20 September 2016

Shaping Chess History

When you've been hanging around the Internet, the Web, and Social Media for as long as I have, you eventually collect a ton of digital documents. Among the collections that I find the most useful, especially for U.S. chess history, are the PDF versions of annual editions of Chess Life and Chess Review. To date I have the following collections:-

Chess Review
1933-1951, (1952 on paper), 1953-1969
Chess Life
Chess Life & Review
Chess Life
2008-10 thru now

Add to these 25 years of paper magazines (Chess Life, 1992-01 thru now; takes up a lot more space than the PDF files) and I have a reasonable base for research into post-WWII chess history.

It's easy to collect the material; it's much harder to get a grasp on it. That's why I was pleased to see an article by Al Lawrence in the most recent Chess Life (CL, September 2016, p.20), titled 'Chess Life Turns 70!'

From its days as a four-page newspaper to the current 72-page glossy, our magazine has long been a key part of US Chess members’ chess lives.

I mentioned Lawrence in a recent post, 2016 CJA Awards (August 2016), where I noted, 'The most prestigious of the awards is undoubtedly 'Chess Journalist of the Year', won by Al Lawrence for the second time'.

The table on the left, listing all CL editors since 1946, is from the same article. A similar list is in Wikipedia's page on Chess Life, in a section subtitled 'Editors of Chess Life'.

Curiously, but not coincidentally, the CL article showed the first page of the first 1946 issue of CL, having the exact same address sticker as in the PDF file for that year. With that as a starting point, Lawrence went on to write about four of the 17 editors listed on the left: Montgomery Major (1946-1957), Fred Wren (1958-1960), Frank Brady (1961), and Burt Hochberg (1967-1979).

This overview provides much better shape to the decades of chess history recorded in CL and CR. I'm sure that I'll consult it frequently as I continue to tackle the stacks of CL/CR PDFs.


Follow-up: Buschke in Chess Life (September 2016)

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