Chess columns in newspapers

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The earliest known chess column appeared in the Lancet in 1823, but due to lack of popularity disappeared after less than a year.

The first column to establish itself was that of George Walker in Bells Life in 1834 which survived until 1873. From February 15, 1845 onwards it faced competition from Howard Staunton's column in the Illustrated London News, a column which outlived Walker's, but only by 5 years. During this time a chess column also appeared in the Pictorial Times lasting from February 1845 to June 1848.

In 1882 Henry Bird in his Chess History and Reminiscences estimated that there were 150 chess columns. Less than thirty years later in 1913 Harold Murray in his History of Chess estimated there existed at least 1,000 chess columns worldwide.

Raymond Keene's column appears daily in The Times and Sunday Times. Ex-world championship finalist Nigel Short wrote each Sunday for The Daily Telegraph (taken over by the daily chess columnist, Malcolm Pein) but has switched to The Guardian.


The main bibliographical source for chess columns is Ken Whyld's 'Chess Columns: A List' (Caissa-90, Olomouc, 2002).

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