Monday, 11 May 2015

The Australian Chess Annual

While searching for all things chess at I stumbled across "The Australian Chess Annual" It was published in 1896 and I think (based on the handwritten notes inside the cover) that it was the first edition of what is supposed to be a series. It is a very comprehensive book, and seemed to run for over 150 pages, with tournament reports, club directories and chess problems filling its pages. The author was H.B. Bignold, who listed himself as a member of the Arts, Sydney and Petersham Chess Clubs. Also interesting was the number of Chess & Draughts clubs (as opposed to just chess clubs). I assume that both games were on equal footing at the time, something that is not the case these days.
If you want to do some digging around of your own, just go to archive,org and type "chess" in the search bar. Plenty of stuff turns up, including books, magazines and even old chess playing software. However it may be a bit tricky to get exactly what you want as I found a couple of books that were catalogued as chess books, but instead turned out to be essays on dead French poets!

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