New Books

The Tragic Life and Short Chess Career of James A. Leonard, 1841–1862 - $67.95

John S. Hilbert
Foreword by Edward Winter

ISBN 0-7864-2298-X
135 illustrations & diagrams, notes, bibliography, indexes
223pp. library binding (7 x 10) 2006

The Civil War affected the entire American landscape in ways not always given their due consideration. Not only did it determine the political future of a nation, it influenced the scientific and cultural development of the country as well. The war cost America many of its best and brightest in every venue. James A. Leonard was one such loss: a brilliant up-and-coming chess player in 1861–62 before he made the decision to serve his country during wartime.

Born November 6, 1841, James A. Leonard was the son of a poor Irish immigrant—but even a poor child could play the game of kings. Leonard grew up in a time when interest in chess was experiencing a revival, and contemporaries such as Paul Morphy, Eugene Delmar and Leonard’s mentor Philip Richardson captured the interest of a country. Leonard defeated a number of the country’s notable chess players and was widely viewed as the “New Morphy.”

This biography discusses what little is known of Leonard’s life and death but concentrates primarily on Leonard’s ability and his sadly shortened career. Game scores and diagrams from 96 of Leonard’s games are included, with detailed descriptions regarding place, date and opponents.

About the Author
John S. Hilbert is a senior attorney for the Office of Hearings and Appeals of the Social Security Administration. He is also the author of Walter Penn Shipley: Philadelphia’s Friend of Chess (2003) and lives in Amherst, New York.


“Very scholarly...wonderful”—Chess Horizons

“Detailed...a magnificent written tribute”—John Elberg, Chess Book Reviews

“Highly recommended”—IM John Donaldson—

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Chess Results, 1901–1920 - $62.95
A Comprehensive Record with 860 Tournament Crosstables and 375 Match Scores
Gino Di Felice

ISBN 0-7864-2362-5
tables, bibliography, indexes
336pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2006

This comprehensive chronological reference lists the results of men’s chess competitions all over the world. From the famous to the lesser known, both individual and team matches from 1901 through 1920 are remembered here. Entries record location and, when available, the group that sponsored the event. Both first and last names of players are included whenever possible and are standardized for easy reference. Compiled from contemporary sources such as newspapers, periodicals, tournament records and match books, this work contains 860 tournament crosstables and 375 match scores. It is indexed by events and players.

About the Author
Gino Di Felice lives in Mosciano Sant’Angelo, Teramo, Italy. He works in an alimentary industry. He is also the author of Chess Results, 1921–1930 (2006) and Chess Results, 1747–1900 (2004).


“Important...exhaustive...indispensable”—The Washington Post

“Important comprehensive chronological reference”—Chessbook Reviews

“Both the author and McFarland are to be commended for this undertaking”—IM John Donaldson—

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Chess Facts and Fables - $76.95

Edward Winter

ISBN 0-7864-2310-2
219 photographs, 210 diagrams, references, indexes
395pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2006

Chess has developed such a large body of myth and folklore that sorting fact from fiction is not easy. As with Edward Winter’s previous volumes in his “Chess Notes” series—Chess Explorations (1996), Kings, Commoners and Knaves (1999) and A Chess Omnibus (2003)—this work (from a new publisher) features in-depth research into chess lore, corrections of popular misconceptions, biographical notes on famous players, and authenticated quotations. There is a rich selection of forgotten games, and many items include contributions from the author’s correspondents worldwide. Written for the general chess enthusiast and the devotee of chess history, the book is illustrated with 219 rare photographs and 210 diagrams of chess positions. The book concludes with a comprehensive bibliography and indexes of players, games and openings, illustrations, and general subjects.

About the Author
Edward Winter (“the world’s greatest chess historian” in the words of the U.S. scholar and master John Donaldson) is also the author of Capablanca (McFarland, 1989).


“Fascinating...great read”—Chess Life

“The debt the chess world owes to Winter is vast”—Chess “ to read”—Winnipeg Free Press

“The production values are high...meticulously documented. There is something in here to delight everyone who loves chess. Edward Winter has masterfully demonstrated once again that chess history does not have to be distorted to be ‘fun’”—Georgia Chess.

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Chess Personalia - $76.95
A Biobibliography
Compiled and edited by Jeremy Gaige

ISBN 0-7864-2353-6
abbreviation key, appendix
527pp. softcover 2005 [1987]

First published in 1987 to overwhelming international acclaim, Jeremy Gaige’s Chess Personalia has been called “one of the most useful chess books ever published” (Edward Winter in New in Chess). The book is an invaluable resource for researchers and enthusiasts, and original copies are highly sought after by chess collectors. Long out of print, the original work is available here for the first time in a softcover format.

This biobibliography contains around 14,000 worldwide entries, each entry offering full name, date and place of birth and death, FIDE title, country of citizenship and citations to mentions in the world’s media. Variants in names are cross-referenced. Those knowledgeable in the chess world will recognize the author’s name and be completely assured as to the comprehensiveness, accuracy, lack of bias, and sedulous research this extraordinary reference work represents.

About the Author
Jeremy Gaige, well-known chess archivist and journalist, follows his profession in Philadelphia. His reference books have become standards for chess historians and journalists all over the world.

Winner, Chess Notes Book of the Year


“Bound to become a standard work…takes one’s breath away at contemplating the magnitude of the task”—British Chess Magazine

“Gaige is a brilliant sifter of indispensable reference of the most useful chess books ever published”—New in Chess

“Our standard reference...provides a rich vein of information”—Chess Life

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Frank Marshall, United States Chess Champion - $79.95
A Biography with 220 Games
Andy Soltis

ISBN 0-89950-887-1
photographs, diagrams, bibliography, index
400pp. library binding 1993

Frank Marshall (1877–1944) reigned as America’s chess champion from 1907 through 1936—the longest stint of anyone in history. A colorful character almost always decked out in an ascot and chewing a cigar, his career coincided with many evolutionary changes in competitive chess.

Marshall was a master gamesman. He took up the game of salta, akin to Chinese checkers, and was soon world champion. But more than anything, he loved chess. He claimed that after learning the game at the age of 10 he played every day for the next 57 years. Marshall’s life and playing style are fully examined here, including 220 of his games (some never before published) with 190 positional diagrams.

About the Author
Grandmaster Andy Soltis is the author of dozens of chess books, including The 100 Best Chess Games of the 20th Century, Ranked (2000), Soviet Chess 1917–1991 (2000: 2000 United States Chess Federation Historical Book of the Year), The United States Chess Championship (1997), and The Book of Chess Lists (1984). The eight-time champion of the world-famous Marshall Chess Club, he is an editor and journalist at the New York Post and a columnist for Chess Life. He lives in New York City.

Award Winner
British Chess Federation Book of the Year


“Recommended”—Chess Horizons

“‘unputdownable’...thoroughly researched and splendidly written”—British Chess Magazine

“This biography and catalog of Marshall pays off handsomely for chess enthusiasts...the games themselves—ably described by grandmaster and chess journalist Soltis—are the soul of the book”—Booklist/RBB

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Reuben Fine - $115
A Comprehensive Record of an American Chess Career, 1929–1951
Aidan Woodger

ISBN 0-7864-1621-1
photographs, diagrams, tables, appendices, bibliography, indexes
400pp. library binding (8.5 x 11) 2004

American Grandmaster Reuben Fine grew up in the East Bronx in an impoverished Russian-Jewish family, learning to play chess from an uncle at the age of eight. During his high school years, his stake winnings and coins earned from playing at a Coney Island concession helped support his family. After graduating from college, he decided to become a professional player. Though his active international career was brief, his accomplishment and talent are unmistakably significant.

This comprehensive collection of 659 of Reuben Fine’s tournament and match games is presented chronologically, in context, and with annotations from contemporary sources. More than 180 other games and game fragments (rapid transit, correspondence, exhibition, blitz, and others) are also included. The work also includes a biography of Fine, and notes aspects of his career that merit further study: his contribution to endgame and middlegame theory, his methods and style of play, and his exhibition play. Fine’s career results, brief biographical data about his opponents, a comprehensive bibliography that includes his contributions to journals, and indexes of players and of openings complete the work.

About the Author
Former field archaeologist Aidan Woodger compiles chess books in his spare time. He lives in Halifax, West Yorks, United Kingdom.


“Four stars”—Chess Horizons

“Beautiful, clothbound volume written by [a] meticulous researcher and published by a company which obviously cares about quality”—Winnipeg Free Press

“The overall quality of the games is high. The roster of Fine’s opponents is a ‘Who’s Who’ of American and international chess of the time. Of the serious games, the great majority are annotated, often in considerable detail...extensive research to find annotations not just from Fine’s and other easy-to-find works, but from many sources. This is one of the few books we have seen with an ‘Annotator’s Index’...the notes are handled quite well, Woodger often harmoniously blending multiple annotators in one game, making intelligent cross-references between sources, and judiciously adding his own computer-assisted comments, which our own spot-checking found to be quite accurate...Woodger has done fine work to add significantly to the canon of an important player...the history is competently written and well researched...wealth of archival data...physically the book is up to McFarland’s usual high standard...we like this book a great impressive work, presenting in great detail the career of an important chess master who played many outstanding games. We recommend it very highly”—

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