Friday, September 07, 2007

Fridays by the Fireside No. 3 - Odd, But True - Famous Chess Firsts

This is the third installment of Fridays by the Fireside where I will feature an item of interest from the wonderful Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld book The Fireside Book of Chess. Below is the excerpt:

Chapter - The Magic of Chess
Section - Odd, But True
Item - 80-89
Page - 96-97

  • The first known historical document connected with chess is an inscription on a tablet in a pyramid at Gizeh, dating back to 3000 years before Christ!
  • The first chess problem, as far as can be ascertained, was composed by the Caliph Mutasim Billah during his reign in Baghdad from 834 to 843.
  • The first legal document in Europe dealing with chess was a testament of Armengo of Urgel in January 1010.
  • The first book dealing with chess was published in 1472, under the title Dass Goldin Spil, in the city of Augsburg.
  • The first International Chess tournament was played at Madrid in 1 575, at the court of Philip the Second.
  • The first newspaper column on chess appeared in the Liverpool Mercury, July 9, 1813.
  • The first match to be played by correspondence was begun in April 1824 between the London and Edinburgh Chess Clubs. The match lasted two years, and was won by the Scotsmen. They scored two wins, lost one, and drew two games.
  • The first chess magazine appeared in Paris in 1836. It was called La Palamède, and its editors were Labourdonnais and Méry.
  • The first chess match by telegraph was played in 1844, the year in which the telegraph was invented. The players represented the cities of Baltimore and Washington, D. C.
  • The first problem-composing tournament was held at London in 1854. It was confined to Englishmen, and was won by Walter Grimshaw.


Anonymous said...

You might also like the ChessNotes books from Edward Winter. Or his web site ...

Rook Van Winkle said...


Thank you for bringing this site to my attention! There is a great deal of interesting and entertaining material there - so much so I may have to blog about it in a future entry.