Are you a Gossip?
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George H. D. Gossip (1841–1907) was a minor American-English chess master and writer. He competed against most of the world's leading players in chess tournaments between 1870 and 1895, but with only modest success. The writer G. H. Diggle calls him "the King of Wooden Spoonists" because he usually finished last in strong tournaments. Gossip was also a noted writer. His 1874 treatise The Chess-Player's Manual—A Complete Guide to Chess was harshly received by the critics, largely because he had included a number of informal skittles games that he had (atypically) won against stronger players. He developed a lifelong enmity toward chess critics, attacking them ferociously in his books. However, his 1879 book Theory of the Chess Openings was well received, becoming one of the standard opening works of the time. He made his living primarily as a journalist, author, and translator, writing for publications in England, France, Australia, and the U.S. At various times he lived in each of those countries, Germany, and Canada. In 1898 and 1899, two publishers issued his only non-chess book, The Jew of Chamant. Published under the pseudonym "Ivan Trepoff", it was virulently anti-Semitic. Chess writers have often mocked Gossip's play. However, a modern assessment system, Chessmetrics, concludes that at his peak he was close to grandmaster strength. (more...)
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