Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tim Harding, PhD

Readers are probably familiar with Senior International Master of Correspondence Chess Tim Harding, who in July, 2009, received his PhD in History. His doctoral thesis was on correspondence chess in Britain and Ireland during the period 1824-1914.

Harding has been a contributor to the ChessCafe for 15 years, writing his monthly column "The Kibitzer". He has written quite a number of good chess books, with a focus on chess openings (orthodox and unorthodox), chess improvement, and correspondence chess. Harding has also published academic articles on chess history.

Later this year McFarland & Company, Inc. will publish his Correspondence Chess in Britain and Ireland, 1824-1987.

The UltraCorr3 CD, compiled by Harding, is the resource for chessplayers who want the best (largest, cleanest) correspondence game database. The CD not only includes over one million games; it also includes PDF files of Chess Mail, an international correspondence chess magazine that Harding published for 10 years; of Winning at Correspondence Chess; and of  64 Great Chess Games.

What of Dr. Harding and the Jerome Gambit (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+)? In a recent email to me he wrote "There are no games with this unsound gambit in my book," but he shocked me by including a file of Jerome Gambit correspondence chess games from his database, four of which I had never seen before, one by Alonzo Wheeler Jerome himself. (Looks like I need to upgrade from my MegaCorr CD – the precursor to UltraCorr!)

Over the next few weeks I'll share these "new" games, fitting them in with other historical information.

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