Schoenberg y su Ajedrez de Alianzas

A post from this blog appears in Spanish

When I surveyed the diverse nature of my readership in Who reads the Chess and Music blog?, I remarked that the most surprising contact I have had so far was from Miguel Ángel San José, the editor of a Madrid-based cultural journal, El Rapto de Europa. Señor San José asked permission to translate and publish one of my posts.

I am very pleased to announce that Issue 41 of the journal, dated October 2019, has now been published. It has the issue title Ajedrez: Aperturas y enroques [Chess: Openings and Castlings]. I received my copies today, and very fine they look:


The issue contains a translation of my blog post Schoenberg’s Coalition Chess, making it the first commercial publication of a post from this blog, and the first translation of any of my work into Spanish. There are several other articles in the issue, all of which look well worth reading, although my knowledge of Spanish doesn’t get me much further than guessing at their content from their titles. One is dedicated to Marcel Duchamp, who features heavily in my John Cage and his musical chess pieces: Part One and John Cage and his musical chess pieces: Part Two.

If you wish to purchase a copy, you can contact the publisher via the web page devoted to the issue. Editors of any other cultural journals who wish to disseminate materials from this blog should use the contact page to get in touch with me.

Edward Winter’s chess and music articles

An early post in this blog was devoted to Richard James’s chess and music posts. Another fantastic resource for the subject is found among the immensely capacious Chess Notes, started in 1982, written and curated by Edward Winter, probably the most reliable, certainly the most meticulous chess historian of today (or indeed any other day).

chess facts and fables
Signed copies of Winter’s many authored books are available from the Chess Notes website

Winter’s speciality is uncovering nuggets of information among the pages of chess journals and magazines, often going back into the nineteenth century, and many of them all but inaccessible today outside of personal collections or specialist chess libraries. His article Chess and Music is no different. Nowhere else could I have found a reference to ‘Mendelssohn as a Chessplayer’ (in the Chess Player’s Chronicle, 22 November 1881, page 565). Nowhere else could I have discovered that the famous Russian-American violinist Mischa Elman boasted of his ability as a chess player on page 266 of the June 1916 Chess Amateur.

Sensibly, Winter’s article excludes material relating to François Danican Philidor, although he does permit himself a mention of a recording of a military march by Philidor’s dad, André Danican Philidor. Actually, one could find a lot of music by relatives of the great chess theorist, quite apart from the fact that he is himself the most celebrated composer of the family. The Philidors were an extensive dynasty of French court composers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including the chess genius’s half-brother Anne Danican Philidor (yes, a brother called Anne — explained by the fact that he was ‘named after his godfather’, according to The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians) who in 1725 founded the Concert Spirituel in Paris, one of the very first public concert series.

Anyway, Winter’s article is full of treasures, going well beyond the obligatory mention of Prokofiev (who gets his own article anyway), and even has several musical scores reproduced as images — a Caïssa Waltz, Schach-Marsch, even a Lament at the Tomb of Paul Morphy. Perhaps a concert of chess-related music would be a good fund-raising idea for impoverished local chess clubs.

Click here to enjoy Chess and Music by Edward Winter (last updated July 2021).

Click here to enjoy Sergei Prokofiev and Chess by Edward Winter (last updated September 2021).

Click here to enjoy CHESS The Musical by Edward Winter (last updated December 2018).