Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

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  • Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

    Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

    September 11, 2019

    Dale Brandreth, a friend of 45 years, has passed away. He was a chess writer, a collector, historian, publisher and book-dealer.

    His obituary:

    Hockessin, Delaware - Dale A. Brandreth, age 87, of Hockessin, DE, passed away on Monday, September 9, at his home. Born in White Marsh, PA, he was the son of the late Glenna (Trumbore) and Herbert Brandreth. Dale graduated with his bachelor of science and master degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto. Dale also served in the Army during the Korean War. While in Toronto, he met and married his wife, Alice James, and they moved to Pittsburgh and later relocated to Delaware. Once in Delaware, Dale worked as a chemical engineer for DuPont for over 15 years. He also taught chemical engineering at Drexel and Widener Universities.

    Dale was an avid chess book collector, publishing books on chess and even starting his own business called Caissa Editions Book Store, which he owned for over 40 years. In addition to chess, he enjoyed hiking and belonged to several hiking clubs.

    Dale is survived by his wife, Alice Brandreth of Hockessin, DE; his daughters and their spouses, Lara and John Williamson of Villanova, PA and Wendy and Scott Duncan of Arlington, VA; his grandchildren, Duncan, Hugh, Reilly, Benjamin, and James; and his sister, Nancy Brainerd of Ohio.

    A memorial service will be held at the Mealey Funeral Home, 2509 Limestone Road Wilmington, DE 19808 beginning at 11:30 A.M. on Saturday, September 14th. A reception will follow at the Brandreth home. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to www.worldwildlife.org or www.michaeljfox.org. Online condolences may be made at mealeyfuneralhomes.com.

    Published in The News Journal on Sept. 11, 2019


    He was a remarkable man and I intend to give some anecdotes of his life, a list of his publications, and my memories of our long friendship.

  • #2
    One of the giants of the field. Looking forward to those anecdotes.


    • #3
      I never met Dale but spoke to him on the phone many times when I worked at the CFC. His books are beautiful, of very high quality, and we would always have them in our catalog in those days. Our conversations would begin by myself calling him and ordering more books, or possibly himself calling to tell me about a new release. But once the business was completed Dale would always want to talk about chess. He would ask what was happening in Canadian chess at the time, and he wanted to know everything. I recall him inquiring in detail about the Closed of 1995, for example. Our conversations would generally drag on until I thought it best to politely indicate that I needed to get back to work. Dale absolutely loved chess, and with his publishing business wanted to and did most certainly make an eternal contribution to the game.
      Last edited by Brad Thomson; Wednesday, 11th September, 2019, 03:08 PM.


      • #4
        Dale A. Brandreth (1931 - 2019)

        September 12, 2019

        Memories of Dale (1)

        In the 70s, Dale used to issue lists of used chess books for sale. He liked to meet his buyers and so, we first met when he was in Toronto about 1973. He used to visit regularly and meet with old chemical engineering friends. The first book I bought was called The Caduceus– a book of chess problems from The Norwich Mercury by John Keeble (1910).

        A year or so later, he and David Hooper, co-authored a book called The Unknown Capablanca (1975). They say in their Preface:

        Books about him mostly contain games from his great matches and tournaments. In these events alone he created so many fine games that authors have not found it necessary to look further afield; yet from his lesser matches, his exhibition play, and other sources there are examples of his genius which bear favourable comparison with his most famous games. It is from these almost unknown events that we have collected about six hundred games, from which the contents of this book have been selected.

        There are 207 games in the book. They acknowledge help from 103 individuals! Among them R. P. Bohatirchuk, Maurice Fox and Moe Moss. My copy with an inscription from Dale is dated Sept. 1, 1975 and was published by the R.H.M.Press.

        In 1977, he brought out a little brochure entitled Collecting chess tournament books: a fascinating hobby.

        When he was here in 1985, he told me that Viktor Korchnoi was playing in a tournament over at Trinity College at U of T. I have written about this in ChessTalk at:



        In 1981, Bobby Fischer was walking peacefully and lawfully in Pasadena, California, when he was arrested on suspicion of robbing a bank. He was kept in a cold cell and denied food. He was finally released and a month later, wrote up his experience and published it in the form of a booklet with the title “I Was Tortured In The Pasadena Jailhouse!”

        Dale told me that he ordered a number of these booklets and sent Bobby a cheque for their cost. I think he sold them for $1.50 each. Dale said that he was waiting for Bobby to endorse the cheque and then he would have his signature when his bank returned the cheque to him. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen. Bobby endorsed the cheque with a rubber stamp with his name on it!


        In 1986, he published the very readable Notes of a Soviet Master by Aleksandr Ilyin-Zhenevskii. A fascinating account of this prominent revolutionary's early chess career and Soviet chess in the 20's buttressed by 50 of his games from his entire career including his immortal sacrificial win over Capablanca (then reigning World Champion).

        In 2000 he brought a parcel of books out to me at the lab that I ran. Two books stand out in my memory:

        Nezhmetdinov’s Best Games of Chess (2000) and

        Shady Side: the life and crimes of Norman Tweed Whitaker, chessmaster (2000)

        The first, because I had never heard of Nezhmetdinov. He was a Tal-like attacker from Kazakhstan, who couldn’t stand passive positions and so, never made it into the chess elite.

        Whitaker was a master strength player, a lawyer and a civil servant. In 1932 Charles Lindbergh’s infant child was kidnapped from his New Jersey estate. He and Gaston Means concocted a scheme to swindle a wealthy but gullible heiress, Evalyn Walsh McLean, by claiming to be in contact with the kidnappers, and convinced her that they could arrange for the baby’s safe return. The baby was found dead in May of 1932. Means and Whitaker were arrested by the FBI and Whitaker said he didn’t know where the money paid was. After a life of crime, he went back to being a tournament chess player. He died in 1975 at the age of 85.

        The genesis of the book is given in John Hilbert’s Introduction:

        Late in November 1997, I had just finished a major project and was looking around for another. In writing to Dale Brandreth, chess historian and bibliophile, I mentioned in passing an interest I had in a number of chess players, including Norman Tweed Whitaker. Dale wrote me back, suggesting that I might be interested in taking a look at Whitaker’s papers, as he had purchased them many hears before, at Whitaker’s death in 1975. The estate had left something like three or four crates of documents. He suggested he could mail me a box full to see if I might have any interest in writing a biography and game collection.

        Whitaker, it turned out, had been a pack rat. All told, approximately 1500 to 2000 documents, at best estimate, were finally found, enough to fill four crates and covering, literally, the day after Whitaker was bornin 1890 through the final settlement order of the probate court in 1976, the year after he died.


        When Dale came up to Toronto from Delaware, he usually drove. But, one year, he told me he was coming in a little four-seater airplane with some friends. I never saw him because he had a turbulent flight and could not wait to go home again. He mailed me the books that he would have given me had we met.

        I remember one visit at our home when he came in in his hiking boots. This memoir in the Book of Remembrances on legacy.com:

        Dale was an impressive man with many likable qualities, but what I liked most about him was his down-to-earth nature and excellent sense of humor. Dale was the quintessential absent-minded professor, off-the-charts smart but sometimes unaware of what was going on in his surroundings at least with regard to things he didn't find interesting. Once not long after I met him, he invited me on a hike, and it was a challenging one he didn't warn me about that, probably because he didn't find it particularly difficult. So, for about four hours, it was up and down rocky hills, with him walking ridiculously fast, telling jokes and funny stories, and not noticing how far behind I was or how out of breath. Somehow I managed to get through the hike without him noticing what a hard time I was having. As we were walking back to his car, he said, You know, you didn't do too badly today. Sometimes I don't like to hike with people in their 20s and 30s because I find they are often pretty wimpy. Looking back on it now, I think he may have been testing me that day.

        He and Alice often came up for the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. We decided to have our afternoon of conversation at the Prince of Wales Hotel which is outrageously expensive at night, but the restaurant by the bar is quite reasonable at lunch. We dropped Alice off for shopping.

        Here is what I wrote in a letter in October of 2010:

        But you really have to book a table by 11:30. In 1997, a Hong Kong business woman named Si Wai Lai spent $56 million to buy the four smallish hotels that dominate the upscale lodging market.

        In paying $17 million for the 101-room Prince of Wales Hotel, she paid one of the highest per-room prices ever paid for a hotel in Canada. She planned to turn it into a European type spa by spending another $100 million. All this in a town with 3500 year-round residents. After buying the Queens Landing Inn, Lai ripped out the dining room, doubled its size and installed a semicircle of floor-to-ceiling picture windows that give diners a panoramic view of the Niagara River. She hired a top Toronto chef for the kitchen, but for a touch of local color she sees to it that all the hotel dining rooms feature local Niagara wines. At the Pillar & Post, she’s built a glitzy outdoor whirlpool, complete with its own waterfall. She calls NOTL her hometown and glories in the changes (which have made her lots of enemies). One wonders if she will ever get return on her $200 million investment. If her hotels were next door to the new Niagara Falls casino she might, but she is 20 km away. She is very hands-on and she might have come out of her office at any moment to show Dale and I to our table.

        I ordered a hamburger plate and Dale, a mixed grill and the waiter kept me supplied with long cold diet Pepsis throughout the meal; he had ice teas. We talk from about noon until 2:30 about collecting, American politics, Bobby Fischer and so forth. Dale ate and talked with his jacket and hat on. Occasionally, I glanced at the bar and there was a woman there on a bar stool, about 50, with dyed red hair, who raised her eyebrows and smiled broadly to me each time I did. We avoided her but she came over at one point to a bookcase near Dale and myself and bent down to look at the books and wiggled her bottom. Finally, I got up to go to the washroom and she came over and said, “I’ve been listening to you boys and you talk about interesting subjects. Not like the guy I came here with – he makes a girl cry. You boys wouldn’t make a girl cry, would you? I’m from California.” Dale was very amused by all this and I was close to being scandalized although it was nice to be called a boy again.
        Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 12th September, 2019, 09:00 PM.


        • #5
          Dale A. Brandreth (1931 - 2019)

          September 12, 2019

          Memories of Dale (2)

          Dale liked to stay at the Delta Chelsea Inn in downtown Toronto (Gerrard Street). He would call when he got into town and I would go over and have a long lunch with discussion. Invariably, as above, someone would want to join in the conversation. Dale told me once that he was working on the Spielmann Diary for twenty years but as far as I know, he never published it.

          This note about The Diary:

          My foremost present project is to publish a chess diary of Rudolf Spielmann's from his early years, translated into English, with 69 of his games from the period 1900-1905 with the brief introductions he had written for them. The final manuscript for this book is now being typed, and I hope that within a year it will be available as the third volume in my Caissa Limited Editions series."

          Source: Dale A. Brandreth: "Some Reminiscences of a Chess Book Collection" in: BONUS SOCIUS. Jubileumuitgave voor Meindert Niemeijer ter gelegenheid van zijn 75ste verjaardag. Koninklijke Bibliotheek, ´s-Gravenhage 1977, pp. 47-53.

          Contrary to this announcement by Dale Brandreth, the "chess diary" was however never published and the puzzle about the manuscript of the Spielmann autobiography remained unsolved.



          In 2010 there was a chess book auction in downtown Buffalo. I was having breakfast and told the waitress that I had to eat quickly because the first viewing of the books was at 8:30. She didn’t speed up but said that she owned a rare book and what did I think it was worth? I asked her the title and she said, “I have Irma of Oz! I found it in an old barn.” I said that there was an L. Frank Baum book called Ozma of Oz but no Irma.

          I downed my coffee and went over to the auction house. Dale had been hired as a consultant/appraiser by the house, to price the books from the Jack O’Keefe collection and to put them into lots by content. There were 217 lots (piles of books and boxes) were arranged on long banks of tables. The lot number was taped in front of them. So, you could see what you were bidding on. With only half an hour to spend, I just made a quick round of the piles that interested me. There were one or two chess historians, five serious collectors, three booksellers and myself.

          I was content to watch. I did not want to bid against the wealthier collectors. Dale had brought a minivan and his haul was about $15,000 to $20,000 of stuff. He said to me, “my wife is going to kill me when I get home.” But he is a seller and starting next week, he’ll have most of them listed on-line. I was going to ask him to have Buffalo chicken wings with me after but realized that it would probably take him two to three hours to load all the heavy boxes into the minivan and I really could not help him lift all that stuff.

          I went off to the Anchor Bar myself and had 20 hot chicken wings with veggies and a pitcher of Diet Coke and then to Parkside Candies for a strawberry milkshake to quell the fires of the hot wings.


          In 2012, I told him that my son and I were going to do a motor tour of New York State and I we were stopping in at West Point, where I had heard there was a particularly fine chess library. Dale immediately said that it was the donation of Robert Sinnott.

          The trip there did not turn out so well. West Point is a military installation with guard posts at the gates. We were told we could not get out of the car without permission except at the bookstore. So, no library. But my son bought a couple of West Point T-shirts, visited a museum adjacent to the bookstore and said it was one of the best things ever.


          On one occasion at our luncheons he talked about his time at the University of Toronto. I believe that he had won a Rhodes Scholarship for his graduate work but went to Toronto on it instead of Oxford.

          One of his organic teachers was the legendary George Wright. This from a Department of Chemistry Alumni Newsletter dated 1996:

          Gone, too, are the colorful figures such as Lash Miller and George F (no period) Wright. All of us know George Wright stories (the sodium packed cup sink, the rdx saga, the exploding tree trunk episode, the bottles of Scotch, the cigarette held high while pouring ether). Many of these cannot be told in polite company. Those who wish to withdraw from polite company can join us in the quadrangle after dinner. We will gather in groups and relate them to the younger graduates so as to maintain the oral traditions of the department intact. What is amazing is that as incredible as they seem, most of those episodes really took place.

          Dale worked at Dupont for a number of years and lectured at three different universities. If you look at his publications, two of them are:

          Advances in foam aging: a topic in energy conservation (1986)

          Improved thermal insulation: problems and perspectives (1991)


          I believe that he had his collection housed separately from his living quarters. Pete Tamburro wrote this about that:

          Over the years, I used to visit him at his Delaware “chess home,” which was separate from his family digs (à la Lothar Schmid). The house was filled with chess books on shelves, in the garage, in his huge workroom, and in any other room deemed appropriate. He knew where everything was! Our conversations were more like tutorials. The depth of his knowledge of chess history was immense. I am so grateful for all that he taught me over the decades.

          He had collected so much that he was able to donate eight boxes of chess materials to the John G. White Chess Collection at the Cleveland Public Library.


          The description:

          This collection is comprised of letters exchanged between many prominent chess players, chess bibliophiles, chess collectors, chess dealers, chess editors and the like. In addition to the letters themselves, the collection also includes many chess problems, details of particular games, announcements of upcoming chess tournaments and other chess-related events as well as a multitude of catalogs and invoices from chess book dealers. While the content of the majority of the correspondence deals with the efforts of their respective authors to locate rare chess books and publications or discuss game scores and upcoming tournaments, many of the letters provide insight into the personal lives and relationships between these chess enthusiasts and players.

          If you look at the detailed contents you can see correspondence from Albrecht Buschke, James Gates, Alain White, David Lawson, Edward Lasker, Sam Loyd, Bernard Quaritch, Lothar Schmid, Walter Goldwater, Eugene Cook and many others. Enough material for several chess history books.

          With the Internet, he stopped issuing mail lists and went online with the Caissa Editions Bookstore. He said that he had over 20,000 different chess items in stock. There is much interesting content there. One bit of writing that particularly impressed me was his professional evaluation of the worth of Lothar Schmid’s Library. You can read it at:


          Some other quotes from his on-line book lists:

          DIE PHILOSOPHIE DES UNVOLLENDENBAR DR. EMMANUE LASKER Leipzig Verlag, von Veit, 1919. One of Dr. Lasker's several Philosophical books. No doubt that Lasker was at the professional level in mathematics, but in philosophy, Kurt Rattmann told me that Dr. Wildhagen, who was a professional philosopher, told him that Lasker in philosophy "reinvented the wheel" and more or less was something of a joke among philosophers. 636 p and daunting no doubt, but for those with its first- rate German and equal to the challenge, this book is for you! Scarce! $80

          TLS ANTHONY E. SANTASIERE TO TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE, Oct 20, 1946. One page. "San" complains about a situation wherein he lost 30 minutes on his clock in the Marshall Chess Club Championship for that year. A very well written protest. Outcome unknown. Santasiere was a strong NY City player and character for many years $40
          Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 12th September, 2019, 02:36 PM.


          • #6
            Dale A. Brandreth (1931 - 2019)

            September 12, 2019

            Memories of Dale (3)

            TLS KURT RATTMANN TO NORMAN T. WHITAKER, OCT. 8, 1963, A brief note to Whitaker whom he notes as "Dear Old Friend" and tells of his hopes to meet him at Pyrmont where a tournament was to be held.. Rattmann was likely the most successful chess book dealer in the world...at least in chess equipment and especially in chess clocks... in the 50's through the 80's. I remember that after the Fischer-Spassky match on a visit he told me that he was shipping over a hundred of his "Alpha" chess clocks to the US per week. The clocks were good and were rather sturdy in appreciation of the frenzied players who banged the clocks when in time trouble (as if that helped!). I always had a high appreciation of Kurt for he always seemed cheerful even though he had survived five years of Hitler's army and then after the war lost one leg in an auto accident. He was good to deal with and as a result I bought thousands of books (mainly new items) from him over the years. I also remember that when I did a paperback reprint (500 copies) of KARLSBAD 1907, he took 90 copies as his first order. He also told me a precious story about Bobby Fischer. At one time after Bobby had done well in a big European tournament he came to visit Rattmann's store and started to read some of the games in bound volumes of Fernschach, the excellent international postal chess magazine. He exclaimed that there were many interesting games in this magazine, and Kurt became enthused that Bobby might haul away some ten volumes or so. But then after a while he became more subdued and said: " However, they don't play the endings all that well" and did not buy a single volume. How are ya gonna beat a man like that?! $50

            COHN CATALOGS OF CHESS BOOKS, These chess catalogs of the German dealer Albert Cohn were well known and highly respected for he had many rarities and was likely the leading chess book dealer in the world until his death in 1905, after which the American, Will Lyons, held sway until Quaritch and some other British dealers took over. In 1938 the German, Albrecht Buschke, emigrated to the United States and based on his own collection which he was able to bring with him; and his great knowledge of the subject enabled him to predominate along with Walter Goldwater. Then a cloud of dealers including Hildebrand in Sweden, Nees in Denmark, Rattmann and Loeffler in Germany, and by the 70’s Wilson, Rather and Brandreth came forth

            THE OXFORD COMPANION TO CHESS, D. Hooper & K. Whyld, 1st ed., h, exc, with dj, Oxford/New York, 1984. 407p, exc. Still the best(along with the later edition, London/NY 1992) chess encyclopedia in my opinion, although others such as the Russian encyclopedia, have more content, especially entries of Eastern bloc countries. The authors did a prodigious job in checking facts and sifting through vast amounts of information. However, there are also faults; e.g. In the Morphy section: "He shared his family's belief that chess was no fit occupation for a grown man, but he was not capable of doing anything else." Absurd. No doubt he could have succeeded in many other occupations but for the fact that the world could not accept him as such. When I questioned why the first edition failed to include Fred Reinfeld (then and possibly still today) as the most prolific chess author of all time, Whyld told me that Reinfeld had not added anything to the "theory" of the game! So tell me what these masters did in that regard—as a mere sampling of hundreds more: Antoshin, Asztalos, Barda, Thomas Barnes, Johann Bauer,... And these, along with scores more of lesser-known players, may well have left their marks in the history of the game, but don't tell me that these authors or anyone else could define those contributions to chess "theory". I think Bauer is most famous for being the victim of a (today) standard kingside attack by Lasker! The fact is that an author's opinion plays a large role in who gets in such books. In the case of Reinfeld, he had legitimate tournament wins over virtually every top US player of the 1930's to 1950's. He also had a fabulous memory for outstanding masterpieces. But the greatest US player left out of either edition was Charles Kalme of Philadelphia whose talent was at least as great as Fischer's. Had he not opted to become a professional mathematician instead of a professional chessplayer, we likely would have had a totally different twist to chess history. $50

            AMERICAN CHESS NUTS, E. B. Cook, W. R. Henry & C. A. Gilberg, NY, 1868. L/N 2410. Quite scarce (about 500 copies were issued in paper covers as was this copy which has been rebound in hard covers with the remnants of the original paper covers in the front. The original edition (L/N 2411, Kingston, NY, 1868 is still scarcer, having been issued with Romeyn instead of Gilberg.627p + errata sheet). This is the third chess problem book issued in the Western Hemisphere with the Romeyn edition of this book being the second and the Hazeltine Clipper Chess Problem Tournament being the first (1860), h, vg, covers sl. worn, $650. b) h, vg, from the Rimington Wilson Chess Library, and before that from the Whitman Chess Library, bound in 3/4 leather. The leathers powdering and the. A scarce book and certainly important for its collection of American chess problems, The condition is overall poor, but the content is important.

            BOBBY FISCHER UNCENSORED, David Delucia, Darien, 2009. h, mint. The total edition was 130 copies of which 30 were kept by the author for his family and friends. Right now, other than a few that may have drifted into the marketplace from buyers who needed the money, the space, or had edicts from wives or girlfriends who are chessophobes, I think I have the remaining six. The price now is $425, and when I get down to the last two, I'll sell those at auction. 394 pages printed on heavy fine paper with numerous reproductions of Fischer letters, hundreds photos, Fischer games scores(some not previously published), reproductions of the front covers of many tournament books and comic books of his, documents connected with play in various tournaments, many letters displaying his extreme anti-Semitic attitude, as well as his hatred for the Soviets, and confounding all this—his friendly letters to Jewish chess player friends. This will forever be a document humain for this complex, mixed-up, paranoid human who just happened to be the world's strongest chess player and who also was the creator of many scintillatingly beautiful games of chess against the world's very best. Price in the US is $445 including postage and insurance. Price outside the US is $425 plus postage and insurance.

            PAUL MORPHY - THE PRIDE AND SORROW OF CHESS, David Lawson, a new edition, edited by Thomas Aiello, 398p. A welcome addition since the original hardback is so sought after that it fetches high prices. This book remains the most significant on the life of Morphy, but it left the way clear for Caissa Editions to do the best analysis of his games in English to Macon Shibut and later an English version of Morphy's games by Maroczy (translated by Sherwood) from the German original. No doubt Maroczy was the strongest player to analyse his games in print. My main criticism of the Lawson book is that it virtually avoids the critical event in Morphy's entire life: the Civil War. There is good reason to believe that Morphy was not fervent in the Southern cause and that there was an underlying suspicion of his feelings among the general population. When added to Morphy's perceived attitude that he was regarded as nothing more than a chessplayer, i.e. a sort of freak, is it any wonder that his sensitive nature would not be able to handle the horrors of the transition of the once grand, romantic, intriguing city of New Orleans to a war-torn city which had to accommodate thousands of semi-butchered casualties of the worst disaster to ever take place in the United States. Much of his time during the war he was in Cuba and Europe instead of taking his share of hardship and grief at home. p, mint, $19

            And to show that Dale liked detective fiction at one time in his life:

            A SHERLOCK HOLMES ITEM, Envelope with Stationery of the Baker Street Irregulars (with drawing of Holmes on the cover), dated Aug 23 1948 to Dale Brandreth with 3-cent Francis Scott Key commemorative postage stamp. $6


            I found a Business Description of Caissa Editions on-line. It amused me:

            This organization has been operating for approximately 48 years. Dale A Brandreth Books is estimated to generate $48,898 in annual revenues, and employs approximately 1 people at this single location.


            In March of 2016, a note on the Ken Whyld Association website (of chessbook collectors) said this:

            Due to health problems, Dale Brandreth’s web site Caissa Editions Bookstore will not be maintained for the foreseeable future. Dale has recently suffered a stroke, we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery.

            Subsequently, Dale phoned me and told me that he had Parkinson’s. I tried to draw him out by discussing Donald Trump but we only talked for a few minutes about him.

            I spoke with him earlier this year by telephone and it seemed he was trying to fill some book orders, so it came as a complete shock that he had passed away.

            I valued his knowledge, his intellectual curiosity, his zest for life and, above all, his friendship.

            Dale Alden Brandreth, December 17, 1931 to September 9, 2019


            • #7
              Fascinating reading. Thanks Wayne


              • #8
                Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

                September 18, 2019

                The Chess Publications

                Dale was a publisher, editor, author and co-author. This is a list of his chess publications. He published some tournaments for Lachaga. The four given below are ones that I can verify from Dale’s listings. There may be more.

                There is a great variety of material – matches, tournaments, openings, games collections, chess history and catalogues of chess book collections.

                I welcome any additions or corrections to this list

                Chess Books Published by Dale Brandreth
                No Title Pub
                1 Brandreth, Dale ed. - Salzburg 1943: double round tournament 1957
                2 Brandreth, Dale ed.- Sverdlosk 1943: double round tournament 1957
                3 Brandreth, Dale - Lasker vs. Pillsbury 1960
                4 Brandreth, Dale ed. - Hastings 1937-8 1960
                5 Brandreth, Dale ed. - Montevideo 1938 International Tournament 1960
                6 Brandreth, Dale - Lodz 1906 1971
                7 Kiev 1903 (facsimile) 1972
                8 Invitation Chess Tournament City of London Chess Club 1900 (facsimile) 1973
                9 Duclos, Evariste P. - Catalogue of the Duclos Collection 1918 1973
                10 Brandreth, Dale - The World of Chess Literature 1974
                11 Brandreth, Dale & Hooper, David - The Unknown Capablanca 1975
                12 Brandreth, Dale - Collecting Chess Tournament Books: a fascinating hobby 1977
                13 Berliner Grossmeister-Turnier, Dezember 1924 (facsimile) 1978
                14 Brandreth, Dale ed. - Margate 1938 1979
                15 van der Linde, A. - Das erste Jartausend der Schachlitteratur (850-1880) (facsimile) 1979
                16 Stahlberg-Nimzowitsch 1934 1979
                17 Lasker, Emanuel - Lasker-Tarrasch 1906 1980
                18 Lachaga, Milciades. - Vienna 1924 & Vienna 1925 & Four-City Match 1925 1982
                19 Lachaga, Milciades - Vienna 1926 1982
                20 Lachaga, Milciades - Bad Bartfeld 1926 1982
                21 Lachaga, Milceades. - Bremen 1927 1982
                22 Brandreth, Dale - Kemeri - Riga 1939 reprint from Chess Archives 1982
                23 Ercole del Rio The War of the Chessmen trans. Christopher Becker 1984
                24 Myers, Hugh - Nimzovich's Defence to 1.e4 1985
                25 Ilyin-Genevky, Alexander - Notes of a Soviet Master trans. Bernard Cafferty 1986
                26 Kmoch, Hans - Bled 1931 International Chess Tournament trans. Jimmy Adams 1987
                27 Adams, Jimmy - Mikhail Chigorin - The Creative Chess Genius 1987
                28 Kennedy, Rick/Sheffield, Riley - Mexico City 1932 1988
                29 Levenfish, G. (editor) - Moscow 1936 International Chess Tournament ed by Jimmy Adams 1988
                30 Brandreth, Dale ed. - Mexico City 1932 International Chess Tournament 1988
                31 Adams, Jimmy/Levenfish, Grigory - Moscow 1936 International Chess Tournament 1988
                32 Kennedy, Rick/Sheffield, Riley - The Marshall Gambit in the French & Sicilian Defenses 1988
                33 Adams, Jimmy - Johannes Zukertort Artist of the Chessboard 1989
                34 Owen John C. - The Match Tournament at St. Petersburg 1895-6 1989
                35 Adams, Jimmy ed. - Baden Baden 1925 International Chess Tournament 1991
                36 Caparros, Rogelio - The Games of Jose Raul Capablanca 1991
                37 Reinfeld, F, Brandreth, Dale ed - Hastings 1936/37 International Chess Tournament 1992
                38 Brandreth, Dale/Hoffer, Leopold - London 1893 Black and White Masters' Tournament 1992
                39 Tarrasch, Siegbert - Dr. St. Petersburg 1914 International Chess Tournament 1993
                40 Shibut, Macon - Paul Morphy and the Evolution of Chess Theory 1993
                41 Goldman, Warren - Carl Schlechter! Life and Times of the Austrian Chess Wizard 1994
                42 Owen John D. - Budapest 1896 International Chess Tournament 1994
                43 Williams, William L. Jr. - The Williams Gambit 1995
                44 Hilbert, John S. - Buffalo 1901 and 1894 Chess Tournaments 1996
                45 Grivainis, Kon - Winning Correspondence Chess - How to beat the data bases 1997
                46 Hilbert, John S. - Napier: The Forgotten Chessmaster 1997
                47 Krylenko, Nikolai/Rabinovich, Ilya (eds) - The Second International Moscow 1935 1998
                48 Crain, Tom - Schlechter's Chess Games 1998
                49 Tarrasch, Siegbert, Dr. - Nuremberg 1896 International Chess Tournament 1999
                50 Nezhmetdinov, Rashid - Nezhmetdinov's Best Games of Chess 2000
                51 Hilbert, John S./Brandreth, Dale - Shady Side: The Life and Crimes of N.T. Whitaker, Chessmaster 2000
                52 Hooper, David, Whyld, Ken ed. - Reflections 2000
                53 Hilbert, John S. - Essays in American Chess History 2002
                54 Hilbert John S. - The United States Chess Championship New York 1940 2002
                55 Osbun, Erik - First Anglo-Pacific Invitational Chess Championship 2003
                56 Phillips, Alan - Chess: Sixty Years On with Caissa and Friends 2003
                57 Fride, Andris - Vladimirs Petrovs: A Chessplayer's Story from Greatness to the Gulags 2004
                58 Gillam, A. J. - Ostende 1906 International Chess Tournament 2005
                59 Zemitis, Vinerts & Brandreth, Dale - Riga City Championship 1958 2005
                60 Marco, Georg/Schlechter, Carl - Karlsbad 1907 International Chess Tournament 2007
                61 Sherwood, Robert - Chicago 1926, Lake Hopatcong 1926 2009
                62 Sherwood, Robert/Brandreth, Dale - AVRO 1938 2010
                63 Sherwood/Brandreth/Monson - Pasadena 1932 2011
                64 Maroczy, Geza - Paul Morphy 2012
                65 Alekhine, Alexander, Sherwood, Robert - San Remo 1930 2013
                66 Sherwood, Robert - Saint Petersburg 1895/96 2014
                Last edited by Wayne Komer; Thursday, 19th September, 2019, 12:22 AM.


                • #9
                  Wayne, great material as always !
                  By the way, on this week's Perpetual Chess podcast, IM John Donaldson talks briefly about Mr. Brandreth.


                  • #10
                    Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

                    September 19, 2019

                    Golden Age of Chess Booksellers

                    Tony, I downloaded The Perpetual Chess Broadcast, in which Ben Johnson interviews John Donaldson. It can be found at:


                    and is Episode 143. At about the 1:00 hr mark, John talks about notable recent passings including Shelby Lyman, Dale Brandreth and Pal Benko.

                    What he said about Dale: I knew Dale. With Dale’s passing, it is almost the end of a generation of great chess bookmen – booksellers, if you will.

                    You can go back to William Lyons, who was really the premier chess bookseller in the U.S. before 1900.

                    Then, there was Albrecht Buschke – a lawyer by profession in Germany. With the rise of Nazism he decided that he should leave Germany. Now, he had accumulated chess materials. He would routinely go to chess publishers who would throw away their manuscripts after they made the book. So for example Buschke would say, “Could I have that. You are only going to throw it away anyway.” And he would get a Nimzowitsch manuscript, for example. When it came time for him to leave, the Nazis thought the stuff he was taking was rubbish and left it alone. He emigrated to the United States and was the prime chess bookseller in the 40s. He had his office in the same building as the United States Chess Federation at 80 East 11thStreet in New York City.

                    After Buschke, there were other great booksellers – John Rather and Oscar Shapiro. By 1960, Dale Brandreth came upon the scene, both as a book publisher and a book dealer. Over the course of the last 50+ years, Dale did a huge amount to preserve chess history, both as a publisher of tournament books and other works. He published early works of chess history by John Hilbert, the great chess historian from Buffalo. The book he did with David Hooper on Capablanca was a first rate example of chess scholarship. He is perhaps best known for selling a huge amount of second-hand chess literature, much of it foreign. He was just the best of the best.

                    He just loved chess and being around chess books. The last time I saw him was at an auction in Buffalo of the collection of Jack O’Keefe, the Michigan master. The big collectors were there - David Delucia, Andy Ansel for example. Dale was not a young man then – in his late seventies but he loaded the boxes of his purchases into his vehicle and then drove all the way back to Delaware from Buffalo – it must have been eight hours on the road.

                    He was a collector in which love of chess ran in his blood.

                    There is only one seller still going. Fred Wilson is in his early 70s. His place is just packed with chess books. He moved from 80 East 11thtoo to 41 Union Square.


                    John didn’t mention Walter Goldwater. He ran the University Place Bookshop. On a memorable day in 1974, after visiting Buschke, I went and visited with Goldwater. Not only did he have chess books but he was one of the pioneers of selling books on black studies.

                    There were piles of books everywhere. I believe there were some there from the estate of Fred Reinfeld. I was able to get an unbound copy of the Rimington-Wilson Catalogue and Capablanca’s Verlustpartien. We talked about Bobby Fischer and he told me about a project of listing all the editions of Hoyle’s Games. Then he took me over to the Marshall Chess Club where we watched the moves of the Karpov-Korchnoi Match.

                    Walter’s recollections of New York City bookstores of the 30s and 40s can be found online at:




                    I also visited Fred Wilson a few years after this. After Buschke’s death, he had taken over the space at 80 East 11th.


                    • #11
                      Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

                      February 7, 2020

                      Dale passed away on September 9 of last year. I have not enquired into the disposition of his chess books because his webpage for the Caissa Editions Bookstore is still online (although frozen at March of 2018).

                      There is a facebook group called Chess Book Collectors.


                      In January of 2020, John Anderson started posting pictures of chess books in the group. Some of them are: The Chess Player’s Instructor by Charles Henry Stanley, Gossip’s The Chess-Player’s Manual, Die Schachwelt by J. Mieses, The Philosophy of Chess by William Clueley, Fuhrer durch die Schachtheorie by Oskar Cordel, The Chess Games of Greco by Prof. Hoffmann (1900), Keres Best Games of Chess 1931-1940 by Reinfeld, Moscow 1935 and Shakhmatny Debyut (1955) by Sokolsky – all beautiful old editions.

                      His comments –

                      I have about 10,000 Chess books. A few thousand are Russian and also a few thousand are German. Anyone interested reply to my comment. Have many dating back to 1800.

                      I use to think I could check anything out on Utube for answers but being surrounded by these beautiful books gives you a sense of the history of Chess and the different styles. That’s something Utube can’t do for you.

                      I got them all plus. Lots of old Russian. I inherited them from Dale Brandreth a noted Chess book author and had the largest collection in the US. He passed away in September. Don’t have them cataloged yet. Very impressive collection. Lots of Alekhine.

                      I have about 10,000 Chess books. Let me know what you’re interested in. I have Chess books that date to 1800. Have many Russian and German books also. I’m president of the Delaware Chess Association and will bring many of the books to the Dewey Beach, Delaware tournament at the Hyatt Place Hotel February 15&16.


                      In summary, John Anderson, president of the Delaware Chess Association and also a member of the Newark Chess Club Wilmington, DE, inherited from Dale Brandreth, a collection of 10,000 chess books.

                      I don’t know whether he intends to keep them or sell some but a collection of that size and quality is worth in excess of a quarter of a million dollars (in my estimation). One hopes that he will keep them together and eventually donate them to a library.


                      • #12
                        Thats an awesome gift.


                        • #13
                          Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

                          March 22, 2020

                          I have not asked the question “What will happen to Dale’s collection?” because that is not important to me.

                          That being said, this quote from the latest issue of the American Chess Magazine (by Jon Edwards)

                          “Dale Brandreth passed away at the age of 87 on September 9, 2019 in Hockessin, Delaware.. We chess players will long remember him as the publisher of Caissa Editions’ meticulous “Red Book” series, as a prolific collector, and as an antiquarian bookseller with what must have been the largest dealer’s stock of chess books ever assembled.

                          Well led by America’s leading collectors, David DeLucia and Andy Ansel, a number of book enthusiasts, myself included, drove multiple times to Dale’s book home. Those who were there early confronted seven rooms and multiple closets and cubby holes packed from floor to ceiling with chess books. It is said that Dale knew where everything was. We sure did not.

                          By the time I got there, much had been boxed and saved and some had been sadly thrown out, most notably Dale’s world-class collection of tournament bulletins.

                          What had been a holding of well over more than 130,000 books was now, perhaps, just 40,000 books. I purchased a wonderful run of Deutsche Schachzeitung and cartons of other books and periodicals. Andy Ansel led the utterly exhausting effort, doing his best to preserve our chess book heritage by renting a storage pod. Thanks to a dedicated group, much of the holding was saved. I personally prefer to focus upon the good news, not the bad. Dale’s entire stock of Red Books was fully saved. The final casualties were his large multiples of modern literature. I gathered up some to give away to my students. I think that Dale would be pleased by that.”

                          From Transition Time (Chess Tech) by Jon Edwards in the American Chess Magazine #16, No. 1/2020, page 88.


                          • #14
                            Dale A. Brandreth (1931 – 2019)

                            August 5, 2021

                            The latest number of New In Chess (2021#5) has Paul Morphy on the cover and an article on Morphy and Morphy collectibles by Dirk Jan Ten Geuzendam. Most items are in the hands of David DeLucia.

                            See: https://forum.chesstalk.com/forum/chesstalk-canada-s-chess-discussion-board-go-to-www-strategygames-ca-for-your-chess-needs/213670-a-tour-of-david-delucia’s-chess-collection

                            In the last century, the prime Morphy collector was David Lawson. He published The Pride and Sorrow of Chess in 1976 when he was 90 years old. He then sold his collection to Dale Brandreth.

                            Dale sold some items and kept the rest. DeLucia was able from time to time to get some more articles but, it was only after Dale’s death that he was able to enter the house that Dale kept his collection in and find the Morphy stuff:

                            I opened the door and found that there were books everywhere – on all the furniture, on the kitchen table, on the sofa, on the floor. When I say books, I am not talking about hundreds, I am talking about thousands. Books going up to a metre, maybe to a meter and a half, on both sides of the hallway, you can hardly get through.

                            In front of the fireplace, there is a box. I walk over some of the books, I almost fall, slipping on one of the books. I notice a small red leather album and I knew right away that it was the album that Dale couldn’t find. It still amazes me that in a house that had probably a hundred thousand books in it, when I first walk in , I almost went straight for this Morphy item.

                            An interesting read for collectors and students of chess history.