Brian Aldiss (1925- ) is an English writer, best known for science fiction novels and short stories. In 1959, he wrote The Canopy of Time, previously known as Galaxies like Grains of Sand. War was fought between planets as stylized as chess. War was being waged that was very complicated, like 3-D chess with obscure motivations and strict rules of chivalry. ("A row of chessputers sat before a row of three-dimensional chess boards, waiting against any human who cared to challenge them."). In 2005, he wrote Cultural Breaks. It has one chess reference — "All moved like machines, like chess pieces, until they fell."
Poul William Anderson (1926-2001) was an American science fiction author. In 1953, Poul Anderson published "Three Wishes," which appeared in the March 1953 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. ("Und my old chess-playing friends, ven I come up und vant a game dey vill laugh and say I am crazy in de head, a baby like me should be vanting to play vit eexperts.") In 1953, Anderson wrote the short story "The Sensitive Man." It was first published in the January 1954 issue of Fantastic Universe. Thomas Bancroft and Bertrand Meade play chess. ("So Bancroft or Meade played chess — that was something they had in common, at least, on this night of the murder.") In 1954, he published a short science fiction article, "The Immortal Game." It appeared in February 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&FS). The computerized chess pieces don't know they're merely acting out old moves, and develop various strange delusions involving free will, loyalty, melodrama, and purple prose. The chess game in the story was inspired by the 1851 game between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky, known as the immortal game. In 1955, He published "The Long Way Home," which appeared in the April 1955 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. Saris Hronna and Robert Matsumoto play chess. ("Saris Hronna and Robert Matsumoto were the Explorer's chess fiends, they had spent many hours hunched over the board, and it was a strange thing to watch them: a human whose ancestors had left Japan for America and a creature from a planet a thousand light-years distant, caught in the trap of some ages-dead Persian.")
In 1955, Anderson published the science fiction novel No World of Their Own. In 1958, it was reissued as The Long Way Home. ("Saris Hronna and Robert Matsumoto were the Explorer's chess friends..."). In 1958, Anderson wrote "The Innocent Arrival," ("Innocent at Large") which appeared in the July 1958 issue of Galaxy. ("...he was only at ease with his books and his chess and his mineral collection..."). In 1959, Anderson published the novel The Enemy Stars. It was originally published in the August and September 1959 issues of Astounding Science Fiction as "We Have Fed Our Sea". It was a Hugo Award nominee for 1959. Chang Sverdlov plays chess. ("In moments when there was nothing else to do he might still play a quick chess game with Sverdlov...Even given boats, chess, music, the No Drama, beautiful women and beautiful spectroscopes, life could get heavy.") One of the characters is Nakamura. In 1966, Anderson published Ensign Flandy. Max Abrams plays chess with the Merseian officer Runei the Wanderer. In 1970, Anderson wrote Circus of Hells. Lieutenant Dominic Flandy finds a computer that plays chess on a moon called Wayland. The protagonists find themselves stranded on a planet where a bored computer has constructed machines in the shape of chess pieces, and spends its time playing out a gigantic game of chess on the surface of the planet. Dominic Flandy and his female companion, Djana, avoid squares where they can be attacked on the chessboard. In 1975, Anderson wrote "Wolfram" which appeared in his book Homeward and Beyond. ("A more dubious privilege was that of playing chess with the Margrave."). In 1997, Anderson wrote The Fleet of Stars. Kinna Ronay beat her father in two games out of three while on Mars. In 1998, Anderson wrote the science fiction novel Starfarers. It was a Campbell Award nominee in 1999. Ajit Sundaram and Lajos Ruszek play chess. ("Sundaram and Ruszek played a game of chess in the saloon.") In 1999, Anderson wrote Operation Luna, which mentions chess a few times. Balawahdiwa watches animated chess pieces fighting the game out on a chessboard. One of the characters had a couple of bone chessmen from the Middle Ages.
Catherine Asaro (1955- ) is an American science fiction writer and fantasy author. In 2004, she wrote Schism. There are several references to chess. Shannon and Brad play chess. In 2006, Asaro wrote Alpha. Alpha was a gorgeous, super intelligent android. The novel mentions modern forms of the Turing test and references the Gary Kasparov vs. Deep Blue computer match that had occurred decades ago. "Decades ago, people had expected that if a computer bested a human chess master, the machine would qualify as intelligent. Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov, the world champion, few people considered it truly intelligent." In 2011, she wrote Carnelians. ("But you can't send Quis moves as if you were playing chess by long distance.")
Roger D. Aycock (1914-2004) is an American science fiction author. He wrote under the pen name of Roger Dee. (see Roger Dee).
Isaac Asimov was born on January 2, 1920. In his lifetime, he wrote 470 books. Some of his science fiction stories mentioned chess. One of his first science fiction stories, Nightfall, written in 1941, contains a reference to chess. A multi-chess board was set up and a six-member game was started. "The men about the table had brought out a multi-chess board and started a six member game. Moves were made rapidly and in silence. All eyes bent in furious concentration on the board." In 1968, the Science Fiction Writers of America voted Nightfall the best science fiction short story ever written. When the book was expanded into a novel, multi-chess had been changed to stochastic chess. His first published novel, Pebble in the Sky, published in 1950, propelled a man thousands of years into the future. The only thing that did not change, after thousands of years, was the game of chess. The novel also mentioned variants of chess such as 3-D chess, and chess played with dice.
"Chess, somehow, hadn't changed, except for the names of the pieces. It was as he remembered it, and therefore it was always a comfort to him. At least, in this one respect, his poor memory did not play him false. Grew told him of variations of chess. There was fourhanded chess, in which each player had a board, touching each other at the corners, with a fifth board filling the hollow in the center as a common No Man's Land. There were three-dimensional chess games in which eight transparent boards were placed one over the other and in which each piece moved in three dimensions as they formerly moved in two, and in which the number of pieces and pawns were doubled, the win coming only when a simultaneous check of both enemy kings occurred. There were even the popular varieties, in which the original position of the chessmen were decided by throws of the dice, or where certain squares conferred advantages or disadvantages to the pieces upon them, or where new pieces with strange properties were introduced. But chess itself, the original and unchangeable, was the same—and the tournament between Schwartz and Grew had completed its first fifty games. They used a "night-board," one that glowed in the darkness in a checkered blue-and-orange glimmer. The pieces, ordinary lumpish figures of a reddish clay in the sunlight, were metamorphosed at night. Half were bathed in a creamy whiteness that lent them the look of cold and shining porcelain, and the others sparked in tiny glitters of red."
Asimov mentioned chess in his 1950 short story, Legal Rites. "Every night we sat up together. When we didn't play pinochle or chess or cribbage, we just sat and talked over the news of the day. I still have the book we used to keep records of the chess and pinochle games. Zeb made the entries himself, in his own handwriting." In 1953, in Asimov's short story, Monkey's Finger, he wrote, ""Yes. Yes." Torgesson paced faster. "Then you must know that chess-playing computers have been constructed on cybernetic principles. The rules of chess moves and the object of the game are built into its circuits. Given any position on the chess board, the machine can then compute all possible moves together with their consequence and choose that one which offers the highest probability of winning the game. It can even be made to take the temperament of its opponent into account. Torgesson said, "Now imagine a similar situation in which a computing machine can be given a fragment of a literary work to which the computer can then add words from its stock of the entire vocabulary such that the greatest literary values are served. Naturally, the machine would have to be taught the significance of the various keys of a typewriter. Of course, such a computer would have to be much, much more complex than any chess player."
In his 1953 book, Second Foundation, he wrote, "But she had died. Less than five years, all told, it had been; and after that he knew that he could live only by fighting that vague and fearful enemy that deprived him of the dignity of manhood by controlling his destiny; that made life a miserable struggle against a foreordained end; that made all the universe a hateful and deadly chess game. But there was no way of making the people suddenly disbelieve what they had believed all their lives, so that the myth eventually served a very useful purpose in Seldon's cosmic chess game." In his 1955 short story, Franchise, he wrote, "We can't let you read a newspaper, but if you'd care for a murder mystery, or if you'd like to play chess, or if there's anything we can do for you to help pass the time, I wish you'd mention it. Reason alone wouldn't do. What was needed was a rare type of intuition; the same faculty of mind (only much more intensified) that made a grand master at chess. A mind was needed of the sort that could see through the quadrillions of chess patterns to find the one best move, and do it in a matter of minutes." In his 1956 short story, The Dead Past, he wrote, "Your scientists can't write. Why should they be expected to? They aren't expected to be grand masters at chess or virtuosos at the violin, so why expect them to know how to put words together? Why not leave that for specialists, too?" In his 1968 short story, Exile to Hell, he wrote, "He considered the chessboard carefully and his hand hesitated briefly over the bishop. Parkinson, at the other side of the chess board, watched the pattern of the pieces absently. Chess was, of course, the professional game of computer programmers, but, under the circumstances, he lacked enthusiasm. By rights, he felt with some annoyance, Dowling should have been even worse off; he was programming the prosecution's case. He tapped his finger on the chessboard for emphasis, and Dowling caught the queen before it went over. "Adjusting, not moving," he mumbled. Dowling's eyes went from piece to piece and he continued to hesitate." In his 1970 short story, Waterclap, he wrote, "No mystery," said Bergen genially. "At any given time, some fifteen of our men are asleep and perhaps fifteen more are watching films or playing chess or, if their wives are with them-"
From 1971 to 1974, Asimov wrote Tales of the Black Widowers. It had several chess references. He wrote, "He was a master at Chinese checkers, Parcheesi, backgammon, Monopoly, checkers, chess, go, three-dimensional ticktacktoe." Do you have a chess set, Mr. Atwood?"
"Certainly!" "Yours? Or was it a present from Mr. Sanders?" "Oh, no, mine. A rather beautiful set that belonged to my father. Sanders and I played many a game on it."
In 1972, in his short story, Take a Match, he wrote, "He said there was a low hum that you could hear in one of the men's rooms that you couldn't hear anymore. And he said there was a place in the closet of the game room where the chess sets were kept where the wall felt warm because of the fusion tube and that place was not warm now."
In his 1976 short story, The Winnowing, he wrote, "Peter Affarre, chairman of the World Food Organization, came frequently to Rodman's laboratories for chess and conversation."
In 1978, Asimov wrote a story for the September 4, 1978 issue of New York Magazine, entitled, "Gosh, Kreskin, That's Amazing!" He wrote, "The amazing Kreskin, who bills himself as the "world's foremost mentalist," played chess with Cleveland Amory and Jacques d'Ambroise at the Raga restaurant last Tuesday. Kreskin was blindfolded, and he announced he would call out his opponent's moves after they made them, presumably by reading their minds. He called out the first two moves of each opponent, then called a halt to that part of the demonstration. Both Amory and d'Abroise made the common Pawn-to-King's-Four opening move, and Kreskin guessed the move - after much patter and visible suffering. Kreskin moved his Queen's Pawn up to Amory's piece, and Amory promptly too it with his King's Pawn. In being taken from the board, the two chess pieces made a pronounced click - a dead giveaway. Kreskin guessed the move again with suffering and delay.
For the second part of the demonstration, Kreskin had Cleveland Amory place a Knight on another chessboard with the 64 squares numbered sequentially. Although blindfolded and with his back to the chessboard, Kreskin guessed that the Knight was on No. 35. I don't know how he did it, but I presume any good mentalist can do it. He then called off the number of 63 other squares in order, squares to which the Knight could move by legitimate Knight's moves. The various "Knight's tours," which is what these are called, are well known to chess players, and I suspect it is quite possible to memorize a Knight's tour and then, having established the starting number, rattle off the other 63 numbers in the correct order. Kreskin suffered through every number, though, asking for quiet, then pattering and squirming endlessly. He got the numbers right, of course. He expressed surprise at one point that one position was followed by another square bearing a number higher than the previous one. There are 42 different positions on the squares that allow a move to another position ten higher in number by a Knight's move, so his surprise was itself surprising. Kreskin is offering to meet Bobby Fischer, together with the winner of the Korchnoi-Karpov match, and play them both simultaneously, himself blindfolded. If that should happen and Kreskin proceeds with constant chatter as last Tuesday, I wonder which of his two opponents will kill him first. Probably Fischer."
In 1979, Asimov wrote Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts. On page 68, he says, "The number of possible ways of playing just the first four moves on each side in a game of chess is 318,979,564,000." This may be wrong. The number of possible ways for White to play the first move is 20 (16 pawn moves and 4 knight moves). For the first move with Black, the number is 400. For the 2nd move for white, the number of possible moves is 8,902 (5,362 distinct). For the 2nd move for Black, the number of possible moves is 197,281 (71,852 distinct). For the 3rd move for White, the number of possible moves is 4,865,617. For the 3rd move for Black, the number of possible moves is 119,060,679. For the 4th move for White, the number of possible moves is 3,195,913,043. For the 4th move for Black, the number of possible moves is 84,999,425,906. This is smaller than what Asimov says. In 1981, Asimov wrote a science fiction short story called The Perfect Fit. He referred to a 3-dimensional chess game which was a game with 8 chessboards stacked upon each other, making the playing area cubic rather than square. In 1984, in his book Bouquets of the Black Widowers, he wrote, "'Please! It will do you good to listen. You may be a distraction. If you play chess, you will know what I mean when I say you may be a sacrifice. You are sent in to confuse and distract us, occupying our time and efforts, while the real work is done elsewhere."
In 1986, in his short story Robot Dreams, he wrote, "Paulson said, "We can't let you read a newspaper, but if you'd care for a murder mystery, or if you'd like to play chess, or if there's anything we can do for you to help pass the time, I wish you'd mention it." "Reason alone wouldn't do. What was needed was a rare type of intuition; the same faculty of mind (only much more intensified) that made a grand master at chess. A mind was needed of the sort that could see through the quadrillions of chess patterns to find the one best move, and do it in a matter of minutes."
In 1987, in his book Fantastic Voyage II — Destination Brain, he wrote, "In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate." There were other references to chess in the novel. He wrote, "What's more, Aleksandr was a dreadful chess player, much to his father's disappointment, but he showed signs of promise on the violin." "A pawn is the most important piece on the chessboard — to a pawn."
In 1988, in his short story The Smile of the Chipper, he wrote, "Of course, we couldn't hire them both. Getting two chippers to work together is impossible. They're like chess grandmasters, I suppose. Put them in the same room and they would automatically challenge each other. They would compete continually, each trying to influence and confute the other. They wouldn't stop couldn't actually — and they would burn each other out in six months." In 1990, he wrote an essay for the Los Angeles Times, entitled "Checkmate?" about computer chess vs. human intelligence.
In his book, Isaac Asimov's Treasury of Humor, he wrote, "Once while I was in the army, I read "The Royal Game", surely the best chess story ever written. It filled me with a wild desire to play chess and I began to approach various soldiers who appeared the chess type. No Luck! To each one I came with a wistful "Would you like to play a game of chess?" and from each one came a cold "No." Finally I had the idea that I should have had to start with. I came to a soldier and said, "Would you like to read a terrific story?" and handed him "The Royal Game". I waited. An hour passed. And then he came to me and said "Would you like to play a game of chess?"
In 1994, Isaac Asimov's last autobiography, I. Asimov: A Memoir, was published after his death. In his chapter titled Games, this is what he said about chess.
"Failure at physical sports has never bothered me...What bothered me, though, was my failure at chess. When I was quite young and had a checkerboard, but no chess pieces, I read books on the game and learned the various moves. I then cut out cardboard squares on which I drew the symbols for the various pieces, and tried to play games with myself. Eventually I managed to persuade my father to get me real chessmen. Then I taught my sister the moves and played the game with her. Both of us played very clumsily indeed. My brother, Stanley, who watched us play, learned the moves and, eventually, asked if he might play. Ever the indulgent older brother, I said, "Sure," and prepared to beat the pants off him. The trouble was that in the first game he ever played he beat me. In the years that followed, I discovered that everyone beat me, regardless of race, color, or religion. I was simply the most appallingly bad chess player who ever lived, and, as time went on, I just stopped playing chess. My failure at chess was really distressing. It seemed completely at odds with my "smartness," but I now know (or at least have been told) that great chess players achieve their results by years and years of studying chess games, by the memorization of large numbers of complex "combinations." They don't see chess as a succession of moves but as a pattern. I know what that means, for I see an essay or a story as a pattern. But these talents are different. Kasparov sees a chess game as a pattern but an essay as a mere collection of words. I see an essay as a pattern and a chess game as a mere collection of moves. So he can play chess and I can write essays and not vice versa. That's not enough, however. I never thought of comparing myself to grand masters of chess. What bothered me was my inability to beat anyone! The conclusion that I finally came to (right or wrong) was that I was unwilling to study the chessboard and weigh the consequences of each possible move I might make. Even people who couldn't see complex patterns might at least penetrate two or three moves ahead, but not I. I moved entirely on impulse, if not at random, and could not make myself do anything else. That meant I would almost certainly lose. And again - why? To me, it seems obvious. I was spoiled by my ability to understand instantly, my ability to recall instantly. I expected to see things at once and I refused to accept a situation in which that was not possible." Isaac Asimov died on April 6, 1992 of AIDS after a blood transfusion during heart surgery.
Peter Baily is a science fiction writer. In 1959, he published "Accidental Death," which appeared in the February 1959 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a few chess references as a crew plays chess on another planet called Chang with their natives. A ten-man team ("It was more that we all seemed to make silly mistakes when we played them and that's fatal in chess. Of course it's a screwy situation, playing chess with something that grows its own fur coat, has yellow eyes and inch and a half long and long white whiskers. Couldn't you have kept your mind on the game?")
T. J. Bass was the pseudonym of Thomas J. Bassler (1932-2011). He was an American science fiction author and physician. In 1970, he published "A Game of Biochess," which appeared in the February 1970 issue of If. In 1974, Bass published The Godwhale. One of the characters is Ode, a chess grandmaster. ("Hard arteries pulsed under Drum's thin scalp as he set up the chessboard in Recovery. Ode was asleep when he was wheeled in. Drum dozed off too.")
Paolo Bacigalupi (1972- ) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2005, Bacigalupi published "The Calorie Man" in the October/November 2005 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Lalji of India plays chess in New Orleans. ("Neither of them played chess well, and so their games often devolved into a series of trades made in dizzying succession...") In 2009, he wrote the biopunk science fiction novel The Windup Girl. There are a few references to chess. ("The man exists only for competition, the chess match of evolution, fought on a global scale.") In 2010, he wrote Ship Breaker ("I'm a chess piece. A pawn,' she said. 'I can be sacrificed, but I cannot be captured. To be captured would be the end of the game.")
Kage Baker (1952- ) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2001, she published "The Applesauce Monster," which appeared in the December 2001 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. A cyborg plays chess. In 2005, the story was part of her novel, The Children of the Company.
Stephen Baxter (1957- ) is a British science fiction author. In 2003, he published Evolution. ("One of Papak's most popular innovations was chess. This was a game, he said, recently to amuse the court of Persia."). In 2003, he wrote Coalescent. In old Britain, the children of Regina played a fast-moving game like chess played only with rooks that were made of colored glass counters. In 2010, he wrote Ark. One of his characters, Zane Glemp, invents a game called infinite chess. It is played on a regular board, except that players had to imagine the chess board wrapped around itself, so that the right edge was glued to the left, and the upper edge glued to the lower. Zane and Mike Wetherbee play chess. ("On the monitor, Zane and Wetherbee spoke quietly, over a game of infinite chess. The game was an obvious psychological metaphor for the freedom they all sought in an enclosed world, but it was ferociously difficult to play. 'Bastard beats me every time,' Mike Wetherbee murmured.") In 2010, Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke wrote The Light of Other Days, ("I've never been a scientist. But I've solved puzzles. I play chess, for instance. Science is something like that, isn't it? You figure something out — suddenly see how the game fits together..."). In 2013, he wrote Proxima ("It was all complicated, a game of human chess.") In 2014, he wrote Ultima, 2014 ("I think Earthshine moved us to where he wanted us to be, like chess pieces on a board, Colonel Kalinski.").
Peter Beagle (1939- ) is an American novelist and screenwriter, especially fantasy fiction. In 1960, he wrote A Fine and Private Place. It has dozens of chess references. When Michael, a dead person (poisoned by his wife), wants to play a game of chess with Jonathan Rebeck in a mausoleum, Rebeck was surprised and thought Michael did not like to play chess. Michael responded sarcastically, "I like chess. I am very fond of chess. I'm crazy about chess. Let's play chess." A talking raven had stolen some of the chess pieces from department stores to make up the chess set.
Greg Bear (1951- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1992, he wrote Anvil of Stars. The Brothers or cords, worm-like creatures, discovered chess, and it became a release for them. They would play chess all day on a space ship without eating or sleeping. One of the cords died while playing chess. ("The Brothers discovered chess, and it became a release for them. One entire day, all the Brothers aboard Trojan Horse played chess without easting or sleeping."). In 2004, he published the novel Dead Lines. There are several references to chess. ("He looked down at the Enzenbacher chess set on the coffee table. A silver knight, a private detective in his trench coat, lifted slowly over a silver ghost pawn and landed to menace Peter's overextended bishop. The game had progressed quite a ways.")
Gregory Benford (1941- ) is an American science fiction author and astrophysicist. In 1976, he published "The Anvil of Love," which appeared in the July 1976 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are several references to chess ("I need something more than chess to fill my mind."). In 1987, he published his novel Great Sky River. It tells the story of the Bishop family, who fight for their very existence on the planet Snowglade, which has been taken over by the Mechs. The Bishops are one of a number of families on Snowglade, all named for chess pieces. These "families" are more like clans or tribes.
Edward Frederic Benson was an English novelist and short story writer. In 1942, he published "The Outcast," which appeared in the August 1942 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries. It has a reference to a chess problem. ("I listened to this with sufficient attention to grasp what Madge was saying, but what I was really thinking about was a chess-problem which I was attempting to solve.")
Ruth Berman (1942- ) is a writer of short science fiction and speculative poetry. In 1974, she published "A Board in the Other Direction," which appeared in the January 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. A game of four-dimensional chess is played. In 1975, she wrote an article called "Using Chess in Science Fiction."
In 1899, Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913) wrote a short story called "Moxon's Master," which was first published in the San Francisco Examiner on April 16, 1899. It describes a chess-playing robot (the word robot was not used until 1921) automaton that strangles and murders its creator, Moxon, over a game of chess. Moxon won a game of chess from the robot, and it killed Moxon in a fit of rage. The story is one of the first descriptions of a robot in English literature. Bierce, Ambrose - Moxon's Master, 1893 and 1899 (Two or three times after moving a piece the stranger slightly inclined his head, and each time I observed that Moxon shifted his king. All at once the thought came to me that the man was dumb. And then that he was a machine — an automaton chess-player!")
Eando Binder was the pen name of Otto Binder (1904-1965) an American author of science fiction. In 1937, he published "The Chessboard of Mars," which appeared in the June 1937 issue of Wonder Stories. Chess is played by the Martians. ("The chief occupation of the Martians in the past ages of their civilization had been warfare. Now their chief occupation is playing on this gigantic chess- board of Mars, moving humans in paths of fate like the chess player moves his pawns and pieces!") In 1938, he published the novel The Impossible World. It had one reference to chess. ("Routine settled over the ship. There was much time for cards, chess and idle talk.")
David Bischoff (1951- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1981, he and Thomas Monteleone published "Dragonsar," which appeared in the December 7, 1981 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. In 2016, he published the novel The H.P. Lovecraft Institute. Father and son play chess. ("It was the most comfortable room in the house, and a Saturday with Pop tradition, was at least one quick game of chess or gin rummy in the study, stretched out amidst the array of books and the tasteful Impressionist prints Rev. Dickens had added to the walls.")
James Blaylock (1950- ) is an American fantasy writer. In 2000, he published Thirteen Phantasms. There are a few references to chess. ("He laughed out loud and then bent over to scan the titles of the chess books in the bookcase. He wasn't sure whether Squires read the damned things or whether he kept them there to gain some sort of psychological advantage, which he generally didn't need.")
Thomas J. Bontly (1940-2012) was a fiction writer and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Wisconsin, where he taught literature and creative writing for 35 years. In 1979, he published Celestial Chess. A medieval manuscript is about to be deciphered. The author of the manuscript, Geoffrey Gervaise, is a 12th century priest and chess player.
Bruce Boston (1943- ) is an American speculative fiction writer and chess player. In 2008, he published a poem called "Chess People," which appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. ("If chess people were the world, everything would be checkered.")
Ben Bova (1932- ) is an American writer in works of science fact and fiction. In 2008, he published "Waterbot," which appeared in the June 2008 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. ("One of these days I'll even beat him at chess.... He almost let me beat him at chess, even. I'd get to within two moves of winning and he'd spring a checkmate on me.") In 2012, he published "A Country for Old Men." ("Ignatiev had left his quarters after suffering still another defeat at the hands of the computerized chess program... The busy, buzzing thoroughness drove him to distraction; it was impossible to concentrate on chess or anything else...")
Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) was an American fantasy and science fiction writer. He was also a chess player. In 1950, he published a science fiction short story collection called The Martian Chronicles (titled The Silver Locusts in 1951 in the United Kingdom) in which humans left Earth to inhabit Mars. From above, the cities were described as little white chess cities. "Starlight glittered on the spires of a little Martian town, no bigger than a game of chess, in the blue hills." "He looked at the towers of the little clean Martian village, like sharply carved chess pieces lying in the afternoon." "The wind hurled the sand ship keening over the dead sea bottom, over long-buried crystals, past upended pillars, past deserted docks of marble and brass, past dead white chess cities, past purple foothills, into distance..." In 1950, he wrote "All on a Summer's Night." Boys see old men playing chess at tables in the park. ("The chessboards and the old men, the old men and the chessboards, and the town. The people's lives, moved, like chesspieces, by what agency?...By the old men, of course! But if the chessmen were stolen, then what? Something to think about — stealing the chessmen.") In 1951, he wrote The Illustrated Man, which was a collection of 18 science fiction short stories. One of the stories was "The City" which had one reference to chess. ("...flaps of his sliced skin were pinned to the table while hands shifted parts of his body like a quick and curious player of chess, using the red pawns and the red pieces.") In 1952, he published "A Sound of Thunder," which appeared in Collier's magazine in June, 1952. It had a chess reference. ("What sort of world it was now, there was no telling. He could feel them moving there, beyond the walls, almost, like so many chess pieces blown in a dry wind ....") In 1953, he wrote the novel Fahrenheit 451 based on his own short story "The Fireman," which was published in Galaxy Science Fiction in February 1951. Fahrenheit 451 had one chess reference. ("With an effort, Montag reminded himself again that this was no fictional episode to be watched on his run to the river; it was in actuality his own chess-game he was witnessing, move by move."). In 1957, he wrote the novel Dandelion Wine. It had one chess reference. ("There sat Saul and Marshall, playing chess at the coffee table."). In 1985, he wrote the mystery novel Death is a Lonely Business ("...a lovely chess game carved and set in a store window when you were a kid."). In 1990, he published A Graveyard for Lunatics. Roy asks himself what kind of game is this. ("What kind of game is this? I ask. I can only find out by countermoving the chesspieces, yes?"). In 2006, Ray Bradbury published Farewell Summer, his last novel. Chess is mentioned several times in the novel. Old men were playing chess by the courthouse and the park had chess tables. Chess pieces were named after characters. ("Every time you take a step, even when you don't want to... When it hurts... or even if it means death... that's good. Anything that moves ahead, wins. No chess game was ever won by the player who sat for a lifetime thinking over his next move."). In 2014, Ray Bradbury's chess and checker set was sold for over $1,700 in auction.
David Brin (1950- ) is an American scientist and science fiction author. In 1983, he wrote Startide Rising. It had a few references to chess. Metz and Dr. Dart play chess. ("And dolphins didn't play chess worth a damn."). In 1985, he wrote the novel The Postman. (Drew Simms — freckle-faced pre-med with a floppy grin and deadly skill at chess or poker.") In 2000, he wrote the short story "Stones of Significance." There were a couple of references to chess. ("Like the rapid, ever-varying thoughts of a chess master, working out possibilities before committing actual pieces across the board?"). In 2012, he wrote the novel Existence. There are a few references to chess. A humanoid automaton offers a game of chess. ("Tor's last partner — a nice old 'bot and a good chess player — had warned her, when he trans-retired, not to hire an adolescent Class-AAA android fresh out of AI-college.")
Fredric Brown (1906-1972) was an American science fiction and mystery writer and a chess player. In 1949, he published Come and Go Mad. There are a few chess references. ("Charlie, ever hear of chessmen coming in red or black? ...I've been dreaming the same things over and over. One of them is something about a game between the red and the black; I don't even know whether it is chess.). In 1960, he published Recessional, where the protagonists are chessmen. The story portrays a battle that turns out to be a chess game.
Craig Browning was the pen name of Roger Phillip Graham (1906-1966), a US writer. In 1948, he published "Armageddon," which was published in the May 1948 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. There are a few references to chess.
John Brunner (1934-1995) was a British author of science fiction novels and stories. In 1965, he wrote the science fiction novel, The Squares of the City. It was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1966. The story takes place in South American and the city serves as a chess board and the characters are the various players in a game of living chess. The chess game is from the 1892 match between Steinitz and Chigorin played in Havana. All the people in the book are chess-mad. Most of the characters are environmentally being manipulated as chesspieces. When they are exchanged, they are killed or jailed. International Master Edward Lasker wrote the introduction to the book.
John Frederick Burke (1922-2011) was and English writer of novels and short stories. He wrote under the name J. F. Burke or Jonathan Burke. In 1956, he published Pursuit through Time. It depicts Clifford Marritt's attempting to change the course of history by time-traveling into the past. There are several references to chess, such as three-dimension chess tournaments being held in the 1990s. ("Clifford opened with the Kowak gambit. This put Simon on the defensive. It was evidently an unknown attack: there were some puzzled murmurs from the spectators. The knight-rook-pawn trio, so much commonplace of play in Clifford's own time, had apparently not been thoroughly exploited in this past era."). In 1953, he published Chessboard, which was his first science fiction story, published in the January issue of New Worlds magazine.
Arthur J. Burks (1898-1974) was an American writer. In 1933, he published Lords of the Stratosphere. ("At a long table three men — all Orientals — were deeply immersed in some activity which bent their heads absorbedly over the very center of the table. It might have been a three-sided chess game, by their attitudes.") In 1939, he published "The First Shall Be Last," which was published in the January 1939 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of chess references.
Stephen L. Burns (1953- ) is a science fiction and fantasy author. In 1992, he published "Tranquility Rose," which appeared in the January 1992 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess.
In 1921, Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) wrote The Chessmen of Mars. It was first published in Argosy All-Story Weekly as a six-part serial in February-March, 1922. It was later published as a complete novel in November, 1922. On Mars, they play a modified version of Jetan, a popular Martian board game resembling chess, except played on a 10x10 board instead of an 8x8 board. The living version uses people as the game pieces on a life-sized board, with each taking of a piece being a duel to the death. Burroughs was an amateur chess player himself.
Michael Burstein (1970- ) is an American writer o science fiction. In 1998, he published "In Space, No One Can Hear," which appeared in the July 1998 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. The characters used a computer to play chess against each other.
James Cambias is an American science fiction writer. In 2007, he wrote "Balancing Accounts" whose story was the cover story of the February 2008 cover of Fantasy & Science Fiction. There was one reference to chess. ("We were in a race — would Bob run out of maneuvering juice completely before I used up the reserve I needed to get back to Mimas? Our little chess game of propellant consumption might have gone on for hour, but our attention was caught by something else.")
In 1952, Matthew Cammen published "Mate in Three Moves" in the March 1952 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several references to chess.
John W. Campbell (1910-1971) was an American science fiction writer and editor. He sometimes wrote under the pen name Don A. Stuart. In 1957, he published the novel Islands of Space. There are several references to chess. ("We have agreed absolutely never to read each other's minds while playing chess.")
In 2007, Michael Chabon (1963- ) wrote The Yiddish Policemen's Union, which features a plot settled around chess, murder of a chess prodigy named Emanuel Lasker, and the position on the chess board at the murder scene. The novel won a number of science fiction awards: the Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, the Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the Sidewise Award for Alternate History for Best Novel.
Julian Chain was a science fiction writer. In 1953, he published "The Captives," which appeared in the January 1953 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess and the neurotic behavior of a chess player.
Carolyn Janice Cherry (1942- ), better known by the pen name C. J. Cherryh, is an American writer of speculative fiction. In 1989, she wrote Rimrunners ("Chess set. Real one, not just a sim. Real board, real pieces. God knew how old."). In 2011, she wrote Betrayer, which had several references to chess. (Cajeiri just sat, aching from want to sleep, and played chess with Jegari and tried to make the time pass faster."). In 2013, she wrote Protector, which had several chess references. Her character, Tabini, played chess. ("And there was just nothing to do but play chess with Antaro with everybody else to advise both sides, which made a rowdy sort of chess game."). In 2016, she wrote Visitor ("Such faces. There has been far too much study, too much chess, too little noise."
Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008) was a British science fiction writer. Many of his stories have chess references, but he wrote that he did not like chess. However, he mentions that he played a chess hustler named Fred Duval in Washington Square Park. In 1938, he published "How We Went to Mars," which appeared in Amateur Science Fiction Stories, March 1938. One Martian game was described as four-dimensional chess. ("After this we were not bothered anymore and were able to spend most of our time indoors playing poker and some curious Martian games we had picked up, including an interesting mathematical one which I can best describe as 'four-dimensional chess.'") In 1949, published "Hide and Seek," which appeared in Astounding Science-Fiction, September 1949. A man on one of the moons of Mars was being sought for by guided missiles and the TV screen was compared to a chessboard. More men were on the chessboard now, and the game was a little deadlier. 1949 ("There were rather more men on the chess-board now, and the game was a little deadlier, but his was still the advantage."). In 1950, he wrote "Silence Please!" for Science-Fantasy, winter 1950. A detonation had disturbed the chess game in progress at the back of the saloon bar. ("I take it, of course, that you all understand the phenomenon of interference. 'Hey!' said one of the chess-players, who had given up trying to concentrate on the game (probably because he is losing).'I don't.'"). In 1951, he wrote "The Road to the Sea (Seeker of the Sphinx)," which appeared in Two Complete Science-Adventure Books, spring 1951. It had a few chess references. ("If he could win Yradne in the present, the future could take care of itself...Why don't you play a game of chess, like sensible people, to decide who'll have her first."). In 1954, Arthur C. Clarke published Armaments Race. The communist in the story peaceably studies a chess-board in the corner of a room. ("I wondered what the trouble was. Not un-American activities again, I prayed: that would trigger off our pet communist, who at the moment was peaceably studying a chess-board in the corner."). In 1954, he wrote "Invention (Patent Pending)," for Adventure, November 1954 ("Though chess is rampant, darts and shove-ha'penny also flourish."). In 1957, Arthur C. Clarke published "'The Other Side of the Sky," which appeared in Infinity Fiction Magazine, October 1957. It had a chess reference. ("On the way up from earth was an inflatable lounge spacious enough to hold no fewer than eight people, a microfilm library, a magnetic billiard table, lightweight chess sets, and similar novelties for bored spacemen."). In 1958, he wrote "Cosmic Casanova," for Venture 1958 ("What's the matter, Joe?' Max would say plaintively. 'Surely you're not mad at me because I beat you at chess again? Remember, I warned you I would.'"). In 1961, Clarke wrote "Before Eden," for Amazing Stories, June 1961. ("All we need do is walk a few miles toward the Pole; according to the radar maps, it's fairly level once you're over the rim. We could manage in —oh, twelve hours at the most. Each of us has been out for longer than that, in much worse conditions." That was perfectly true. Protective clothing that had been designed to keep men alive in the Venusian lowlands would have an easy job here, where it was only a hundred degrees hotter than Death Valley in midsummer. "Well," said Coleman, "you know the regulations. You can't go by yourself, and someone has to stay here to keep contact with the ship. How do we settle it this time — chess or cards? Chess takes too long, said Hutchins, especially when you two play it."). In 1968, he wrote the science fiction novel 2001, A Space Odyssey. ("For relaxation he could always engage Hal in a large number of semimathematical games, including checkers, chess and polyominoes." In 1977, he mentioned chess in his short story Quarantine, first published in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, spring 1977. Earth had to be destroyed as they became totally obsessed with the six items. ("...if those six operators are ever re-discovered, all rational computing will end. How can they be recognized?...Here they are: King, Queen, Bishop, Knight, Rook, Pawn.")
Hal Clement, the pen name of Harry Clement Stubbs (1922-2003), was an American science fiction writer. His short story "Hot Planet" took the cover of the August 1963 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. It had one reference to chess. Schlossberg said, "I just hoped we have each an idea why Mercury developed an atmosphere during the last two decades, but I guess the high school kids on Earth will know whether it's right before we do. I'm resigned to living in a chess-type universe — few and simple rules, but infinite combinations of them. But it would be nice to know an answer sometime."
Mark Coggins (1957- ) is an American author. In 1999, he wrote his first novel The Immortal Game. It dealt with the theft of chess-playing software similar to that run on Deep Blue. ("My chief interest is computer games — computer chess being my specialty.")
Contoski, Victor (1936- ) is an American writer. In 1966, he published "Von Goom's Gambit," which appeared in the April 1966 issue of Chess Review, and reprinted in the December 1966 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. ("By this time, Von Goom had become familiar, almost comic, figure in the chess world....Fifteen minutes after the first round began, Von Goom won his first game of chess. His opponent had died of a heart attack.")
Brenda Cooper (1951- ) is a science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2005, she and Larry Niven wrote "Kath and Quicksilver," which appeared in the August 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Quicksilver can beat Kath at chess. In 2008, she wrote the novel Reading the Wind. ("And tomorrow, I'd start the day with something simple, like a game of chess.")
Matthew Costello (1948- ) is an author of numerous novels. In 1987, he published "On Gaming," which appeared in the March 1987 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. In the future, chess will be played over a hologram.
Charles Creighton was a science fiction writer. In 1951, he published "The Man Who Forgot," which appeared in the February 1951 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. There are several references to chess. ("'He's a specialist. The history of chess. He's writing a book on it.' 'He has over forty thousand books on chess alone, some of them dating back to the twentieth century. ...Chess is basically similar to war and politics, but it doesn't qualify a man to deal with the intricacies of actual politics and war. ...'I've been chosen — as Randolph Beecher the master chess player — to mastermind the Martian plans.")
Kendell Foster Crossen (1910-1981) was an American pulp fiction and science fiction writer. In 1952, he published "The Regal Rigelian," which appeared in the February 1952 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. A game of four-dimensional chess is played, invented by Horace Homer. ("Anyone may challenge the emperor to a game of four-dimensional chess, and if the challenger wins he becomes King of Alphard VI for a period of one week...There hasn't been a Terran born who could beat a Rigelian in four dimensional chess — why do you think my planet has held the Galactic Championship for the past two hundred years.")
In 2010, Benjamin Crowell published "Petopia" in the June 2010 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. Raphael ignores his chores and spends the day at a chessboard with a chess book full of diagrams. He later plays chess with an artificial intelligence toy named Jelly, then with some others using a chess clock to play blitz chess. He starts hustling other people for money. Jelly was used as a paper-weight for the money on the chess table, but was Jelly helping Raphael cheat and win at chess? "Was he a professional chess hustler now?"
Ray Cummings (1887-1957) was an American science fiction author. In 1930, he published 'Phantoms of Reality," which appeared in Astounding Stories of Super Science 1930. There is one reference to chess. ("The general moved rarely, and spoke hardly at all. His whole air was that of a man absorbed in a game of chess — a game on which the fate of a nation depended. He was thus absorbed.")
Alexei Cyren was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He is a fiction author and novelist, writing in the fantasy and science fiction genre. In 2013, he wrote Night Harbour (Solid State Shadow Omnibus.) There are several references to chess. At chess tournaments, there are floating holographic views of the chess boards.
In 1947, John de Courcy and Dorothy de Courcy wrote "Chess and Double Chess," which appeared in the March 1947 issue of Amazing Science Fiction. Something looks like a spherical chess race and a chess move was invented.
Chandler Davis (1926- ) is an American-Canadian mathematician and writer. In 1947, he published "Letter to Ellen," which appeared in the June 1947 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. In 1953, he published "Share Our World," which was published in the August 1953 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several references to chess.
Charles de Vet (1911-1997) was a US science fiction writer, mostly of short stories. In 1958, he wrote the novelette "Second Game," published in Astounding in March 1958. The novel was reissued in 1962 with Katherine Maclean as Cosmic Checkmate, and reissued again in 1981 as Second Game. An Earthman is sent to investigate a hostile planet (Velda) whose inhabitants all play a chess-like game, played on a 13x13 chessboard. Their social advancement depends on their proficiency in the game. The earthling narrator, a chess champion, is equipped with an "annotator" which is an artificial intelligence addition to his brain. He comes to Velda and challenges all comers saying that he can beat anyone in the second game. He probe's the weakness of his opponents in the first game, and then is able to always win the second game. ("'I'll beat you the second game,' was the Earthman's challenge to the planet Velda — whose culture was indeed based on a complicated super-chess of skill and concentration.").
Roger Dee was the pen name of Roger D. Aycock (1914-2004), an American science fiction author. In 1954, he published "Man Friday," which appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Sczhau plays chess. In 1960, he published "Control Group," which first appeared in the January 1960 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. It has a few chess references. ("Gibson, playing chess with Xavier across the chart-room plotting table, looked up briefly and went back to his gambit. Gibson, who for four hours had not looked up from his interminable chess game with Xavier, paused with a beleaguered knight in one blunt brown hand.").
Philip K. Dick (1928-1982) was an American science fiction writer. In 1953, he published "Golden Man," which appeared in the April 1954 issue of If. There was one reference to chess. ("And then he would be able to see another area, a region farther beyond. He was always moving, advancing into new regions he had never seen before. A constantly unfolding panorama of sights and scenes, frozen landscapes spread out ahead. All objects were fixed. Pieces on a vast chess board through which he moved, arms folded, face calm. A detached observer who saw objects that lay ahead of him as clearly as those under foot.") In 1954, he published "Strange Eden," which appeared in the December 1954 issue of Imagination Science Fiction." There are a few references to chess. ("'Do you play chess?' 'Chess?' 'It's our national game. We introduced it to some of your Brahmin ancestors.")
James Diffin is a science fiction writer. In 2012, he published Silent Call. The main character, John Ryder, is an American chess grandmaster who plays in a chess tournament in England.
Thomas Disch (1940-2008) was an American science fiction author. In 1978, he published "Concepts," which appeared in the December 1978 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess.
Diane Duane (1952- ) is an American science fiction and fantasy author. In 1984, she published My Enemy, My Ally, a Star Trek original series novel. A small Transporter is used to move pieces supposedly through time, by beaming them off the board and then back on some turns later. Spock and Kirk are playing a 4D chess game and Spock is winning. McCoy enters, who takes Kirk's place and beat Spock with what was promptly nicknamed kamikaze chess. In four-dimensional chess, pieces can be timed out of the 3D cube to reappear later.
S.N. Dyer is a science fiction writer. In 1997, he published "The Nostalginauts," which appeared in the March 1997 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess and a chess club.
George Alec Effinger (1947-2002) was an American science fiction author. In 1982, he wrote "My Old Man," which appeared in the February 1982 issue of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine. The story teller says he has a chess computer on his desk that sometimes gives him programmed messages about his game. In 1983 he wrote Idle Pleasures. It includes a chess competition where the rules change with every move.
Harlan Ellison (1934- ) is an American speculative fiction writer. In 1988, he wrote an article called "Wave," which was published in the Nov-Dec issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction. He wrote "It seems, almost a quarter of a century later, using words like "ghetto" and "revolution," as hincty and unfashionable, as melodramatic and amusingly embarrassing, as overhearing creaky Wobblies playing chess in Washington Square reminiscing the paranoid Palmer Raids of 1920." In one of his Harlan Ellison Hornbook columns, he wrote, "This is a test. Take notes. This will count as 3/4 of your final grade. Hints: remember, in chess, kings cancel each other out and cannot occupy adjacent squares, are therefore all-powerful and totally powerless, cannot affect each other, produce stalemate
Frederick Englehardt was the pseudonym of L. Ron Hubbard, who was a chess player. In 1939, he published "General Swamp, C.I.C.," which appeared in the September 1939 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a discussion of the ancient game of chess.
Lionel Fanthorpe (1935- ) is a British author and priest. In 1960, he published the science fiction novel Hand of Doom. The book was written to suit a cover that had been produced to illustrate. It had one chess reference. ("The chess expert uses his knight on the closely packed confines of an opening game. It is at the end, on an open board, that the rooks and the bishops can do their finest work."). In 1961, Lionel Fanthorpe (using the pen name John E. Muller) published Forbidden Planet, which describes a vast interstellar chess game played by superhuman entities using human beings as pawns. ("...men are perfect pawns, in this cosmic, galactic chess game. Then let us take the next strongest piece. On a chess-board the pawn is given the value of 1."). In 1965, he published The Negative Ones. ("Centuries before, chess had been played to those rules, as far as he knew, but certainly hundreds of years had passed since the introduction of the pawn moves two innovation. Scott was a psychiatrist first, and a chess player second."). In 1965, he published the novel Beyond the Void. Ferdin and Darmina play chess. Selpan was the traditional chess center of the Martian colonies, and most of the Selphanes grand masters were too strong for terrestrial champions. ("Remember the chess match? Yes. Pawn to king four. She sighed. Pawn to king four, she echoed..."). In 1966, he published Phenomena X. There is a three dimensional chess cube. ("I saw two of them playing what looked like a kind of four dimensional chess. Oh, yes? Well — three dimensional, anyway... Can you think of anything more interesting than a game of chess played with living people?").
John M. Faucette (1943-2003) was an African-American science fiction author and chess player. He was a member of the United States Chess Federation and took 3rd place in the Nassau Open Chess Championship in New York. One of his unpublished works was The Tan Argus III Interstellar Chess Tournament. ("In the far future, when the game of chess has spread throughout the galaxy, at a time of tension between the human race and other species, humanity's champion, the African American Sam Mist, despite a broken heart, assassination attempts and being off his game, must beat a mindreader, an empath, a being who has never lost a game, a player whose God whispers moves to him, a creature with a billion bodies but a single mind and ten other assorted entities to win the first chess championship of the universe.") Another unpublished story was Earth Will be Avenged. ("The battle-net coordinated the Star Kings well. Messages flashed constantly as Ian moved his forces around like a master chessplayer or a matador deploying his cape and sword to best advantage against the powerful, deadly MOTU bull. The comps automatically made adjustments, carried out plans—new and old, put overwhelming power on key points—no matter how well defended.)
Eliot Fintushel (1947) is a prolific science fiction writer. In 1994, he published "Ylem," which appeared in the October 1994 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a few references to chess. ("I'm a good player though. Some people think I'm a great chess player, only I don't like to beat everybody all the time, because of how it makes them feel bad.")
Robert Forward (1932-2002) was an American physicist and science fiction writer. In 1986, he published "Acceleration Constant," which appeared in Analog/Astounding Science Fiction in March, 1986. There are a few references to chess. There was a 3-D chess tournament on Jupiter.
Carl Frederick is an American science fiction author and chess player. In 2003, he published "The Study of Ants," which appeared in the September 2003 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. One of the characters built a chess computer and teaches ants to play chess. They quickly learn to play chess only too well.
Jacques Futrelle (1875-1912) was an American journalist and mystery writer who drowned after the sinking of the Titanic. In 1905, he wrote some short stories featuring Professor S.F.X. Van Dusen, also known as "The Thinking Machine." He referenced chess in many of his stories. ("Chess is a shameless perversion of the functions of the brain.")
Chester Geier (1921-1990) was a science fiction writer. In 1946, he published "Minions of the Tiger," which appeared in the September 1946 issue of Fantastic Adventures. There are a couple of chess references. ("The older man had a chess set laid out on the bench and seemed to be engaged in working out a problem. ...Finally Melhorn suggested a game of chess, and Corbin agreed. He lost consistently, without being very much aware of the fact.")
David Gerrold (1944- ) is an American science fiction screenwriter and novelist. One of the submissions for the television show Star Trek involved a situation in which Kirk had to play a chess game with an advanced intelligence using his crew as chess pieces. In 1987, he wrote the novel Chess with a Dragon. The title does not refer to an actual chess game. Yake Singh Brown has to negotiate a deal for humanity. It's the toughest assignment he's ever faced, like playing chess with a dragon. All he has to do is figure out the rules of the game before being eaten. He also wrote Starhunt ("On the table in front of him is a chessboard, sixteen squares to a side. There are two pieces of board, a white flag-ship and a black one. ...Leen shakes his head. 'I — uh, I don't play chess that much.'")
Alexis Gilliland (1931- ) is an American science fiction writer and chess player. In 1989, he published "The Man Who Funded the Moon," which appeared in the October 1989 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. ("You study chess, while Americans play poker.")
Phyllis Gotlieb (1926-2009) was a Canadian science fiction novelist and poet. In 1976, she wrote O Master Caliban. A game of chess determines the fate of a planet and a people. Dahlgren is left playing chess for his life with a robotic mirror image of himself and under the control of the erg-Queen. The erg-Dahlgren resigns at the end of the game, reflecting the victory of the human over the machine. In 1998, she published Flesh and Gold. There is one reference to chess. ("Skambi is not the most popular game in the Galaxy. It does not fire philosophical discussions and seed libraries the way chess, ip, go, huka and bodoko do...").
Edward Grendon was a science fiction author. In 1951, he wrote "Crisis," which appeared in the June 1951 issue of Astounding Science. There is one reference to chess. ("Evenings they listened to the harpist or watched groups of players put on short skits in the living room. The humans looked at television, listened to a crystal set, played chess.")
James Edwin Gunn (1923- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1953, he published "Breaking Point," which appeared in the March 1947 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. A man retreats to a chess game and survives, psychologically, because he had devised a way to adapt its rules to the alien game and defeat them.
Brooks Hansen is an American novelist. In 1995, he wrote The Chess Garden. Dr. Gustav Uyterhoeven leaves Dayton, Ohio and goes to South Africa to serve as a doctor during the Boer War. He sends back chess pieces and letters that describe an imagined floating island where all the chess pieces and other game pieces come to life. The chess garden at their home in Dayton has ponds and shady places with chess tables carefully laid out. His shed is filled with exotic chess sets.
Charles L. Harness (1915-2005) was an American science fiction writer and a patent attorney. In 1949, he published The Paradox Men. ("Chess — Eskimo?" he murmured with puzzled politeness. Several of the men smiled. "Sure, Eskimo," boomed Miles impatiently. "Never been in a solarion before. Has the sweat he was born with. Probably fresh out of school and loaded down with chess sets to keep our minds occupied so we won't brood."..."I rather like a game of chess myself.") In 1949, he published "Stalemate in Space," which appeared in the summer 1949 issue of Planet Stories. In March 1953, his short story "The Rose" was published by Authentic Science Fiction. There was a reference to chess on how to compose the ideal end-game. In 1953, his short story, "The Chessplayers," appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1953. The K Street Chess Club runs across a refugee professor (an illegal alien) who claims he has a chess-playing rat named Zeno that he trained. In 1988, he published Krono. (During the last few sessions the chess position had somehow shifted significantly. How had it happened? It was no longer a popular draw. It was now a sure win for D, who had the black pieces. The computers had worked out this exact position before Konteau was born. It was in all the end-game books. And yet D still played slowly, carefully, with life-and death deliberation.) In 1994, he published "The Tetrahedron," which appeared in the January 1994 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. It involves someone who confronts the chess lord of Europe, Luis de Lucena. In 1999, he published Drunkard's Endgame. ("I shall be working with Chief Datik on a second matter, one that will by itself consume a great deal of time." "And why might that be?" "Our chess game. Slowly, slowly, move by move, I can permit him to develop a winning position. Now, as long as he thinks he is winning at chess, I can probably stall the Algorithm."). In 2000, he published "Playmate," which appeared in the September 2000 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a reference to chess and a chess club.
Robert Heinlein (1907-1988) was an American science fiction writer and chess player who learned the game at age four. In 1941, under the pen name of Anson MacDonald, he published "Sixth Column," also known under the title The Day After Tomorrow, in the January, February, Marsh 1941 issues of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There were a couple of chess references. During Ardmore's visit in his guise as High Priest of Mota, the Prince shows Ardmore a chess problem, asking how he would solve it. Ardmore moves a pawn and the Prince comments how unorthodox a move it is, but Ardmore replies that from there it is mate in three moves. ("Ardmore was ready to conclude. His eye swept around the room and noted something he had seen before — the Prince's ubiquitous chess table. It was set up by the head of the bead, as the Prince amuse himself with it on sleepless nights. Apparently the man set much store by the game.") In 1941, he published "They," which appeared in Unknown, April 1941 ("I'll play chess with you." "All right, all right." Hayward made a gesture of impatient concession. "We've played chess every day for a week. If you will talk, I'll play chess."). In 1941, he wrote Methuselah's Children, which was serialized in Astounding Science Fiction in the July, August, and September 1941 issues. Andrew Jackson Libby and Captain Rufus King play a game of chess, which starts out 1.e4 Nf6 (the novel uses descriptive notation). Also in 1941, he wrote Sixth Column, where one of the characters solves a chess problem (mate in three moves). Robert Heinlein wrote The Rolling Stones in 1952. It was about a kid who played chess and could see what the other person was thinking. In 1948, he published "Gentlemen, Be Seated!" in Argosy, May 1948, which was re-published in the June 1952 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries. ("He sets aside the honor — if Konski wants to collect the chess money he won while waiting to be rescued, he will have to come to Des Moines."). In 1952, he published The Rolling Stones. ("...I'll keep my phone open and we'll play chess while I'm away." Buster clouded up. "It's no fun to play chess by telephone. I can't tell what you are thinking."). In 1953, he published Starman Jones. When passenger Eldreth "Ellie" Coburn visits her pet, an alien, semi-intelligent "spider puppy" that Max has befriended, she learns that he can play three-dimensional chess, and challenges him to a game. A champion player, she diplomatically lets him win. ("That's nice. What have you got there?" It was a three-dimensional chess set. Max had played the game with his uncle, it being one that all astrogators played. Finding that some of the chartsmen and computermen played it, he had invested his tips in a set from the ship's slop chest... "It's solid chess. Ever seen it?" "Yes. But I didn't know you played it" "Why not? Ever play flat chess?"). In 1957, he published "Citizen of the Galaxy," which appeared in the October-December 1957 issues of Astounding Science Fiction. ("Mathematics Thorby saw no use in, but when he thought of it as a game, like chess, it actually became more fun."). In 1961, Heinlein wrote My Object All Sublime ("He led me to a bar that had little of Chicago about it: quiet, shabby, no jukebox, no television, a bookshelf, and several chess sets, but none of the freaks and phoneys who usually infest such places."). In 1966, he published The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. ("Activities include stock brokerage, farming interests. Attends theater, concerts, etc. Probably member Luna City Chess Club and Luna Assoc, d'Echecs."). In 1973, he published Time Enough for Love. ("Pool is an open game, like chess. Difficult to cheat. ...He fetched me home from the chess club and saved me a soaking."). In 1985, he published a science fiction novel called The Cat Who Walks through Walls. It has one chess reference. ("The only constant thing in these shifting, fairy-chess worlds is human love.")
Howard Hendrix (1959- ) is a science fiction writer. In 2006, he published The Labyrinth Key. ("His undergraduate degrees were in physics and electrical engineering," Wang replied, trying not to sound defensive, but not quite managing it. "He has genius-level mathematical aptitude. Chess expert, crossword-puzzle addict — like a lot of cryptanalysts, actually.") In 2006, he published The Spears of God. ("Most of what they looked through was typical family memorabilia — a large crop of photos featuring Jacinta at various ages, news articles on her accomplishments going all the way back to science fair and high school chess team victories."). In 2010, he published Lightpaths. ("[Positions] are overlooked by event top grandmasters' — which was also said of the first computer to defeat the world's last human chess champion, by the way. In joining VAJRA, I've benefited from an insight I'd overlooked, a key point in the game.... There's a deeper game, a more serious game that needs playing. The game in which troubled gods play chess against the unbeatable machinery of themselves."). In 2010, he published Standing Wave. There are several references to chess. Chess is played with a marble chess cube and there are three-dimensional chess problems. The cube shrinks and becomes a flat two-dimensional sheet, still marked with the light and dark squares of its chessboard top. ("Then troubled gods played chess against unbeatable machinery — as he said. Chess for the highest of stakes they played, once, some time, in some tale-eaten future.")
In 1969, Frank Herbert (1920-1986) wrote Whipping Star. Miss Abnethe, a psychotic human female with immense power and wealth, is described as a person who castles in chess when she doesn't have to.
H. B. Hickey was the pen name of Herbert Livingston (1916-2016), a science fiction writer. In 1949, he wrote "Checkmate to Demos," which appeared in the March 1949 issue of Fantastic Adventures. There are a lot of chess references in this story. ("I was going to become the greatest chess player in the world! Not just one of the greatest, Harkness, but the very best of them all. And I would have done it. All my life I have practiced and studies. Do you know what I do when you and your precious wife are not around? I close my eyes and play chess with myself! I pretend I am playing the great masters. And I defeat them just as surely as if I were playing them in reality. No man lives who knows more about chess than I do. No man lives who has my mind.'")
James P. Hogan (1941-2010) was a British science fiction writer. In 1992, he published "Last Ditch," which appeared in the December 1992 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several references to chess and chess-playing programs. The Russians make a last ditch effort to beat the Americans in chess, and the winner takes all. The Russian had just built a computer that has pre-computed every possible chess move in advance.
L. Ron Hubbard, who was an avid chess player, sometimes wrote under the pen name Frederick Englehardt. In 1939, Englehardt (Hubbard) published "General Swamp, C.I.C.," which appeared in the September 1939 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a discussion of the ancient game of chess. In 1950, Hubbard published "To the Stars," which appeared in the February 1950 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. They played chess in sick bay. ("Strange in many a bitter battle over a chessboard in sick bay and by whipping at the doctor's vanity with such remarks as 'You know, it's a funny thing about chess — a man feels the disgrace of a beating so keenly, I think, because there's no luck in it — getting mated is a truthful commentary on a man's actual brains-'")
Gavin Hyde is a science fiction writer. In 1953, he published "The Contest," which appeared in the May 1953 issue of Worlds of If Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess.
Phillip C. Jennings is a science fiction writer. In 1990, he published "The Betrothal," which appeared in the October 1990 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess. In 2004, he published "The Saint," which appeared in the March 2004 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There is a Palace of Chess.
Alexander Kazantsev (1906-2002) was a popular Soviet science fiction writer. He was also a composer of chess endgame studies. In 1975 he was awarded by the Permanent Commission of the FIDE for Chess Compositions (PCCC) the title of International Master of Composition.
Gerald Kersh (1911-1968) was a British and later Also American writer of novels and short stories. In 1944, he published "The Devil That Troubled the Chess-Board." There are several references to chess. Something or someone is throwing chess pieces. ("'Things that throw...such as chess pieces and things connected with the game of chess. Nothing else. I am a chess-player. It hates chess. It follows me from place to place. It waits until I am asleep, and then it tries to destroy my chess-pieces. It has already torn up all my books and papers. There is nothing left but the board and pieces: they are too strong for it, and so it grows increasingly violent. ...If you had told me that you merely been seeing things I might have thought so. But if one's chessboard flies off the table, that is another matter.'")
Donald Kingsbury (1929- ) is an American-Canadian science fiction author. In 1982, he published "Courtship Rite," which appeared in the March 1982 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. ("'I always lose at chess.' 'I noticed.'"). In 2001, he wrote the novel Psychohistorical Crisis. The characters who are people who are superhuman with a specialized brain augmentation, and nobody but children plays chess, because every game is bound to be a draw, like tic-tac-toe.
Jay Kay Klein (1931-2012) was a science fiction writer and chess player. He contributed to the Biolog series in Analog/Astounding Science Fiction.
Jeffery Kooistra (1959- ) is a science fiction writer. In 1993, he published "Young Again," which appeared in the December 1993 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. In 2000, it became part of his novel, Dykstra's War. There are a couple of reference to chess and chess sets. ("He relived that last chess game with his best friend, Jamie. His collection of rare chess sets was gone forever, all three hundred.")
Nancy Kress (1948- ) is an American science fiction writer and a chess player. In 2006, she published "Nano Comes to Clifford Falls," which appeared in the July 2006 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess and the US chess champion. In 2007, she published "End Game" in the April 2007 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. Chess is one of the main themes of the story. Lucy Hartwick becomes the first female World Chess Champion. If you eliminate brain static and unclutter the mind, you can conquer anything, such as chess.
Henry Kuttner (1915-1958) was an American author of science fiction, fantasy and horror. Lewis Padgett was his pen name (see Lewis Padgett).
Allen Kim Lang (1928- ) is a science fiction writer. In 1957, he published "Ambassador's Return," which appeared in the November 1957 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. One of the characters was crowned Interworld Chess Champion.
Doug Larsen is a science fiction writer. In 1996, he published "The Content of Their Character," which appeared in the June 1996 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a couple of reference to chess and forming a chess tournament. ("I should look into forming a chess tournament... 'I'll wipe up the board with you.' 'We'll see about that. After dinner, in our room: Pawns at twenty paces.'")
Mary Soon Lee (1965- ) is a British speculative fiction writer and poet. In 1997, she published "Monstrosity," in the August 1997 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are a few references to playing chess.
Tanith Lee (1947-2015) was a British writer of science fiction. In 2003, she published "Blood Chess" in Weird Tales, spring 2003.
Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) was an American writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He was also a chess player. In 1958, he won the 1958 Santa Monica Open. Chess is mentioned in many of his stories. In 1950, he published "Let Freedom Ring," ("The Wolf Pack") which appeared in the April 1950 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. It had a few chess references. ("'I found another of those damned chess sets.' M'Caslrai stirred, slowly rubbed his dark-guttered eyelids. 'Makes three in a week,' J'Wilobe continued in staccato bursts. 'I destroyed it, of course, but it shook me up. Obviously, someone knows I could have been the greatest chess-player in the world.'"). In 1950, he published "You're All Alone," which was published in the July 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures. There were a couple of chess references. ("They emerged panting in a hall where the one frosted door that wasn't dark read CASSSA CHESS CLUB.") In 1958, he published "The Big Time." ("Maud had sat down at the other end of the bar and was knitting — it's one of those habits like chess and quiet drinking, or learning to talk by squeak box, that we pick up to pass the time in the Place in the long stretches between parties.") In 1960, he published "The Night of the Long Knives," which appeared in the January 1960 issue of Amazing Stories. ("It was a little like two savages trying to decide how to play chess by looking at the pieces."). In 1962, he published "The 64-Square Madhouse," which appeared in the May 1962 issue of If. It is about a chess-playing computer that wins the World Chess Championship. ("Silently, so as not to shock anyone with illusions about well dressed young women, Sandra Lea Grayling cursed the day she had persuaded the Chicago Space Mirror that there would be all sorts of human interest stories to be picked up at the first international grandmaster chess tournament in which an electronic computing machine was entered."). In 1962, he published "The Creature from Cleveland Depths." ("Leaving the hall door open Gusterson got out his .38 and cleaned and loaded it, meanwhile concentrating on a chess problem with the idea of confusing a hypothetical psionic monitor. ...Daisy came dragging in without her hat, looking as if she'd been concentrating on a chess problem for hours herself and just now given up."). In 1964, Fritz Leiber and Harry Fischer (another chess player) published "The Lords of Quarmall," which appeared in the January 1964 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction. There are several references to chess playing. ("The chess game had developed beyond the opening stage, the moves coming slower, and now Hasjarl rapped down a rook on the seventh rank.") In 1965, he published, "Knight to Move," which appeared in the December 1965 issue of Broadside Magazine. ("The beautiful hawk face hooded by black bangs searched the golden hall below, where a thousand intelligent beasts from half as many planets were playing chess. ...Just an interstellar chess tournament, Swiss System, twenty-four rounds, being conducted on the fifth planet of the star 61 Cygni in the year 5037 A.D., old Earth Time."). In 1974, he published "Midnight by the Morphy Watch," which appeared in the August 1974 issue of If.
Murray Leinster was the pen name of William Fitzgerald Jenkins (1896-1975), an American science fiction writer. In 1930, he published "Tanks," which appeared in the January 1930 issue of Astounding Stories. There is one reference to chess. ("The general moved rarely, and spoke hardly at all. His whole air was that of a man absorbed in a game of chess — a game on which the fate of a nation depended.")
In 1989, Brad Leithauser (1953- ) wrote Hence, in which a chess genius named Timothy and plays against an MIT computer (ANNDY) for the world chess championship. ("It would be devoted solely to chess, with a chess library and all the best players given free accommodation, year in, year out, and Timothy feels an old, bitter disappointment, that such as island doesn't exist.")
Bob Leman (1922-2006) was an American science fiction writer. In 1984, he published "Instructions," which appeared in the September 1984 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are several references to chess. ("You have on your native planet an intellectual diversion quite suitable for your minds, called chess. We are now playing, with another entity, much like yourself, a game with distant analogies to the game of chess raised many powers in complexity."
Edward Lerner (1949- ) is an American science fiction author. In 2006, he published "A New Order of Things," which appeared in the June-September 2006 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several chess references with wagering with the crew over chess matches. In 2012, he published Energized. It has several references to chess. ("As a boy, to be a chess grandmaster has been the limit oh is ambitions. ...It turned out they [Russian FSB] recruited many chess prodigies..."). In 2014, he wrote "Championship B'tok," which appeared in the September 2014 issue of Analog. Thousands of games can be loaded into a person's neural implant. By the directed simulation of neurons, a virtual knight can capture an imaginary pawn. ("B'tok, the traditional Hunter strategy game, was to chess as chess was to tic-tac-toe...Lyle told himself, yet again, that there was no shame in losing at chess to an artificial intelligence.")
Peter Ling (1926-2006) was a British writer. In 1986, he published The Mind Robber based on the Doctor Who series. Doctor Who and the Master play a game of chess using the other characters as game pieces.
Jack London (1876-1916) was an American novelist and sometimes wrote science fiction. In 1915, he published The Star Rover (published in England as The Jacket). ("As example, I taught Oppenheimer to play chess. Consider how tremendous such an achievement is — to teach a man, thirteen cells away, by means of knuckle-raps; to teach him to visualize a chessboard, to visualize all the pieces, pawns and positions, to know the various manners of moving; and to teach him it all so thoroughly that he and I, by pure visualization, were in the end able to play entire games of chess in our minds. ...Yunsan was given a brave death. He was playing a game of chess with the jailer, when the Emperor's or rather, Chong Mong-ju's messenger arrived with the poison cup. 'Wait a moment,' said Yunsan. 'You should be better mannered than to disturb a man in the midst of a game of chess. I shall drink directly the game is over.' And while the messenger waited, Yunsan finished the game, winning it, then drained the cup.")
Anson MacDonald was a pen name of Robert Heinlein (1907-1988). — see Heinlien
Katherine MacLean (1925- ) is an American science fiction author. In 1950, she published "Incommunicado," which was published in the June 1950 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. It described an alien culture and their particular skill with a chesslike game.
Barry Malzberg (1939- ) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 1974, he published Tactics of Conquest. The novel first started out as a short story called "Closed Sicilian," which he sold to Fantasy and Science Fiction for $80. A game of chess decides the fate of the universe. ("You mean we're truly going to play for the fate of the Universe? "Exactly," the Overlord said, "a forty-one game chess match to be broadcast throughout all civilized sectors of your Universe so that everyone can witness it." "But why chess? Why me? Why this planet?" "Because chess is ideal for such a final judgement; it is a methodical game with absolutely no element of luck, and therefore there can be no complaints by the loser. Chess is known only to your plant, and you and your opponent are the most evenly matched living players. Good against evil. No other chess players are so close in true potential abilities. There is no other reason.")
George R. R. Martin (1948- ) is an American novelist and science fiction writer. He is also a big chess fan (USCF rated over 2000) and has been a chess organizer. In 1972, he published an essay called "The Computer was a Fish" in the August 1972 issue of Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. He mentions the 1971 Association of Computer Machinery (ACM) and a computer chess program called CCCP. In 1982, he published "Unsound Variations," which appeared in the January 1982 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. It had a few chess references.
Joe Martino is a science fiction writer. In 1993, he published "Paper Virus," which appeared in the December 1993 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. A character named Nakamura plays chess with Alexandrov.
Gary D. McClellan is a science fiction author. In 1978, he published "Darkside," which appeared in the March 1978 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess.
Jack McDevitt (1935- ) is an American science fiction author. In 1982, he wrote "Black to Move," which appeared in the September 1982 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. It is a chilling story of alien cunning explained in chess terms. There are several chess references. In 1983, he published "The Jersey Rifle." It is a tale about the best chess player in the world. In 2005, he wrote Seeker. At the Museum of Alien Life there is a Hall of Humans. One of the displays was a chess game in progress.
Abraham Merritt (1884-1943) was a writer of fantastic fiction. In 1949, he published Seven Footprints to Satan. It had a reference to living chess. ("Some people live their lives for chess. I play my chess with living chessmen and I play a score of games at once in all corners of the world.")
Sandy Miller Gearhart (1931- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1950, she wrote "Checkmate," which appeared in the March 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures. ("He sat down and touched a stud. At once a chess board swung up, its pieces set in order and ready to play. Flaren pressed another stud and the clicking of a relay told him the set was primed. The machine would give him a good game. He glanced to see if the handicap control was set at "class two" — it was. He made the conventional Queen's Pawn opening.")
In 1950, William Morrison published The Sack. The Sack was a creature that could answer any questions. The Sack found itself giving advice to bitter rivals, so that it seemed to be playing a game of Interplanetary Chess.
Ryck Neube is a science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2000, he published "The Wurst King vs Aluminum Foil," which appeared in the August 2000 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. A man is hired as a bodyguard to a questionably-sane chess champion. There is a tournament with several of the top hundred chess masters in the galaxy. In 2005, he published "Organs R Us," which appeared in the March 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of chess references. In 2007, he published "Battlefield Games," which appeared in the January 2007 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction magazine. It is about a soldier who plays chess against one of the 'smart' weapons, an intelligent cruise missile from the enemy.
Alec Nevala-Lee is a science fiction writer. In 2004, he published "Inversus," which appeared in the January 2004 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of chess references. In 2012, he published his novel City of Exiles. ("'I'm afraid that I never joined chess club.") There was also a reference to former world chess champion Garry Kasparov.
Katherine Neville (1945- ) is an American author who writes adventure novels. In 1988, she wrote The Eight. Whoever reassembles the legendary chess pieces once owned by Charlemagne can play a game of unlimited power.
Larry Niven (1938- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1970, he published Ringworld. In Ringworld, fairy chess is played by Louis Wu at his mansion, with Teela Brown, on Earth in 2850. In 2005, he co-wrote, with Brenda Cooper, "Kath and Quicksilver," which appeared in the August 2005 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess, such as Quicksilver could beat Kath in chess.
Bob Olsen, the pen name of Alfred Johannes Olsen (1884-1956) was an American science fiction writer. In 1929, he published "The Superperfect Bride," which appeared in the July 1929 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. The woman named Eve in the story is highly intelligent, at least as good a chess player as Broderick (looking for a bride), a gifted musician, and amiable.
Lee Owens was a science fiction writer. In 1950, he published "Fables from the Future," which appeared in the August 1950 issue of Fantastic Adventures. He writes about a chess-playing machine in the future and that machines are gradually duplicating the thinking process. He further writes that a machine might beat poor or even mediocre players, though not the finest.
In 1946, Lewis Padgett (the husband and wife team Henry Kuttner and C.L. Moore) wrote The Fairy Chessmen, first published in Astounding magazine in January and February, 1946. The novel was later renamed Chessboard Planet and published by Gnome Press in 1951. A mathematician whose research involves a type of chess played with variable rules ("fairy chess') is the only one able to solve an equation from the future. In 1947, Padgett published "Tomorrow and Tomorrow," which appeared in the January and February 1947 issues of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several chess references. ("The symbol is chess. As long as she can beat you at chess, you can feel safe in assuming that she's not weakening.")
Raymond Palmer (1910-1977) was the editor of Amazing Stories from 1938 to 1949. He was also an avid chess player.
Edgar Pangborn (1909-1976) was a science fiction writer. In 1951, he published "Angel's Egg," which appeared in the June 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess. ("Lester dropped around for sherry and chess. The angel retired behind some books on an upper shelf — I'm afraid it was dusty — and had fun with our chess... I tell you again I didn't study the game in the interval when you weren't here. I've never even had a chess book in the library, and if I had, no amount of study would take me into your class. ")
Rodman Philbrick (1951- ) is an American writer of novels. In 2000, he wrote The Last Book in the Universe. There are several references to chess. (Lanaya and Jin are in the game space, a room that changes shape and layout depending upon the game being played — in this case, chess. Chess is one of those deals that looks real simple, but isn't... Some pieces, like Drones, can only move one square at a time; others, like Crooks or Wizards, can go all the way across the board in different directions. The object is to trap the pieces they call the Master."
Rog Phillips, the pen name of Roger Phillip Graham (1909-1965) was an American science fiction writer. In 1948, he published "Starship from Sirius" in the August 1948 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. There are a few references to chess. In 1951, he published "Checkmate for Aradjo," which appeared in the December 1951 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. There are several references to chess. Aradjo Ihanrani is chess champion of the world. In 1959, he published "The Creeper in the Dream," which appeared in the February 1959 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction. One of the characters takes chess lessons from a lady.
Henry Beam Piper (1904-1964) was an American science fiction author and chess player. In 1950, he published "The Mercenaries," which appeared in the March 1950 issue of Analog/Science Fiction. It had a couple of references to chess. ("'...I was wondering if you'd have time to meet me at the Recreation House at Oppenheimer Village for a game of chess.' ...'I'm in the middle of a devil's own mathematical problem; maybe a game of chess would clear my head. I have a new queen's-knight gambit I want to try on you, anyhow.")
Frederick Pohl (1919-2013) was an American science fiction writer and chess player. In 1964, he published "Chess and the Giant Brains," which appeared in the August 1964 issue of If. In 1980, he published Beyond the Blue Event Horizon. ("I could beat the ass of Vera when we played chess, unless she cheated. How did she cheat? Well, after I had won maybe two hundred games from her she won one. And then I won about fifty, and then she won one, and another, and for the next twenty games we were about even and then she began to clobber me every time. Until I figured out what was she doing. She was transmitting position and plans to the big computers on Earth and then, when we recessed games, as we sometimes did, because Payter or one of the women would drag me away, because Payter or one of the women would drag me away from the set, she would have time to get Downlink-Vera's criticism of her plans and suggestions to amend her strategies.") In 1990, he published The World at the End of Time. Wan-To, one of the oldest and most powerful plasma creatures, is engaged in a war. After creating modified copies of himself, or "children", for company, Wan-To finds himself in a deadly game of chess with them. The "board" is the entire galaxy and the weapons are the stars themselves. Each star may be home to an enemy "child"... and using a variety of exotic particles, Wan-To is able to cause a targeted star to flare and kill any enemy that may be living within it.
Tom Purdom (1936- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 2002, he published "A Champion of Democracy," which appeared in the May 2002, issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess. In 2003, he published "Sheltering," which appeared in the August 2003 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a few references to chess in a bomb shelter during a 21st century war.
Frank Quattrocchi was a science fiction writer. In 1951, he published "Assignment in the Unknown," which appeared in the February 1951 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a reference to three-dimensional chess.
Mack Reynolds (1917-1983) was an American science fiction writer. In 1955, he published "Albatross," which appeared in the April 1955 issue of Imagination. ("One day we sat in the officers' mess across a chess table, with two or three others watching. Jack Casey had made his inevitable gambit, and, also, inevitable, I'd accepted. Now he had his king's pawn in his hand."). In 1965, he published "The Adventure of the Extraterrestrial," which appeared in the July 1965 issue of Analog. ("From the chess problem, over which he had been nodding, my companion slowly raised his head.") In 1965, he published "Beehive," which appeared in the December 1965-January 1966 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. The story refers to battle chess. ("'But, even so, don't play any battle chess with them. We can't afford to show ourselves up.' Doctor Horsten said mildly, "They don't play battle chess. The chap I met on Firense introduced me to their planetary intellectual game. I couldn't make head nor tails of the rules and gave up.'")
Jeremy Robinson (1974) is a writer of adventure and sci-fi novels. He sometimes writes under the pen names of Jeremy bishop and Jeremiah Knight. He wrote a series of novellas called the "Chesspocalypse" that follow an individual member of Robinson's chess Team.
Spider Robinson (1948- ) and Jeanne Robinson (1948-2010) were husband and wife science fiction writers. In 1978, they published "Stardance II," which appeared in the October 1978 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. 3-D chess is mentioned.
Eric Frank Russell (1905-1978) was a British science fiction author. In 1941, he published "Men, Martians and Machines," which appeared in the May 1941 to Oct 1943 issues of Astounding. There are chess-fanatic Martians who argue about chess moves.
Geoff Ryman (1951- ) is a science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2005, he published his novel Air: Or, Have Not Have. ("Middle-aged men still played chess outside tiny cafes...").
Fred Saberhagen (1930-2007) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. In 1945, he published "Love Conquers All," which appeared in the November 1974 to January 1975 issues of Galaxy Science Fiction. There are several references to chess. In 1982, he edited Pawn to Infinity, which included many science fiction stories about chess. ("He tossed his box of handcarved Staunton chessmen rattling onto the large circular bed, set his digital tournament clock down gently, and picked up the note, which was in Rita's handwriting.")
Robert Scherrer is a science fiction writer on physicist. In 2004, he published "Extra Innings," which appeared in the November 2004 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. In his story, chess was solved in the future by a global processor. ("'Chess?' 'Chess was solved by the global processor. There's a perfect winning strategy for white.'")
John Michael Sharkey (1931-1992) was a science fiction writer. In 1960, he wrote The Dope on Mars. There were a few chess references. ("Llody came by, also. "Your play chess?" he asked. "A little," I admitted. "How about a game sometime?" "Sure," I said. "Do you have a board?" He didn't.")
Richard Shaver (1907-1975) was an American writer and chess player. In 1950, he published, "We Dance for the Dom," which appeared in the January 1950 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. It has a few references to chess. ("The place where IT sat was reminiscent of a King behind the chess pieces. ...The floor of the vast and dismal place bore out the impression of chess.")
Robert Sheckley (1928-2005) was an American science fiction writer. In 1953, he published, "Fool's Mate," which was published in the March 1953 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. It was a short story on using the game theory of war. There were several references to chess. It used probably calculators like chess players, looking for patterns. ("Half of the opposing chess player's pieces shot out into space, completely out of the battle. Whole flanks advanced, split, rejoined, wrenched forward, dissolved their formation, formed it again. No pattern? There had to be a pattern. The chess player knew that everything had a pattern. It was just a question of finding it, of taking the moves already made and extrapolating to determine what the end was supposed to be.")
Lucius Shepard (1947-2014) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2000, he published "Radiant Green Star," which appeared in the August 2000 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess. ("I did not make a good chess player, I was far too distracted by the presence of my teacher to heed her lessons. But I'm grateful to the game, for through the movements of knights and queens, through my clumsiness and her patience, through hours of sitting with our heads bent close together, our hearts grew close.")
Wilmar H. Shiras (1908-1990) was an American science fiction author. She also wrote under the name Jane Howes. In 1948, she published "In Hiding," which was published in the November 1948 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are several references to chess. ("It turned out that Tim had pen friends all over the world. He played chess by correspondence — a game he never dared to play in person, except when he forced himself to move the pieces about idly and let his opponent win at least half the time... Chess players don't like fantasy, and nobody else likes chess. You have to have a very special kind of mind to like both.")
Robert Silverberg (1935- ) is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. In 1957, he wrote Master of Life and Death. Due to global overcrowding, Walton had to dump several hundred thousand Belgians into Patagonia. "He forced himself to cling to one of Director FitzMaugham's oft-repeated maxims, If you want to stay sane, think of these people as pawns in a chess game — not as human beings."). In 1974, he wrote Schwartz between the Galaxies, which won the 1975 Hugo Award. Dr. Schwartz, an anthropologist, travels to Papua in a rocket. He compares his chosen profession as empty, foolish, and useless as playing a game of chess. In 1998, he published "Waiting for the End," which appeared in the October 1998 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There was a reference to a gigantic game of chess.
Clifford Simak (1904-1988) was an American science fiction writer whose interests included chess. In 1931, he published "Cosmic Engineers," which appeared in the February 1939 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. In 1949, he published "Eternity Lost," which appeared in the July 1949 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There were a few references to chess. ("Chess is a game of logic. But likewise a game of ethics. You do not shout and you do not whistle, nor bang the pieces on the board...") In 1950, it was revised for book publication. A mathematician invents 3D chess. In 1951, he wrote Time and Again (also published as First He Died). He depicted a chess game between a man and a robot. ("It would be three-dimensional chess with a million billion squares and a million pieces, and with the rules changing every move...In the screen a man was sitting before a chess table. The pieces were in mid-game. Across the board stood a beautifully machined robotic. The man reached out a hand, thoughtfully played a knight. The robotic clicked and chuckled. It moved a pawn..."Mr. Benton hasn't won a game in the past ten years...""... Benton must have known, when he had Oscar fabricated, that Oscar would beat him," Sutton pointed out. "A human simply can't beat a robotic expert."). In 1954, he published "Immigrant," which appeared in the March 1954 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. ("'I understand you have a game called chess,' said George. 'We can't play games, of course. You know why we can't. But I'd be very interested in discussing with you the technique and philosophy of chess.'") In 1956, he published "Honorable Opponent," which appeared in the August 1956 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. There is a reference to a chess game being played. ("'Captain,' asked General Lyman Flood, 'what time have we got now? Captain Gist looked up from the chessboard. 'Thirty-seven o eight, galactic, sir.' Then he went back to the board again. Sergeant Conrad had pinned his knight and he didn't like it.")
John Sladek (1937-2000) was an American science fiction author. In 1972, he published "Engineer to the Gods," which appeared in the August 1972 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Jeremiah Lashard is an expert at chess, boxing, astronautics, economics, Frisbees, etc. In 1983, he published his novel Tik-Tok. Chess is played in Nixon Park. ("He played lightning chess, never studying the board for never more than five seconds before his yellow-stained hand would snake out and make a move. And they were devastating moves. I won about one game in ten, no more.")
Cordwainer Smith was the pen name of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger (1913-1966). He was a science fiction author. In 1961, he published "Mother Hitton's Littul Kittons," which appeared in the June 1961 issue of Galaxy Magazine. The Elders of the Guild of Thieves welcomed Benjacomin Bozart back to his planet comparing his work like the opening move in a brand new game of chess and that there had been a gambit like this before. In 1964, he published "The Crime and the Glory of Commander Suzdal," which appeared in the May 1964 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. Suzdal plays chess. ("'Don't you want some chess players?' 'I can play chess,' said Suzdal. 'all I want to, using the spare computers. All I have to do is set the power down and they start losing. On full power, they always beat me.'")
E.E. Smith (1890-1965) was an early science-fiction author and a chess player. In 1941, he published "The Vortex Blaster," which appeared in the July 1941 issue of Comet.
George O. Smith (1911-1981) was an American science fiction author. In 1946, he published "Trouble," which appeared in the July 1946 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a reference to living chess. In 1960, he published "The Mind Thing," which appeared in the March 1960 issue of Fantastic Universe. There is one reference to chess. A friend invites another friend to visit him during his vacation. ("bring your fishing gear — there's excellent fishing quite near- by —and your gun or guns ; deer are out of season, of course, but there's still some hunting. And even if we don't hunt you can improve your marksmanship, if you wish, as I'm doing ; I've rigged a rifle range. I have my chess set too, and playing cards.")
Brian Stableford (1948- ) is a British science fiction writer. In 2007, he published "The Trial," which appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a few chess references.
Aileen Steele is a science fiction author. In 2001, she wrote "The Days Between," which appeared in the March 2001 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are several references to chess.
Bruce Sterling (1954- ) is an American science fiction author. In 1991, he published "The Unthinkable," which appeared in the August 1991 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. ("'Chess?' Tsyganov suggested rising. 'Another time,' said Doughty. Though, for security reasons, he lacked any official ranking in the chess world. Doughty was in fact quite an accomplished chess strategist, particularly strong in the endgame."). In 2005, he published "The Blemmye's Strategem," which appeared in the January 2005 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are a few chess references in this short story about a Blemmye during the Crusades, who turns out to be an extraterrestrial. In 2007, he published "Kiosk," which appeared in the January 2007 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess. ("All of these items sitting within their digital files as neat as chess pieces, sitting there like the very idea of chess pieces, like a mental chess-set awaiting human desire to leap into being and action."). In 2011, he published his novel, Heavy Weather. There are a few chess player characters in the novel.
Francis Stevens was the pen name of Gertrude Barrows Bennett (1883-1948). She was the first major female writer of fantasy and science fiction in the United States. In 1942, she published "Serapion," which appeared in the July 1942 issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries. There were a couple of chess references. ("Cutting the apologies short, Nils forgave me, explained that though out of sympathy with Moore's work, he occasionally called to play chess with him, and then we were going up the snow-blanketed walk, side by side. 'Even the chess sometimes ends in a row,' Nils added gloomily.")
Thomas Stribling (1881-1965) was an American writer, lawyer, and a chess player. In 1920, he published "The Green Splotches," which first appeared in the Jan 3, 1920 issue of Adventure. In 1927, it appeared in the March 1927 issue of Amazing Stories. There are several references to chess and a chess-like game called cube. ("" 'Cube' has eight boards such as this, superimposed upon one another. Each board has thirty-two pieces on it, thus giving two-hundred and fifty-six pieces in all, each player controlling one hundred and twenty-eight. All the major pieces can move up or down, forward or backward, but the pawns can only advance, or go higher. As no real boards are used, the whole play must be kept in mind. The game becomes a contest of intricacy, that is, until one player grows confused, makes an incoherent move and is checkmated. It is a very pleasant amusement for persons who have nothing more serious to think about." "I have seen mental chess-players in America," observed Standifer, "but they use only one board. I suppose more would complicate it. I don't play myself." The chess-players made no answer to this remark, but set up the men. Mr. Three defeated the scientists' combined skill in a game of ten moves."). In late 1927, Stribling discovered he had a passion for chess. He said, "[Chess] is pure logic used to the ends of chicane. A most noble game. But it takes forever to learn anything about it." He later said that he lacked the "sort of brain that goes to make a chess player." He invented a new form of chess with three chess boards that "allows ten times as much strategy as ordinary chess and is ten times as complicated. Playing chess remained his pastime passion. After moving to Miami Beach, he joined a group of amateur chess players who practiced with an unnamed international chess player. Stribling eventually beat every member of his club. (Source: T.S. Stribling: A Life of the Tennessee Novelist, by Kenneth Vickers)
Don A. Stuart was the pen name of John W. Campbell, Jr (1910-1971), an American science fiction writer and editor. In 1938, he published "Who Goes There?" which appeared in the August 1938 issue of Astounding Stories. The crewmembers are depicted playing chess.
Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985) was an American science fiction writer. In 1948, he published "The Perfect Host," which appeared in the November 1948 issue of Weird Tales. ("There is his unspoken, undemanded authority in the choice of programs in the evenings; and where are the chess games..."). In 1973, he published "Case and the Dreamer," which appeared in the January 1973 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess.
Jean Sullivan published "The Chess Set," which appeared in #13 1985 issue Eldritch Tales.
Chess is mentioned in Griffin's Egg by Michael Swanwick (1950- ), published in 1992. Gunther Weil works as a laborer on the moon and wants to play chess. But nobody plays chess anymore. It's a game for computers.
Albert Teichner is a science fiction writer. In 1963, he published "The Right Side of the Tracks," which appeared in the May 1963 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. There are a few references to two men playing chess.
William Tenn (1920-2010) was the pseudonym of Philip Klass, a British-born American science fiction author. In 1957, he published, "Time Waits for Winthrop," which appeared in the August 1957 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Five present individuals have been selected to travel to the future, while five compatible individuals have been selected to travel to the past. One of the characters wonders what chess would be like in the future. The future has a computer that examines and chooses from every chess game ever recorded.
Walter Tevis (1928-1984) was an American novelist and short story writer. In 1980, he published "Echo," which appeared in the October 1980 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. One of the characters had been captain of his chess club in high school.
Mary Turzillo (1940- ) is an American science fiction writer. In 1997, she published "Mate," which appeared in the February 1997 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. There are several chess references. In 2012, she published "Someone Is Eating America's Chess Masters" in Kaleidotrope. Chess is played on the Saurosapiens home planet and Zoyxaquitl is the International Champion of Zox. Weiskopf is an avid chess player. Chess masters have disappeared all over America and a saurosapiens is eating the chess players. The story ends with, "David? Before you get wet, bring me some of those Chessmen cookies?"
A.E. van Vogt (1912-2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author. In 1948, he published "The Players of Null-A," which appeared in the October 1948 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There are a couple of references to chess. The fate of Earth is somehow linked to his actions, but there is a mysterious cosmic chess player that appears to be manipulating events. ("The Galactic League people are bewildered. They can't decide whether the cosmic chess player who has moved you into this game is an ally or not. ...And if you don't kill yourself, then no one else will except you yourself — or some other agent of the invisible chess player.")
Jack Vance (1916-2013) was an American mystery, fantasy, and science fiction writer. In 1952, he published "Abercrombie Station," which appeared in the February 1952 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories. It was retitled "Monsters in Orbit" in 1965. Abercrombie Station orbits the Earth, and the heir to the Station in Earl, who plays chess. It mentions correspondence chess. ("Earl played postcard chess with opponents all over the universe.") In 1957, he published "Equation of Doom," which appeared in the February 1957 issue of Amazing Stories. ("At that moment Ramsey had a vision. He saw — or thought he saw — Margot Dennison in the costume she had word when they first met. She stood, eyes wide, fearful, expectant, before a chess-board. The pieces seemed to be spaceships. It was a perfectly clear vision, but it was the only such vision Ramsey had ever been vouchsafed in his life. He was not mystic. He did not know what to make of it. Playing chess with Margot was — proto-man."). In 1966, he published "The Palace of Love," in the October 1966 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. Gersen investigates the life of Viole Falushe, or Vogel Filschner as he was known during his childhood. He finds out that "his only friend had been Roman Haenigsen, the chess champion" and proceeds by interviewing the man. ("Like anything else, one must practice to keep in fighting trim. Chess is an old game." He went to a board, disarranged the chess-men with affectionate contempt. "Every variation has been analyzed; there is a recorded game to illuminate the results of any reasonable move. If one had a sufficiently good memory, he would not need to think to win his games; he could merely play someone else's winning game. Luckily, no one owns such a memory but the robots."). In 2006, he published "Death of a Solitary Chess Player."
Jules Verne (1828-1905) was a French novelist and science fiction writer. In 1877, he wrote a science fiction novel called Off on a Comet (French: Hector Servadac). In 1926, the first two issues (April and May 1926) of Amazing Stories reprinted Off on a Comet. There are several references to chess. ("Both of them, moreover, were rigid disciplines of the renowned Philidor, who pronounces that to play the pawns well is 'the soul of chess'; and, accordingly, not one pawn has been sacrificed without a most vigorous defense. ...Colonel Murphy and the major had not even been forced to forego the pleasures of the chessboard. The game that had been interrupted by Captaib Servadac's former visit was not yet concluded; but like two American clubs that played their celebrated game in 1846 between Washington and Baltimore, the two gallant officers made use of the semaphore to communicate their well-digested moves."
Vernor Vinge (1944- ) is a computer scientist and science fiction author. In 1984, he published "The Peace War," which appeared in the May 1984 issue of Analog/Astounding Science Fiction. There is a reference to the North American Chess Federation championships. ("The atmosphere of an open chess tournament hadn't changed much in the last hundred years. ...the informality mixed with intense concentration, the wide range of ages, the silence on the floor, the long tables and rows of players — all would be instantly recognizable.")
Roger Vreeland was a science fiction writer. In 1944, he published "The Hidden Player," which appeared in the January 1944 issue of Weird Tales. There are references to chess and the Prince Henry Chess Club. ("The chessboard is the world; the pieces are the phenomena of the universe; the rules of the game are what we call the laws of nature.")
In 1986, Ian Watson (1943- ) wrote Queenmagic, Kingmagic. Two kingdoms have been locked in a war waged according to the strict rules of chess. Two opposing pawns fall in love and seek a way out of their world before its inevitable end. In 1991, he published "The Odor of Cocktail Cigarettes," which appeared in the April 1991 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine. There are a couple of references to chess.
H. G. Wells (1866-1945) was a science fiction writer and chess player. In 1895, he wrote the novel The Wonderful Visit. It tells how a fallen angel who spends time in Victorian England. He mentions that the English vicar, Rev K. Hilyer, who shot the angel in the wing, plays chess. The vicar tells the angel, "I live, I am afraid, a quiescent life, duties fairly done, a little ornithology, and a little chess. In 1895, Wells wrote The War of the Worlds, the first alien invasion story, which was serialized in 1897 in the UK by Pearson's Magazine and in the US by Cosmopolitan magazine. In 1898, the novel appeared in hardcover. In chapter 7, a couple of his characters (the unnamed protagonist and an artilleryman) played chess during the Martian invasion near Surrey, England. He wrote, "Afterwards he taught me poker and I beat him at three tough chess games. ...After an interminable string of games, we supped, and the artilleryman finished his champagne." In 1897, he wrote the science fiction short story "The Crystal Egg," which later appeared in the May 1926 issue of Amazing Stories. ("The contents of its window were curiously variegated. They comprised some elephant tusks and an imperfect set of chessmen..."). In 1898, Wells wrote When the Sleeper Wakes (rewritten as The Sleeper Awakes in 1910). It was originally published in The Graphic from 1898 to 1903. It is about a man who falls asleep and wakes up 200 years in the future. Wells wrote that players were learning chess faster while they were in trances. Wells wrote, "Instead of years of study, candidates had substituted a few weeks of trances, and during the trances expert coaches had simply to repeat all the points necessary for adequate answering, adding a suggestion of the post hypnotic recollection of these points. In process mathematics particularly, this aid had been a singular service, and it was now invariable invoked by such players of chess and games of manual dexterity as were still to be found." For further references to H.G. Wells and chess, see my article on H.G. Wells.
Elwyn Brooks White (1899-1985) was an American author. In 1951, he published "the Hour of Letdown," which appeared in the December 1951 issue of The New Yorker. It also appeared in the August 1952 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. A machine put in 3 days of playing chess in a tournament and won $5,000. ("In chess, everything is open.")
James White (1928-1999) was a Northern Irish author of science fiction. In 1960, he published "Dogfight," which appeared in the April 1960 issue of New Worlds Science Fiction. There are a few references to chess.
Don Wilcox (1905-2000) was a science fiction writer. In 1944, he published "Man from Magic River," which appeared in the June 1944 issue of Fantastic Adventures. Yoy can touch the chess table and the chess-men set up themselves. ("It would be fun, she thought, to play chess by moonlight. Strange that the man in the mast should have heard of her weakness for this game. Was he not very clever to suggest a pastime so intriguing?...'O-o-oh! What beautiful chess-men! They're jeweled! And so intricately designed!'")
Adam Wisniewski-Snerg (1937-1995) was a Polish science fiction author. In 1978, he wrote Angel of Violence. Terror-stricken tourists are standing on a huge chessboard and were unwilling participants in a game of chess played by two computers (one that was colored white and another colored black).
Bernard Wolfe (1915-1985) was an American writer. In 1951, he published "Self Portrait," which appeared in the November 1951 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction. There were major contributions to a robot chess player.
In 1972, Gene Wolfe published The Fifth Head of Cerberus. He mentions holographic chessmen and the movement of a lady like an onyx chessman on a polished board that reminded the character of a Black Queen. The Marvelous Brass Chessplaying Automaton, Universe 1977.
Donald Wollheim (1914-1990) was an American science fiction editor, publisher, and writer. In 1956, he wrote One against the Moon. One of the Soviet scientists said, "At our [rocket] centers we made a game of this. It was serious to our country, but to us, men of science, all discoveries by human beings are great things. We liked to think of our work as a great game of mental chess with you Americans — with the pieces on the board carefully hidden from sight and reported only through guesswork and bad witnesses."
Wel Yahua is a science fiction writer. In 1984, he published "Conjugal Happiness in the Arms of Morpheus," which appeared in the September 1984 issue of Amazing Science Fiction Stories. One of the female characters was a chess master.
Arthur Leo Zagat (1896-1949) was an American writer of pulp fiction and science fiction. In 1951, he published Drink We Deep. A dead person is still making chess moves. ("...I saw by marks in dust that Elijah's pipe had been moved, too, and when I touched it, it was hot. ..Nor they ain't nobody around here good enough at chess to figure out that move. No. I get a notion the Elijah, not being buried in consecrated ground, can't rest. ...A tale of a drowned farmer returning to his home and moving a piece on a dusty chess board?")
In 1963, Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) published "A Rose for Eccleslastes," which appeared in the November 1963 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It was nominated for the 1964 Hugo Award for Short Fiction. The protagonist, a poet named Gallinger, settled in Greenwich Village and learned to play chess before becoming the first human to learn the language of Martians. In 1983, Zelazny published Unicorn Variations. His 1982 story, "Unicorn Variation," was about a story of a man playing chess against a unicorn in a bar.
Science Fiction magazines
Amateur Science Fiction Stories 4-5/1926, 7/1929, 3/1938
Amazing Stories 3/1927, 3/1947, 5/1948, 8/1948, 1/1950, 4/1950, 2/1951, 12/1951, 1/1960, 6/1961, 5/1963, 5/1964, 1/1982, 9/1984
Analog — see Astounding Stories
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine Spring 1977, 3/1978, 3/1981, 4/1981, 9/1982, 6/1985, 3/1986, 10/1988, 10/1990, 4/1991, 10/1994, 3/1997, 8/2000, 3/2001, 12/2001, 5/2002, 8/2003, 3/2004, 3/2005, 8/2005, 7/2006, 1/2007, 4/2007, 7/2007, 2/2008, 6/2010
Astounding Stories (Astounding Science Fiction, Analog Science Fact & Fiction, Analog) 1/1930, 1/1939, 2/1939, 9/1939, 2/1941, 5/1941, 7/1941, 8/1941, 10/1943, 1/1946, 2/1946, 3/1947, 7/1946, 1/1947, 6/1947, 10/1948, 11/1948, 7/1949, 9/1949, 2/1950, 3/1950, 6/1950, 8/1950, 2/1951, 3/1952, 1/1953, 3/1953, 8/1953, 3/1954, 4/1955, 10/1957, 11/1957, 12/1957, 3/1958, 2/1959, 8/1959, 9/1959, 7/1965, 1/1966, 8/1972, 10/1978, 12/1981, 3/1982, 5/1984, 3/1986, 3/1987, 10/1989, 1/1992, 12/1992, 12/1993, 1/1994, 6/1996, 7/1998, 9/2000, 9/2003, 1/2004, 9/2004, 11/2004, 3/2005, 6/2006, 7/2006, 8/2006, 9/2006, 6/2008
Authentic Science Fiction 3/1953
Eldrich Tales #11/1985
Famous Fantastic Mysteries 7/1942, 8/1942, 6/1952
Fantastic Adventures 6/1944, 9/1946, 3/1949, 7/1949, 3/1950, 7/1950, 8/1950, 11/1952
Fantastic Science Fiction 3/1953, 2/1959, 1/1964
Fantastic Universe 1/1954, 3/1960
Fantasy and Science Fiction 12/1966, 8/1982, 10/2005, 2/2008
Galaxy Science Fiction 2/1951, 6/1951, 11/1951, 8/1956, 8/1957, 7/1958, 6/1961, 8/1963, 10/1966, 1/1973, 11/1974, 12/1974, 1/1975
If (World of If) 5/1953, 4/1954, 5/1962, 8/1964, 2/1970, 8/1974
Imagination Science Fiction 12/1954, 4/1955
New Worlds Science Fiction 4/1960
Planet Stories Summer 1949
Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone Magazine 2/1982
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&FS) 8/1952, 2/1954, 3/ 1954, 11/1957, 1/1974, 7/1976, 12/1978, 10/1980, 9/1984, 8/1991, 2/1997, 8/1998, 1/2005, 1/2007
Thrilling Wonder Stories 6/1937, 2/1952
Weird Tales 1/1944, 11/1948, Spring 2003
Worlds of If Science Fiction (see If)
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