Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Czerniak's Books

Moshe Czerniak's Ha'Pticha Ha'Spharadit, Cerech Aleph [The Ruy Lopez, Vol. 1], (Tel Aviv: Mofet, 1976), cover and inside front page.
How many books exactly did Czerniak write? By 1976, his book about the Ruy Lopez has 16 previous titles, as the title flap show. Adding this book, and his book about Israel in the Chess Olmypiad (1979), this would make 18 titles.

Checking the 1979 book, incidentally, it transpires that there was no "Vol 2" of the Ruy Lopez book printed since 1976 to 1979 (and, I believe, ever). I chose to give this earlier book in the post due to the elegant cover art (I didn't find the artist's name in the book).

The list shows great versatility. He published books for almost 40 years (1941 to 1979). As the list shows, the originals appeared in three countries (Chile, Argentina, Israel); in three languages (Spanish, Hebrew, and English); and included primers, chess history books, tournament and match books, biographies (a book about Botvinnik's best games), a book about chess endings, and two opening books.

Czerniak reminds me much of Irving Chernev. Both wrote all kinds of chess books, from primers to game collections. Both were confident of their views, openly disagreeing with leading authorites' analysis, when he thought they could prove it was mistaken. Both were honest and hard working: they may have written some mediocre books, but never meretricious ones. All of Czerniak's and Chernev's books shows a lot of work, and most contain a lot of original material in analysis or history.

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