Chess Results 1936-1940

Gino Di Felice

Reviewer: John Donaldson
392 pages

Chess Results 1936-1940 is the final book in a five part series by Italian chess archivist Gino Di Felice. His monumental series covers the world of competitive chess from 1747 to 1940 with over 4000 tournament crosstables and almost 1500 matches. 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.

Gaige’s books are long out of print so Di Felice’s books are a boon to chess historians and journalists who need handy reference tools. Note that Di Felice does not list his sources as Gaige did. This can be a problem when information about the event is disputed but is not a big issue for the present volume, which covers a time period where facts are rarely in dispute. It’s important to note that Gaige stopped his published crosstables at 1930 so this volume and the previous one, covering the years 1931-1935, are pioneering efforts.

The physical production of Chess Results 1936-1940 is up to the usual McFarland production standards, which means 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. This is not a book for the tournament player, but historians and journalists will find it quite useful.