The Ink War

My new book, The Ink War: Romanticism versus Modernity in Chess , is published!

In 1872, Johannes Zukertort moved from Berlin to London to continue his chess career. Ten years earlier, William Steinitz moved from Vienna to London for the same purpose and meanwhile he had become the uncrowned champion of the chess world. Between these two players a rivalry was to develop that became increasingly fierce, so much so that it was eventually named The Ink War. The battle was fought on the chessboard as well as in the various chess magazines and columns. It was not only about who was the strongest player but also about who had the best ideas on how the game should be played. Eventually it led to the first World Championship match in 1886.

Zukertort has often been depicted as a representative of romantic chess, where only the attack on the king counts. Steinitz is said to have put an end to this with his modern scientific school. Zukertort is certainly the tragic protagonist of this book, but is he also a romantic hero? In this compelling story, the traditional version of chess history is shaken up, and at the end the question arises which of them can really claim to be the captain of the modern school.

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Voor het boekenprogramma van de KNSB op Twitch heb ik een presentatie van On the Origin of Good Moves verzorgd (in Dutch only). Presentator was Stefan Kuipers, de uitzending is hier terug te bekijken.

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(Grand)masters of the sharp pen

My first book has often been classified as 'controversial' or 'contrarian' and these same qualifications can be heard about my new book as well but until now the reviews have been only positive. Richard James on British Chess News and Mark Haast on Schaaksite had some very flattering things to say and their extensive reviews also give a good picture of what the book is about.

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The Evans Gambit revived

A few months ago I was thinking about what kind of public presentation of On the Origin of Good Moves I wanted to organize. For obvious reasons those reflections became meaningless soon after. Still I'm happy having received the first copy of my book and to (rather privately) raise my glass to its welfare.

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On the Origin of Good Moves

Deo volente is not the right expression in this context but if everything goes well, within a few months my new book On the Origin of Good Moves will be published. This book is the result of my research into the history of chess improvement and it partly is an elaboration of the main themes from my book Move First, Think Later, inspired by an evolutionary perspective.

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" ... well researched, endlessly fascinating, always thought provoking, often digressive, sometimes provocative and sometimes extremely funny. [...] Five stars and a top recommendation from me."
(Richard James, British Chess News)

Adolf Anderssen (1842)
White mates in 5