Chernev, Irving

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Irving Chernev (1900-1981) was born on January 29, 1900 in Priluku, Ukraine


In 1904 (some sources say 1920), Chernev’s family emigrated to Brooklyn, New York.


In 1912, Irving Chernev’s father taught him chess.


In the 1930s, Chernev won several very strong rapid transit chess tournaments at the Marshall Chess Club.


In 1942, Chernev played in the U.S. Championship, won by Isaac Kashdan.  In 1942, he won 4 games, lost 7 games, and drew 4 games.  He scored 6-9 to tie for 10th-11th place out of 15.


In April-May 1944, Chernev played in the U.S. Chess Championship, won by Arnold Denker.  Chernev won 1 game, lost 11 games, and drew 3 games.  He score 4.5-12.5 for 16th place out of 18.


In 1950, Irving Chernev had a rating (inactive) of 2158 on the first rating list published by the USCF.


From 1957 to 1968, Chernev worked for Marquardt & Company in New York City.  He then moved and retired in San Francisco. 


In 1976, Chernev listed his choice of the 12 greatest chess players.  In order, they were, Capablanca, Alekhine, Lasker, Fischer, Botvinnik, Petrosian, Tal, Spassky, Bronstein, Rubinstein, and Nimzovich. 


He also listed the 10 best chess books.  They were:

My Best Games of Chess, 1908-1923, Alekhine

Masters of the Chessboard, Reti

My 60 Memorable Games, Fischer

My Chess Career, Capablanca

One Hundred Selected Games, Botvinnik

My System, Nimzovich

The Book of the International Chess Tournament 1924, Alekhine

Das Internationale Schachmeisterturnier in Karlsbad 1907, Marco

IV Internationales Schachmeisterturnier – Karlsbad 1929

Manual of Chess, Emanuel Lasker


Chernev played in numerous New York state chess championships.


Chernev is the author of 20 chessbooks and one checkers book.


Chernev was employed in the paper industry.


His wife’s name was Selma Kulik.  They had a son, Melvin Chernev.


In his younger days, Chernev was considered a master in chess and checkers.


Chernev died of cancer in San Francisco on September 29, 1981 at the age of 81.


Chernev’s books:

Chess Strategy and Tactics (with Fred Reinfeld), 1933

Curious Chess Facts, 1937

Chessboard Magic!, 1943

An Invitation to Chess (with Kenneth Harkness), 1945

Winning Chess Traps, 1946

The Russians Play Chess, 1947

The Bright Side of Chess, 1948

Winning Chess (with Fred Reinfeld), 1948

The Fireside Book of Chess (with Fred Reinfeld), 1949

1000 Best Short Games of Chess, 1955

Logical Chess: Move by Move, 1957

Combinations: The Heart of Chess, 1960

Practical Chess Endings, 1961

The Most Instructive Games of Chess Ever Played, 1965

The Chess Companion, 1968

Chess in an Hour (with Frank Marshall), 1968

Wonders and Curiosities of Chess, 1974

The Golden Dozen, 1976

Capablanca’s Best Chess Endings, 1978

The Compleat Draughts Player, 1981

200 Brilliant Endgames, 1989




  • 3 anni fa · Citazione · #1


    Irving Chernev had a love for the game that came thought in his writing and comments about the game. I have many of his books and I enjoy them all. He is an excellent teacher. Although he may not have had a grandmaster rating his ability to teach the game and his unabashed enthusiasm makes him my favorite chess author. Plus my wife is from Ukraine.

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