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Editor: Dr Tim Harding
  Dr. Tim Harding   J. H. Blackburne     William Steinitz   Correspondence Chess history book   Captain W. D. Evans

What's New Here

6 August: Seniors news, our Seniors introduction page, and Seniors calendar updated. The World Senior Championships will not be held this year.

6 August: Irish news updated. The Irish Championship is currently in full swing and seems to be a success, with 32 competitors.

6 August: A little-known story about Steinitz.

18 July: Tim Harding's new book Steinitz in London is now with the printer; copies should be available in a few weeks. ALSO various updates including Irish news.

4 July: Seniors news updated with photographs showing the social distancing measures employed at the recent Senior tournament in Germany. Each player had his own chess set.

4 July: Tim Harding officially notified that his application for the title of FIDE Arbiter is approved. Tim's homepage is also updated.

3 July (previously 26 June):FIDE has decided to approve an online Seniors event but as yet there are no details of when or how it will be organised.

24 June: Warning not to cease using the old eircom.net email address for Tim Harding; please change your contacts now if you have not done so already.

24 June: The 2020 Irish Championship will be played in early August, but the subsidiary tournamnets have all been postponed.

19 June: Update on books by the late Mark Dvoretsky. A fifth, posthumous, edition of his Endgame Manual has just been published.

17 & 19 June: Seniors news, report on the 2020 World Senior Teams championship and Seniors calendar updated.

17 June: Tim Harding's homepage and publications page updated.

2 June: UltraCorr2020 introduction page and background notes pages updated. At 55 Euro, our database is still much bigger and much cheaper than ChessBase's rival offering.

1 and 2 June: Irish news, Seniors news, and Seniors calendar updated.

1 June: Arbiter page updated along with uploading a PDF copy of FIDE's 2020 Arbiters Manual.

25 May: Major update of Seniors introduction, Seniors news and Seniors calendar pages. If you really want to play chess over the board again, there is a tournament for you in Bavaria starting 26 June!

5 May (new article): How Sir Theodore Tylor, the blind chess master, was portrayed in a novel.

28 April: Seniors calendar updated, showing more cancellations and one postponement to 2021.

25 & 28 April (previously 14 & 19 April): Seniors introduction, Seniors news and World Senior Team Championship report updated.

22 April: Normal service restored after our hosting company took the website down while migrating to new servers.

19 April: Arbiter page and Seniors calendar updated.

7 April: Irish news update: the Irish Chess Championships have been postponed from July to 1-9 August.

2 & 4 April: Irish news update: the young player who was detained in Murmansk, Russia, last month suspicion of having the Covid-19 virus is now home. It turns out that he was not actually infected!

30 March: Irish news, Seniors news and calendar pages updated.

30 March: Early Blackburne game with H. E. Atkins turns up. More Blackburne game corrections sent in by readers. We also posted on that page today PDF copies of the birth and death certificates of John Blackburn (who died in infancy), a brother of the chess master whose existence was unknown to us when we wrote our biography.

We intend in the next few weeks to recheck our Blackburne database and book thoroughly, using new software created by Thomas Niessen of Aachen, after our Steinitz research turned up numerous mistakes about his games in current databases and some books. We are currently preparing an article about that issue for a chess magazine.

30 March: Books Received. We gratefully acknowledge receipt of two chess novels sent to us by their authors but as yet we have had no opportunity to read them. They are Chess Fever by Mark Ozanne and (just arrived) The Greenbecker Gambit by Ben Graff, both from the Conrad Press in the UK.

Also received recently, from Russell Enterprises: Understanding Rook v. Minor Piece Endgames by Karsten Müller and Yakov Konoval, which is a slimmer companion to their earlier titles Understanding Minor Piece Endgames and Understanding Rook Endgames. These three books are all based on working with seven-man tablebases, several examples of which were posted here by us in 2016 when these tools were still fairly new.

We may be able to review chess books, including these, here eventually but the senders should note that The Kibitzer column has not been running for a long time. We may consider reviving it if the lockdown continues beyond April and somebody will pay us to write it.

26 March: FIDE halts the Candidates tournament, postponing the second half to some future date.

Since there is now no live chess to report, updates of this website will be only occasional. However, we may post research articles from time to time and we shall of course keep an eye on the Seniors news and calendar. Also we continue to play our correspondence games on ICCF and FICGS.

25 March: First of today's updates on the Candidates (round 7) posted at approximately 1150 GMT. Final report a few minutes after the last game finished.

25 March: Seniors news and calendar updated. The Bregenz open and seniors in May are not yet cancelled.

23 March: The ICCF Congress (due to be held in Glasgow in August) is cancelled because the Scottish health service needs the hotel building where it was due to be held. ICCF online tournaments are continuing as normal. The organisation has stopped the clock in all its postal tournaments but players who still have a postal service and wish to continue their games may do so.

22 & 23 March: Latest news from the Candidates tournament after five rounds.

21 March: Regulations published for the World Senior Championships in Assisi, in November. This is NOT fake news!

20 March: New dates for the European Individual Senior Championship, and cancellation of events in England: see our Seniors news and calendar.

20 March: The Covid-19 pandemic has delayed printing of Steinitz in London for several months. In the meantime we are working on our Steinitz database. Tim's home page and book list pages are also updated.

17 and 19 March: Updates about the Candidates tournament UltraCorr2020, and Irish news.

17 March: An Irish junior chess player is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 after a 3-day international tournament in Murmansk, Russia.

17 March: St. Patrick's Day. The Candidates tournament begins with controversy as former world champion Kramnik says it should have been postponed!

16 March: Blackburne simul game with F.D. Yates from 1907 found (thanks to Gerard Killoran).

16 March: Updated Seniors news and our report of the recent World Senior Team Championships, with details of the many withdrawals that seriously affected placings in the 50+.

16 March: Irish news updated: online tournaments at LiChess for ICU members

15 March: Read John Elburg's review of UltraCorr2020.

15 March: ICCF stops the clock in all its postal tournaments. PLayers may continue to play if they still have a postal service but no time will be counted.

14 March: Posted a new page about the FIDE Candidates tournament due to start on Tuesday 17 March.

14 March: Updated some of the information files about our CC database UltraCorr2020. The special offer for 2019 customers ends tomorrow, 17 March. We shall have to withdraw the database from sale altogether if we go down with Covid19.

13 and 14 March (previously 28 February): Irish news updated.

13 and 14 March (previously 8 March and 28 February): Seniors introduction page, Seniors news and calendar updated.

13 March: Report on the recent World Seniors Team Championship which ended in chaos.

28 February: Arbiter page updated.

21-22 February: We uploaded a new edition of UltraCorr2020 (version 2) with about 40,000 extra games and improved editing of data. Background information files have also been updated.

21 February: Updated Tim's home page and bibliography.

20 February: We belatedly learned that Tim's book British Chess Literature to 1914 won an award from the Chess Journalists of America. We have also posted (in PDF format) a recent review of the book from an academic journal.

We recently upgraded to the Adobe Dreamweaver 6 program. We had intended to design a new site, to be launched in the Spring now that work on our Steinitz book and UltraCorr have been completed. This is delayed now by the Covid19 pandemic, although we hope to get back to the project later.

17 February: UltraCorr2020 database: background and technical information added.

16 February: UltraCorr2020 correspondence game database is launched, with over two million games. Read about it, download and buy, or email Tim.

16-17 February: Steinitz in London info updated, Table of Contents added; proof reading is now complete.

16 February: Seniors calendar updated.

8 February: Tim has passed the FIDE Arbiter exam with flying colours and hopes to be awarded the FA title at the FIDE Congress in August.

8 February (updating 23 January): Advance announcement about our two million game CC database UltraCorr2020, which is now scheduled for launch within 10 days or so.

3 February and 19 January: Seniors news and calendar updated.

8 January: Irish news updated with news of I.C.U's new year events and a new Irish title-holder.

8 January: Seniors calendar updated. Details of the 2020 European Individual Senior Championships (to be held in Poland during April) can now be downloaded.

24 December: Added a Christmas greeting on the home page and previewed the Irish events mentioned above.

27 November, 5 and 24 December: Updates about Tim Harding's forthcoming book Steinitz in London and other planned future projects. Work on proof-reading and preparing the indexes is under way. The publisher, McFarland, now has a web page where advance orders for the book may be placed.

1 and 5 and 24 December: Seniors calendar updated, adding the Bodensee Seniors in May.

1 and 5 December: Another posthumous book by the great trainer Mark Dvoretsky has just arrived in the post. We update our page about him and his bibliography.

24 and 25 and 27 November: Seniors news updated with an enlarged separate report on the World Seniors which concluded on Saturday. Photographs of the winners and some statistics have been added and the name of the leading English player corrected.

23 and 25 and 27 November: A new December 2019 tournament in Germany has been added to our Seniors calendar. Several more 2020 German tournaments are now listed.

18 November: Irish news updated again.

3 October, 4 & 12 November: Seniors intro page, Seniors calendar page and news page updated. The World Seniors Championships began today.

12 November: Irish news updated.

2 October: New Correspondence Chess World Champion announced.

1 October: Irish news updated: including changes to the ICU committee, plus the winners of the Irish Rapid and Blitz Championships.

16 and 18 September: Senior calendar page updated: now with dates for many new tournaments in 2020.

16 September: Irish news updated.

1 September: Our UltraCorr2019 correspondence game database has now been withdrawn from sale. We hope to have the 2020 edition ready in late January.

30 August: Updated information about Tim's entertaining 2013 book Eminent Victorian Chess Players.

27 & 30 August: More details about Tim's new book on Steinitz which has now progressed to the typesetting stage.

27 August: Blackburne pages updated: more corrections to game scores found.

21 and 27 August: Senior calendar page updated: now with an active link to site for the European Senior Teams next month.

18 August: Senior news page updated: FIDE abolishes 70 Euro entry fee for World Senior Championships in November.

13 August: (previously 17 July, 21 June & 31 May): Updated the Seniors tournament calendar.

13 August: Latest information on Tim Harding's new book Steinitz in London which took most of our time and attention between January and July.
We hope to resume normal service on this website after we have finished dealing with queries from the publisher's editor, which could take some time as this is a very large book.

13 August: Irish news updated.

31 July: Tim Harding now has earned his third tournament norm towards the title of FIDE Arbiter.

17 July: Tim Harding's new book Steinitz in London was delivered to the publisher, McFarland, today.

17 July: Irish news updated. The page has been mostly stripped of old news because there will be a lot of new events to report in the next few weeks.

13 May: Senior pages updated. FIDE announces an injection of 50,000 Euro into seniors chess, though this will probably chiefly benefit professionals and ex-professionals.

13 May: Irish news updated. Gonzaga have been promoted to the top division of the 4NCL. A serious case of suspected cheating in an Irish tournament is under investigation.

13 May: Tim Harding now has earned his second norm towards the title of FIDE Arbiter.

28 April : Corrections for Tim Harding's Blackburne book.

27 April : Three main Seniors pages updated again with news of the recent tournaments in Rhodes and links to the details of the upcoming European Senior Team Championships.

27 April : Irish page updated including news of the International Open held in Dublin over Easter.

15 April : Major update of our Seniors news page and also updates of the Seniors introduction page and the Seniors tournament calendar with links to the details of the 2019 World Senior Individual Championships.

26 March: Major overhaul of our Seniors tournament calendar with numerous more entries and a link to the reinstated German senior calendar.

26 March: Irish news and Seniors news also updated.

19 March: Entries for the Irish International Open at Easter have passed 80 but there is still time to enter.

4 & 7 & 17 March: Various updates to Irish news and Seniors pages.

28 February & 1 March: Dvoretsky bibliography updated with more detail, thanks to Jean-Marc Comon.

28 February: Irish news updated. 50 days to go to the Irish International Open in Dublin. Your editor retires after 25 years as Ireland's delegate to ICCF: information for Irish CC players.

28 February: Seniors news updated. Teams lists for the World Senior Team Championships are online. The venue for the European Senior Team Championships in September has still not been clarified.

28 February: Dr. Tim's Harding personal homepage updated.

19 February: Updated Irish news again; Henry Li has earned the FM title and our Senior teams are announced.

11 February: Updated Irish news. More information about the Irish International Open to be held in Dublin at Easter.

9 February: Important announcements at our Seniors and Seniors news pages.

4 February: Updated Seniors calendar.

1 February (previously 23 January): Updated Irish news.

23 January 2019: Article about the 1883 Vizayanagaram tournament in London updated; broken links restored. There are now 65 games in the downloadable Chessbase file.

23 January 2019: Added a new page about Tim Harding's work as a chess arbiter and plans to qualify as a FIDE Arbiter in due course.

23 January 2019: Information (recently discovered) about a second brother of Blackburne has been added to our More on Blackburne page. Also three corrections to the Blackburne biography added to the list lower down on the same page.

14 January 2019: Irish news and some other pages updated.

7 January 2019: Quick update of several pages including Irish news and Seniors calendar.

28 December 2018: Updated home page and Seniors calendar.

22 December: Added Christmas greeting to home page. Updated work in progress page.

8 December: Added more European and English 2019 tournaments to our Seniors calendar.

4 December: Report from the World Senior Chess Championships held in Bled last month. We have also fully updated our other senior pages, but most old content has now been removed.

4 December: Two missing Blackburne tournament games discovered.

1 December: Quick update to Seniors news and calendar pages.

1 December and 14 November: Updated Irish news

4 November: Progress report on our researches into Steinitz's twenty years in England.

13 November: The 2018 World Senior Championships are being held this month in Bled, Slovenia. We shall report in early December after our return.

13 November: J. H. Blackburne had another brother who died in infancy. A more detailed report will follow next month when we have a copy of his birth certificate.

19 October: Updated Seniors news and calendar pages. 2020 World Senior Championships will be held in Assisi.

11 October: Updated Irish news and Seniors pages.

11 October: Updated Tim's homepage and Work in progress.

1 September: Updated Senior pages and Irish news. FM Philip Short has died.

1 September: Updated pages about the late Mark Dvoretsky's books as the first of twp posthumpus titles is published.

14 August: Posted link to a detailed new review of Tim Harding's book British Chess Literature to 1914 which has now reprinted with corrections.

13 August: Updated Irish news.

13 & 9 August: Updated both Senior News and Senior Calendar. Including results of the European Seniors Championships which finished in Norway on Sunday.

9 August: Updated Work In Progress with more information about our ongoing Steinitz research.

9 August: The Irish Championship currently in progress is the strongest ever.

19 July: Report (now removed fromn this site) about the World Senior Team Championships in Germany.

18 July: Seniors pages and Irish news updated.

1 July: Reviews of Tim Harding's book British Chess Literature to 1914.

7 June: Our seniors news page updated. Short and Nunn are out of the English 50+ team. The seniors calendar page now has a link to the website for the World Senior Individual Championships in November.

14 May: Our seniors news page updated with information on events in Germany.

10 May: Updated all seniors pages, adding a photograph of the late GM Evgeni Vasiukov.

Some changes and new content for this website are planned. Please be patient and return in June.

4 May: Seniors news updated.

1 May: John Elburg posts a review of Tim's new book.

29 April: Chief results in the main Irish leagues this season.

27 April: Updated Irish chess news.

27 & 24 April: Senior calendar and other pages updated again.

22 April: Updated Seniors news with the results of the European Team Championships which ended today.

Many pages now have a slightly different look (or soon will have) as the result of updating our templates.

20 April: Tim Harding's new book British Chess Literature to 1914 is now published. We received our copies today. More information will be posted in the next week.

20 April: Updated Tim's work in progress page.

16 April (previously 3 April) 2018: Updated Irish news, with the latest title norm achievements and announcing our teams for the World Senior Championships in July.

16 April 2018: Updated our Seniors news and calendar pages.

28 March 2018: Tim Harding's new book British Chess Literature to 1914 went to press today!

28 March 2018: Fantastic performance by young Irish brother and sister in the European Championships.

25 March 2018: Update about British Chess Literature to 1914. Added a page with the Table of Contents and additional background notes.

16 March 2018: Dr. Vlastimil Fiala has reviewed Joseph Henry Blackburne for his Quarterly For Chess History journal.

16 March 2018: Updated Irish news and restored page for the Irish Correspondence Chess Association.

16 March 2018: Updated our pages about upcoming Senior OTB tournaments.

12 February 2018: Updated info about Tim's work in progress

9 February 2018: First page proofs arrive from McFarland for Tim Harding's new book about British chess literature.

31 January 2018: Updated our Seniors pages and senior event calendar again. (Previously on 13 January.)

27 January 2018: The death occurred of Max Zavanelli, a leading figure in ICCF and American correspondence chess for decades, and a major supporter of Chess Mail in the years when we published our printed magazine. Max had been battling cancer for a long time. The ICCF website has an obituary. Along with George Pyrich and Carlos Flores Gutierrez (see below), who both died just before Christmas, Max was a major figure in guiding the transition of ICCF from the postal to the internet era.

13 & 31 January 2018: Updated our Irish news page.

13 January 2018: Updated Dr Tim Harding's homepage and the site homepage.

13 January 2018: Made numerous minor corrections to our pages about 7-man endgames. There is a wealth of chess here for anyone who has not yet studied these endings.

24 December 2017: Sad news of the death of an old friend, CC-IM George Pyrich (1951-2017), the Financial Director of ICCF (pictured right). We met George at numerous ICCF Congresses between 1994 and 2015 and always enjoyed his company. Latterly he lived in Spain but he was a native of Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. His death is a sad loss to the correspondence chess community worldwide. The ICCF website carries an obituary by Scottish CC Association President, Iain Mackintosh, and also an obituary by Alan Borwell of Carlos Flores Gutierrez, another old friend and major figure of his generation in CC. See also our Hans Berliner obituary.

7 December 2017: Information about the Marienbad congress (January 2018) added to our Seniors calendar.

7 December 2017: Also updated my personal home page.

5 December 2017: Updated our links page including how to contact the Social Correspondence Chess Association. Please inform us of any broken or new links.

5 December 2017: Updates on the progress of Tim Harding's next book and work in progress.

26 November 2017: Major upgrade to the Seniors section of our website, including a report on the 2017 World Senior Championships (no longer on this site).

26 November 2017: Irish chess news updated.

24 November 2017: Updated our Seniors tournament calendar.

6-19 November 2017: Away for the FIDE Senior World Championships at Acqui Terme, Italy.

24 October 2017: Updated Blackburne book information, with the recently rediscovered finish to the game Blackburne-Jacobs from the 1904 British Championship. (Thanks to John Saunders.) Also Blackburne's last published game, from his final visit to Glasgow.

24 October 2017: Updated our information about Senior tournaments and our Senior calendar. We hope to extend this section of the site after we return from next month's World Senior Championships in Italy.

25 September 2017: Irish chess news page updated. Irish Chess Union has announced a Seniors tournament for January 2018 which overseas players are welcome to enter.

23 September 2017: Additions and corrections to the Senior tournament information.

21 September 2017: New pages on Seniors Chess including a calendar of upcoming events. Please send in details of other events if you have them.

A major overhaul of this website, pending a redesign, began in August 2017. It included the removal of many old pages, and updating of others.

We apologise for the fact that this website was rarely updated earlier this year. This was due to our being extremely busy writing a new book (see below).

27 July 2017: Pages updated include:

    Announcing a new chess history book

    Irish chess news

    Tim Harding's bibliography

11 July 2017: Pages updated include:

    Further games by Blackburne discovered.

    Tim's future projects including a new book on the way.

    Tim's personal homepage.

20 January 2017: Obituary of Hans Berliner, the 5th ICCF World Champion.

11 January 2017: Various updates including adding a Blackburne game from 1914 British Championship.

5 October 2016: Introduction to Dvoretsky's chess books and an annotated Dvoretsky bibliography.

19 June 2016: More 7-man endgames analysed.

9 September 2015: Blackburne biography by Tim Harding is published and already attracted some favourable comment. Table of Contents. Further Blackburne material.

14 May 2014: Second part of Tim's research article about the important London 1883 Vizayanagram tournament that was played alongside the master tournament won by Zukertort. Part 1 has also been slightly revised.

14 April 2014: The great MacDonnell-Wisker 1874 match: more information added to article, also concerning their short match in 1873.

8 April 2014: Research article about the important London 1883 Vizayanagram tournament that was played alongside the master tournament won by Zukertort.

14 February 2014: Return of our popular chess horror story: Frankenstein and Dracula at the chessboard.

Many older articles are now in the process of being removed pending the reorganisation of this site.