Wednesday 1 June 2016

Here's one you haven't got !

As collectors we seek the unusual and we particularly enjoy finding items that few others, if any, have acquired.  Most of us will possess some items out of the ordinary, probably rare, and possibly unique. The item doesn't have to be very old, or even particularly valuable and, quite often, the rarest items are ephemeral, with only a few having survived.

From time to time I will put forward an item from my collection which I think falls into this category and I would be interested to hear if any other collectors have the same item.

Lasker versus Steinitz 1896-97 Match for the World Chess Championship

No book has been published on the second World Chess Championship Match between Emanuel Lasker and Wilhelm Steinitz, held in Moscow from November 1896 to January 1897.

However, I have a 34 page typescript of an unpublished work, by an unknown author/compiler/translator, on this match.

The title page, which is a top typewritten copy, whereas the other pages are all carbon copies, states that the games have been copied from issues of the Deutsches Wochenschach.

There is no introductory matter, just the seventeen games with annotations by Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch. Games nine and ten also include notes by Dr. Berthold Lasker taken from the Berliner Lokal Anzeiger.

It appears that the pages were removed from the book so that they could enter the typewriter and were then stapled back into the book covers.

There are a few clues to the translator's identity;

1. The typescript is in a school composition book manufactured by S.E.& M.    Vernon Inc. of New York.  This firm apparently went out of business in the 1960's.

Inside front cover

2. Although the English has been translated from the original German, the translator admits that his command of German is `not overly penetrant´.

3. The translator had made a lifetime study of Emanuel Lasker over a period exceeding fifty years.

4. The translator appears to have been a very competent chess player as he has corrected some of Dr. Tarrasch's analysis. 

That is about all that I can tell you about the book, any information regarding the identity of the translator would be greatly appreciated. 

                                       © Michael Clapham 2016

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