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Ŕ la Recherche du Échecs Perdu

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Not that I really care with so much good food and wine around, but of course I keep my eyes peeled for chess when on the road. After hitting a few dozen bookstores and magazine stands here in Toulouse I have found no chess magazines and exactly two chess books, both primers. I don't doubt there are specialty stores and clubs here for the chess fan, but it's definitely a place where you have to find chess, it doesn't find you.

It's conventional wisdom to say that the USA is chess ignorant, but every large chain bookstore you go into (Barnes & Noble, Borders) has a respectable chess section, often a quite large one. They usually have plenty of new books as well as a selection of classics. They also usually have Chess Life in the periodical section. How accessible is chess where you live? Local club? Play in the parks? Books easy to find? Outcast with online play only?


Dear "terrible enfant" Mig,

In my city, Maringá (with 400.000 people), State of Paraná, South of Brazil, we have a Chess Club and all bookstores have chess books. Some bookstores possess all the chess books edited in Brazil to sell. All the twenty chess books.

Yes. The problem here is that the editors solemnly ignore the chess book publishing market.

Who reads English or Spanish can buy imported books as I do. Who doesn't read (99% of the people), doesn't have access to the basic knowledge of the chess.

They are generations and generations without the benefits that the practical of the chess brings. Very sad.


Hi Mig,

Here in Manila, the bookstores have very limited selection of highly rated chessbooks (ex. Art of Attack, Fundamental Chess Endings etc.). What I usually do is to order books from Amazon or Barnes and have it shipped to relatives or friends in the US who are flying back to the Philippines.

With regards to chess play access, we have clubs here though I haven't joined one yet. We also have a chess clinic/academy specializing in introducing chess to children though they also accept adult students (I am one of those who enrolled and was worth it). The Philippines is currently in a "telecommunications boom" thus a lot of ISPs are sprouting everywhere offering affordable access to the internet, thus allowing more Filipinos to play online chess. I often play in Playchess.com and gladly see my countrymen enjoying the benefits of technology in playing the classic game of chess.


Maybe you can ask a french chess player to guide
you through toulouse.
Mig's poor ( if not non existent) mastering of the french language prevents him from finding the appropriate bookstores.
unless this is an another attempt to make france look 'third world'.
However, France counts more that 20 GMs including top ones like Fressinet,Bacrot,Lautier. They certainly have access to chess literature as well as Internet.

You think you guys have it tough. In my local bookshop there is one book: How to Play Chess by A.D. Pritchard. Great book but after I bought it, what is there left? I have read my one chess book twice now and feel I have gotten everything from it. I now am dependant on Chess Ninja Newsletters and, although they are fantastic, don't really give the mileage needed to REALLY progress. My town, Canterbury in Kent, England, has no chess club. The city next to it has no chess club. The nearest one is in London, which is an hour and a half away. This is hardly Friday night stuff, you know? Oh, and then we get to the chess 'scene'. We have established that there is none where I live but does anyone want to do anything about it? I think not. I am dependant on the ICC and playchess.com to fill my chess thirst. I just don't see how I am going to get better if I cannot actually play OTB? It is very, very depressing. Help someone please!

"du Echecs Perdu" ? That looks awful to my eyes. Did you mean "de l'échec perdu" or "des échecs perdus" ?

Hey Nat,

if you can't find any good chess books from your local bookstore, why not just order them off amazon.co.uk or somewhere like that? Or why not subscribe to New In Chess? There are also lots of websites around that have lots of info available, and sites like chesslive.org where you can get help from real people for free.


I used to live in Canterbury, as I remember the Albion bookshop in Mercery lane used to stock a few titles, as did the Waterstones (though this chain has been cutting back on the number of titles it's stores stock)

As for clubs Kent run a county team, so it might be worth contacting whoever runs it (you should be able to get details from the bcf web site - www.bcf.org.uk)

Hi Mig,

Actually it's not that surprising to not find that many chess books in France because so very few have been translated into French. The best place in general to find chess books is in the FNAC (there is one in the centre of Toulouse near Place Wilson). I once ran a very nice chess club in Toulouse but unfortunately it's quarters are not what they once were... If you want to find a few games it's behind the Train Station on the Place Marengo. Phone 05-61-48-17-47 Club International de Toulouse.

No problem to find chess books, clubs or cafés here in Berlin, Germany. AFAIK, Germany was realy chess enthusiastic in the 70s and 80s, nowadays you may even find some chess players in the park.
(WLAN-access is no problem in the bigger cities or hotels, so playing online chess is no problem either.)

re kent chess uk try www.kentchessca.plus.com
better late than never

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    This page contains a single entry by Mig published on July 9, 2004 6:50 PM.

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