King’s Gambit Corrigenda

Errors in my work pain me, but they are hard to avoid in a 150,000-word book. There will be other editions and printings, in which I can excise any gremlins that may have slipped in. Kindly send me mistakes you find if they’re not listed here:

p. ix footnote. Efim Bogoljubow was born in 1889.

p. 46. In my simul game against Larsen, I moved when he arrived at the board not before. I’ve seen young players (despite repeated admonitions) move before the GM returns to their boards, but I was not one of these crass youths. I abided by the simul rules. I miswrote, and somehow neither I nor the strong players who read the book in galleys caught this. Mea culpa.

p. 52. I describe Kalmykia as a semiautonomous Russian republic. And later, on p. 305, I say that Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, when he came to power, was “the world’s youngest leader of a sovereign state.” These statements are in contradiction because Kalmykia is not sovereign. I need to research this, and clarify, just how much autonomy Kalmykia has compared to, say, New York State.

p. 89. French Defense should be Caro-Kann Defense.

p. 94. I sloppily used Russian and Soviet interchangeably. I should have written (line 7) that “a Soviet player has always held the classical world title…” and (line 9) that “it wasn’t just the Soviets’ command of the moves that made them superior at the chessboard…”

p. 127. Yacob Murey is a grandmaster.

p. 326. I have the talented Nigel Short becoming a grandmaster two years younger than he actually did. He was nineteen, not seventeen.

p. 393, note 3. My endnote about Peter Winston’s fate is wrong. The online source I used said he never made it home from the tournament. But “Shedding Some Light on ‘The Great Chess Mystery,'” in Chess Life (Oct. 2007), indicates that Winston did make it home and disappeared for good a few weeks later.

p. 428. Asa Hoffmann’s name in the index should have two n’s, as it correctly has in the rest of the book.


6 Responses to “King’s Gambit Corrigenda”

  1. Ray Licata Says:

    I loved King’s Gambit and will read it again.(or parts of it) I have ordered The man Who Loved only Numbers and am looking forward to it’s arrival. Thanks. R.L.

  2. Nick Kravitz Says:

    p. 18 states that a rating of 1915 puts you in the “top 95% of US chess competitors” It should say this rating puts you “better than 95% of US chess competitors”

  3. Patrik Öhagen Says:

    I have read and enjoyed the book. There are zillions of books with greater need for an errata list than this one.

  4. Jim West Says:

    Before Chapter 6 [Anatomy of a Hustler], the correct quote from Sherlock Holmes is “Amberley excelled at chess…”, not “Amberley excelled in chess…”, as given. To confirm this, go to

  5. Eduardo Says:

    Hi Paul,

    I am a chess players myself, am reading the King’s Gambit, and am enjoying every page! Just a quick correction: a some point in the book you mention a story involving GM Henrique Mecking and states that he is from Argentina. This is not correct. He is Brazilian, just like Alberto Santos-Dumont!

    Mecking was a child prodigy who won two Interzonals in the mid 1970s and was ranked number 3 in the Fide rating list at some point during that time, just behind Karpov and Korchnoi if I am not wrong. In the late 1970s he suffered a terrible illness and retired from chess for 10 years. He became very religious, came back to chess but was never able to play at the level he was used to. His rating has deteriorated since his come back but he continues to be a very strong blitz player. At some point he was one of the best blitz players at ICC. His story is perhaps worth the pen of a talented writter like yourself!

    Keep up the good work!

  6. jeffrey gelb Says:

    i wonder if nigel short ever will publish the internet games that he played against bobby fischer. yes, it really was bobby fischer who beat him.

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