Essays in American Chess History has been a joy to create. Unlike larger, book length works, the essays here are self-contained, small or at least smaller units, each devoted to a different facet of the game that fascinates, infuriates, and forever will remain mysterious to us all, regardless of the many advancements made in modern technology. The essays may be read individually as well as collectively, and offer the reader glimpses into byways of the past long neglected. They record as well, at least for me, a progression in my thinking about chess, history, and their interrelationship.
The essays presented here are grouped in four sections. Section One, Studies in Time, concerns itself mostly with tournaments and club play. Included are a selection of both new and previously published pieces. The extended essays on the murder of Major Wilson (Chapter 1) and the Washington Chess Divan championship of 1942 (Chapter 4) are entirely new, never before published pieces. Indeed, their publication outside the confines of such a collection as this would be in at least one sense problematic, as they both are of such a length as to be suitable neither for individual publication nor for publication in the more accessible journals.