Here from the massively loved publisher from the US comes yet another historical chess book, this time about a player best known in thought and word but not, as things stood before publication, deed. Golombek (1981) gives him half-a-page, Whyld/Hooper (1996) just over a page and Sunnucks (1976) less than two pages, with no photo or game at all; Whyld/Hooper manage a game but without notes.
This is the third McFarland work from the growing reputation of Belgian FIDE Master, Hans Renette starting with H.E. Bird: A Chess Biography with 1,198 Games and 2016 and following up with Neumann, Hirschfeld and Suhle which were both exquisite productions.
Louis Paulsen’s (1833-1891) tombstone is shown in this massive tome, a modest tribute to a most gifted and far seeing chess master, his innovations in the Leningrad Dutch and Sicilian still, one hopes, ringing down the ages. Did time stand still for a player unfettered by use of a chess clock? Certainly Paulsen attracted criticism for the slowness of his moves but, in retrospect, they were (of course!) worth waiting for.
This massive collection includes friendly games, contemporary comments, photographs, line drawings, blindfold clashes, simul encounters, any number of Evans’ and King’s Gambits. At random, I select 1862 when Paulsen drew a match 4-4 with Anderssen himself, a photo from the late Lothar Schmid’s massive archive supplies a little colour. Same year, Louis comes 2nd= with John Owen with both masters outdistancing even Steinitz, who was yet to find his (World Championship) form.
CHESS & BRIDGE have been offering this book for nearly sixty pounds and copies, believe me, won’t hang around. An investment.
So, in sum, a wonderfully produced record with no detail spared and every stone turned, dated, displayed. I have run out of superlatives.
With thanks to Olimpiu G Urcan for his corrections.
James Pratt, Basingstoke, October, 2019
Book Details :
- Hardcover : 441 pages
- Publisher: McFarland (2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN (print) 1476671958
- ISBN (ebook) 978-1476671956
- Product Dimensions 22.2 x 3.2 x 28.6 cm
Official web site of www.mcfarlandpub.com