Thursday 20 October 2022

Additions to Betts' Bibliography. Part 1.


This first list of additions to Betts' Bibliography includes some 19th century works in chronological order. More 19th century works and tournament books will be included in a later article.


BL    British Library, London 

CPL  Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio (The J.G. White Collection)

KB  Koninklijke Biliotheek, Royal Library at The Hague (The Van der Linde-Niemeijeriana Collection) 


The Chess-Player's Pocket Companion: Containing An Account of the Game of Chess; a Synopsis of all the ordinary Openings; Analyses of the best Attacks and Defences; and a few of the Endings of Games, by Samuel Comyn, Simpkin, Marshall and Co. London 1851. vii, 68 pages with folding plate of a chess-board between pages 20 and 21.

This is primarily a book on the openings but also includes an Introduction which covers the history of chess, general instructions, maxims, laws, notation etc. The final chapter discusses various endings. 

Availability: BL, CPL, digitized edition at

See  Chess Book Chats July 2017 for further details.



A Collection of Problems in Chess, by the most Eminent Composers; Exemplifying some of the greatest beauties of Chess Strategy: collected and arranged by John Augustus Miles, to which are added a few original positions, which have been constructed expressly for this work. Fakenham 1855. 64 unnumbered leaves. 50 copies printed. LN 2395

120 problems (plus two in the frontis) printed two to a page on the rectos only. List of Subscribers with thirteen names taking twenty copies between them. 

See  Chess Book Chats July 2017 for further details.

Availability: CPL, KB

From the collection of Owen & Kathy Hindle


Chess & Draughts Made Easy. Containing Instructions to Learners, and Hints to Advanced Players. With Rules for Playing and Games for Practice, by J Bishop, A. & S. Joseph Myers & Co., London c1855. 52p.

See Chess Notes, various items, for further details.

Availability: BL


A. Klittich-Pfankuch auction June 2020


The Art of Chess Playing for Beginners, by Paul Smith, Henry Lea, London [1861].


An abridgment of The Chess Player's Instructor (C H Stanley), "to fit the pocket of the gentleman and the means of the peasant".

Source: John Rather catalogue 1984-1

No other details or availability found. 




Bibliography of the Chess Knight's Tour by S.S. Haldeman, E.H. Butler & Co., Philadelphia 1864. 42p .250 copies printed (Souweine)

The author lists, in chronological order, the knights tours from literature and includes year, publication details , descriptions and illustrations. Around 60 entries from 1512 to 1864.

Availability: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Harvard University.


LSAK auction November 2020

An Alphabet of Chess Problems by J.B. Munoz, New York [1875]. 38 unnumbered pages, folded table.  

Described on Worldcat as picture problems.

Source: Brooklyn Chess Chronicle Volume II p183. Maryland Chess Review 1875, volume II p 329.

Availability: CPL which lists this twice; An Alphabet of Chess Problems and The Chess Problem Alphabet.



The Demerara Chess Association - Handbook, Demerara 1875 or 1876. 21p

List of Members, Rules & Regulations etc., Catalogue of Library, Chronicle of Chess and Chess Players in British Guiana from 1864 to 1875. Two problems. Corrigenda.

Source: Frank Hollings; Short list of Early Printed, Rare  and Second-hand Chess Books, c1931.

Availability: CPL, KB, Digitized edition at


Problem Tourney of the Ayrshire Argus and Express, Ayr 1880. 36p

21 two-move problems and 21 three-move problems, with solutions and results. 

Source: British Chess Problem Books Published up to 1949, by John Beasley, Harpenden 1997.

Availability: CPL, KB. Digitized edition available on Google Books.


How to Judge and Appreciate Mephisto; the Marvellous Mechanical Chess-Player, published by G.C. Heywood, London [1881]

Four page pamphlet issued by the exhibitor to arouse interest in the chess-playing automaton, offering details that set it apart from the so-called Automatons previously seen in London, including the Turk. 

Fake Automata in Chess, Ken Whyld, Caistor 1994 No. 402.

Source: Potter & Potter auction, Chicago, June 2017.

Availability: Harvard University.


Chess Simplified! "Chess-Draughts", a new family game combining the principles of chess with the easiness of draughts, by Henry Richter, John Leon, London 1883. 8p.

Description of the game, rules and two illustrative games.

Source: British Chess Magazine 1884 p32.

Availability: BL, CPL, digitized edition at




The Indian Game of Chess: by Sir William Jones, and the Burmha game of Chess compared with The Indian, Chinese, & Persian Games, by Captain Hiram Cox, privately printed for the Aungervyle Society, Edinburgh 1883. 30p. 150 copies.

Reprinted from Asiatick Researches.  Reprints of articles by Jones and Cox from 1790 and 1803 respectively. 

Availability: BL, CPL, National Library of Scotland. Digitized edition at


The Adventures of Ajeeb; the Wonderful Chess Automaton, Woeltje & Co., Printers, New York [1885]. 24p.

The author was possibly Ajeeb's creator Charles Hooper according to Ken Whyld in an article in The British Chess Magazine 1978 pp37-42. See also Whyld's Fake Automata in Chess, Caistor 1994, No. 416.

There are two variants in the publishing details of this pamphlet:

1. Chas.H. Woeltje & Co., Printers, 121 Pearl Street., New York.

2.  Woeltje & Cutting, Printers and Stationers, 115 Pearl St., New York.

Chas. H. in No. 1 may be Charles Hooper. 

A. J. Souweine Catalogue, 1938 item 210 states: "now of the utmost rarity, as far as the writer (A.J.S.) is aware, only the cleveland Public Library, Robert Sinnott of Dorchester, Mass. and A. J. Souweine have a copy of it." 

Availability: KB, CPL. Digitized edition at




© Michael Clapham 2022

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