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.

Historical development[edit]

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 H. J. R. Murray in his A History of Chess estimated there existed at least 1,000 chess columns worldwide.

American Grandmaster Robert Byrne wrote a column for the New York Times from 1972 to 2006.[1] GM Lubomir Kavalek's column in the Washington Post ran from 1986-2010.[2] Journalist Robert Huntington wrote the Associated Press's chess column from 1992 to 2003 when the column was cancelled in response to the controversies surrounding the split World Chess Championship between 1993 and 2006, and the disorganization demonstrated by FIDE.[3] GM Nigel Short wrote a chess column for the Sunday Telegraph from 1995-2005, and then for The Guardian from 2005 to 2006.[4] GM Jon Speelman wrote for The Guardian from 2005 to 2008. GM Patrick Wolff was co-writing a column for the Boston Globe in 2012.[5]

Current day[edit]

Raymond Keene's column appears daily in The Times and Sunday Times.


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