Thursday, February 21, 2013

rare chess books for sale

The estate of the late Fred Snitzer has donated some very old and valuable books to IS 318, and we are looking to sell them. Titles include:
  • Jaenisch's Chess Preceptor: A New Analysis of the Openings of Games (1847)
  • A Treatise on the Game of Chess Containing a Regular System of Attack and Defense J. H. Sarratt (1822)
  • A New Treatise on the Game of Chess J. H. Sarratt (1821)
  • Studies of Chess; containing Caissa, A Poem by Sir William Jones A Systematic Introduction to the Game and the Whole Analysis of Chess composed by Mr. A. D. Philador (two volumes) 1803
  • A Selection of Fifty Games from Those Played by the Automaton Chess player (1820)
  • The Incomparable Game of Chess J. S. Bingham (1820)
  • Practical Chess Grammar W. S. Kenny (1818)
  • A Selection of Games of Chess Played at the Westminister Chess Club between Mnsr. L. C de la Bourdonnais and an English Amateur of First Rate Skill W. Lewis (18350
  • Paul Morphy the Chess Champion (1859)
  • Encyclopedia des Echecs A. Alexander (1837) 
I believe all the above are first editions and in great shape. (I inspected 4-5, not all) The oldest ones have removable plastic covers to protect them. There are also better known titles like
  • Capablanca's My Chess Career
  • Reti's Masters of the Chessboard
  • Nimzowitsch's My System
also all first editions.
There are also complete sets of Chess Life and America Chess Bulletin, carefully preserved and dating back to the early 1900s. There are also some of Fedorowicz's old scoresheets from the 1970s!

You can view photos and photocopies of the books and their title pages here, as well as online  (AbeBooks) estimates of their value.

We'd also be grateful if anyone who knows something about chess books would be able to value them, and the estate is potentially willing to pay for a valuation.
All proceeds from the sale will go to supporting the IS 318 chess team.  


gurdonark said...

What a great gift! That's a great kindness for the estate to help out IS 318. I suspect that these books might make a good Sotheby's or Heritage auction, but I am not an expert on this.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm just some stranger who came across your ad on a forum. Maybe you should get into contact with the people at "Grandmaster Square" chess auctions, . See the list of items sold in previous auctions, they have experience with books like these and most of them get sold. GM Alexander Baburin is a well-known chess figure, he's also the founder of the daily Chess Today. I have no idea if this place is better than any other, it's just the only one I'm aware of. Hope this helps, etc.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

Thank you so much, stranger, that site looks perfect.

Anonymous said...

I've been buying books from Dale Brandreth ( for 30 years, and I'm sure he would be willing and able to do a valuation

Jan said...

I suggest sending an email to Chess Collectors International. Here is the website: Many of the members (international membership) collect chess books.

Also, check with Sotheby's. They have auctions that sometimes include chess pieces, boards, books, magazines and other chess-related collectibles and if they are interested in offering the collection or parts thereof in an upcoming auction, I believe they would give you a free valuation estimate.

Anonymous said...


I am really interested in the Paul Morphy the Chess Champion (1859) book. Would you happen to still have it? I am from Louisiana and the story of Paul Morphy (who I think was a New Orleans native) was told to me at a young age. I am an amateur chess player, and am still learning about the game of chess. Morphy's story fascinates me and I would love to get more information about this book, and even purchase it. If you still have this book, please email me at