Handbuch des Schachspiels

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Handbuch des Schachspiels (Handbook of Chess, often simply called the Handbuch) is a chess book, first published in 1843[1] by Tassilo von Heydebrand und der Lasa. It was one of the most important opening references for many decades.[2] The Handbuch had been the project of Paul Rudolf von Bilguer, who was with von der Lasa a member of the Berlin Chess Club and the influential group of chess masters later called the Berlin Pleiades. Bilguer died in 1840, with the work still in the early stages. Von der Lasa completed the project and saw it published, with his friend von Bilguer alone named as author. It contained comprehensive analyses of all opening variations then known, plus a section on the history and literature of chess.

Von der Lasa prepared four further editions (1852, 1858, 1864, and 1874). The sixth edition (1880) was by Constantin Schwede; and the seventh edition (1891) was by Emil Schallopp, with the assistance of Louis Paulsen. Carl Schlechter, who had drawn a match for the World Championship with Emanuel Lasker in 1910, prepared the eighth and final edition. Published in eleven parts between 1912 and 1916, it totaled 1,040 pages and included contributions by Rudolf Spielmann, Siegbert Tarrasch, and Richard Teichmann. International Master William Hartston called it "a superb work, perhaps the last to encase successfully the whole of chess knowledge within a single volume."[3]


  1. ^ 1st ed. as google book
  2. ^ "Bilguer's Handbuch was the dominant reference for some time until it was superseded by a number of international treatises, which, in the English-speaking world, included Modern Chess Openings and Practical Chess Openings." I.A. Horowitz, Chess Openings: Theory and Practice, Simon and Schuster, 1964, p. VII. Four years after the first edition of the Handbuch was published, Howard Staunton in the June 1847 preface to the first edition of his treatise The Chess-Player's Handbook, called the Handbuch "a production-whether considered in reference to its research, its suggestiveness, or the methodical completeness of its arrangement-which stands unrivalled and alone." Howard Staunton, The Chess-Player's Handbook, George Bell & Sons (2nd ed. 1848), p. v.
  3. ^ William Hartston, The Kings of Chess, Harper & Row, 1985, p. 87. ISBN 0-06-015358-X.