A History of Chess: Part 1/2

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In 1897, Murray was encouraged by Baron von der Lasa (who had just completed his book on the history of European chess) to research into the further past of chess. Murray gained access to the largest chess library in the world, that of John G. White of Cleveland, Ohio, and also used the collection of J. W. Rimington Wilson in England. The White collection contained some Arabic manuscripts, so Murray learnt Arabic (in addition to his native English and German) and examined many historical chess documents. The research took him 13 years, and he contributed articles on aspects of chess history to the British Chess Magazine and the Deutsches Wochenschach in this time. In 1913 he published his most significant work, A History of Chess, proposing the theory that chess originated in India. This remains the most widely accepted theory today. (See Origins of chess.)In 1952 Murray published A History of Board Games other than Chess. Although A History of Chess was recognised as the standard reference on the subject, its scholarly approach and great length (900 pages) made it inaccessible to most chess players. Murray began a shorter work on chess history written in a more popular style. Although begun many years earlier this work was unfinished at his death. It was completed by B. Goulding Brown and Harry Golombek and published in 1963 as A Short History of Chess.Murray was the father of educationalist and biographer K. M. Elisabeth Murray and the archaeologist Kenneth Murray.

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A History of Chess: Part 1/2

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