Chess — Stephen Dann
Sunday, March 9, 2014

It was a victory for the average amateur chess enthusiast, courtesy of Alan Rodenstein of Texas, writing last Thursday about Tim Brennan of Colorado in Chess Life Online at It was on the 10th anniversary of Tactics Time — first a column, than a series, more than a year ago an e-book and now a published volume by, instantly a best-seller by chess standards.

This last week has been amazing even to Brennan himself, as he sent out an incorrect diagram for one of his Tactics Time newsletters; he heard about it within minutes from legions of his online and Facebook fans. The subject was Joel Johnson’s newest book on positional tactics published by, with Johnson as a guest newsletter columnist. One of the most touching tributes we’ve seen in the 39 years of writing this column.

To think that the Internet has now become the greatest retail “distributor” of both online (e-books) and printed volumes is staggering to anyone knowing the long history of the ancient game of chess, let alone to this humble chess writer who encourages most every novice and amateur hobbyist of any age.

Two amateurs passed on in recent weeks: David M. McHugh, 74, of Worcester, and Werner Harenberg, 84, of Germany, a senior editor of Der Spiegel. Both were amateurs captured by the events of the 1970s, when American Bobby Fischer became the world chess champion and changed the game forever.

The touching tribute of Harenberg can be found at, written Tuesday by creator Frederic Friedel, who considers Harenberg his mentor.

The 22nd world class Eastern Class Championships ($12,000 minimum prizes), starting this Friday in Sturbridge, tops, the place to find out about chess as a hobby, sport and educational pursuit.

Tuesday, former U.S. Champion Larry Christiansen of Cambridge again plays up to 22 simultaneously from 5 to 7 p.m. at South Station, 700 Atlantic Ave., Boston, in a monthly free promo sponsored by of Somerville.

If you enjoy solving chess tactical problems, try, with 48 new positions each week. Tim Brennan’s two e-books are still just $5 on


Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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