My Books

John Knudsen's Chess Books

Here is a list of the chess books I have written. They are all available on Amazon. All except The Notebook are also available in electronic formats.

The Correspondence Chess-Players Notebook – 2019. Independent
ISBN – 10: 1071046756 ISBN – 13: 978-1071046753

Assembling Chess III – 2019. Independent
ISBN – 10: 1070788317 ISBN – 13: 978-1070788319

Assembling Chess II – 2019. Independent
ISBN – 10: 1099242258 ISBN – 13: 978-1099242250

Assembling Chess I – 2019. Independent
ISBN – 10: 1097208923 ISBN – 13: 978-1097208920

Chess Without Borders – 2003. iUniverse
ISBN – 10: 0595270217 ISBN – 13: 978-0595270217

Essential Chess Quotations – 2000. Writer’s Club Press
ISBN – 10: 0595270212 ISBN – 13: 978-1893652170


Essential Chess Quotations

“John Knudsen’s ‘Essential Chess Quotations’ is a fun book full of remarks and sayings about the game. These stem mostly from chessplayers, but also from sources such as literature and philosophy. The book is unfortunately too short,with only 42 pages of rather widely-spaced chess quotes. But there are many gems. On the cover, we find the Reuben Fine quote ‘I’d rather have a pawn than a finger’! A few others that caught my eye: ‘No fool can play chess, and only fools do’ (German proverb). ‘There just isn’t enough televised chess’ (David Letterman). The sobering ‘All I want to do, ever, is play chess’ (Bobby Fischer, the least active of all world champions, who quit while still very young). Knudsen, a correspondence player himself, includes several pages of quotes from correspondence players, mostly dull. But I enjoyed his succinct observation that ‘In correspondence chess, you can smoke during the game’.

The book is a wonderful idea and enjoyable read, and my wish is that the author should greatly expand upon the number of quotes in the next edition. There could, for example, be more Nimzowitsch and John Fedorowicz quotes. And in my genre, one might add some immortal comments on chess books, e.g., Gufeld’s back cover endorsement (actually printed): ‘Book good’.”

  • FIDE IM John L. Watson, chess author and book reviewer, at the TWIC web site.

“If chess games could be won by flinging the perfect quote at your opponent, then ESSENTIAL CHESS QUOTATIONS would be John Knudsen’s MY SYSTEM. I certainly intend to quote from it, even if it doesn’t raise my rating.”

  • FM Alex Dunne, chess author and The Check Is In The Mail columnist.

“Whether you want the funny …, the thought-provoking … or the inspiring … this is a handy work to keep by the bedside for dipping into.”

  • ICCF SIM Timothy Harding, prolific chess author and publisher.

“All very entertaining! Books like these belong to the treasury of chess. Recommended!”

  • John Elburg, book reviewer at the Chess Mail web site.

“A small home-produced booklet devoted entirely to witty and profound quotes about chess and divided into categories. From the erudite: “(A combination is) a short part of the game, within which a certain purpose is attained by force” – Max Euwe; to the entirely frivolous: “I have never had the satisfaction of beating a completely healthy opponent” – Amos Burn. A great fund of trivia here, but use sparingly at social gatherings.”

  • British Chess Magazine

“John Knudsen brings together some of the best known quotes and epigrams of chess. From masters like Morphy to Fischer, and non-masters from Pascal to Letterman, all are witty sayings about this game we call chess.

Essential Chess Quotations sums up what chess is and isn’t to the players who have mastered the game and to the non-players who have given up on the game. The quotes about correspondence chess are especially revealing from players who either love or hate postal play. From the humorous to the philosophical, it’s all here in one big collection. And you can quote me.”

  • Bill Wall, prolific chess author.

“An excellent source for quotes from the world of chess. John Knudsen is well known by the Internet chess community as webmaster of the popular The Correspondence Chess Place web site. He has also undertaken a number of projects to be of service to the chess community. Here he has attempted to provide a source for chess authors and other chess enthusiasts by gathering together a large collection of interesting and thought-provoking comments on chess by those most involved with it.

You won’t find every famous quote here, but you will find a very nice selection of the best. For those interested in the human side of chess I can strongly recommend this little volume full of gems. Normally, to find good chess quotes you have to scan a large chess encyclopedia and just jump from one biography to another searching for something relevant. As a chess journalist I find this concise volume of essential quotes useful. As a lover of the game I find it vastly entertaining. This is one of the few books devoted to chess that you’ll ever read cover to cover. I recommend it.”

  • J. Franklin Campbell, noted chess journalist, in a review at

Chess Without Borders

“Thanks for putting together the book on Sture Nyman. I recently bought a copy through I very much appreciate games collections for lesser-known masters (and I still like books much better than electronic files from database searches). Keep up the good work!”

  • Jeffrey A. Tannenbaum (USA)

“I have had your book for two days now and I cannot put it down. What a pity that neither CHESS or BCM will stock it – the latter told me that there was no profit in it for them. Thank you again, I also have the POTTER BOOK which you refer to.”

  • John Walker (England)

Neil Brennen’s Review from CCN 91:

“From the American correspondence chess master John Knudsen I received this self published chess book covering the life and chess career from the Swedish correspondence chess master Sture Nyman.

Besides the career of Sture Nyman there is interesting collection of 227 games where a small 30 of them cover excellent annotations. {Where I must say that ICCF IM Allan Savage has done a impressive work on these annotated games!} Of course it is surprising to see a biography from not so famous chess player but Knudsen must have been very impressed about the playing skills of Sture Nyman.

For example Sture took part in three ICCF World Championships reaching as high as fourth place in one. Interesting enough after Kon Grivainis Sture Nyman was also a WCCF GM, See Winning Correspondence Chess, Caissa Editions 1997, but Nyman his WCCF career is not covered by the author at all, probably Knudsen did not want to spend one line on the former WCCF chess organisation.

Less known is that Nyman also played with great players as Mieses and Bent Larsen, strangely enough I am missing in this book Nyman his famous Froms gambit game that Larsen once published in his famous Selected Games of Chess, Bell & Son 1969. Very nice in this book are the nine photographs {News paper quality} where many shall enjoy the rare photo made in the middle sixties from Sture Nyman and the young Bent Larsen! There is a story that Larsen was one time locked up in Sture’s bathroom but this story has not been confirmed!”

“Conclusion: A must for every chess book collector”

  • John Elburg (The Netherlands)

“This is one of the many good correspondence chess books!

In the foreword the author states that ‘If the reader comes away with an understanding of the man and his contributions to the lore of correspondence chess, then I have done my job in presenting it’. In my opinion that goal is easily met!

One of the outstanding features of this book is that it gives a glimpse, albeit a historical one, into the laboratory of a great correspondence chess player who met, not without success, all the top players of his time. It contains nearly all of his correspondence chess games (and some OTB games as well), many with annotations by one of the players or by the author or by Alan Savage.

This book is highly recommended if you like (or want to learn!) correspondence chess! I don’t know of any other correspondence chess biographies containing such (nearly) complete games material!”

  • Palle Bratholm (Denmark)