The Grand International Masters’ Chess Tournament at St. Petersburg, 1914

by David McKay

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For over a month, from April 21 to May 22, 1914 the top chess players from around the world converged in St. Petersburg. Play for the tournament took place at the St. Petersburg Chess Club, beginning in the afternoon and lasting through the evening. Players were treated to large banquets and winners were awarded large monetary prizes.During the tournament, players utilized a variety of unique moves, such as the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez, and some surprisingly passive play for example. This work offers a breakdown of matches between such players as then world champion, Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine and Aron Nimzowitsch. Though it took place over a century ago, it remains one of the strongest tournaments in chess history.

 

 

 

Chess Endings From Modern Master-Play

by Jacques Mieses

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Jakob Mieses was born in 1865 in Leipzig, Germany. He enjoyed a long lasting professional chess career of 64 years. Mieses played in numerous tournaments throughout his life, and was known and studied as having a very aggressive, and at the same time, rather traditional playing style. He lived in Germany until the rise of Nazism; as he was Jewish he fled Germany after Kristallnacht, even though he was elderly and had only a little bit of money in his pocket. He went on to become a UK citizen, and is credited as bring the first British grandmaster.

Mieses’ wit and sharpness continued to the end of his life and were credited to his dedication to physical fitness and his fondness of swimming. He remained active in England until dying just a few days shy of his 89th birthday. He continued to play regularly, and always kept a keen sense of humor. For example, at the age of 84, after defeating an 86-year-old, fellow chess master Van Foreest, Mieses famously stated, “Youth has been victorious.”

 

Miscellaneous Conjuring Tricks, From ‘Modern Magic’

by Professor Hoffman

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Magic is, by nature, a rather secretive field. One of the first people to write in detail about various tricks, methods and devices used to perform magic was Professor Hoffmann. His articles were considered pioneering in the field, particularly among English speakers. He became known as an expert, although he had not much personal practice as a magician. Instead, he studied magic, both tricks and theory. This particular work is taken from parts of Modern Magic, which was a collection of articles he wrote on various aspects of magic that was collected and published in 1876. Professor Hoffmann’s real name was Angelo Lewis. He was born in London on July 23, 1839, and died in December of 1919. In addition to writing about magic, he also wrote stories for children, including the book Conjurer Dick, published in 1886.

 

The Laws of Ecarte: The Laws of Écarté, Adopted by The Turf and Portland Clubs with a Treatise on the Game

by Cavendish

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In the 19th century, Écarté was all the rage. The name is French for ‘discarded’ as the two player game focuses on each playing working to get rid of undesirable cards, and negotiating with the dealer for a set of potentially better cards. The game requires a lot of quick thinking, shuffling, bluffing and luck. It is somewhat similar to Euchre, which was popular in the United States. Although the game can be played with a simple card deck, the rules can become large and cumbersome, or minimal, depending on the players’ preference. This work offers a look at various rules and styles of playing Écarté.

 

Practical Falconry: To Which is Added, How I Became a Falconer

by Gage Earle Freeman

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Gage Earle Freeman (1820-1903) wrote a number of articles on falconry. He was introduced to the sport in England and retained a life-long interest in it, often working with kestrel-hawks, peregrine falcons, and sparrow hawks. He was also an esteemed poet, winning four Seatonian Prizes; a father to ten children, and married twice. He attended St. John’s College, Cambridge, graduating in 1845 with a B.A. and became an ordained priest in 1847, receiving his M.A. in 1850. In 1889, he became a vicar and a private chaplain to the Earl of Lonsdale, and remained in that position until his death.

This new edition is dedicated to the Duke of St. Albans, remembering school days in Judde House, Tonbridge.

 

A Fox-Hunting Anthology: Selections from the Writers of the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries

by E. D. Cuming

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Edward Wfoxilliam Dirom Cuming was born in 1862, the son of the late Colonel Edward William Cuming. He studied at private schools and then began working in business overseas, primarily in Lower Burma. Soon, having enough wealth, he was able to pursue his passion of writing. He served as the assistant editor for Land and Water from 1892-1896. He also wrote numerous works about hunting, such as Fox and Hounds (1915) and British Sport Past and Present (1909) and his impressions of life in Burma, including In the Shadow of the Pagoda (1897) and With the Jungle Folk (1897). This volume adds to the literature about the British Empire and its sports, which has attracted considerable scholarship in recent years.

This edition is dedicated to Wallace Boston, keen observer of horses and hounds.

 

Sturmey’s Indispensable Handbook to the Safety Bicycle: Treating of Safety Bicycles, Their Varieties, Construction & Use

by Henry Sturmey

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Penny-farthings were part of the cycling craze from the Victorian era, also known as the high wheel bicycle. They were notoriously unstable due to their design, which featured a giant front wheel followed by a very small back wheel, leaving the rider perilously far above ground. By the late 1880s, the “safety bicycle” emerged which featured two same size wheels, very similar in design to bikes today. The term “safety” has since been dropped since the design style is ubiquitous to bikes today. The chain drive and lower center of gravity allowed for a greater usage of bikes. As these bikes exploded in popularity by the 1890s, so did the publishing of various biking guides, notably Sturmey’s Indispensable Handbook for the Safety Bicycle. This manual illustrated how to care for and repair bicycles. For modern readers, it also serves as a helpful illustration of the history of bicycles.

Salt Water Game Fishing

by Charles Frederick Holder

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The ocean holds an untold amount of creatures; the depths are so great that all is not known about the ocean. Salt-water fishing offers participants an interesting challenge. Some participate for sport, in a quest to find unique specimens. Others are looking for rare fish to feast on. Either way, salt-water fishing has existed alongside the development of humanity, and ways to approach it have changed greatly with technology and the environment. In this history, specifically in it as a sport, Charles Frederick Holder (1851-1915) is a major figure. Holder is credited with being the inventory of big game fishing. He was also a curator for the American Museum of Natural History, and a specialist on marine zoology. In 1898, he founded the Tuna Club of Avalon, located in Avalon, California, to assist with organized efforts to manage game fish; that same year is was considered to start the sport of big-game fishing. For his efforts, in 1998, he was inducted into the International Game Fish Association. For fishers, historians and anyone in between, Salt Water Game Fishing offers a look at the start of a new sport. This edition is dedicated to Robert Rich Jr., big game fisherman and author extraordinary.

Chess Masterpieces: A Collection of Selected Games by World’s Masters

by W. H. Watts

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Chess is seemingly a universal game, played by people around the world, but is believed to have originated in India sometime during the 600s, then appearing in its more known incantation with the differently powered pieces over 800 years later in Spain. It wasn’t until the 1800s when chess rules were standardized. As it is very much a game of the world, the chess community is internationally organized under the Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation. Chess has long been associated with intelligence and skill, and has served a variety of purposes over time. During the Renaissance, it was used for teaching military strategy; during the Enlightenment it was thought to help teach foresight and caution; during the Cold War is also became a battle ground for the strength of various ideologies. The game appears fairly simple, featuring a checkered board with 16 pieces, and can be won by checkmate, resignation or draw. It is anything but simple, as these chess matches will illustrate, full of various, unique openings, pawn structures, endgame maneuvers and more. This edition is dedicated to Ronald Eustace, chess player and gentleman extraordinary.

Jiu-Jitsu Combat Tricks: Japanese Feats of Attack and Defence in Personal Encounter

by H. Irving Hancock

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Jiu-Jitsu is a style of combat that emerges from feudal Japan and has developed into various forms of other popular styles, such as Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In its original form, which developed in Japan during the 1500s, it was developed as a way to combat fighting techniques from China, which focused on striking. In contrast, Jiu-Jitsu was developed as a way to immobilize adversaries and throw items as a defense. Grappling skills were central to the fighting style, which was developed to handle close range contact. Jiu-Jitsu techniques proved to be valuable and have since enjoyed many new developments in the style to hone it to the user’s needs and interests. For example, during the 1700s a new form emerged, Edo Jiu-Jitsu, which focused on non-armored combatants in every day situations, rather than wartime usage. In Jiu-Jitsu Combact Tricks, author H. Irving Hancock has selected many of these close-range defensive techniques, with photographs to shed light on how to utilize them. This work, being a reprint of a historical, turn of the century volume, helps to illustrate sporting interests and styles of the era as well.

Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards

by William Andrew Chatto

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William Andrew Chatto (1799-1864) initially was employed in the wholesale tea business. However, his real passion was antiquarian scholarship, so in 1834, he gave up the family firm and devoted
himself to writing full-time. His first work was entitled, Recollections of Fly-Fishing in Northumberland, under the pseudonym, Stephen Oliver. He was interested in many subjects, and his varied publications reflect his diverse pursBookCoverImage-3uits, including wood carving, fishing, tobacco and playing cards. In addition to authoring books, he was the editor for New Sporting Magazine, and Puck, a Journalette of Fun. He was elected an honorary member of the Antiquarian Society of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1839. He was among the first to suggest that playing cards might have originated in China at the court of Seun-Ho in 1120.

This new edition of his work is dedicated to Yasha Beresiner, past Master of the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers in London.

The History of Playing Cards: Anecdotes for Their Use in Conjuring, Fortune Telling & Card Sharping

by Rev. Ed. S. Taylor

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The History of Playing Cards offers a comprehensive look at the history and usage of cards, tracing their movements through India, China, the Middle East, and through Europe, with a heavy emphasis on cards in France and England. Taylor included a great deal of illustrations, highlighting cards from the 1500-1800s.

Rev. Ed. S. Taylor had written a great deal on the history of cards, and was sought out to compose works on the subject, including History of Playing Cards, English and Foreign. He had passed away while working on this illustrative volume, The History of Playing Cards. As a result, the section on card conjuring, sharping and fortune telling is somewhat abbreviated, but no less enthralling. The Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers, which maintains an extensive collection, is an ancient Trade Guild in the City of London, which still flourishes, with members involved in card manufacture, collection, dealing, playing and other professions.

Gilded Play: Mary J. Jacques’s Pranks and Pastimes

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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor

During America’s late nineteenth-century, parlor games were a dominant leisure activity of the upper classesGilded Play COVER FRONT ONLY. The ‘Gilded Age,’ as Mark Twain termed it, was characterized by the separation between leisurely wealth and the harsh existence of the underclasses, cleft even wider with the increase of industrial production. This “Book of Games, Parlor Performances and Puzzles” is a reprint of an original 1888 edition that promised the wealthy hours upon hours of diversion from boredom with guessing games, pantomimes, word games, outlined charades, and so on. In its use of traditional European games mixed with American stereotypes, it is a unique look into the temperament of the times.

 

Outlining Magic Circles: Jessie Bancroft’s Games for the Playground, Home, School, and Gymnasium

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Edited and Introduced by Devin Proctor

Games for the Playground, Home, School, and Gymnasium, first published in 1909, has been called “thOutlining Magic Circles COVER CONCEPT FRONT ONLYe most comprehensive and scholarly book on games.” It contains rules and variations of hundreds of games for schools, summer camps, parties, etc., as well as Jessie H. Bancroft’s insightful and lengthy introduction exploring the purposes, materials, uses, and even the ritual origins of games. This volume reprints the entirety of the 1912 edition and adds a new introductory essay examining the anthropological study of the relationship of ritual and gaming since the book was published.