You are here:

Chess/Irving Chernev


Chernev was such a prolific writer about Grand Masters that I have always been surprised that he never wrote a book about the games of Bobby Fischer. Why do you think that is?

Judging from the numerous books that Chernev penned, it seems that writing ones
about specific players was not his cup of tea for some reason.  It seems that most of
his works were devoted to endgame studies (Practical Chess Endings) and combinations
(Combinations: the Heart of Chess), rather than ones with complete game scores.

The only book he wrote to my knowledge with a fair amount of Fischer material was The
Golden Dozen, in which he ranked the twelfth greatest pawn-pushers of all time, and he gave about ten games for each player.  The
book came out in 1976, and I was pretty familiar with it at one time.  Fischer, by the
way, clocked in at 4th on Chernev's all-time list...

.....but then Capablanca came in first place, and he was apparently the ONLY player
whom Chernev did a volume on----that one was called Capablanca's Best Chess Endings.
I have that book, in fact.  It came out around 1978.

So, in conclusion, it appears that Capablanca (whom Chernev idolized, incidentally)
was the only great player whom he felt was worthy of a complete book.  In other words,
it wasn't just Fischer whom Chernev shunned.



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Howard S Sample


First, I can't answer analytical questions on chess because my United States Chess Federation (USCF) rating is definitely below average. However, I am very knowledgeable about chess history and general chess trivia. I've been a chess trivia buff for 35 years! Furthermore, my research and writing skills are far above average! I've been researching chess questions on the Internet for over 10 years and pretty much know where to look for answers to them. My strong devotion to chess will show in many of the questions I can answer for your website. In other words, I can give specific, detailed answers if the need may be.


I have been a USCF member for 35 years (as of next month) and also have a very substantial collection of back issues of chess magazines, not to mention a lot of chess books. I am also familiar with many chess websites, such as ChessCafe and Chessbase. To be quite frank, chess (playing, studying, researching, and so on) has been somewhat of an obsession to me ever since I was about 12. I just can't seem to get enough of it.

United States Chess Federation (since 1975)

Interesting question! If you Google my full name (Howard S Sample) you will see that I have made many contributions to chess websites. I send in questions and comments very regularly although they don't always get printed. Admittedly, I can be a bit picky when writing to correct errors but I've submitted corrections many times (and not just to chess websites). Incidentally, I am also entering the field of freelance writing though, admittedly, I plan to write mainly about issues such as investments, federal taxation, and accounting/finance topics. But freelance writing on chess topics is also a field I'm exploring.

I have two degrees in business, of which one is an MBA (from the University of Toledo).

Awards and Honors

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]