LETTER TO THE EDITOR
“The GDR’s first chess shop”, page 32-35
“Your article on the chess shop in Leipzig reminds me of the one occasion on which I visited it. I was in Leipzig for talks with Sportverlag about the possible translation and publication of their series of opening theory books into English. The scheme didn’t come about because I couldn’t find a publisher in the USA, but it involved a visit to the Leipzig Spring Fair in about 1977.
Naturally I found time to visit the chess shop which I regarded as a curiosity (I think I was only vaguely aware of the “other” chess shop in Eastern Europe, in Prague). I cannot remember anything about the building or the inside of the shop except that, on a top shelf, they had a row of copies of the books of the German Championships of Oeynhausen 1922 and Frankfurt 1923, all paperbacks. This struck me as rather odd, but I suppose they were “survivors” of the war and had somehow found their way to the shop. There were, perhaps, 15 or 20 copies of each.
I explained to the lady assistant who I was and that I was interested in old books and modern bulletins. I arranged to exchange some volumes of “The Chess Player” for one copy each of the German Championship books and some DDR tournament bulletins. I had to promise to send my books to them when I got home and I was very pleasantly surprised when they agreed to trust me. I sent the books and heard no more; I can only assume that they arrived safely.
I now wish I had been more ambitious and had arranged to send more of my books for other DDR chess publications which I am still trying to find for my library.”
Tony Gillam, The Chess Player, Nottingham, UK