In this encyclopedia we set out to publish all the important games of chess which have been played since the modern laws came into force in the late 1400s. We have chosen to include all the recorded games played up to 1800, every game played in all major tournaments and matches from 1801, and every traceable game of each player who was at one time one of the best two players in the world. The games are arranged chronologically. Within each year the tournaments are presented first, followed by the matches, and then the miscellaneous games. Each game is allotted a unique code number which locates it in the book. Thus, 1849-LON-3 is the third game played in the tournament London 1849. All tournaments are identified by date and place. We use the year in which the tournament started for events played in December-January. The complete list of places and codes is on page xviii. Matches are indicated by the symbol x and the initial letters of the players, so that the second game of the Lewis-Wilson match of 1819 is 1819-x LW-2. Miscellaneous games are shown by *, as in 1841-*PS-1; for further information see the complete list of symbols. At the top of each game appears the date on which it was played, the place (for miscellaneous games) and, if the game has analysis, the name of the annotator. At the end of the game appears the bibliographic reference which explains (through the full bibliography on pages 455-6) where the game was found. The computer-generated indexes are the most detailed ever produced for a chess book, and present a mine of information and statistical analysis. The 'player index' gives, for each player in the book, a complete list of opponents, with the result and code number for each game, and for every major player a complete tournament and match record. The openings index' lists every opening variation which appears in the book, and the code number for every game played with each. The endgame index' refers the reader to all those games in which particular endgames occur. These games were buried deep in the chess libraries of the world. Our principal sources have been the British Library (whose system of Cyrillic transliteration we have employed), the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Bibliotheca van der Linde-Niemeijeriana, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, 's-Gravenhage, and the John G. White Collection, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio. Of the many friends, acquaintances, and scholars who have helped us in our search we should particularly like tothank MrJeremy Gaige, Miss K. M. E. Murray (for permission to use the H. J. R. Murray collection at the Bodleian Library), Mr David Lawson, Mr Craig Pritchett, Mr Ken Whyld, and Mr Baruch H. Wood.