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Irving Chernev
Number of games in database: 20
Years covered: 1921 to 1944
Overall record: +7 -12 =1 (37.5%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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A46 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)
D05 Queen's Pawn Game (2 games)
E34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation (2 games)

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(born Jan-29-1900, died Sep-29-1981, 81 years old) Ukraine (federation/nationality United States of America)

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Irving Chernev was born in Priluki in the Ukraine. He was a noted chess author, with books aimed for the beginner to below master level. He passed away in San Francisco, California, USA in 1981.

Wikipedia article: Irving Chernev

 page 1 of 1; 20 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Reshevsky vs Chernev 1-0501921SimulC53 Giuoco Piano
2. A Miller vs Chernev 0-191928New YorkC45 Scotch Game
3. Chernev vs M L Hanauer 0-1151938USA-ch prel AD24 Queen's Gambit Accepted
4. J Balint vs Chernev 1-0341938USA-ch prel AA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
5. J Balint vs Chernev 1-0101938USA-ch prel AC57 Two Knights
6. J Platz vs Chernev 1-0291939New York chE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
7. Chernev vs E S Jackson 1-0221940New YorkD05 Queen's Pawn Game
8. Chernev vs W Cruz 1-0221940New YorkA47 Queen's Indian
9. Chernev vs Seidman  0-1501942USA-chD41 Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch
10. Denker vs Chernev 1-0221942USA-chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
11. H Baker vs Chernev 0-1321942USA-chE17 Queen's Indian
12. Chernev vs H H Hahlbohm 1-0241942USA-chD05 Queen's Pawn Game
13. Reshevsky vs Chernev 1-0301942USA-chE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
14. Chernev vs Kashdan 0-1331942USA-chD93 Grunfeld, with Bf4 & e3
15. Darby vs Chernev 0-1411943Grand National corrA07 King's Indian Attack
16. Shainswit vs Chernev ½-½321944New York ch-USAE47 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3
17. Chernev vs H Steiner 0-1271944USA-chA46 Queen's Pawn Game
18. I A Horowitz vs Chernev 1-0351944New York ch-USAB83 Sicilian
19. Chernev vs D Gladstone  1-0351944USA-chA04 Reti Opening
20. Chernev vs Denker  0-1381944USA-chE10 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 1; 20 games  PGN Download 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Chernev wins | Chernev loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 6 ·  Later Kibitzing>
May-06-04  ToTheDeath: I'm surprised no one has commented on this guy. A fine writer with a genuine love for chess. His Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played was a favorite of mine as a beginner.

There's a chapter on Chernev in Arnold Denker's memoir The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories.

May-06-04  Minor Piece Activity: I have his book. Was he a strong player?
May-06-04  Lawrence: A very nicely written biography of Chernev, and review of "Logical Chess," is at
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: What playing strength should you have to get something out of that book? How does it compare to say.... Silman's "Reassess your chess", Nunn's "Understanding chess move by move" etc?
May-06-04  ToTheDeath: Chernev was a master, but he dropped out of tournament play very early on to write about the game. He preferred chess for beauty over chess for competition.

I'd say Chernev's books are best for beginners, but intermediate players might get something out of them too. I probably would not put him in Silman's class as an instructive writer though.

May-06-04  fred lennox: Chernev was one of three writers who helped popularize chess in the U.S. along with Reinfeld and Horowitz. Respectivly, one was more classical in his taste, the 2nd more hypermodern, and the 3rd more romantic.
Jun-03-04  Notboardofchess: Why does he only have one game? Did he become a master quickly?
Jul-01-04  nikolaas: "Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess." - Irving Chernev
Jul-01-04  Zembla: As a beginner I loved Chernev's "1000 Best Short Games of Chess". I played over & enjoyed every game & felt it helped me a lot. Of course back then I didn't know these shorties were not quality games!
Jul-02-04  nikolaas: <zembla> Let me guess, Reti-Zukertort Vienna 1910 was in it :-)
Jan-19-05  MidnightDuffer: Chernev wrote a book with Kenneth Harkness.

Here is his bio.

We really need more games from all of these guys, Reinfeld, Horowitz, Chernev, Harkness, etc.

Jan-19-05  WorldChampeen: <midnightduffer>

Do you mean Kenneth Harkness? " "

Or do you mean Norman Tweed Whitaker?


Mar-17-05  bumpmobile: I am working through his "Practical Chess Endings" and, as a relative beginner, I am getting a LOT out of it. I would reccomend it highly (unfortunately it is in descriptive notation). My current project is inputing all of the positions from the book into PGN format which will allow me to play through them on Chess Master.
Jun-21-05  vampiero: i'm in the process of going through "Capablancas 60 best chess endings" by Chernev and its great for people to learn how to formulat plans and analyse positonal strengths and weakness's
Jun-21-05  MUG: Logical Chess is a great book, but it can get tiring to read again and again exactly why 1.e4 is a good opening move!! Nunn's 'Understanding Chess...' gets around this problem, and for me is the better book.

<vampiero> I'm interested in getting hold of 'Casablanca’s 60 best chess endings' (if I can!). Is it written in algebraic or descriptive?

Jun-21-05  vampiero: the good thing about it is he goes through the opening and middle with little alrebraic notes and some descriptive. there starts the endgame and he beggins by analysing the position and saying what Capablancas goals are here. then he continues with algebraic examples of positions that could arise with less descriptive notes, but enough to understan the position
Jul-14-05  Lord.Dracula: <nikolaas> that quote was said by William Ewart Napier, not by Chernev.
Jul-14-05  mymt: the one I like is Winning Chess Traps .It has 52 traps in the Ruy Lopez to start with & goes through all the openings for a total of 300 traps. Great stuff to reinforce your reportoire & those handy quick wins.
Jul-14-05  Knight13: <The greatest compliment one can pay a master is to compare him with Capablanca. --- Chernev> Yup.
Jul-14-05  OneBadDog: I have a copy of 200 Brilliant Endgames-it's an entertaining book. When I was in high school, reading Logical Chess contributed to my largest increase ever in rating points. One of my favorite books of Chernev's is The Golden Dozen, althought I don't agree with him putting Capa above Lasker, Botvinnik and Fischer.
Jul-15-05  nikolaas: <Lord.Dracula> My source said it was Chernev. Anyway, I think that noone really knows who said it first.
Aug-11-05  coolthing76: The best book I've ever read is The Golden Dozen. Very nice work by Chernev.
Aug-11-05  euripides: There are two problems with Chernev's books. First, he overwrites atrociously. Secondly, he encourages the reader tho think of positional chess as superior to tactical chess, without bringing out the interdependence between positional play and tactics. This might be a good corrective for a tactical player; for me, as a child naturally given to positional play, I think it was problematic. But 'Logical chess' has the attractive feature of including some serious treatment of amateur games, so that typical club-player mistakes are picked up, and 'the most instructive games' does include some otherwise little-known maserpieces.
Aug-26-05  MUG: Only two games on the database for Chernev?!? Why is this? Did he not play very often?

Hard to believe he has really written more books about chess then he has played actual games!! :-)

Aug-26-05  paladin at large: <MUG> Chernev was a very active master for a time. Unfortunately, like Roy T. Black, who for some years was champion of the state of New York, Chernev is underrepresented in the database. But it does not mean that he did not play.
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