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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Chess Personalia writer is no more.

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2011

Hi everyone,

Here is a nice tribute to Jeremy Gaige, 83, chess expert, newspaperman who passed away on February 19. Sally A. Downey writes in The Inquirer, "In the early 1960s, while working as an editor at the Evening Bulletin, Mr. Gaige began compiling detailed records of chess events, particularly tournaments, and collecting data about players and writers. He set up a printing press in his basement and hand-set type to produce six volumes of tournament cross tables played between 1851 and 1980. He also self-published other books and booklets."

In 1987, McFarland & Co. published Mr. Gaige's Chess Personalia: A Biobibliography, which provided vital statistics on about 14,000 chess personalities from all countries and periods. "The sources quoted by Gaige are astonishingly far-ranging," wrote reviewer Edward Winter. "Wherever possible, he has made contact with the personalia themselves. Much information has also been obtained from funeral homes, cemeteries, universities, alumni records, professional directories, etc."

Winter described Mr. Gaige as "a brilliant sifter of evidence, and unlike so many chess writers, when he doesn't know, he says he doesn't know. The biobibliography is one of the most useful chess books ever published, yet Jeremy Gaige would be the last person to claim that it is 'definitive.' His work goes on, an incomparable service to the game he loves."

Mr. Gaige was inducted into the Chess Hall of Fame in 1970. Chess Personalia was republished as a paperback in 2005.

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