Tuesday 24 March 2020

Chess Digest, Melbourne, Australia

Chess Digest, edited by G. Wojciechowski-Wilton, ran for 18 numbers from October 1954 to March 1956.

The magazine was published in Melbourne, Australia and, although not recorded in Betts' Bibliography, this is listed in Di Felice's Chess Periodicals at no. 542. (Another Australian chess magazine omitted from Betts' Bibliography is the C.C.L.A. Record - see my article of 3rd October 2017)

I have volume one consisting of the first 15 numbers, from October 1954 to December 1955, which B. H. Wood had bound together.

Wood reviewed the magazine in Chess for March 1955 on page 244, and C.J.S. Purdy gave a very welcoming review in his own magazine Chess World in February 1955 on page 32, even though Chess Digest became his only home-produced competitor.

Chess, March 1955, page 244

Chess World, February 1955, page 32

A large proportion of each magazine was taken up with theoretical articles and games taken from foreign chess publications, and the bulk of this was from Russian sources. Australian chess news had two or three pages at the end of each issue. Among the foreign periodicals plundered were Shahmaty v SSSR, Caïssa (West Germany), L'Échiquier de Paris, Szachy, Chess Review, El Ajedrez Espanõl; and this was in just the first issue.

Nevertheless, the editor brought to his Australian readers up-to-date games and opening theory from around the world which would probably have been otherwise unobtainable.     


                                       © Michael Clapham 2020

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