Wednesday 13 January 2016

Chess Books featuring a single game

A few chess books have been published which feature just a single game.

Kasparov Against the World

The best known of these is Kasparov Against the World by Garry Kasparov with Daniel King, published by KasparovChess Online, New York, 2000.

This book tells the story, over 202 pages, of the game played on the internet in 1999 between Kasparov and 58,000 chess players from around the world who voted for their chosen move following recommendations from a team of four analysts: Etienne Bacrot, Florin Felecan, Elisabeth Paetz and Irina Krush. These four teenagers were chosen `as the next generation of chess masters´.

Kasparov won the game, which he described on p202 as `one of the greatest games of chess ever played´, after 62 moves over four months.

Turnover Chess

The innovative chess publisher Michael Basman edited a series of booklets under the banner of Turnover Chess in 1977 and 1978. The first series of 8 books published in 1977 featured games by Fischer and Alekhine:

1. Fischer v Sherwin, New Jersey Open, 1957
2. Fischer v Fine, New York, 1960
3. Fischer v Weinstein, U.S. Championship, 1960-61
4. Gudmundsson v Fischer, Reykjavik, 1960
5. Alekhine v Tarrasch, Mannheim, 1914
6. Bogoljubov v Alekhine, Hastings, 1922
7. Reti v Alekhine, Baden Baden, 1925
8. Alekhine v Nimzovich, San Remo, 1930

Advert in Chess May 1977

A second series of books on the English opening was issued in 1978 again concentrating on a single game:

1. Uhlmann v Mariotti, Manila, 1976
2. Smyslov v Liberzon, Riga, 1968
3. Smejkal v Andersson, Biel, 1976
4. Miles v L. Bronstein, Sao Paulo,1977
5. Pribyl v Kozlov, Stary Smokovec, 1976
6. Romanishin v K. Grigorian, USSR Championship, 1976

A third series of booklets was published in 1978 each with a single game on the Sicilian Close opening:

1. Spassky v Geller, 6th match game, 1968
2. Spassky v Larsen, 3rd match game, 1968
3. Spassky v Hort, Bugojno, 1978
4. Wade v Byrne, Hastings, 1970-71
5. Suttles v Gipslis, Sousse, 1967
6. Smyslov v Kotov, Moscow, 1943

These booklets were advertised in Chess in 1977 and 1978 but are very hard to find nowadays.

Basman was a pioneer of publishing chess instruction on audio cassettes but I cannot agree with his advice in the following advert in Chess, February 1979:

Advert in Chess February 1979


The Victoria Company of Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.A published a small book in 1924 with the title Movagram No. 1 Lasker vs Capablanca St Petersburg Masters' Tournament 1914.  This featured the crucial 18th round game won by Lasker. The book has 87 pages and includes a diagram for every move with some light notes by Dr. Emanuel Lasker.

I have not seen this book recorded in any catalogue, bibliography or online resource and I do not know whether subsequent books were issued in this series.

The Game of Chess Played between London and Portsmouth in 1845

Carl-Eric Erlandsson published, in 1989, a pamphlet entitled The Game of Chess Played between London and Portsmouth through the Electric Telegraph of the South Western Railway April 9, 1845.

This was  a reprint from The Illustrated London News of April 12, 1845 and  commemorates the game played in consultation between Howard Staunton and Captain H.A. Kennedy in Portsmouth (actually in nearby Gosport) and Messrs G. Walker, H.T. Buckle, Captain W.D. Evans, G. Perigal and J.W. Tuckett in Vauxhall, London.

Two games were played, the first on Wednesday 9th April which was won by the London team, (this was described as a trial game and a private one in the ILN article), and a second game on Thursday 10th April, and it is the second game that is included in the pamphlet and ILN article. 

A squabble arose between Staunton and Walker following these games. In brief; Walker claimed that these games constituted a match but Staunton declared that they were played predominantly to test the equipment of the new technology and, furthermore, that the two teams were unevenly matched. 

Rear cover of pamphlet

I would be pleased to receive details of other single game publications.

                                © Michael Clapham, 2016

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