Wednesday 19 April 2017

Additions to Betts' Bibliography

Further to the earlier article, here are a few of the many American publications which escaped the net.

The Commercial Chess League of New York (organized 1923), 50 Selected Games from Tournament Play, 1935 to1952.   

This 54 page publication, which is stapled into card covers, was published by The Commercial Chess League of New York, but the editor/compiler is not named. All games are given without notes, in descriptive notation, together with an index of players and teams. 

Drueke's Chess Primer, published by Wm. F. Drueke & Sons, Inc, Grand Rapids, Michigan.



Again the author is not named and this 30 page booklet is undated, but reference is made to F.I.D.E.'s 1929 Laws of Chess as translated by the British Chess Federation in 1931. 

The illustrations on the front cover, title page and page 3, all display Drueke's unique and attractive octagonal based chessmen, as do the adverts at the rear;  perhaps this booklet was issued  with Drueke's chess sets.

The book gives basic instructions for beginners, and includes Technical Terms (with some dubious definitions), The Laws of Chess, some simple Openings, one illustrative game (Morphy v the Duke of Brunswick and Count Isouard), and one problem composed by Wm. A. Shinkman. 

and just in case you haven't seen it lately:

The Cleveland Public Library lists another book published by Wm. F. Drueke, in 1917, with the title A Beginner's Book of Chess; this is also not recorded in Betts.


E. S. Lowe's Chess in 30 Minutes, published by E. S. Lowe Company Inc., New York 1955.



The verso of the title page states "Copyright 1955 by Edward Young" and this is one of several books by Young which are not recorded in Betts. Others include:

A Pocket Guide to Chess Endings, publ. I & M Ottenheimer, Baltimore 1955
Chess at a Glance, Baltimore 1955
A Pocket Guide to Chess Combinations and Sacrifices,  Baltimore 1955
A Pocket Guide to Chess Pitfalls,  Baltimore 1955
A Pocket Guide to Chess Openings, Baltimore 1955
Chess: The Way to Win, publ. Castle Books, New York 1960

In fact the only Edward Young book recorded in Betts is The Complete Chess Player, London 1960. 
Edward Young was a pseudonym for Fred Reinfeld. 

This is another beginners's book, although much more comprehensive than Drueke's Chess Primer. The 94 pages give instructions on the game in Reinfeld's typically lucid style, with many examples of play illustrated with chess-board positions. The book includes seven clearly annotated games, each teaching a different opening, and showing how to capitalise on your opponents mistakes. 

There are four pages of adverts at the rear for E. S. Lowe's chess sets.


Movagram No. 1, Lasker vs Capablanca, St Petersburg Master's Tournament 1914. Published by The Victoria Company, Bloomington, Indiana 1924.


I have already discussed this small book in the article on Chess Books featuring a single game. There is no title page, and virtually no text apart from the Note on page 2, and the light notes to the moves, stated to be by Dr. Lasker.  The Note erroneously implies that Lasker defended his world championship title by winning this game.

This 87 page book shows, with a diagram for every move, the crucial 18th round game won by Lasker. This is described as "one of the most dramatic and famous games in all chess history" by Dale Brandreth in his 1993 book on the St Petersburg Tournament.

Regarding the scarcity, or otherwise, of these items, I can find no record in any library catalogue or bibliography of the Commercial Chess League and Movagram works, but the booklets by Drueke and E. S. Lowe are very common, with any number available on the internet.

                                        © Michael Clapham 2017

No comments:

Post a Comment