Irving Chernev

Irving Chernev books and biography


Irving Chernev

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Irving Chernev (1900-1981) was a Russian-born American chess author. He was born in Moscow, and emigrated to the United States in 1920. Chernev was obsessed with chess, and was a national master-strength player. He wrote that he "probably read more about chess and played over more games than any man in history."

Chernev's deep love for the game is obvious to any reader of his books. He wrote 20 chess books, among them Chessboard Magic!, The Bright Side of Chess, The Fireside Book of Chess (with Fred Reinfeld), The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played, 1000 Best Short Games of Chess, Practical Chess Endings, Combinations: The Heart of Chess, and Capablanca's Best Chess Endings. In 1945, he and Kenneth Harkness wrote An Invitation to Chess, which became one of the most successful chess books ever written, with sales of over 100,000. Perhaps his most famous book is Logical Chess: Move by Move (1957). This takes 33 classic games from 1889 to 1945 played by masters such as Capablanca, Alekhine and Tarrasch and explains them in an instructive manner. An algebraic version was published by Batsford in 1998 with minor alterations to the original text. Chernev died in his beloved San Francisco in 1981.


  • The Fireside Book of Chess (with Reinfeld) (Simon & Schuster, NY, 1949)
  • Twelve Great Chess Players and Their Best Games (Dover Publications, 1995)
  • An Invitation to Chess: a Picture Guide to the Royal Game (with Kenneth Harkness) (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1945).

He also wrote WINNING CHESS with Fred Reinfeld in 1947.

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Beginners Manual Chess Review 1933-1949

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