Saturday 19 March 2016

50 Shortcuts to Chess Victory by George Koltanowski

This scarce pamphlet of 8 pages (including the covers) was given to me by John Donaldson during a visit to New York for the Ken Whyld Association Annual Meeting in 2007.

The pamphlet is primarily a publicity brochure for George Koltanowski and was issued in 1997 to celebrate his 50th year as chess editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. A considerable amount of information about Koltanowski is provided in addition to 50 very brief chess openings leading to an early win. 

These openings were probably taken from Koltanowski's earlier 100 Shortcuts to Chess Victory published, according to Andy Lusis in Chess: An annotated Bibliography 1969-1988, by Church's Fried Chicken, San Antonio 1979. However, there is also an edition published by Weibel Champagne Vineyards in 1971 currently for sale on They certainly have interesting chess book publishers in the USA.

I note, from the list of chess books written by Koltanowski on the back cover, that he wrote a book called Chess Chats. This is not recorded by Douglas Betts in his Bibliography up to 1968 but, again, online booksellers state that this is a 96 page book published by Press Democrat Printing, Santa Rosa around 1948-1950.  

                                     © Michael Clapham 2016

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