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Amos Burn: A Chess Biography

This enormous and definitive work on the Englishman Amos Burn assembles and analyses all extant games and provides a thorough biography of the famous chess master of the 19th and early 20th centuries. It chronicles in exceptional detail the broader picture of chess development throughout that era. Burn was active for a long time, winning victories over such masters as Blackburne, Marshall, Steinitz (his mentor), Alekhine, and Zukertort. He was a fighting player who relished tactical battles against his more romantic rivals but was also one of the world's best defensive players. He made a number of valuable discoveries in such openings as the Queen's Gambit Declined and the Ruy Lopez, and even today his name remains associated with a variation of the French Defence.

Burn's life is painstakingly traced from his birth on the last day of 1848 to his death of a stroke at age 76. The great international tournaments in which he took part are paid particular attention, with extensive quotation of notes by Burn himself and his contemporaries. Where necessary, old analysis is corrected and supplemented. Meticulous research has been undertaken in newspapers and periodicals from various countries where Burn played and travelled, including the United States, with the result that many forgotten games have been unearthed. Precise citations of primary sources are given in all cases.

The book features approximately 800 games played by Burn, almost all of them annotated, 859 chess diagrams, and 209 photographs, indices of openings, annotators, games, players, and general subjects. An appendix describes missing evidence, uncertain games, and further research possibilities. Another appendix lists corrections to game scores published elsewhere and a third gives Burn's complete tournament and match record.
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About the Author

Richard Forster holds a doctorate in computational linguistics and the international master title in chess. He works as a technical writer in information technology and is also the chess columnist of the Neue Zurcher Zeitung. He has participated in four chess Olympiads, and in 2010 he won third prize in the strongest Swiss championship to date, scoring his second grandmaster norm. He is the author of the highly-acclaimed chess biography Amos Burn (McFarland, 2004) and co-editor of the monumental German monograph Emanuel Lasker: Denker, Weltenburger, Schachweltmeister (Exzelsior Verlag, 2009).


"vividly depicts the Victorian/Edwardian chess world in which he played...excellent photographs...beautifully printed"-British Chess Federation "must be considered the definitive biography of the Englishman Amos Burn. It's an incredible achievement. Four Stars"-Chess Horizons "Richard Forster and McFarland have done the chess world proud with this volume...Forster has happily found a publisher willing and able to give the subject the treatment it deserves"-Chess Mail

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