Soviet Chess 1917–1991


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About the Book

This large and magnificent work of art is both an interpretive history of Soviet chess from the Bolshevik Revolution to the collapse of the U.S.S.R. in 1991 and a record of the most interesting games played. The text traces the phenomenal growth of chess from the Revolutionary days to the devastations of World War II, and then from the Golden Age of Soviet–dominated chess in the 1950s to the challenge of Bobby Fischer and the quest to find his Soviet match. Included are 249 games, each with a diagram; most are annotated and many have never before been published outside the Soviet Union. The text is augmented by photographs and includes 63 tournament and match scoretables. Also included are a bibliography, an appendix of records achieved in Soviet national championships, two indexes of openings, and an index of players and opponents.

About the Author(s)

Grandmaster Andrew Soltis, nine times champion of the Marshall Chess Club, New York Post editor and Chess Life columnist, is the author of dozens of chess books. He lives in New York City.

Bibliographic Details

Andrew Soltis
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 478
Bibliographic Info: tables, 23 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, indexes
Copyright Date: 2015 [2000]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9758-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1123-5
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Historical Book of the Year—United States Chess Federation
  • “Truly impressive…highly recommended”—Library Journal
  • “Fascinating…well researched…monumental”—The Washington Post
  • “Outstanding work of scholarship…recommended without reservation”—British Chess Magazine
  • “An important and excellent work, strongly researched, well organized, and intelligently, insightfully and engagingly written…well worth the price…recommend it highly”—ChessCafe
  • “Fascinating…Soltis manages to bring many characters of Soviet chess history to life”—Chess News
  • “I can’t recommend this book enough”—Inside Chess
  • “A labour of love…absorbing…a wealth of fascinating detail”—Chess Mail
  • “Tremendous…highly recommended”—Blitz Chess
  • “Insightful book…exudes quality in every respect…an epochal work…clearly the best book of the year so far”—Chessopolis
  • “Highly recommended”—Australian Chess Forum
  • “The best book about chess I’ve read for years”—Nederlands Dagblad
  • “Outstanding…clearly the best book of the year”—Randy Bauer
  • “Fun, beautifully-produced, informative, and nostalgic”—Chess Magazine
  • “Fascinating”—Chess Horizons
  • “Important and exhaustive…definitive”—Winnipeg Free Press
  • “One of Soltis’ masterpieces…extremely enjoyable to read…it’s easy to recommend this book…Soviet Chess is fun, beautifully produced, informative, and nostalgic in the best sense…fascinating”—IM John Donaldson (
  • “An enjoyable read”—Kingpin Chess Magazine