11 December 2008

Chess Magazines on Google

Well, not really. There are, however, a number of magazines with references or articles (it's not clear which) about chess available via Google. The new feature is packaged as a subset of Google books...

Books 1 - 10 of 684 on chess

...where the search is restricted to magazines. Considering how many different titles and issues have been published since the dawn of the magazine age -- Wikipedia dates the first 'general-interest magazine' to 1731 -- that's not a lot of magazines with a reference to chess.

There are even fewer that are unquestionably about chess itself: Books 1 - 10 of 11 on chess intitle:chess. Of those, Popular Mechanics and Popular Science account for half.

Even interesting titles can be misleading. The title Chess players, 'a set of precise, gently mocking miniaturist illuminations, as intricate as the chess game at its center' (New York Magazine, 5 Jun 1978, p.86) is about Satyajit Ray's film The Chess Players; Chess, 'keeps getting revived and revised, but seems deader every time' (New York Magazine, 24 Feb 1992, p.132) is about the musical; and Hillary Rodham Clinton Awards $60,000 Donation to Restore Chicago's Chess (Jet, 15 Nov 1999, p.30) is about Chess Records recording studio.

Even when a reference is ostensibly about chess, as in 'By a simplified, pictorial method, this course teaches you how to play chess in one evening! Pictures, diagrams and examples make everything clear.' (Popular Mechanics, Mar 1947, p.82), it turns out to be an ad for Chess Review magazine. A few weeks ago I mentioned LIFE Photos on Google in Google Images. It's still more interesting, but I expect Google Magazines to get up to speed quickly.

The Google juggernaut rolls on...

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