05 May 2011

Wereldkampioenschap Schaken 1948

In this series on Top eBay Chess Items by Price, I don't often choose a book. One reason is that chess books don't sell as often as you might think in the same price range as sought-after chess sets or chess computers. Another reason is that the images accompanying a book usually aren't at all interesting. The book I've chosen for this fortnight's post is an exception.

Its title said, 'CHESS; The Hague - Moscow 1948', obviously referring to the 1948 FIDE World Championship Title Tournament, won by Botvinnik. It received 11 bids and finally sold for US $483.99. What made the book particularly valuable was that it was signed by all five participants, as shown in the following photo.

The description of the book said,

Wereld - Kampioenschap Schaken Lochem 1948; ed by Max Euwe; 252 p; publishers gilt cloth; original dustjacket; 26 x 18 cm; with 12 full page photos; printed on special thick paper; with original signatures of all five participants (Botvinnik, Euwe, Keres, Reshevsky, Smyslov); book in mint condition.

I happen to have a copy of the book for which I paid a lot less than $483.99. That's partly because my copy isn't in mint condition and largely because it doesn't have any signatures. The signature page shown above has been inserted between pages four and five of the original book. It's also worth mentioning that my copy has a different dusk jacket -- mine is colored -- and a different cover, beige instead of the eBay item's blue. It's useful to know that it has '12 full page photos'. I never counted them.

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