The Ink War - Romanticism versus Modernity in Chess

With his third book, Willy Hendriks will cement his reputation as one of the best chess history writers. Eight years after his award-winning Move First, Think Later, and two years after his thought-provoking On the Origin of Good Moves, Willy Hendriks is back with another captivating and well-researched gem.

In The Ink War - Romanticism versus Modernity in Chess, IM Hendriks once again offers his unique perspective of the 19th-century chess world and the birth of modern chess. He tells the story of the rivalry between William Steinitz and Johannes Zukertort, the world's strongest chess players in the late nineteenth century. They fought on the chessboard and in various chess magazines and columns, and their verbal war culminated in the first match for the World Championship in 1886. Their battle became so fierce that it was eventually named The Ink War.

This story is about who was the strongest player and about who had the best ideas on how to play the game. Zukertort is certainly the tragic protagonist of this book and has often been depicted as a representative of romantic chess, solely focusing on attacking the king. Steinitz is said to have ended to this lopsided chess style with his modern scientific school.

It will not surprise you that Hendriks offers a fresh perspective. Along the way, you are invited to actively think along with the beautiful and instructive chess fragments, including many chess exercises (positioned at the beginning of a chapter!).

I can only repeat what we said about Hendriks' most recent book, On the Origin of Good Moves: Never before has the study of the history of chess been so entertaining and rewarding.

Please have a look at The Ink War, and some intriguing sample pages.