Saturday 5 March 2016

International Chess; a short lived magazine.

Two issues only of International Chess were published by Master Chess Publications in early 1979. The editor was named in issue two as H. C. Thomas and some of England's leading players were contributors. The magazine was planned around major international tournaments and would therefore appear erratically. Hilary Thomas is the author of a number of chess tournament books published in the 1970's and 1980's and also the three book series Complete Games of Mikhail Tal published by Batsford, London 1979 and 1980.

Number One front cover

Issue One included 36 pages of games and analysis, by Jonathan Speelman and Shaun Taulbut, from the 54th Hastings International Chess Congress held from 28th December 1978 to 14th January 1979, and issue two featured a 37 page article, by Raymond Keene and Jonathan Speelman (assisted by Andrew Whitely), on the East European Zonal held in Warsaw from 6th January to 30th January 1979.

Tournament report in Number One

Number One rear cover, cartoon by Smyth

Each issue also had further tournament reports, (issue one had a report on the West European Zonal by the joint winner Tony Miles and issue two included a report on the Hoogoveens Tournament at Wijk aan Zee, also by Miles), together with regular features including `Game of the Month´ by Robert Bellin, `Problems and Studies´ by John Nunn, a `Gambit´ column by Peter Keffler (issue one only), an `International Chess Crossword´ by Tim Harding and opening theory by Shaun Taulbut. In future issues it was proposed to include additional items such as book reviews by William Hartston and articles on correspondence play. The editor had even planned as far ahead as the Interzonal Tournaments in Rio de Janeiro and Moscow (actually held in Riga) later in the year, which would be featured in the October and November issues.

Number Two front cover

Issue number two was delayed due to `the exceptional nature of issues three and four´ and the editorial gave full details of the contents of these future issues including a promised 16 page article by Jimmy Adams on previously unpublished Bobby Fischer games played in the Philippines. However no further issues were published and the article by Jimmy Adams later appeared in the British Chess Magazine in 1980.

Tournament report in Number Two

Copies of issue number one were sent out free of charge and a year's subscription was set at £12 which was claimed to be `unbeatable value´. However, at the time, an annual subscription to The British Chess Magazine was £7.80 and just £6 for Chess of Sutton Coldfield. The aim was 12,000 subscribers by the end of 1979. 

The front cover illustrations were by John Taulbut who also provided drawings of all of the Hastings contestants in issue one. 

Hartston by John Taulbut
Suba by John Taulbut
Christiansen by John Taulbut
Speelman by John Taulbut

Peter Keffler, mentioned above, sadly died in December 2015 aged 92. After retiring as a teacher Peter was a chess book dealer for many years with bookstalls at many chess tournaments throughout East Anglia.

                                       © Michael Clapham 2016

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