This new book brings tribute to the oldest still-running chess tournament in the world. No other chess event has such a long and rich history as the annual gathering 'in between the years' at the English seaside resort of Hastings. Countless chess players, professionals, and amateurs alike have celebrated Christmas and welcomed the New Year in Hastings while battling it out on the chessboard.
The German author of this book, Jürgen Brustkern, visited for the first time at the 1977/8 Congress when he was sixteen. That year former World Champion Tigran Petrosian was playing, but it was Roman Dzindzichashvili who won. 'Jürgen was spellbound', writes GM Stuart Conquest, who lived in Hastings in those years as a youngster, in his foreword to the book. 'So it was that for one young German this out-of-season seaside Sussex town became a home from home, a winter pilgrimage to be made annually. Since that time Jürgen has attended the Hastings Chess Congress on over forty separate occasions, as a player or simply to spectate and catch up with friends.'
Together with his compatriot Norbert Wallet, Brustkern has done a wonderful job. He describes the tournament's fascinating history and portrays forty of the most colourful participants. The stories begin in 1895 when the young American Harry Pillsbury shocked the European chess elite with his victory, and they span 125 years.
In this book, you will meet the strongest female players of all time, Vera Menchik, Nona Gaprindashvili, and Judit Polgar. You will get to know the mysterious Sultan Khan and the unorthodox (recently deceased) Michael Basman and enjoy anecdotes about Mikhail Tal, Viktor Kortchnoi, and his rival Anatoly Karpov. You will read about the Belgian Edgard Colle and the French-American Chess player (of Greek-Russian decent) Nicolas Rossolimo - who both have the honour to give their name to a chess opening.
How many World Champions came to Hastings? How expensive was the Golden Knight trophy that Lajos Portisch won? What was the effect of the British Chess Explosion? You will find the answers here.
The book is only available as a hardcover edition; it runs 384 pages and is richly illustrated with many photographs from the archives of the Hastings Chess Club.
I invite you to have a look at this wonderfully entertaining tournament book The Chess Battles of Hastings - Stories and Games of the Oldest Chess Tournament in the World. On the product page, we offer a link to 33 sample pages to get a good feel of the book.