and presents ornate chessmen form various times and European countries, as well as China, Russia. Mackett-Besson had many chess sets made for his shop by Bertram Jones, passing them off as antiques! Many sets shown from the huge collection of David Hafler!
Frank Greygoose, Chessmen, Reed, Sydney,Wellington etc. 1979 (printed in GB), 160 pp, various later editions.
Provides essentially another rundown of the history of chessmen, with an album of opulent pieces form various quadrants - very good on Indian and Chinese pieces. Also has a large historical part dealing with medieval chesspieces, and their development. Cites both Mackett and Hammond, as well as Wichmann.
Hans & Siegfried Wichmann, Schach - Ursprung und Wandlung der Spielfigur, Georg Callwey, Munich 1960, 331 pp incl. Regsiter and bibliography. - Editions in english, french and other languages.
The most eminent and weighty tome of modern days - an absolute treasure trove and fount of knowledge for collectors. Excellent photos, and well organized text tracing the history and development of chess pieces form the ancient East via the abstract forms of Muslim culture to the medieval west. The metaphorical figures of the middle ages, the entry of chess into western thinking via Jacobus de Cessolis, conventional chess pieces types - the loss of the former innate gaming destination in opulent chess figurines - all this and a lot more. Most likely non-german editions have been altered and abridged, or even shortened!
Isaac Linder, The art of chess pieces, H.G.S. publishers, Moscow 1994, english, 288 pp, hardcover with dustjacket in form of chess board, reading strip, protective carton
Probably the most beautiful book on chess pieces existing - a fountain of joy for those lucky enough to own a copy. Hundreds of superb photos in colour ad b/w. Linder traces the story of chess pieces from the oldest to the newest, reproducing many of the best chess sets preserved in Russian Museums and private collections - as well as part of the astonishing range of chess set made in Soviet times up till quite recently.
Gareth Williams, Master Pieces, Apple /Quintet, London 2000 (various other editions), 160 pp, hardcover with ill. dust jacket
If there is s single book no chess collector can do without, it is this one. Concise, with an immense horizon, it describes the development of chess pieces step by step with the history of chess, provides hundreds o lavish illustrations, all in a very readable text. A major effort - many different editions in various languages available....
Rainer Behrends (ed.), Künstlerische Schachfiguren aus zehn Jahrhunderten, Insel Bücherei Nr. 752, Leipzig (GDR) 1963, hardcover, 67 pp/ 45 b/w illustrations, text in german
Small but attractive volume illustrating ancient and 17th to 20th Century chess sets. The grand value resides in the index, which gives detailed information on every chess piece shown.
F. Lanier Graham, Chess Sets, Studio Vista, London 1968, 84 pp, hardcover with dust jacket
Small volume in a culinary / hobby series of books, sketching the development of chess pieces over time. Very good on modernist and designer chess sets - the author was curator of the design and architecture section in the NY Museum of Modern Art.
Spielwelten der Kunst, ed. Wilfried Seipel, ed. SKIRA, Milano/Vienna 1998, catalogue for exposition in the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum, 21.5. - 2.8.1998, cartoned/large format, in German language, 278 pp with indices and bibliography, hundreds of illustrations in colour and b/w
Superb catalogue, depicting the treasures assembled in this opulent show ten years ago, coincident with the CCI congress in Vienna. Especially interesting the articles by Hans Holländer on Chess Pieces, and Barbara Holländer on Chess and Games boards.
Chess: East and West, Past and Present, A selection from the Gustavus A.Pfeiffer collection, ed. Jessie Mc Nab/Charles A.Wilkinson, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY 1968, 108 pp/108 illustrationsin colour and b/w
Catalogue of this grand exhibit from the Brooklyn Museum, showing a part of the monumental collection of Pfeiffer - good photos, superb selection of artistic chess sets.
Ned Munger, Cultures, Chess and Art, vol.I, Sub-Saharan Africa, ed. Lisa Smith, Mundial Press, San Anselmo, CA 1996. 120pp, over 200 illustrations in colour and b/w. hardcover with dust jacket, large format
Crowning a collectors life, this series has been appearing irregularly since 1996, and mixes the copious collections of Ned Munger with the story of how he obtained his chess sets from all over the world, what is the background of these sets, and which role chess plays in the areas they come from. Chess and chess sets are shown to be a red thread to unravel the cultures, countries and times they derive from.
This first volume is especially rich, as Munger has been all over Africa in teaching and advisory chores, and continues to have an intimate relation with the black continent, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. Wonderful sets - and wonderful stories - some of the sets were ordered by the Prof. , launching the craftsman on a career as chess set carver!
Ned Munger, Cultures, Chess and Art, vol.II, The Americas, ed. Lisa Smith, Mundial Press, San Anselmo, CA 1998, 222 pp, lots of colour and b/w photosgraphs, hardcover with ill. dust jacket, large format
In this volume Munger recurs North and South America, with a large intermezzo in Central America. He actually managed to get chess sets from almost every corner, and the stories are of course most entertaining. Munger has no complexes or prejudices - he values a handmade South American set as much as resin home-industry set from the Upper States...
Ned Munger, Cultures, Chess and Art, vol.III, Europe , ed. Lisa Smith, Mundial Press, San Anselmo, CA 2000
Mathieu and Ine Kloprogge, Chessmen - Art and History, 376 pp, Holland 2000, Gopher Press, hundreds of colour photos, hardback
Based on many years of collecting, the Kloprogge's have produced a beautiful book, showing and categorizing most old and ancient chess sets. This is both a very informative, as a highly esthetic books to read or just to page through, and shd be a great book both for beginning collectors as for experienced chess fiends. Privately produced, available via the authors .... or the website
H.J.R.Murray, A history of chess, Benjamin Press, Northampton, Massachusetts, photomechnic reprint of the orignal ed. of Oxford University Press in 1913, hardcover, 899 pp, many illustrations and drawings
The mother lode of chess historians, Murray's epochal work still stands serene, despite later research and findings having overtaken some of his opinions. The breadth and erudition of Murray cannot be duplicated, even less improved on today...many editions in English, and various other languages.. has rarely been out of print, and is still available in at least one edition...
Jerzy Gizicky, A history of chess, ed. & enlarged by B.H.Wood, The Abbey Library, London 1972 ( i.ed. Warsaw 1958) , hardcover with ill. dust jacket, 275 pp, hundreds of colour and b/w illustrations - many other editions in various languages...This lovely book was not written to satisfy scientific standards - it is an immensely readable, amusing and rich galop though chess history, with stories, anecdotes, jokes, aphorisms and any amount of aparts to literature, the world of cinema and art mixed in. A tome to delve into again and again...this british edition is much more lavishly illustrated than the original polish edition, which practically only sported b/w photos and drawings - thanks to B.H. Wood from BCM putting in his spoonful.
Adolivio Capece, Storia degli Scacchi, italian language, editor Giovanni del Vecchio, Milano 1973, hardcover, 388 pp, lots of illustrations, various english and other language translations
This book by veteran italian historian Capece is different from the foregoing insofar that is concentrates on chess competition, provides a rundown of the story of tournament and competitive chess, as well as the style and times of the world champions up to Fischer. Seems to have been written and edited to follow the worldwide publicity and surge of interest after the Rejkjavik World Championship battle betweeen Fischer and Spasski..
Joachim Petzold, Schach - eine Kulturgeschichte, Edition Leipzig, Leipzig 1986, german language, 239 pp incl. index and bibliography, hardbound with col. dustjacket
Immensely readable and systematic history of chess, by the doyen of german chess historians. dozens of excellent photos, with recourse mainly to chess sets visible in the then GDR museums. many different editions, also in English and other languages...
Fred Wilson, A picture history of chess , ed. by Fred Wilson, Dover Books 1981, New York, 182 pp incl. index, ca 400 photos
Unique and indispensable collection of pics from chess history - mainly players, tournaments, matches - but also frontispieces from books like Caxton, Cessolis, Lucena, Damiano etc. chess pieces collectors will see a lot of venerable old chess sets - and chess clocks from the Golden period of Chess.
Isaac Linder, Chess in Old Russia, Michael Kühnle/Zurique 1979, english ed.(1.ed Moscow 1975), 199 pp, hardcover, illustrations b/w
Super recounting of the story of chess in Russia - profusely illustrated with numerous illustrations. As far as I know, the only non-Russian edition ever published, thanks to a Swiss book seller/chess enthusiast.
Chess book bibliographies
The amount of chess literature written over time is immense - and it is necessary to have bit of guidance via bibliographical works. Especially since most collectors of chess books will specialize - some in tournament books, others in autographed books, in game collections, chess magazines, chess instructing books, grand classics, books on chess history, books by eminent problemists etc.
While the older bibliographies like Betts and Lusis are quite adequate for the amateur chess fan and offside antiquarian, an entirely new page in chess bibliography has been turned by the Viennese edition Refordis and their oddly named bibliographical handbooks on chess literature - totally encompassing and inclusive as far as humanly possible, well ordered and informative to boot!
These handbooks are up and above the standards of modern library professionals - and leave Betts and Lusis far behind. They are published in miniature print runs - at a premium price - and are visible in the Niemeijer Collection of the Royal Dutch Library in Den Haag - click here and check for Refordis!
Douglas Betts, the annotated chess bibliography 1850 - 1968, 1.ed. Boston ? -
This is the mother lode of chess literature, although it is of course faulty and a bit anglocentric. Since the original editions are very expensive, one can take recourse to a reprint published by Vlastimil Fiala of Moravian Chess - click here.
Andy Lusis, Chess, An annotated bibliography 1969-1988; London/New York 1991
The continuation of Betts, updated till 1988.
Sakharov, Bibliography about russian chess literature 1775-1997 (Moscow 2001)
I know nothing about this work - which is probably essential for the gigantic corps of Russian chess literature. This is the second edition, the first appeared in 1997. You cd get it probably via Karel Mokry or other chess antiquarians (check Links)
Edition REFORDIS Verlag
Small edition specialized in chess bibliography - unique and the absolute cutting edge of chess bibliography! Luxury editions of max. 20 books per edition, several published , more planned. all books are present in the Niemeijeriana, and other leading chess libraries. So far published :
Qelfrau C, Deutsche Schachbibliographie 1800 - 1899, german, linenbound, acidfree paper, edition of 40!, Vienna 2004 (?)
Niemroch, Deutsche Schachbibliografie 1900 bis 1949. Ein annotiertes Handbüchlein. 2005, Wien, 228 Seiten, ed. of 40 books, linenbound, acidfree paper, goldcut etc. -
A complete and detailed bilbiography of german chess literature in the first half of the 20th C.
Xanacht C, Deskriptives Schach-Handbuch zu weltweit publizierten Büchern undSerials, 1800 - 1899, 2005 Wien. 557 Seiten.
A descriptive handbook of all chess books and magazines published between 1800 and 1899, worldwide, in over 30 different languages ! All publications are briefly described, and referred with a maximum of bibliographic information
Norgodt, Deskriptives Schach-Handbuch zu weltweit publizierten
Büchern und Serials, 1900 - 1949, in alphabetischer Folge, Wien 2007, german language
A continuation of Xanacht - but in alphabetic order - contains all chess books and chess periodicals or serials pbulished in these 50 years, wordlwide, in over 30 languages! includes the complete scandinavian, dutch and romanic chess publications in this period!
Othvaldt, Descriptive Handbook of worldwide pbulished chess books and periodicals, 1900 - 1949, in systematic order, Vienna 2007, linenbound, , ed of 20,
As above, but the same material ordered in systematic fashion, for institutional use!
Wyroyce, ?? (no information)Schönle, ?? (no info)
Peinmondt, enlarged (re) edition of Niemroch, Deutsche Schachbibliografie 1900 bis 1949. Ein annotiertes Handbüchlein. 2005, Wien, 228 Seiten, ed. of 40 books, linenbound, acidfree paper, goldcut etc. -
A complete and detailed bilbiography of german chess literature in the first half of the 20th C.
Nährlin, ?? (no info)
Roger Fjunnis (pseudo), Systematisches Handbuch der deutschen Schachpublikationen zur ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, Dez. 2008, editon of 20, price 397 euros.Second title: Systematic Handbook of German Chess Publications. The First Half of theTwentieth Century,Unikat-3.edition, 617 paginae, 170x260 mm, 1300 gramm, german/english,
Siegfried Schönle (ed.), International Research in Chess, Festschrift für Egbert Meissenburg (jubilee edition for Egbert Meissenburg), a collection of essays on chess history in honor of Egbert Meissenburg, (essays in various languages) language), Vienna 2008
FIRST EDITIONS of the following books will be published 2009:
- Orlandcic. Handbook of slavonic chess publications 1900-1949
.- Kisergej. Systematic handbook of slavonic chess publications 1900-1949.
- Festschrift for Alessandro Sanvito (essays in honor of Alessandro Sanvito)
- Neukuss. German chess publications of the 19th century- ROCHAMENES. World
- bibliography of chess 1900-1949, vol. 1
- Mantelperg. German chess publications 1950-1979
Joan Domingo, Chess - Ajedrez-Schach, Domfil 2004 (1.ed.), 137 pp plus indices, colour illustrations (2.edition published 2007)
Certainly the most informative of chess stamp catalogues - concetrates all the info otherwise scattered over the standard stamp catalogues like Michel - colour illustrations facilitate recognition. Prices are off course relative - DOMFIL editors is asssociated with stamp retailer AFINSA, one of the major stamp sellers worldwide!
Stanley Gibbon, Collect Chess on stamps, various editions, 53 pp, clasp bound
Not as exhaustive as Domfil, this is a concise guide with b/w illustrations - but entirely sufficient for the standard collector.
Ray Alexis, Chess Ex libris, Chess'n Stuff, 59 pp, brochure 2004 - thin book with a lot of well reproduced exlibris - very rare book nowadays...
Probably first rounded work edited on a very interesting area of books collecting ... quite unique and very hard to find....
Henri Serruys, Chess Ex-libris Catalogue 2004, self published, 206 pp, softcover brochure-bound - a lot moe content than in the former book, tis is probably the ultimate word on the them of ex-libris - something very few book owners nowadays bother to make....contact to author via the Ken Whyld Association