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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 1-0241942New YorkD05 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
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Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: Yes, You're right. I remember it now. Actually, I was kibitzing the game in progress :-)
Feb-29-08  duchamp64: Chernev wrote many great books. But perhaps his very best was Capablanca's Best Chess Endings. The annotations are superb.
Mar-03-08  Phaethon: i heard this guy was really tall anyone have any info on that?
Mar-26-08  mistreaver: I have just read his The most instructive games of chess ever played and wanted to order combinations:the hearth of chess. Any1 can say anything about that book is it good or is The golden dozen(twelfe great chess players and their best games) better?
Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: <mistreaver> The Golden Dozen is an annotated book of games of the twelve players listed by Chernev, while in the other book the object is to find the combination in the diagrammed position. Descriptive notation is used in both books. (if you read the most instructive games of Chess then you already knew this) Depends on what you think is better. (another games collection or a book of combination excercises)
Mar-26-08  mistreaver: <chancho> thanks
Jul-09-08  myschkin:
Jul-10-08  myschkin: <Chernev Quotes>

"Of chess it has been said that life is not long enough for it, but that is the fault of life, not chess."

"The sign of a great Master is his ability to win a won game quickly and painlessly"

"On the chessboard, if nowhere else, justice does triumph."

"There is no room for gallantry in chess.

"The secret of conducting a successful kingside attack is to create a breach in the cordon pawns surrounding the enemy king; to induce or force one of the pawns to move. The change in the line-up of pawns fixes the defense with a permanent weakness.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Marmot PFL: <duchamp64> I agree as he incorporated analysis from other players, and in some cases improved on it. In this book the openings and middlegames and very lightly annotated, which is the opposite of most books where these get most of the attention and the engings are passed over with remarks like "the rest is technique" or maybe a very brief outline of the plan. As Capablanca said the three phases of the game are strtegically connected and knowing when and how to reach a good ending is as important as knowing how to win it. So seeing the complete game is helpful.
Dec-14-08  FreeRepublic: I recommend Practical Chess Endings by Chernev. Curiously, Paul Keres wrote a book by the same title. I think the title is more appropriate for Keres' book, which was a sensible manual on the ending.

Chernev's book covers 300 endgames. A few introduce the basics. Most are masterpieces from play or composition.

The book is nicely layed out. There is one endgame per page. Each page contains a diagram with the starting position, moves and analysis. Each endgame is set off nicely, with ample white space. I treat each as a challenge which I try to solve. I usually get some of the ideas and moves, but always miss something.

I think a more apt title for the book would have been "Endgame Masterpieces."

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

" The greatest compliment one can pay a master is to compare him with Capablanca. "

-- Chernev

--> Alexander Alekhine

Aug-11-09  EdgeFor15: Another quote of the day.

"Every chessmaster was once a beginner"

That isn't much of a quote, have to say.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: <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

"1000 Best Short Games of Chess" was one of the first chess books I bought over 30 years ago. The pages are yellowed, and I have had to tape up the spine, but I still dip into it from time to time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <"Every chessmaster was once a beginner"

That isn't much of a quote, have to say.>

True. That could be said of any endeavor.

"Every concert pianist at one time could not play a note"

"Every brain surgeon at one time picked his nose"

"Every politician at one time was honest".
Uh, well maybe not that one.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: "Every man was once a boy."

"Every woman was once a girl."

"Every computer was once just computer parts."


"<TheFocus> has always been <TheFocus> since time immortal.

May-21-10  Sho: I like Chernev.

Logical Chess was the first chess book I found (Jr. High). I read it over and over, highlighted the italicized advice, and didn't understand a bunch of it.

Chernev has humor. I re-read it every few years, and I like his wit. (Also, the cover is unappealing--orange and pink and white. Oh well.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  sisyphus: <the cover is unappealing--orange and pink and white> LOL! The cover of the original edition (1957) of Logical Chess is my all-time favorite for a chess book.

It was dome by Pushpin Studios, whose founders include the legendary Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser.

The cover for Logical Chess looks to me like a Glaser design: simple, direct, and original.

Among the things for which he's famous are the "I Love New York" logo and the Bob Dylan poster:

Dec-17-10  misha1992: Chernev s Logical Chess move by move was one of my first books to read and I won quite a few. :) so thanks a bunch.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day :

< "Every chessmaster was once a beginner." >

I think this is the first quote of the day that I have heard of before.

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

< Judged by today's standards, Ajeeb was a fairly gimcrack mechanical fraud, but audiences then were not too fussy. >

~ Chernev

Who where when and what tf ???

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: taken from Irving Chernev's book 200 Brilliant Endgames..


He once went to a wedding in Las Vegas, where he had a successful battle with the one-armed bandits: "I managed to wrest $900 from their clutches. Of course I had to invest some $300 to do so, but I prefer to regard it as a clean profit of 900 smackers.

I enjoyed Irving's irreverence. Among his large chess library, his favorite book was Dr. Siegbert Tarrasch's heavy volume Dreihundert Schachpartien ("Three Hundred Chess Games"). He had read this so many times that it fell apart; accordingly, he took it to a local bookbinder and asked him to bind it in black leather. Then came the question of what should go on the spine. "Gold blocking," said Irving. But surely, said the binder, you don't want all that German stuff? "No," said Irving, "just put 'Holy Bible.'"

Irving didn't really need to win. For most chessplayers, winning is what chess is all about. For Irving, however, the game itself was what mattered. He didn't want to beat anyone; he wanted to show everyone just how beautiful chess can be. Turn the pages of this, his final book, and you will see.>

- Adam Hart-Davis

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Every western chess player has owned a Chernev book (or two).
Premium Chessgames Member
  brankat: I have always enjoyed Your work!

R.I.P. Mr.Chernev.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: R.I.P. Irving Chernev. I enjoy your quotes. "Every master was once a beginner".
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day

< "Every chessmaster was once a beginner. " >


Close enough!

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