17 September 2013

Soviet Chess Bureaucrats

How to tackle the subject of Soviet chess administrators/bureaucrats/politicians (i.e. Baturinsky, Bebchuk, Ivonin, et al) listed at the end of my post on Averbakh's 'Index of Names'? To understand their roles requires understanding the different organizations from which they derived their power and authority.

To the rescue comes D.J. Richards, 'Soviet Chess', and its follow-up Post-WWII Soviet Chess. (For more about Richards the author, see D.J. Richards, Russian Lecturer.) The evolution of Soviet chess organization is scattered throughout Richards' book, published in 1965:-

I. The Early Years of Soviet Chess, 1917-30
03 - Apolitical Chess, 1920-24, and Opposition to it
04 - The Establishment of Marxist Control and the Creation of a Mass Movement
11 - Chess and Industrialization

II. Consolidation and New Achievements, 1930-45
01 - The Organization of Soviet Chess in the Thirties

III. The Golden Age of Soviet Chess
06 - The Organization of Soviet Chess in the Fifties
11 - The Organization of Soviet Chess in the Sixties

Richards gives credit for much of his early material to Soviet chess historian M.S.Kogan, and lists the Russian titles of four works by that author (p.173). There isn't much about Mikhail Kogan on the web, but I found the same titles translated to English on Ruschess.com, Books issued in 1918 - 1945:-

Kogan, "History of chess in Russia", 1927
Kogan, "Brief essay on chess history", 1931
Kogan, "Chess in life of Russian writers", 1933
Kogan, "Essays on history of chess in USSR", 1938

Armed with that knowledge, I have enough to tackle Baturinsky, Bebchuk, et al.

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