British Chess Literature to 1914

A Handbook for Historians


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SKU: 9781476668390 Categories: ,

About the Book

A huge amount was published about chess in the United Kingdom before the First World War. The growing popularity of chess in Victorian Britain was reflected in an increasingly competitive market of books and periodicals aimed at players from beginner to expert. The author combines new information about the early history of the game with advice for researchers into chess history and traces the further development of chess literature well into the 20th century.
Topics include today’s leading chess libraries and the use of digitized chess texts and research on the Web. Special attention is given to the columns that appeared in newspapers (national and provincial) and magazines from 1813 onwards. These articles, usually weekly, provide a wealth of information on early chess, much of which is not to be found elsewhere. The lengthy first appendix, an A to Z of almost 600 chess columns, constitutes a detailed research aid. Other appendices include corrections and supplements to standard works of reference on chess.

About the Author(s)

Tim Harding played for Ireland at the 1984 FIDE chess olympiad in Thessaloniki. He is a FIDE Candidate Master and a Senior International Master of correspondence chess. A well-known writer on many aspects of chess, Tim is a former editor of Chess Mail magazine and for almost 20 years he contributed monthly articles in “The Kibitzer” series at He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Bibliographic Details

Tim Harding
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 50 photos, 18 games, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6839-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3169-1
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

Book of the Year Award—Chess Journalists of America
“Seldom a chess book has impressed so much as this latest work from Tim Harding on British chess literature…. Uncountable in this are Tim Harding’s research discoveries which bring the reader back in time…a must have chess book!”—; “The book is the result of fifteen years of research, and the author has dug up considerable new information…fascinating”—Chess Book Chats; “who would have known that the history of British chess could be so rich and diverse? This book certainly provides a wealth of information related to this topic prior to 1914. Definitely a book for chess enthusiasts”—ARBA; “Harding not only provides a detailed research guide but also a resource that has value across many sub-genres within chess history and is enjoyable to read…highly recommended”—Mind’s Eye Press.