Edward Winter's Chess Explorations (83)

5/13/2012 – The fascinating history of the world chess championship has long been plagued by a lack of proper documentation, and many myths and controversies have arisen. The Editor of Chess Notes has written a range of detailed articles covering everything from early occurrences of the title ‘world chess champion’ to a catalogue of books about many of today’s leading players, including Anand and Gelfand.

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Chess Explorations (83)

By Edward Winter

Early Uses of ‘World Chess Champion’: A compilation of many of the first occurrences of  ‘world champion’, ‘world championship’ and similar terms, particularly in connection with Morphy and Steinitz.


World Chess Championship Rules: This article gives the rules and regulations for Steinitz’s world title matches (against Zukertort, Chigorin, Gunsberg and Lasker).


W. Steinitz


Lasker v Janowsky, Paris, 1909: Even today it is sometimes still claimed that this match was for the world championship, but the documentary evidence is clear that it was not.


D. Janowsky


How Capablanca Became World Champion: An examination of the negotiations leading up to the 1921 Lasker v Capablanca world title match, including Lasker’s decision in 1920 to resign as champion.


Capablanca’s Reply to Lasker: The full text of the Cuban’s detailed response, written in 1922, to claims by Lasker regarding their match the previous year.


Em. Lasker


The London Rules: An important document drawn up in 1922 to govern future world championship matches.


Chess: The History of FIDE: An overview of the early days of the Fédération Internationale des Echecs, including its attempted involvement in the world championship.


Capablanca v Alekhine, 1927: A discussion of the Buenos Aires match, and especially the issue of whether it would have been drawn if the score had reached 5-5.


J.R. Capablanca


FIDE Championship (1928): This article reviews the world governing body’s wish to create a separate title of ‘FIDE champion’.


E. Bogoljubow


Seven Alekhine Articles: The integral texts of the articles which Alekhine contributed to the New York Times during his 1929 match against Bogoljubow.


World Championship Disorder: An analysis of the controversy in the late 1930s over how the world championship challenger should be designated.


M. Euwe


Interregnum: This article presents a detailed account of how the world title issue was handled following Alekhine’s death in 1946.


M. Botvinnik


The Termination: Although no-one can know the full story of the controversial termination of the 1984-85 Karpov v Kasparov match, one conclusion is inescapable: much false information has been disseminated by certain chess writers.


Books about Anand, Carlsen, Gelfand, Kramnik and Topalov: A catalogue of books published about (not by) five of the world’s leading masters.

The Chess Notes archives page has links to similar lists that we have prepared of books on Alekhine, Capablanca, Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov, Keres, Korchnoi and Tal.


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All ChessBase articles by Edward Winter


Edward Winter is the editor of Chess Notes, which was founded in January 1982 as "a forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime". Since then, over 7,650 items have been published, and the series has resulted in four books by Winter: Chess Explorations (1996), Kings, Commoners and Knaves (1999), A Chess Omnibus (2003) and Chess Facts and Fables (2006). He is also the author of a monograph on Capablanca (1989). In 2011 a paperback edition was issued.

Chess Notes is well known for its historical research, and anyone browsing in its archives will find a wealth of unknown games, accounts of historical mysteries, quotes and quips, and other material of every kind imaginable. Correspondents from around the world contribute items, and they include not only "ordinary readers" but also some eminent historians – and, indeed, some eminent masters. Chess Notes is located at the Chess History Center. Signed copies of Edward Winter's publications are currently available.


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