When my first post in this series (see The Soviet School) listed my resources at hand, I expected to locate and procure many more. Unless I've missed something, there aren't many more references available in English. The first important addition to the resources was Soviet Chess 1917-1991 by Andrew Soltis (Amazon.com). This 478 page hardcover book -- Amazon calls it 'library binding' -- was published by McFarland in 1999.
The McFarlandPub.com product page describes the book as follows.
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 days of the revolution to the devastation 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.
The book won the 2000 Cramer Award in the historical category. There are two good reviews available on the web:
- 'Recounting the Course of Empire' by Taylor Kingston (ChessCafe.com; in two versions PDF->HTML and TXT)
- Reviewed by John Watson at JeremySilman.com
I'm nearing the end of a first pass through the book and should have more to say in future posts.