The Immortal Game


In my research, I relied on hundreds of text and electronic sources, and scores of individuals. Three books that stand out for their constant usefulness are:
  • H. J. R. Murray. A History of Chess. Oxford University Press, 1913.
  • Richard Eales. Chess: The History of a Game. Facts on File, 1985.
  • David Hooper and Kenneth Whyld. The Oxford Companion to Chess. Second edition. Oxford University Press, 1992.

Sources for specific quotes and information from corresponding page numbers are as follows.


xiii Caliph Ar-Radi was walking: Murray, History of Chess, p. 200. Prologue

xv When eleven-year-old Marcel Duchamp: Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp: A Biography (Henry Holt, 1996), is the definitive work on Marcel Duchamp. I also relied on Andrew Waterman's essay "The Poetry of Chess," in Burt Hochberg, The 64-Square Looking Glass (Times Books, 1993); Hans Ree, The Human Comedy of Chess (Russell Enterprises, 1999); and Ernst Strouhal, Acht X Acht (Springer, 1996).

xvi "Chess holds its master": The Einstein quote comes from the foreword to Johannes Hannak, Emanuel Lasker: Biographie eines Schachweltmeisters; mit einem Geleitwort von Albert Einstein (S. Engelhardt, 1952). Despite Einstein's stated opposition to chess, he did play. One recorded game shows him handily defeating his famous physicist colleague Robert Oppenheimer. An animated version of the game can be viewed online at:


1 Large rocks, severed heads: The Baghdad battle scene and much of the context of that period come from Volumes 31 and 32 of The History of al-Tabari, originally written in the ninth century and published in English transla-tion by the State University of New York Press. Gaston Wiet, Baghdad: Metropolis of the Abbasid Caliphate (University of Oklahoma Press, 1971), was also helpful, as was The Internet Medieval Sourcebook, an online resource edited by Paul Halsall at the Fordham University Center for Medieval Studies:

2 "O Commander of the faithful": This exchange is taken from Murray, History of Chess, p. 197.

3 The ancient Greeks had petteia and kubeia: Roland G. Austin, "Greek Board Games," Antiquity, September 1940 pp. 257–71, is fascinating reading. The article is available online at:

6 "Here is nothing less": Alfred Kreymborg, "Chess Reclaims a Devotee," in Hochberg, The 64-Square Looking Glass.

7 orthodox enemies to stamp it out: The list of religious figures who have tried to outlaw chess comes partly from Bill Wall's "Religion and Chess," on-line at:

Iraq's current most powerful Islamic authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has completely forbidden chess. From his list of General Rules: "503. It is harãm [absolutely forbidden] to play chess, regardless of whether or not the play is with betting. It is also harãm to play chess through computerized instrument, if there are two players involved in it. Based on obligatory precaution, one must refrain from it, even if just the computer is the other player." See:

Chapter 1

13 "When Sissa had invented chess": Murray, History of Chess, p. 211.

13 It is said that in ancient India: Murray, History of Chess, pp. 212, 213.

14 The annals of ancient poetry: Norman Reider, "Chess, Oedipus, and the Mater Dolorosa," International Journal of Psychoanalysis 40 (1959), pp. 320–33, contains a comprehensive summary of chess-origin myths.

14 Pythagoras, the ancient mathematician: Eales, Chess, p. 15.

14 The Greek warrior Palamedes: Victor A. Keats, Chess in Jewish History and Hebrew Literature (Magnes Press, 1995), pp. 132, 133.

14 the great medieval rebbe: Joseph Jacobs and A. Porter, "Chess," Jewish Encyclopedia (1901–06), now online at:

15 Myths, said Joseph Campbell: Campbell, "The Impact of Science on Myth," Myths to Live By (Penguin, 1993).

16 One story portrays two successive Indian kings: Murray, History of Chess, p. 210.

16 One tale, known as "The Doubling of the Squares": Murray, History of Chess, p. 218. "The calculation is undoubtedly of Indian origin," Murray writes. "It would appear to have also been a favorite calculation among the Muslims . . . to illustrate the different systems of numeration."

More on chess and math

There is some evidence that the actual chess moves were designed according to an ancient mathematical key code. The Chatrang-namak in-cluded a mythical tale of the invention of chatrang by a group of sixth-century Indian wise men as a provocation to their Persian rivals. Along with a hoard of gold, pearls, elephants, and camels sent as condi-tional tribute, the chatrang board and unarranged pieces were presented to King Nushirwan of Persia with no instructions on how to play. Instead, it came with this message:

Since you bear the title "King of Kings" and are King
over all us Kings, it is [expected] that your wise men
should be wiser than ours.

If now you cannot discover the interpretation of the CHATRANG, pay us tribute and revenue.

The king was given three days to comply.

For two days, there was an eerie silence, as the game seemed to stump everyone in his court. Finally, on the third and final day, a nobleman named Wajurgmitr figured it out in perfect detail. Not only that: he also played and defeated the Indian king's ambassador in twelve straight games. "And there was great joy throughout the whole land."

On the surface, chess in this story is clearly a substitute for war, a new method for settling disputes according to wits rather than brute force (perhaps because the Indians considered themselves militarily inferior but intellectually superior).

But it also suggested a second, hidden meaning. How could even the wisest of wise men possibly deduce the rules to a totally unfamiliar game without a single clue as to its sources or methods? That would be like asking someone to come up with street-by-street driving directions by studying a blank piece of paper instead of a road map. It simply wasn't possible. According to the logic of the story, there had to be some sort of hidden clue allowing the puzzle to be solved.

This remained a riddle for chess historians until the 1970s, when three of them—Germany's Reinhard Wieber, Yugoslavia's Pavle Bidev, and Spain's Ricardo Calvo—stumbled onto ancient references to an eight-by-eight "magic square" that also, inexplicably, contained chess pieces.

A widespread feature of ancient civilizations in Egypt, India, China, and elsewhere, the magic square is a matrix of numbers positioned in such a way that every row, every column, and every diagonal adds up to the same sum. They can be any size—three by three, four by four, five by five, and so on. An example:

8 3 4
1 5 9
6 7 2

The symmetry of such squares conveyed a mystical quality, and sug-gested a hidden, cosmic truth. For that reason they were immensely pop-ular in a world that possessed few reliable facts about the universe. Magic squares were used widely to probe the unknowable and explore the re-lationships among numbers.

They also apparently had something to do with the creation of chess, a game that contains no numbers at all but turns out to contain an un-countable number of mathematical expressions.

In separate examinations of an eight-by-eight magic square from a medieval Arab text, Wieber, Bidev, and Calvo discovered that the an-cient moves of chess fit eerily into it. "Increasingly, through mathemat-ical investigation," concluded Calvo, "it would appear as though the rules of chess are somehow miraculously present in this numerological arrangement. The inventor or inventors of chess must have used this pre-existent numerological arrangement (the 'genetic code of chess,' as Prof. Bidev put it) before deciding how to institute the various moves of the different chess pieces upon the board."

The moves of chess, in other words, appeared to be originally de-signed according to a particular number scheme, an old magic square. As fantastic as it seemed, this theory that chess had a master "genetic code" rooted in numerical mysticism also neatly solved the mystery of the King Nushirwan puzzle, where the Persians had been given no instructions on how to play the game. If the Persians in the story were able to uncover a hidden magic square that dictated a veiled mathematical superstructure of chess, then the story made perfect sense.

Such a key code could enable someone to deduce the moves of each piece. It would be extremely dif-ficult, but not impossible—precisely the dynamic suggested by the story. This explanation instantly transformed the Indian-Persian legend from a mystical tale into a plausible piece of history.

Sources: Ricardo Calvo, "Mystical Numerology in Egypt and Meso-potamia," online at:

See also Pavle Bidev, "Geschichte der Entdeckung des Schachs im magischen Quadrat und des magischen Quadrat im Schach," Schachwissentschaftliche Forschungen, January 5, 1975.

18 "Understanding [is] the essential weapon": Murray, History of Chess, p. 152.

18 one of the oldest books mentioning the game: The Karnamak-i Artakhshatr-i Papakan (Book of the deeds of Ardashir, son of Papak), written near 600, mentions an already popular game called chatrang. Murray, History of Chess, p. 149. Subsequently, the Persian poem Chatrang-namak (The book of chatrang)—circa 650–850—explicitly describes the game in some detail. Murray, History of Chess, pp. 150–52.

The Indian text Harshacharita, written in about 625, is the earliest reliable mention of chaturanga as the Sanskrit antecedent of chatrang. It also names the ashtapada as the sixty-four-square board the game was played on. "Under this monarch," boasted King Harsha's biographer about his ruler's reign of peace and stability, "only bees quarrel in collecting dews; the only feet cut off are those in metre; only ashtapadas teach the positions of the chaturanga." Chaturanga also meant "army" or "army formation." Its use in Harshacharita had a double meaning, the point being that during the reign of the powerful and wise King

Harsha, the only wars fought—or even trained for—were those fought on a chessboard. An ideal society indeed.

19 "Chess was the companion and catalyst": Strouhal, Acht X Acht, foot -note 20.

19 The early Islamic chess master: Murray, History of Chess, p. 338.

19 "Chancellor of the Exchequer": "The Dialogue concerning the Ex -chequer" (late twelfth century), in Ernest F. Henderson, Select Historical Documents of the Middle Ages (George Bell and Sons, 1910), online in The Internet Medieval Sourcebook at:

19 in Dante's Paradiso: Paradiso, Canto 28.

The Immortal Game: Move 1 23 "When one plays over a game by a fine technician": Anthony Saidy, The March of Chess Ideas (McKay Chess Library, 1994), p. 6.

For biographical information on Anderssen and Kieseritzky and the game itself, I relied on Robert Hübner, "The Immortal Game," American Chess Journal, no. 3 (1995), PP. 14–35; F. L. Amelung, Baltische Schachblätter 4 (1893), PP. 325–26, as cited in Hübner above and in personal correspondence by Michael Negele, of the Ken Whyld Association; Bill Wall, "Adolf Anderssen (1818–79)," online at:
and "Lionel Kieseritzky:"

For chess analysis of the Immortal Game, I relied on Lionel Kieseritzky, firsthand annotation of the game in his journal La Régence, July 1851; Hübner, "The Immortal Game," pp. 14–35; Irving Chernev, 1000 Best Short Games of Chess (Fireside, 1955); Chernev, The Chess Companion (Simon & Schuster, 1973); Graham Burgess, John Nunn, and John Emms, The Mammoth Book of the World's Greatest Chess Games (Carroll and Graf, 1998); Lubomir Kavalek, chess column, Washington Post, July 2003; David Hayes, "The Immortal Game," on-line at:
David A. Wheeler, analysis, online at:
S. Tartakower and J. Du Mont, 500 Master Games of Chess (Dover Publications, 1975); David Levy and Kevin O'Connoll, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Chess Games (Oxford University Press, 1981); Ron Burnett and Sid Pickard, The Chess Games of Adolph Anderssen, Master of Attack (Pickard and Son, 1996); Reuben Fine, The World's Great Chess Games (Dover, 1983); A. J. Goldsby, analysis, online at:
"Anderssen, A-Kieseritzky, L, London, 1851: Mate the Uncastled King-Part I," online at:
and Stephen Hubbell, in a reenactment of the game, spring 2005.

27 They anticipated a caliber of chess: Andy Soltis, The Great Chess Tournaments and their Stories (Chilton Book Co., 1975), p. 3.

Chapter 2

29 "Acquire knowledge": Sir Abdullah Suhrawardy, The Sayings of Muhammad (Citadel Press, 1990), p. 94.

30 "The [board] is placed between two friends of known friendship": Murray, History of Chess, p. 184.

30 "The skilled player places his pieces": Murray, History of Chess, p. 184.

30 A list of prominent players: Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib, of Medina, an Arab who played in public; Sa'id ibn Jubair, a Negro, who excelled in blindfold play; Az-Zuhri, the great lawyer of the Umayyad period; Hisham ibn Urwa, another blindfold player, whose three granddaughters Safi'a, A'isha, and 'Ubaida also played chess; and Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad, grandson of the Caliph Abu- Bakr. Murray, History of Chess, pp. 191, 192.

30 "I keep you from your inheritance": Murray, History of Chess, p. 194. "The chess allusion is perfectly certain," he writes, "for baidaq has no other meaning than that of chess [Pawn]." The poet's allusion also refers to the phe -nomenon of Pawn promotion.

30; 32 allowable under Islamic law: Murray, History of Chess pp. 187–91. "Images" and "lots": the respective Arabic terms are ansab and maisir.

31 A Guide to Shatranj: Information and some direct text taken from chess :

Another excellent resource is:

The image of two players is from Shahnameh (The epic of kings), by the great Persian poet Ferdowsi Tousi (935–1020). Scanned from Strouhal, Acht X Acht, p. 195.

33 Ceramic chess set from twelfth-century Iran: Anna Contadini, "Islamic Ivory Chess Pieces, Draughtsmen and Dice," Islamic Art in the Ashmolean Museum, Part One, edited by James Allan (Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 111, online at:

33 "The empress into whose place": Murray, History of Chess, p. 164.

34 the first true Islamic Renaissance: Husain F. Nagamia, "Islamic Medicine: History and Current Practice," online at:
Ted Thornton, "The Abbasid Golden Age," online at:
"Islam and Islamic History in Arabia and The Middle East," online at:
Jens Høyrup, "Sub-Scientific Mathematics: Observations on a Pre-Modern Phenomenon," Measure, Number, and Weight: Studies in Mathematics and Culture (State University of New York Press, 1994).

35 there were just five aliyat: Jabir al-Khufi, Rabrab, Abu'n-Na'am, al-Adli, and ar-Razi. Murray, History of Chess, p. 197.

35 One particular al-Adli problem: Bill Wall, online at:

The Immortal Game: Move 2

40 from the Italian gambetto: First introduced by Ruy Lopez, according to G. T. Chesney, encyclopedia entry, 1911, online at:

40 colorful names to various opening sequences: Murray, History of Chess, p. 39.

Chapter 3

43 Despite appearances to the contrary: Principal sources are Neil Stratford, The Lewis Chessmen and the Enigma of the Hoard (British Museum Press, 1997); and Michael Taylor, The Lewis Chessmen (British Museum Press, 1978). Also useful was J. L. Cazaux's history site:

The description of dune formation was informed by a personal communication with Hans Herrmann, University of Stuttgart. Additional facts on the Isle of Lewis come from Patti Smith at the Stornoway Tourist Infor-mation Center. Uig is pronounced oo-eeg. Irving Finkel quote from BBC website:

46 Fortunately, such doggedness was second nature to Harold Murray: Obituary of Harold Murray in British Chess Magazine, August 1955; Harold Murray, unpublished "Autobiography of Chess Play" (Bodleian Library, Oxford University, H. J. R. Murray Papers, Volume 73, p. 216, SC49132–3); "Dictionary milestones: A chronology of events relevant to the history of the OED," online at:
Marilyn Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen: A History (HarperCollins, 2004).

More on H. J. R. Murray A History of Chess, by Harold James Ruthven Murray, was published by Oxford University Press in 1913. Murray covered the first 1,400 years of the game's history in crystallized, definitive detail. It was Murray who chronicled the role of Harun ar-Rashid, the Chatrang-namak, and the tale of Indian King Balhait. It was Murray who relentlessly tracked down the problems of al-Adli, who translated the romantic poetry of Marie de France, who exhaustively collected and interpreted virtually everything there was to know about the game at that time. Murray's book is, in fact, in some ways too complete. At nine hundred pages of small (and even smaller) print, with large sections in Latin, German, and French (with smatterings of Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, and Greek), innumerable chess diagrams and annotated games, pages and pages of ur-text romantic me-dieval poetry, hundreds of chess problems (and their solutions), a river of footnotes, and extensive catalogues of ancient manuscripts, A History of Chess is truly not a book for casual consumption. It provides historians with an exhaustive catalogue of chess's more than twelve million hours of existence, but for the lay reader it does not effectively tell chess's story or convey its meaning.

Reading through it for the first time, poring through its footnotes and bottomless index, was for me at once a thrill and a vexing frustra-tion, like suddenly being able to see a gigantic photograph of the planet earth in unprecedented detail—but only from one inch away, through a magnifying glass. The assemblage of facts was magnificent, leaving me desperate to back up a few steps and view them in more meaning-ful components. The irony was that this clearly definitive book was inadvertently obscuring much about chess's history—and human his-tory. In logging the voluminous facts of the game, it left out much of the context, and in so doing concealed chess's majesty and true im-portance. And yet no one could seriously imagine chess history with-out it, or easily conceive of what its pioneer author went through to compile it. As he began his work at the end of the nineteenth century, Murray had no specialized chess libraries at his disposal as we do today in Cleveland, Princeton, and The Hague. There was no central game database. Source material was scattered, hidden, and/or recorded in forgotten languages. Even at Oxford, the center of the academic universe, compiling a serious chess history was a career-long undertak-ing. We should all be grateful for Murray's perseverance. Imagine piecing together the trail of a Red Knot Sandpiper from Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America, to the Arctic Circle by following its droppings. You could do it, but only if it meant that much to you; only if you were willing to devote much of your life to the task.

47 By 900, Muslim armies controlled: W. C. Brice, An Historical Atlas of Islam, as found on:
map at:

47 In 1005 the Egyptian ruler al-Hakim: Murray, History of Chess, p. 203.

48 Persian Muslim nicknamed Ziriab: Ricardo Calvo, "The Oldest Chess Pieces in Europe," presentation to the Initiative Group Königstein (Amsterdam, December 2001), online at:
Hans Ree, The Human Comedy of Chess: A Grandmaster's Chronicles (Russell Enterprises, 2001) (Ree notes that in the twenty-first century Ziriab is still a well-known figure in the Andalusian region of southern Spain); Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen, p. 11.

49 Not long after this: This is apocryphal, from Jerzy Gizycki, A History of Chess (Abbey Library, 1972), p. 15.

49 "It is a paradoxical but well-established fact": Eales, Chess, p. 42.

50 The medieval French historian Robert de St. Remi: Murray, History of Chess, p. 419.

50 Tracking chess's migration a Swiss monastery by 997: Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen, p. 16.

50 to northern, Christian-controlled Spain by 1008: Eales, Chess, p. 43; Murray, History of Chess, p. 405. (Murray says perhaps 1010.)

50 to southern Germany by 1050; and to central Italy by 1061: Murray, History of Chess, p. 418.

50 By the early twelfth century . . . ensconced in the culture of medieval chivalry: Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen, p. 52; Eales, Chess, p. 53.

50 The very first mention of the chess Queen: Yalom, Birth of the Chess Queen, pp. 19–26.

50 the introduction of dark and light checkered squares: first mentioned in Einsiedeln manuscripts, according to Murray, History of Chess, p. 452.

51 Finally, the game's name shifted: Murray, History of Chess, p. 400.

51 The medieval historian Alexander Neckam: Murray, History of Chess, p. 502.

51 "There was a demandfor a game like chess": Eales, Chess, p. 48 (italics mine).

51 In the twelfth century: W. L. Tronzo, "Moral Hieroglyphs: Chess and Dice at San Savino in Piacenza," Gesta 16, no. 2, p. 15–26.

53 Liber de moribus: This is one of the early titles appended to a translation of Cessolis's work, which probably had no formal title to begin with. Source: Jenny Adams, personal communication.

54 the twelfth century had seen an "early Renaissance": "In the early 12th Century," writes historian Norman Cantor, "it was becoming more apparent every day that knowledge was power . . . many of the most brilliant minds of the new generation that came to maturity about 1100 set off for the new cathe-dral schools to participate in the intellectual revolution." Cantor, The Civilization of the Middle Ages (HarperCollins, 1994).

55 Liber de moribus used the chess metaphor: "Language normally grows by a process of metaphorical extension; we extend old names to new objects. (In fact, someone has happily called metaphors 'new namings.')" C. Brooks and R. P. Warren, Modern Rhetoric (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979).

55 "Before the Liber": Jenny Adams, Power Play: The Literature and Politics of Chess in the Late Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006).

57 Thus chess, now with many different names: Murray, History of Chess, pp. 455–56.

58 "The wearingness which players experienced": Eales, Chess, p. 69.

58 If it landed on "1": Anne Sunnucks, The Encyclopaedia of Chess (St. Martin's Press, 1976), p. 97. "The use of the dice reduces the necessity for thought and the formation of a plan of campaign, but it destroys the liberty of play which is so closely associated with the differentiation of each piece, and ruins the real entity of chess." Murray, History of Chess, p. 454.

The Immortal Game: Move 3

60 For one shilling and sixpence: Personal visit to Simpson's Divan, and per-sonal correspondence with Robin Easton, general manager of Simpson's. "£4.84 in the year 2002 has the same 'purchase power' as £0, 1s, 6d in the year 1851." John J. McCusker, "Comparing the Purchasing Power of Money in Great Britain from 1264 to Any Other Year Including the Present" (Economic History Services, 2001), online at:

Chapter 4

67 "This Century, like a golden age":

69 you'll have to trust the number crunchers on this:

70 "barely thinkable": Stefano Franchi, "Palomar, the Triviality of Mo -dernity, and the Doctrine of the Void," New Literary History 28, no. 4 (1997), pp. 757–78.

70 The estimated total: I. Peterson, "The Soul of a Chess Machine: Lessons Learned from a Contest Pitting Man against Computer," Science News, March 30, 1996.

71 "I understand you," replied the queen: Yalom cites Christopher Hibbert, The Virgin Queen: Elizabeth I, Genius of the Golden Age (Addison-Wesley, 1991).

71–72 "I thinke it ouer fond": Basilicon Doron, London, 1603. William Poole, "False Play: Shakespeare and Chess," Shakespeare Quarterly 55, no. 1 (2004), p. 62.

72 In 1550 Saint Teresa: Saint Teresa of Ávila, The Way of Perfection, Chapter 16, translated by E. Allison Peers (Image, 1964), online at:

"I hope you do not think I have written too much about this al-ready," she writes, "for I have only been placing the board, as they say. You have asked me to tell you about the first steps in prayer; . . . even now I can hardly have acquired these elementary virtues. But you may be sure that any-one who cannot set out the pieces in a game of chess will never be able to play well, and, if he does not know how to give check, he will not be able to bring about a checkmate."

72 In 1595 English courtier Sir Philip Sidney: Poole, "False Play: Shake-speare and Chess."

72 Cervantes used it: Don Quixote, Part 2, Chapter 12.

72 The English playwright Thomas Middleton: Jenny Adams, in personal correspondence. The play was extraordinarily popular, one of the first plays ever to have a continuous run. Adams also points out that Middleton also used chess to represent a rape in his play Women Beware Women. Adams cites T. H. Howard-Hill's edition of the play (Manchester University Press, 1993).

73 political cartoonists: See cartoon on p. 299. See also:

73 law firms: See:

73 technology consultants: Allarus.

73 the U.S. Army would adopt: The Army "Psyops" unit uses chess in its insignia:

A 1991 political cartoon by Pancho from the French newspaper Le Monde. 73 John Locke: Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Chapter 13, Sections 8 and 9.

74 "The whole world is like a chess-board": Eales, Chess, p. 65. Eales also suggests that the bag metaphor encouraged peasants to be patient for greater rewards in the afterlife.

75 Chess, as James Rowbothum suggested: From Poole, "False Play: Shakespeare and Chess."

The Immortal Game: Moves 4 and 5

79 Kieseritzky's earlier wins in 1844 and 1847 were against, respectively, John Schulten in Paris and Dan Haarwitz in England.

Chapter 5

87 Along with just about everyone else: H. W. Brands, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin (Anchor Books, 2000); The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (Yale University Press, 1959); Benjamin Franklin, The Morals of Chess (Passy, 1779); The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin (1793), online at:
Ralph K. Hagedorn, Benjamin Franklin and Chess in Early America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1958).

89 Thomas Jefferson tells a similar story: Jefferson to Robert Welsh, 4 December 1818, supplied by Kristen K. Onuf, Monticello Research Depart-ment, online at:

sources and notes

90 "In the Age of Reason": Larry Parr and Lev Alburt, "Life Itself," National Review, September 9, 1991.

91 "He seldom goes to bed till day-break": John Conyers, "Annual Register for the year 1767," Characters (1800), online at:

91 In 1754, the Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn: Daniel Johnson, "Cold War Chess," Prospect, no. 111 (June 2005):

92 Mendelssohn's last written work: From "Controversy with Jacobi over Lessing's Alleged Pantheism," online at:

92 Admirers frequently worked to pair him with good players: Names from Bill Wall:

92 Of Jefferson, a friend wrote: Ellen Wayles Coolidge Letterbook, p. 37 (1853), supplied by Kristen K. Onuf, Monticello Research Department, online at:

94 "I call this my opera": Hochberg, The 64-Square Looking Glass, p. 7.

96 His standing was such: "Chess: The Fickle Lover," online at:

96 playing two games simultaneously while blindfolded: Seven years later, he pushed it to three blindfold games at once.

96 Dating all the way back: So says John B. Henderson, in his column "The Scotsman," at:

Murray, on the other hand, says that the Muslim Borzaga was possibly the first exponent of the art of blindfold play, circa 1265. History of Chess, p. 192.

96 Philidor, it was said: Henderson, "The Scotsman," at:

98 In his memoirs, Rousseau: The Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Book 7, online at:

The Immortal Game: Moves 6 and 7

99 the evolution of chess play: In fact, one of the great masters of the early twentieth century, Richard Reti, suggested that every player's personal learn-ing curve in chess instinctively repeats chess's evolutionary path. "Such evolu-tion," he offered, "has gone on, in general, in a way quite similar to that in which it goes on with the individual chess player, only with the latter more rapidly." Furthermore, Reti provocatively declared, "[in] the development of the chess mind we have a picture of the intellectual struggle of mankind."

100 Even after Philidor: With his novel approach, Philidor was one of the earliest players to advocate a closed game—one in which Pawns are not ex-changed early on, but instead work toward a united and formidable front. This was in contrast to the open game, the universally popular style of Pawn ex-changes or sacrifices that forced vertical openings in the fence of Pawns and en-couraged a quicker, more aggressive contest.

Chapter 6

107 the Café de la Régence: George Walker, "The Café de la Régence, by a Chess-player," Fraser's Magazine 22 (July to December 1840).

107 his underling opponents frequently found it inconvenient to win: Thierry Libaert, Revue du Souvenir Napoléonien, no. 424 (1999), p. 55. Con-veyed by Peter Hicks, Fondation Napoléon.

107 exiled to the tiny island of St. Helena: St. Helena measured 122 square kilometers (47 square miles). The story finally came to light in 1928, during an exhibition of Napoleonic artifacts. Source: Mike Fox and Richard James, The Complete Chess Addict (Faber & Faber, 1987).

A chess set designed for Napoleon, with cannons for Rooks. From the treatise Nuovo giuoco di scacchi ossia il giuoco della guerra (Genova, 1801), by Francesco Giacometti, online at:

110 "There's all sorts of anecdotal evidence": Emma Young, "Chess! What Is It Good For?" Guardian, March 4, 2004.

111 the British public became fascinated: "The London Correspondence Match," online at:
Between 1834 and 1836 Paris and London competed in another high-profile correspondence match, which Paris won.

111 That event fed interest: Adolf Anderssen later said that he learned chess strategy from another William Lewis book, Fifty Games between Labourdonnais and McDonnell (1835).

112 Travel and long-distance communication was cheaper:

112 timed to coincide with a major international fair in the same city: The five-and-a-half-month festival of industrial and culture offerings from around the world attracted some six million visitors to London's Hyde Park. The chess competitors gathered about a mile away, at the St. George Club at Cavendish Square.

112 "Comfort is not particularly high": From an old article translated and reprinted on:

113 In 1103 the knight Pierzchala: Jerzy Gizycki, A History of Chess (Abbey Library, 1972), p. 31.

113 In 1564 a mock-epic poem, Chess: The poem, by Jan Kochanowski, paraphrased an earlier effort by the Italian poet Marco Girolamo Vida. Source is Prof. Edmund Kotarski at:

113 a major Polish revolt against Russian rule: "During the Polish uprising, the Jews suffered, as always, at the hands of both sides: the [Russian] Cussaks who suppressed them and the revolutionaries who demanded money from the Jewish community." Dr. Kasriel Eilender, A Brief History of the Jews in Suwalki:
(I have altered the punctuation in this quote for clarity.)

114 In 1884–85 Rosenthal led a Paris team: Carlo Alberto Pagni, Cor-respondence Chess Matches between Clubs 1823–1899, Vol. 1 (1996).

114 In 1887 he was awarded: Tadeusz Wolsza, Arcymistrozowie, mistrzowie, amatorzy: Slownik biograficzny szachistów polskich, tom 4 (Wydawnictwo, 2003).

114 Rosenthal was said by Wilhelm Steinitz: He had chess columns in Le Monde Illustré and Republique Française. Steinitz said Rosenthal averaged 20,000 francs per year in the last thirty years of his life (Hooper and Whyld, Oxford Companion to Chess). That amounts to $57,670 in 1991 U.S. dollars. (Average exchange rate in this period was 5.15 francs per dollar. One U.S. dollar in 1875–1900 equates to $14.85 in 1991 U.S. dollars, so 20,000 nineteenth-century francs = $3,883.50 nineteenth-century dollars = $57,670 1991 dollars. Sources:

114 Both soldiers and players: From obituary in French newspaper, September 1902.

115 Though for three decades: He won the first French chess championship in 1880. See:

115 he "reigned supreme as the leader of Parisian chess": Chicago Tribune, October 12, 1902, p. 12.

115 he managed to beat legendary players:
database has allactual games.

116 Franklin, who had described chess as battle without bloodshed: Papers of Benjamin Franklin, XXXII, p. 54.

Chapter 7

124 A number of chess masters: Alfred Binet, Mnemonic Virtuosity: A Study of Chess Players, translated by Marianne L. Simmel and Susan B. Barron (Journal Press, 1966); S. Nicolas, "Memory in the Work of Binet, Alfred (1857–1911)," Année Psychologique 94 (no. 2), pp. 257–82; Douwe Draaisma, Metaphors of Memory: A History of Ideas about the Mind (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Howard Gardner, Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (Basic Books, 1993); F. Galton, "Psychology of Mental Arithmeticians and Blindfold Chess-Players" (Review of Alfred Binet, Psychologie des grands calculateurs et joueurs d'échecs)," Nature 51: 73–74; O. D. Enersen, Alfred Binet:
René Zazzo, "Alfred Binet (1857–1911)," Prospects: The Quarterly Review of Comparative Education 23, no. 1⁄2 (1993), pp. 101–12.

127 Binet's original hypothesis might: W. G. Chase and H. A. Simon, "The Mind's Eye in Chess," Visual Information Processing: Proceedings of the 8th Annual Carnegie Psychology Symposium (Academic Press, 1972); Herbert A. Simon and Jonathan Schaeffer, "The Game of Chess," Handbook of Game Theory, edited by R. J. Aumann and S. Hart, vol. 1 (Elsevier, 1992); M. Chabris, "Chess Ratingsas Data in Psychological Research" (Unpublished article, 1996); D. Regis, "Chess and Psychology"; Fernand Gobet, "Chess, Psychology of," The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences, edited by R. A. Wilson and F. C. Keil (MIT Press, 1999); N. Charness, "The Impact of Chess Research on Cognitive Science," Psychological Research-Psychologische Forschung 54, no. 1, pp. 4–9: Helmut Pfleger and Gerd Treppner, Chess: The Mechanics of the Mind (David & Charles, 1989); William Bechtel and Tadeusz Zawidzki, Biographies of Major Contributors to Cognitive Science, online at:
"Brief survey of psychological studies of chess," online at:
K. Anders Ericsson, "Superior Memory of Experts and Long-Term Working Memory," online at:

130 young chess luminaries like Fischer and Waitzkin: Michael J. A. Howe, Jane W. Davidson, and John A. Sloboda, "Innate Talents: Reality or Myth?" Behavioral and Brain Sciences, no. 21 (1998), pp. 399–442; "Nature vs. Nurture in Intelligence," online at:
D. R. Shanks, "Outstanding Performers: Created, Not Born? New Results on Nature vs. Nurture," Science Spectra, no. 18 (1999); K. Anders Ericsson and Neil Charness, "Expert Performance—Its Structure and Acquisition," American Psychologist 49, no. 8 (August 1994), pp. 725–47.

130 "He has become a fine player at a very young age": Tom Rose, "Can 'old' players improve all that much?" online at:

Rose adds: "Of course he still had to do the hard work. With the same advantages many would not make such good use of them."

Chapter 8

141 "Chess-play is a good and witty exercise": Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy.

142 For about a decade: Hooper and Whyld, Oxford Companion to Chess, p. 395.

142 "He approached the structure and dynamics": Anthony Saidy, The March of Chess Ideas (David McKay, 1994), pp. 14–15. Steinitz himself said, "Chess is a scientific game, and its literature ought to be placed on the basis of the strictest truthfulness, which is the foundation of all scientific research."

143 For a time, he was confined to a Moscow asylum: The Steinitz Papers: Letters and Documents of the First World Chess Champion, edited by Kurt Landsberger (McFarland & Co., 2002).

143 In 1779 the accomplished French physician: Franklin's response is not recorded. 143 "A nameless excrescence upon life": H. G. Wells, Certain Personal Matters (1898), quoted in Norman Reider, "Chess, Oedipus, and the Mater Dolorosa," International Journal of Psychoanalysis 40 (1959), p. 442.

143 The tally included: for Gustav Neumann, see Hooper and Whyld, Oxford Companion to Chess, p. 270; for Johannes Minckwitz, see:
for George Rotlewi, see:
for Akiba Rubenstein, see Anne Sunnucks, The Encyclopaedia of Chess (St. Martin's Press, 1976), p. 414; for Carlos Torre-Repetto, see:
for Aron Nimzowitsch, see Hans Kmoch, "Grandmasters I Have Known: Aaron Nimzovich (1886–1935)," on-line at:
additional material online at:
for Raymond Weinstein, see Sam Sloan, "I Have Found Raymond Weinstein," online at:
for Bobby Fischer, see Rene Chun, "Bobby Fischer's Pathetic Endgame," Atlantic Monthly (December 2002). I found Rene Chun's article on Fischer to be comprehensive, but also mean-spirited and grossly insensitive to the cruel realities of mental illness. Long after Chun establishes beyond any doubt that Fischer is crippled by mental illness, he rhetorically piles it on, ridiculing Fischer for his bizarre behavior.

146 "Most of his novels": Personal e-mail with Anna Dergatcheva.

147 Sigmund Freud's biographer and protégé: Alexander Cockburn, Idle Passion: Chess and the Dance of Death (Simon & Schuster, 1974), pp. 22–23.

147 While Freud himself apparently never considered: Sigmund Freud, "Further Recommendations in the Technique of Psycho-Analysis," Collected Papers, vol. 2 (1913), p. 342.

148 In 1937 Isador Coriat: Isador Coriat, "The Unconscious Motives of Interest in Chess," based on a paper read before the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, October 12, 1937, online at:

148 In 1956 Reuben Fine's: Reuben Fine, The Psychology of the Chess Player (Dover, 1956).

149 Writer and serious chess player: Charles Krauthammer, "The Romance of Chess," in Hochberg, The 64-Square Looking Glass (Times Books, 1993).

149 A third plausible route to chess madness: Gizycki, A History of Chess, pp. 259–61.

The Immortal Game: Moves 12–16

151 the leading Spanish player Lucena: These are paraphrases, not quotes from Lucena.

Chapter 9

163 A Nazified version of chess called Tak Tik: Author's direct observations of the game in Ströbeck chess museum.

164 After slipping in and out: Andrew Soltis, Soviet Chess, 1917–1991 (McFarland & Co., 2000), p. 7.

164 When the Germans captured France in 1940, Alekhine agreed: Bill Wall, online at:

164 There are persistent claims: Nardshir appears in the Kethuboth 61b trac -tate of the Babylonian Talmud. The Alexander Kohut quote is from Victor A. Keats, Chess in Jewish History and Hebrew Literature (Magnes Press, 1995), p. 26, also online at:

165 Abraham ibn Ezra, the Spanish poet: Keats, Chess in Jewish History.

166 World champion Wilhelm Steinitz: There is some question about whether he was educated in a yeshiva.

166 Tarrasch and Lasker became such bitter rivals: J. O. Sossnitsky cites Soltis, The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories (Chilton Book Co., 1975).

167 six pro-Nazi essays: Brian Reilly, distinguished editor of the British Chess Magazine, was the one to actually see Alekhine's Nazi letters. He reported it to several people in the field, but was later reluctant to see himself credited for this. In his reluctance he inadvertently cast some confusion on the matter. The chess historian Edward Winter definitively puts the issue to rest with a juxta -position of letters and conversations collected on his "Chess Notes Archives" page, online at:

167 the first ever official team sporting event for the USSR: Denker–Botvinnik, USA–USSR Radio Match, 1945.

  1. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 d×c4 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. N×g5 h×g5 10. B×g5 Nbd7 11. e×f6 Bb7 12. Be2 Qb6 13. O-O O-O-O
  2. 14. a4 b4 15. Ne4 c5 16. Qb1 Qc7 17. Ng3 c×d4 18. B×c4 Qc6 19. f3 d3 20. Qc1 Bc5+ 21. Kh1 Qd6 22. Qf4? R×h2+! 23. K×h2 Rh8+ 24. Qh4 R×h4+
  3. 25. B×h4 Qf4

168 One pithy illustration: Bill Wall, online at:

168 Russia had a special relationship with chess: I. M. Linder, Chess in Old Russia (Michael Kühnle, 1979), p. 62.

169 "Marx adored chess": Daniel Johnson, Prospect, no. 111 (June 2005), on -line at:

169 "grew angry when he lost": Maksum Gorky, V. I. Lenin (first published 1924), online at:

169 Russian prime minister Alexander Kerensky: Gizycki, A History of Chess, pp. 169, 170.

169 Not long after the 1917 takeover: Larry Parr and Lev Alburt, "Life Itself," National Review, September 9, 1991.

169 "Take chess to the workers": Soltis, Soviet Chess, p. 25.

169 "The Bolsheviks' motives": Checkmate, BBC Radio 4, online here

169 By 1929, 150,000 serious amateur players: Soltis, Soviet Chess, p. 82.

170 "a dialectical game": Taylor Kingston, "Recounting the Course of Em -pire," cited by Soltis, Soviet Chess, p. 25.

171 "Following every move": Italics mine.

171 "I had an adjourned game": Rene Chun, "The Madness of King Bobby," Guardian, online at:,6903,870785,00.html

Bobby Fischer

172 "I'll never play in one of those rigged tournaments again": Chun, "The Madness of King Bobby."

172 "There were some agreed draws at Curaçao": Chun, "The Madness of King Bobby."

173 After a tournament in Yugoslavia: Online at:

173 "If you were out to dinner with Bobby in the Sixties": The friend is Don Schultz. Source: Rene Chun.

174 "I told Fischer to get his butt over to Iceland": Rene Chun.

174 The match began: All Fischer–Spassky games are online at:

175 Spassky was world champion for a reason: Boris Spassky, Wikipedia, online at:

175 Ironically, just as Fischer: Peter Nicholas and Clea Benson, "Files Reveal How FBI Hounded Chess King," Philadelphia Inquirer, March 31, 2005. 176 "Spassky stood on stage applauding": Archived online at:

Chapter 10

185 "I always loved complexity": These two statements came from different interviews. The first sentence comes from Achille Bonito Oliva, editor of The Delicate Chessboard: Marcel Duchamp: 1902/1968 (Centro Di, 1973). "With chess one creates beautiful problems" comes from Yves Arman, Marcel Duchamp: Plays and Wins (Galerie Yves Arman, 1984).

185 "As metaphor, model and allegory": Martin Rosenberg, "Chess Rhizome: Mapping Metaphor Theory in Hypertext," archived online at:

188 "All chess-players are artists": Calvin Tomkins, Duchamp: A Biography, p. 211.

188 Cuban sensation José Raul Capablanca: C. H. O. Alexander, A Book of Chess (Harper & Row, 1973), p. 52.

The Hypermodernists "The essence of the Hypermodern philosophy was the affirmation of in-dividuality of each position," writes Anthony Saidy, "and thus a rejection of the notion of the Scientific school that general rules always apply."

Not surprisingly, in its early years, Nimzowitsch's Hypermodern ap-proach was considered so strange that it drew little response but deep skepticism. Only after he and others had proven its utility over and over again in tournaments were these ideas slowly welcomed into the canon of chess. In 1929 Nimzowitsch solidified his legacy with the book My System, which would garner a long-lasting reputation as eminently acces-sible and unusually full of energy.

188 "fear to struggle": Alexander Alekhine, "Aryan Chess and Jewish Chess," online at:

189 Records still exist of an Alekhine–Duchamp game. Alekhine played White: 1. e4 c5 2. d4 c×d4 3. Nf 3 Nc6 4. N×d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Bg5 Qb6 7. B×f6 g×f6 8. Nb3 e6 9. Qf3 Be7 10. O-O-O a6 11. Qg3 Bd7 12. Qg7 O-O-O 13. Q×f7 Q×f 2 14. Qh5 Rdg8 15. h4 Ne5 16. Kb1 Be8 17. Qh6 Rg6 18. Qc1 Rhg8 19. Nd4 Bf8 20. b3 Rg3 21. Nce2 Re3 22. g3 Bh5 23. Rh2 Q×h2 24. Q×e3 Bg4 25. Rd2 Qh1 26. Qf 2 Nf3 27. N×f3 Q×f 3 28. Qg1 Q×e4 29. Qa7 B×e2 30. B×e2 Bh6 31. Rd4 Qh1+ 32. Rd1 Qe4 33. Qa8+ Kc7 34. Q×g8 Q×e2 35. Q×h7+ Kc6 36. Qd3 Qe5 37. g4 Bg7 38. Qd4 f 5 39. Q×e5 d×e5

  1. 40. g5 e4 41. h5 e3 42. h6 Bf8 43. Rh1 f4 44. Kc1 f3 45. Kd1 Bb4 46. c3 B×c3
  2. 47. Kc2 e2 48. K×c3 White resigns.

191 "[It] would interest no chess player": Andrew Hugill, "Beckett, Duchamp and Chess in the 1930s," originally published online in 2000 at:

191 Beckett published his second play: Deirdre Bair, Samuel Beckett: A Biography (Simon & Schuster, 1990), pp. 465–67.

191 "a King in a chess-game lost from the start": Beckett in a 1967 inter-view; see Paul Davies, "Endgame," The Literary Encyclopedia (2001), online at:

191 other gloomy Beckett works: Wallace Fowlie noted Beckett's penchant for writing about the "impotence of man." Fowlie, Dionysus in Paris (Meridian Books, 1960), pp. 214–16.

192 "yes and chess": Timothy Cahill, "Deconstructing Duchamp: The Tang shows why the French innovator deserves his place at the pinnacle of 20th-century art," Albany Times Union, July 6, 2003.

Chapter 11

199 2001: A Space Odyssey: Chess experts will notice a very subtle—purpose-ful?—point in this scene. Hal doesn't tell the truth about the forced mate. The computer essentially intimidates the player into resigning.

200 supercomputer known as Deep Blue: All Kasparov–Deep Blue games online at:

200 later charged that the rules: "Kasparov on Computer Chess History," lecture on April 20, 1999, at Annual Conference on High Speed Computing in Oregon.

200 the first "purely scientific match": CNN, online at:

202 Kasparov and his seconds possessed a copy: This according to personal correspondence with Owen Williams, press assistant to Kasparov. Williams clarifies: "Garry received a prototype or generic version of Junior in the sum-mer of 2002 (July). The match was Jan/Feb of 2003. The Junior Team was able to change the program right up to the start of the match and even between matches."

205 after the Persian term shah-mat: Murray, History of Chess, p. 159.

205 The eleventh-century Azerbaijani poet Khagani: Khagani Shirvani, "The Ruins of Madain," translated by Tom Botting, online at:

205 "Since Garry knows how the game ends": Anne Kressler, "Kasparov: The World's Chess Champion," Azerbaijan International 3, no. 3 (autumn 1995).

205 Kasparov held the world championship from 1985 to 2000: The world championship has been embroiled in controversy since the mid-1980s. The story is explained in's "Reunification of the World Chess Title" (September 2002), online at:

207 "Its play has been almost completely indistinguishable from that of a human master . . .": Mig Greengard, "Mig on Chess #185: Real Chess against a Virtual Opponent," online at:

I have rearranged the order of these two quoted sentences without altering the meaning in any way, in order to make a smoother transition to the next part of the chapter.

207 popular American chess columnist Mig Greengard: "Mig on Chess #184: Junior in Deep Against Kasparov," online at:

208 Future British champion Harry Golombek: Andrew Hodges, Alan Turing: The Enigma (Walker & Company, 1983), p. 265.

209 games of perfect information: Paraphrase from Hodges, Alan Turing, p. 213.

210 Turing became perhaps the first person: Hodges, Alan Turing, p. 331.

210 "It could fairly easily be made": Hodges, Alan Turing, pp. 332–33.

210 "What we want is a machine": Jack Copeland, "What Is Artificial Intelligence?" May 2000, online at:

210 Turing is today revered for his vision: "At the time," write Stefano Franchi and Güven Güzeldere, "most specialists in the field tended to consider [computers] just number-crunchers perennially devoted to solving differential equations." "Machinations of the Mind: Cybernetics and Artificial Intelligence from Automata to Cyborgs," in Stefano Franchi and Güven Güzeldere, eds., Mechanical Bodies, Computational Minds: AI from Automata to Cyborgs (MIT Press, 2005), pp. 15–149.

211 it managed to beat Champernowne's wife: Hodges, Alan Turing, p. 388. 211 Chess computing—and artificial intelligence (AI) itself: All of com

puter science would be built on binary thinking. Chess, that complex and res-onant game of perfect information, would help them construct the building blocks. "While the Turing Test has served as the center of gravity in the last 50 years of research on language in AI," write Franchi and Güzeldere, "chess emerged and remained as another similarly important center of gravity in AI research on thought, or thinking. Chess and the Turing Test can be regarded as the central research paradigms of early AI research, being concerned with the two pillars of AI: thought and language." From "Machinations of the Mind."

211 Turing's counterparts across the Atlantic: Peter Frey, Chess Skill in Man and Machine (Springer-Verlag, 1983).

212 With Bishops, it would have needed three hours: Frederic Friedel, telephone interview.

213 a future computer examining moves: Ronald Rensink, "Computer Science Lecture 3: Computer Reasoning," Lecture outline for Cognitive Systems 200, University of British Columbia, online at:

217 it would henceforth no longer be possible: Bart Selman, "Intelligent Machines: From Turing to Deep Blue and Beyond," Lecture outline for CIS300, Cornell University, 2005, online at:

217 David Levy into a draw: "Man vs. Machine: History of the Battle," on-line at:

218 MIT linguist Noam Chomsky scoffed: Scott Sanner et al., "Achieving Efficient and Cognitively Plausible Learning in Backgammon," Proceedings of the Seventeenth International Conference on Machine Learning (July 2000), pp. 823–30, online at:

218 "In fact, little or nothing about human thought": Philosophy scholars Stefano Franchi and Güven Güzeldere take this point one step further, arguing that chess computing and related pursuits have proven to be an enormous dis-traction from what should have been a more humanistic approach to artificial intelligence. "Early AI's focus on logical-analytical problem-solving skills . . . tended to eliminate these other components as peripheral to a proper under-standing of intelligent human behavior," they write. "It is this radical stance taken by early AI that generated an almost total disinterest in any analysis of the material conditioning of the thought processes, starting from the material em-bodiment of the mind. At a time in the development of Western philosophy when many authors focused their attention on the peculiar relationships that obtain, below the level of consciousness, between bodily actions and the surrounding environment, AI research moved exactly in the opposite direction."

"Machinations of the Mind."

218–19 "There are today hundreds of examples": Ray Kurzweil, "A myopic perspective on AI," published on, September 2, 2002, online at:

220 Then came Game 6: "Kasparov & Deep Junior Fight to 3–3 Draw!" online at:

The Immortal Game: Moves 22 and 23 (Checkmate)

222 As with many top-level chess games, the end of the Immortal Game was likely not played out on the board. It was reported in the journal Baltische Schachblätter in 1893, that after Kieseritzky played move 20.. . . Na6, Anderssen announced the final inevitable moves to checkmate, and Kieseritzky yielded.

225 "In this game": The entire quote from Steinitz is interesting: "In this game, there occurs almost a continuity of brilliancies, every one of which bears the stamp of intuitive genius, that could have been little assisted by cal-culations, as the combination-point arises only at the very end of the game." Larry Parr, "The Kings of Chess: A 21-Player Salute: Karl Ernst Adolf Anderssen," online at:

226 the onlookers naturally expected landmark-quality play: Soltis, The Great Chess Tournaments and Their Stories (Chilton Book Co., 1975), p. 3.

226 Most of the eighty-five tournament games: Soltis, Great Chess Tourna-ments, p. 14. All final match scores of the 1851 tournament are available online at:

226 He died in a Paris mental hospital: Bill Wall, "The Immortal Game," online at:

Chapter 12

228 Membership in the United States Chess Federation: Paul Hoffman, "Chess Queen: At 22, Jennifer Shahade is the strongest American-born woman chess player ever," Smithsonian Magazine, August 2003.

228 Sales of chess sets in Britain were booming: In Britain, one chess set manufacturer reported that recent sales were twice what had been forecast. Stephen Moss, "Chess: the new rook'n'roll? Madonna's influence has helped the game become cool," Guardian, November 20, 2004, online at:,10488,1355687,00.html

228 upwards of 100 million games played online annually: Frederic Friedel reports 49 million games per year on:

Personal correspondence.

228 Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Judgment day for chess players,", May 8, 2003, online at:

228 The improvisational rock band Phish: "What does chess have to do with Phish?" online at:

228 the game was becoming an integral part of school life: Cindy Kranz, "Chess offers children a challenge, a chance," Cincinnati Enquirer, April 2, 2003.

230 In the mid-1970s, studies in Belgium and Zaire: Johan Christiaen, "Chess and Cognitive Development," doctoral dissertation, Belgium, 1976, English language edition prepared for the Massachusetts Chess Association and American Chess Foundation by H. Lyman, 1981; Albert Frank and W. D'Hondt, "Aptitudes and Learning Chess in Zaire," Psychopathologie Africaine 15, no. 1, pp. 81–98; Robert Ferguson, Jr., "Chess in Education Research Summary," paper presented at the Chess in Education: A Wise Move conference, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, January 1995, online at:

230 Maria Manuri: Phone interview.

230 Peter Dauvergne: Peter Dauvergne, "The Case for Chess as a Tool to Develop Our Children's Minds," in "The Benefits of Chess in Education: A Collection of Studies and Papers on Chess and Education," compiled by Patrick S. McDonald, Youth Coordinator for the Chess Federation of Canada, online at:

230 Dianne Horgan: Dianne D. Horgan, "Chess as a Way to Teach Thinking," Teaching Thinking and Problem Solving, vol. 9 (1987).

236 Over the previous half century: Saidy, The March of Chess Ideas (McKay Chess Library, 1994).

236 Frankenstein-Dracula Variation: Tim Harding, "Frankenstein and Dracula at the Chessboard," online at:

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation is 1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 N×e4!?; as cited by Eric Schiller in his book The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation in the Vienna Game.


241 an episode of the television show West Wing: Episode 58, "Hartsfield's Landing," originally broadcast February 27, 2002.