Thursday, May 29, 2014

Vera Menchik biography forthcoming from McFarland.

Vera Menchik: A Biography of the First Women’s World Chess Champion, with 350 Complete Games by Robert B. Tanner is scheduled for release this fall/ winter from McFarland.

"Not only was Vera Menchik the first woman in the history of chess to compete on an equal basis with the top male players, she absolutely dominated women’s chess during the last 17 years of her life. Hers was a fascinating career as an independent professional in an era where this was rare for women in any endeavor."

More information on the Menchik biography can be found on the McFarland website, link here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"For the Love of Three Oranges"

The Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev having been commissioned by Chicago Opera Association's musical director Cleofonte Campanini; Prokofiev's  new opera "For the Love of Three Oranges" had its premiere 30 December 1921, under the baton of the composer at Chicago's Auditorium Theatre.

(Chicago Daily Tribune; December 30, 1921)

 While in Chicago Prokofiev was feted by the city's social elite,  musical community and by Chicago's chess community.

"Sergei Prokoffieff, [sic] the composer of 'The Love of Three Oranges', the world premiere at the Chicago opera was given last week, is probably the strongest chess player among the many musical geniuses who excel at the royal game."
(Chicago Daily News: January 9, 1922)

At a reception given in honor of the composer,attended by "a crowd musical chess friends"  hosted by Edward Lasker the following game took place between Prokofiev and Lasker.

The Daily News published the game up to White's 28th move, but it seems newspaper gremlins intervened and the game does not work after Black's 20th move.Here is the game as it appeared in the Daily News.