American Chess: A Living History

Chess History

Chess enriches the lives of so many people in a myriad of ways, but so often as time moves on these special moments are lost. American Chess: A Living History project attempts to preserve and share these impactful moments. The project helps the chess community become more aware of the need to collect oral histories and how they affect chess at both the local and national level.

The project is designed to collect histories of those involved in American chess, be they players, family members, politicians, tournament directors, organizers, writers, or any combination of these. Older chess fans with memories of the pre-Fischer Era or the Informant Age are particularly encouraged to participate in this project. These oral histories allow the person being interviewed to explain events from their particular point of view.

Records, transcripts, and potentially other materials can be accessed online at or, and in person at the White Collection or the World Chess Hall of Fame.

If you are interested in being involved with this ongoing project, please email Joshua Anderson.

This project would not be possible without the generous support from the chess community, including: United States Chess Trust, who originated the idea and provided funding; members of the Chess Journalists of America, who conduct most of the interviews; World Chess Hall of Fame, who accepts donations from subjects and transcribes the recordings; and most importantly, those who have been willing to share their stories with us.