1. Home
  2. Login
  3. Recent Orders
  4. Wish List
  5. View Basket
  6. Checkout

Overseas deliveries are available, by tracked mail only, to USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand a limited number of EU destinations.
Customers in the EU may have to pay local customs duty and VAT before delivery - please check locally.
Overseas deliveries are taking longer than usual due to Covid-19 restrictions, Brexit delays and the large volumes of mail being handled by couriers. Please allow additional time for delivery of your order.

Masterpieces and Dramas of the Soviet Championships: Volume I (1920-1937)

Masterpieces and Dramas of the Soviet Championships: Volume I (1920-1937)

Ref: e7693

Product type: Printed book

In stock

Sergey Voronkov

In this proposed three-volume treatise, leading Russian chess historian Sergey Voronkov vividly brings to life the long-forgotten history of the Soviet championships held in 1920-1953.

Sample pages (pdf)

Volume I covers the first 10 championships from 1920-1937, as well as the title match between Botvinnik and Levenfish. The key contestants also include world champion Alekhine and challenger Bogoljubov, lesser-known Soviet champions Romanovsky, Bogatyrchuk, Verlinsky, and Rabinovich, and names that today will be unfamiliar yet were big stars at the time: Riumin, Alatortsev, Makogonov, Rauzer, Ragozin, Chekhover, and many others.

This book can be read on many levels: a carefully selected collection of 107 of the best games, commented on mostly by the players themselves, supported by computer analysis. A detailed and subtly argued social history of the Soviet Chess School and of how chess came to occupy such an important role in Soviet society. A discussion of how the chess community lost its independence and came to be managed by Party loyalists. A portrayal of how the governing body and it's leader, Nikolai Krylenko, strived to replace an entire generation of free-thinking chess masters with those loyal to the state. A study of how the authorities' goals changed from wanting to use chess as a means of raising the culture of the masses to wanting to use chess to prove the superiority of the Soviet way of life. Or a sometimes humorous, often tragic history of talented, yet flawed human beings caught up in seismic events beyond their control who just wanted to play chess.

This book is illustrated with around 170 rarely seen photos and cartoons from the period, mostly taken from 1920s-1930s Russian chess magazines.

As Garry Kasparov highlights in his foreword "this book virtually resembles a novel: with a mystery plot, protagonists and supporting cast, sudden denouements and even "author’s digressions" - or, to be exact, introductions to the championships themselves, which constitute important parts of this book as well. These introductions, with wide and precise strokes, paint the portrait of the initial post-revolutionary era, heroic and horrific at the same time. I’ve always said that chess is a microcosm of society. Showing chess in the context of time is what makes this book valuable even beyond the purely analytical point of view."

Sergey Voronkov was born in 1954 and lives in Moscow. He is a leading Russian chess historian, journalist and author. Sergey has written ten books in Russian and numerous articles on Russian chess history.

Published 2020, softback, 534 pages.

Our Price:29.99

Wishlist info


This product is included in our 10% discount offer for orders of 2 or more qualifying books, software items or DVD videos! (Discount will be calculated in the shopping basket)

People who bought this also bought:

Correspondence Chess In Britain And Ireland 1824-1987
Modernized: The Modern Benoni

Related products:

Soviet Championships

Soviet Championships


Our Price:15.00
Big Book of World Chess Championships

Please select next action

Go back orGo to wish list


Recently Viewed