Chess has spawned a vast body of literature. There is a small proportion focusing primarily on correspondence chess and this section of our website provides an introduction. Please tell us if you have other examples which should be added.
Diamond Dust (Jonathan Berry, 1991)
“If chess is a sport which prods the intellect to give of its best, then correspondence chess is where that best can be achieved”.
This could be the title of a discussion topic but is made as a statement on the cover of the 1991 games collection edited by Jonathan Berry to record the tournament organised by the Canadian Correspondence Chess Association in honour of its 60th anniversary.
In addition to giving annotated scores of all 105 games, with an encouragement to develop correspondence chess, the book is ahead of its time in recognising climate change and claiming that correspondence chess has a role to play through reducing the need to travel for competitive over the board play (see the preface from the editor).
The Chess Analyst (Jon Edwards, 1998)
Written by Jon Edwards while the Vice President of Computer and Information Sciences at Princeton University, The Chess Analyst provides an insight into the final days of correspondence and postal chess being synonymous.
With 25 chapters providing insight and wit, Jon’s narrative speaks of a bygone age. Could Stockfish inspire the following commentary on playing against Stephan Gerzadowicz:
“Stephan’s postcards arrive with the same wit that we’ve come to expect from his columns and books. And there’s his chess style, a passionate conviction in fianchettoed bishops and a slow steady build up that lulls one opponent after another into structural suicide. It’s almost as if Stephan has discovered the deep, hidden nature of the game, the precise tempo of play dictated by the obscure space-time relationship in chess”.
The Write Move (Tim Harding, 2005)
Did you know that correspondence chess was first mentioned in literature in 1694 (in “De Ludis Orientalibus” by Thomas Hyde) If not, reading this anthology of “the best writing in correspondence chess”, edited by Tim Harding, may be required reading.
With 24 varied and interesting articles, together with an illuminating introduction by Tim and an extended bibliography of correspondence chess works, the work could be a starting point for anyone wanting to become a correspondence chess scholar.
Battle at Long Range (Tim Harding, 2009)
This is Tim’s doctoral thesis submitted for his PhD to Trinity College in 2009. It provides an extensive review of correspondence chess. It is freely available online through the Trinity ‘s Access to Research Archive (TARA) and can be accessed through this link: Battle at Long Range .
BCCA History (Neil Limbert, 2017)
If you are interested in the BCCA history, a good starting place in the article written by Neil Limbert in 2017 found here: BCCA History.
Neil also references two further works, namely:
The Official History of the British Correspondence Chess Association 1906-2006 by DJ Rogers
Correspondence Chess in Britain & Ireland 1824 – 1987 by Tim Harding.
Further discussion of Tim Harding’s work can be found here: CC Britain & Ireland .
My 120 Selected Correspondence Games (Mike Read, 2018)
This collection of games (pre engines) from Mike Read was reviewed by Neil Limbert in 2018: Mike Read Collection .
Triumph and Disaster (Mike Read, 2020)
Mike Read provided a second offering in 2020, a further games collection, review by Stan Grayland: Triumph and Disaster
EFCC Correspondent (Ed: Mickey Blake)
It is rare to announce a new publication and congratulations are due to Mickey Blaky for inaugurating EFCC Correspondent, the magazine of the EFCC.
For more details and links to the first two editions, see: EFCC Correspondent