Curious Chess Facts (Paperback)
Curious Chess Facts is Irving Chernev's first book. Published in 1937, it is his famous collection of chess anecdotes. The facts in this book are so famous that they have become part of chess lore, repeated thousands of times, published in countless books and magazine articles by many different authors, such that it is almost forgotten that this book is the original published source. Here are some examples: At a dinner somebody gave a toast to the World Chess Champion. Both Steinitz and Zukertort stood up. (They played a match to determine the real world champion. Steinitz won the match but Zukertort had finished three points ahead of him in London 1883.) This is Curious Chess Fact Number 197 in this book. One that I use that often helps me remember chess history is that Steinitz was World Champion for 28 years. His record was not quite equaled by Lasker who was world champion for 27 years. This is Curious Chess Fact Number 21. Since I remember that Lasker lost the world title to Capablanca in a match in 1921, I can calculate back to determine the year in which Lasker won the world championship by defeating Steinitz in a match. Then, going back another 28 years I can calculate the year that Steinitz defeated Adolf Anderssen who some consider to have been the first world chess champion. Another example is that Marshall won a famous game by a queen sacrifice that was so brilliant that the spectators showered the board with gold pieces. This is Curious Chess Fact Number 9. The moves of the game itself with the spectacular queen sacrifice are to be found in almost every anthology of famous chess games. The story that the spectators showered the board with gold pieces is always included with the moves. The list goes on any on. There are so many of them that you just have to read this book to see and recall them.