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The Everything Chess Basics Book
I may be opening up a can of worms, but has anyone seen The Everything Chess
Basics Book, now available in such bookstores as Barnes & Noble? The book is
published by Adams Media Corporation, 57 Littlefield St., Avon, MA 02322.
The book is co-authored, according to its cover, by the U.S. Chess Federation
and Peter Kurzdorfer. On the website, however, Anne Ashton, identified as
director of marketing, advertising and outreach for the USCF, is listed with
Kurzdorfer as the co-author. You can see the original cover with Aston's name
on it on the website, but there is no mention of her in the finished product.
The book has acknowledgements to USCF Executive Director Frank Niro, Jami L.
Anson, Jean Bernice, Tom Brownscombe, George DeFeis, Paula Helmeset, Al
Lawrence, Kathleen Merz, Michele Stowe, Chess Author Bruce Pandolfini, and Hall
of Fame Grandmasters Arthur Bisguier and Lev Alburt for their "help, guidance
The book, which on its cover is listed as being endorsed by the U.S. Chess
Federation, also acknowledges that interior art was provided by the USCF.
Questions: How much valuable USCF office staff time was used in producing this
book for an independent for-profit corporation?
How much does the USCF benefit in having this book published? What is the
USCF's financial reward?
Was USCF office equipment used in the production of this book?
Who authorized the use of interior art by the USCF in the book?
There are many more questions that could be posed regarding the release of this
paperback book, which, by the way is listed as having 336 pages on its website,
but in reality has 292.
I picked up a copy recently at Barnes & Noble (cost me $14.95 plus 5% sales
tax) because I was curious about its contents, especially when I came across
the reference to "three-position repetition" (sic) instead of the more accurate
threefold repetition (or occurrence) of position in the index. I would love to
see a review of this book by some eager chess journalist. I don't think I could
review the book honestly, since I don't have the stomach to wade through the
simplistic offerings the book seems to have.