Chess Results 1975-1977

Gino Di Felice

Reviewer: John Donaldson
408 pages

The North Carolina based publisher McFarland has recently released three new volumes in its Chess Results series which now covers 1747 to 1980. They are Chess Results 1971-1974, Chess Results 1975-1977 and Chess Results 1978-1980.

Italian chess archivist Gino Di Felice’s Chess Results series, begun in 2004, now comprises fifteen volumes. It is the most comprehensive chronological reference work of chess results available and the present three volumes are a testament to the thoroughness of the author. They contain 2593 crosstables and 385 matches. The increasing popularity of chess competitions can be seen by each volume covering a very short time span. Whereas several of the earlier volumes in the series covered an entire decade now the time frame is just a few years.

The standard bearer for chess archivists has long been the late Jeremy Gaige, who was a true pioneer, but Di Felice deserves much credit himself, increasingly so as his series goes into unexplored territory. Gaige’s last published work ended in 1930 (although he produced check lists going up to 1980), but Di Felice has gone several decades further. There has been little prior work for the second half of the 1960s with only the crosstables published in Anne Sunnucks’ Encyclopedia of Chess and Chess Informant (from 1966 onwards) coming readily to mind as first starts on a huge task.

Di Felice has done a fine job, but in a series of such magnitude it is inevitable that small mistakes will creep in. That is why it is so important that sources are provided making it possible to double the information. A case in point appears in Chess Results, 1978-1980 where on page 252 a crosstable is given for a Swiss System event held in Budapest from November 20th to 30th, 1980. The dates are right and the results are correct, but the event was played in Kecskemet and not Budapest as given. Magyar Sakkelet 1981, p.86, is the source given by Di Felice and confirms Kecskemet is the correct location – the error is possibly due to the report being in Hungarian. This mistake stood out to the reviewer because he played in the event.

The Chess Results series is a true boon to chess historians and journalists who need handy reference tools. Those who plan to do a book on a particular player will find the indexes a real time saver as in a matter of minutes they can have a list of crosstables of events their subject played in.

Like all the books published by McFarland the production qualities in these three volumes are first rate, with excellent binding and good quality paper used throughout. The layout for the Chess Results series is easy on the eye.