Saturday, April 7, 2012


I'm working diligently on the Gossip & Pillsbury book promised a couple months ago. Since finding the manuscript there has been a lot of midnight oil used to ferret out conclusions in Gossip's 1892 book, Modern Chess Brilliancies.

Years ago I was put onto a copy of this book with all kinds of notes scribbled inside. After a considerable amount of sleuthing I discovered the notes were written by Harry Nelson Pillsbury, within a couple years of his death (because he references Lasker's Chess Magazine!).

George Gossip was not in Pillsbury's league as a player or annotator but there are times when he does shine. And, there are times when Pillsbury answers a note, such as: "No! It should have resulted in Black being forced to draw by perpetual."

Harry starts out reasonably peaceful but as he gets through 75 games (and some mistakes himself, recall he was dying of syphilis) he gets more and more annoyed and at one point calls the author a "conceited ass."

By going through all the games you can tell they were annotated at different times. Pillsbury has left us an annotated treasure. Great players don't often do this.

Thinkers' Press will publish it and I am making every effort to put Pillsbury's notes in red (thus a two-color book) so one can easily find any parts of distinction. Occasionally Pillsbury refers to Lasker, Mason, Steinitz and others.

In the event you don't already know, at 22 Pillsbury, from Somerville, MASS, won the first Hastings tournament (1895) over anyone who was anybody, including world champion Lasker.

This is a book I will be proud of. Every effort will be made to see if we can afford a hardcover edition, and hopefully have it out within 3 months at $45.00. Only a small number will be done since TPi doesn't have the resources to stockpile hundreds of them. Postage is extra both in the US ($6) and Internationally.

Let me know right away if you are interested.

PS: There are some very good games, sacrifices, combinations, and terrorizing attacks... and also a few, shall we say, "What is this doing in here?" Pillsbury asks that too! If you want to know if the guys of yesteryear could attack the answering is certainly, "Yes."

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