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Le blog de la Batgirl

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This blog, like most of what I write, focuses on the historical and cultural aspects of chess - with a few rants thrown in for good measure.

I don't accept friend requests; I don't play chess here; and I don't generally respond to notes, but I will respond to messages if they seem to have a purpose other than meaningless chat.  I'm only mentioning this so everyone knows there's nothing personal in my lack of response to any of the above.



    • Turkish Delights

           Before the last quarter of the 18th century, past the first quarter of the 19th century, chess was dominated by and promulgated through an artificial machine, a supposed automaton or robot known eventually as the Turk. The only serious c... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 30, 2012
      • | 2339 views
      • | 5 comments
    • Lasker's Puzzle

           Member terminuso  noticed the position on the board on the cover of Lasker's "Manual of Chess."   This cover is from the 1947 edition.  The book was originally published in 1900 with a plain cover.  I couldn't determine if the photo... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 26, 2012
      • | 2981 views
      • | 6 comments
    • My Conversation With Steinitz

      My friend Deb gave me this article from "Chessworld" magazine. "Chessworld" was created and published by Frank Brady (also the author of "Profile of a Prodgy" and "Endgame: Bobby Fischer's Remarkable Rise and Fall," the two most definitive studie... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 21, 2012
      • | 3306 views
      • | 12 comments
    • The Greenwich Village Gambit

       Manhattan, early '60s --  a place and a time.  One of the few sources of insight into this particular chess scene comes to us through the pages of Frank Brady's short-lived magazine, "Chessworld."  My dear friend Deb supplied me with the fol... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 17, 2012
      • | 3950 views
      • | 14 comments
    • Chess and Base Ball

           In perusing the issues of the "Brooklyn Daily Eagle" of the last half of the 19th century, I noticed that Chess happenings are very often put in the Sports section.  In fact about the two most popular items in that section seem to have ... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 9, 2012
      • | 3351 views
      • | 1 comment
    • Perrin

           Although his association with Paul Morphy was somewhat minimal, Frederick Perrin's chess career was very often viewed though Morphy-colored glass. When Morphy first arrived in New York for his national debut, Perrin was the first man he ... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | Jun 3, 2012
      • | 3506 views
      • | 4 comments
    • All About Brenzinger

           Francis Eugene Brenzinger has been mostly forgotten.  It's true that he wasn't even close to being a world champion contender, maybe not even a likely U.S. champion, but during his chess-playing days, he was one of the strongest players... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | May 27, 2012
      • | 3706 views
      • | 12 comments
    • Playing the Odds

          Games at odds were quite common in the 19th century for establishing a hierarchy and for allowing players of disparate skills to play together with interest and even for stakes.  Sometimes the games are rather ponderous with the more skil... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | May 20, 2012
      • | 3734 views
      • | 7 comments
    • Debtor's Chess

           There are myriads of ways to spend your free time.  Some people feel anxious unless they are doing something productive; others are quite satisfied with banal pursuits or mindless entertainment.  Whatever the case, it might be partly t... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | May 13, 2012
      • | 3693 views
      • | 13 comments
    • Berlin Schach-Cafés

           In the last quarter of the 19th century several Berlin cafés stood out as places where chess and other games could be played. It was at theses places where the great German players who would lead the chess world into the 20th century le... | Read More

      • batgirl
      • | May 6, 2012
      • | 4885 views
      • | 5 comments