No other chess tournament has such a long and rich history as the annual gathering 'in between the years' at the English seaside resort of Hastings. Countless chess players, professionals, and amateurs alike have celebrated Christmas and welcomed the New Year in Hastings while battling it out on the chessboard.
German FM Jürgen Brustkern has been making the annual pilgrimage to Hasting ever since 1977. Together with his compatriot Norbert Wallet, he describes the tournament's fascinating history and portrays forty of the most colourful participants.
The stories begin in 1895 when the young American Harry Pillsbury shocked the European chess elite with his victory, and they span 125 years. In this book, you will meet the strongest female players of all time, Vera Menchik, Nona Gaprindashvili, and Judit Polgar. You will get to know the mysterious Sultan Khan and the unorthodox Michael Basman and enjoy anecdotes about Mikhail Tal, Viktor Kortchnoi, and his rival Anatoly Karpov. How many World Champions came to Hastings? How expensive was the Golden Knight trophy that Lajos Portisch won? What was the effect of the British Chess Explosion?
This collection of games and stories is enjoyed best in the dark days between Christmas and New Year's Eve, after a stroll on the beach, immersed in the spirit of Hastings. 'Should I trade my Romantic style for the modern way and only hunt for points?', Nicolas Rossolimo is quoted as asking himself. 'No, I won't. I will fight for chess as an art form.'