Amos Burn

A Chess Biography


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About the Book

This definitive work on the Englishman Amos Burn assembles and analyzes all extant games and provides a thorough biography of the famous chess master of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It chronicles in exceptional detail the broader picture of chess development throughout that era. Active for a long time, Burn was a fighting player who relished tactical battles against his more romantic rivals but was also one of the world’s best defensive players. Burn’s life is painstakingly traced from his birth in 1848 to his death of a stroke at age 76. Extensive quotations of notes by Burn and his peers accompany accounts of the great international tournaments in which he took part. Where necessary, old analysis is corrected and supplemented. Meticulous research has been undertaken in newspapers and periodicals from numerous countries, and many forgotten games have been unearthed. The book features approximately 800 games played by Burn, almost all of them annotated, 859 chess diagrams, and 209 photographs. There are three appendices, notes, bibliography, and indices of openings, annotators, games, players, and general subjects.

About the Author(s)

Richard Forster holds a doctorate in computational linguistics and the international master title in chess. He works as a specialist in artificial intelligence. He was chess columnist of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung for more than 20 years and has participated in six chess Olympiads.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Forster

Foreword by Victor Korchnoi

Format: softcover (8.5 x 11 in 2 vols)
Pages: 984
Bibliographic Info: 866 games, 209 photos, 859 diagrams, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2014 [2004]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7726-5
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Finalist, Book of the Year—British Chess Federation
  • “vividly depicts the Victorian/Edwardian chess world in which he played…excellent photographs…beautifully printed”—British Chess Federation
  • “must be considered the definitive biography of the Englishman Amos Burn. It’s an incredible achievement…four stars”—Chess Horizons
  • “Richard Forster and McFarland have done the chess world proud with this volume…Forster has happily found a publisher willing and able to give the subject the treatment it deserves”—Chess Mail
  • “a monumental look at a British master…one of the best chess biographies ever produced and should not be missing from any serious chess library…marvelously produced”—The Washington Post
  • “if there is one book, above all others, that we would be immensely proud to have written ourselves it is Amos Burn: A Chess Biography by Richard Forster. An impeccable McFarland hardback of 972 pages, it is simply of matchless quality”—Edward Winter,
  • “monumental”—Taylor Kingston,
  • “magisterial”—British Chess Magazine
  • “breathtakingly comprehensive…not a single, small detail of Burn’s lengthy chess career has escaped the author’s notice…text is rich with information about his opponents and the chess world generally. The research is impressive…beautiful, clothbound volume written by [a] meticulous researcher and published by a company which obviously cares about quality”—Winnipeg Free Press
  • “meticulously researched and beautifully produced”—Sunday Telegraph
  • “very fine publication…a super present for any keen chess player”—Merseyside Chess Magazine
  • “beautifully produced…extremely valuable”—Chess Canada Echecs
  • “tremendous…a colossal achievement of chess scholarship…an excellent read…Richard Forster has produced one of the greatest chess biographies of all time…this book gives you pretty much everything you could wish for in a biography…a steal…anyone with any interest at all in classical chess with have hundreds of hours of pleasure going through this book…Author and publisher both deserve a big thanks from the chess community. If you are looking for a Christmas present for a chess player here it is…highest recommendation…a must buy…magnificent job”—IM John Donaldson (