Chess Results 1921-1930

A Comprehensive Record with 940 Tournament Crosstables and 210 Match Scores

Gino Di Felice

Reviewer: John Donaldson
342 pages

Chess Results 1921-1930 is the third in a five part series of books by the Italian chess archivist Gino Di Felice that cover the world of competitive chess from 1747 to 1940. This colossal project will end up covering over 4000 tournament crosstables and almost 1500 matches when completed. Clearly, this is an incredible piece of work and the latest volume, number three in the series, is no exception.

Di Felice adds to the pioneering efforts of the chess world’s most famous archivist Jeremy Gaige, who incidentally will be inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame at next year’s U.S. Open in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. This induction, long overdue, is one example of how the work of the chess archivist is finally getting its due.

The physical production of Chess Results 1921-1930 is up to the usual McFarland production standards (i.e., outstanding). The crosstables and match scores are clearly laid out, the paper is good and the book well bound. It is indexed by both player and event. All of this would make Chess Results 1921-1930 the definitive book and Gaige’s work obsolete except for one important point that has plagued Di Felice throughout this series. While this book and others in the series have a proper bibliography, there is no way to find out what source was used to verify a particular crosstable. Gaige cited his source below each crosstable but Di Felice unfortunately never does. Therefore, if there is an error or inconsistency there is no way to check with the original. It would be interesting to know why Di Felice chose not to as several reviewers have mentioned this important point when discussing earlier volumes in the series. It’s a pity that he hasn’t changed his ways and one hopes that the last two volumes will correct this deficiency. It is still not too late to produce an addendum, tying crosstables to sources, for all volumes in this important series.