For the Retro Enthusiast
This only mentions books and booklets. Articles
are listed elsewhere. We divided the list in two sections:
Truly the Bible of retro-analysis. Offers several hundreds of fascinating
problems (by Ceriani himself) with abundant comments. Quasi-exhaustive
(at the time) classification of retro-motifs. Also include Ceriani's
work on Ortho-Reconstruction
and on retros with cylindrical
Ceriani (1894-1969) was a founder of the modern retro school.
His two books are a must.
In Italian, but language is not an obstacle here. 657 pages!
Copies available by writing to the author's grandson Dr. PierLuigi
Molinari; Via Soave 5; 20135 Milano; Italy; Tel +39-2-58309137.
The set of two books amounts to $155 postpaid (somewhat less for Europe,
even lower for Italy) anywhere in the world.
Second book by Ceriani. 289 pages. See previous comments.
A 1989 edition (by G. P. Jelliss) of a 1928 manuscript "Seventy
Five Retros" by Dawson.
Both a selection of TRD's best retros and a comprehensive survey of
his pioneering work on Retro-Opposition. Jelliss included additional
Dawson material so that this booklet is strictly larger than the original
Send a mail to George P. Jelliss <gpj(at)stayfree.co.uk> for ordering
The first retro-book! Edited in A. C. White's famous Christmas
Series. A classic with one hundred problems. At the time, people
thought the genre was completely exhausted by this treatise which left
nothing to add. (They were wrong...)
There exists a 1984 French translation by Jean Bertin. With an appendix.
This special issue is a 24-pages booklet containing five technical
articles pertaining to RA (written by experts). In French with English
abstracts. Plenty of beautiful examples. Highly recommended.
All articles are individually referenced
elsewhere in these pages.
Still available from the
diagrammes publishing team. Or ask me and see if I have copies
This special issue is a 40-pages booklet containing seven technical
articles pertaining to RA (written by experts). 4 articles in English,
3 in French. Plenty of beautiful examples. Highly recommended.
An introduction into Retro analysis. With a selection of own retro
problems. Editions feenschach-phénix. In German. 503 pages, 40,- Euro.
Available from bernd ellinghoven (be.fee(at)t-online.de)
This 20 pages booklet (in English) contains a description of the retro
game and some 50 Høeg type retromate
Booklet containing 64 SPG's
in which the Black King is mated on every square of the board, the mate
being a pure mate.
In Russian (with an introduction in English). Published by the author.
A 108 pages selection of Retros miniatures; in Ukranian.
In 1997, copies were available through Anatoly Dubinsky <dubin(at)menix.bgu.ac.il>.
Fifty problems inserted into a Sherlock Holmes story.
Very entertaining introduction to retro problems. The perfect gift.
You learn the basics, as Holmes teaches Watson! Problems are quite simple
but complexity is not the point here. Contains several
Still available in any bookshop, including WWW bookshops. Translations
exist (in German, French, ...).
The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes
Sherlock Holmes (German version)
Fifty problems inserted into an Arabian Nights background.
A 170-pages companion to the Sherlock Holmes book. The problems (and
the embedding story) are slightly less interesting (IMHO). That's probably
because the best problems have been selected for the 1st book.
des Kalifen (German version)
A 192 pages selection of Retros and other fantastic compositions;
Compiles more than 160 problems of the
Shortest Proof Games
A delight. Quasi exhaustive pre-1991 compilation, classified by themes.
Teaches you how to compose your own SPG's.
Unfortunately not available any more. Gerd Wilts <wilts(at)norcom.de>
is working on an updated edition.
Highly readable presentation (aimed at the chess player) of wonderful
problems. With historical background, anecdotes, ... Not only chess
but also (European) draughts problems. And fairy chess.
In French. 160 pages. 20 to 30 pages about Retrograde Analysis.
Still available in any bookshop. ISBN 2-246-38061-8.
The first English-language book about fairy chess problems! Both a
selection of TRD's best problems and a reference book explaining fairy
Contains a section on Retrograde Analysis with 29 problems.
Features some retros, construction tasks, and an early chapter on
retro-records that has been expanded in the author's next book.
Covers all kinds of chess problems. In German.
The subtitle is Amüsantes und Interessantes vom Schach.
Has a chapter devoted to one-movers, another one to construction tasks.
One chapter is "Rekorde in der Retroanalyse" with
22 record-setting retros such as "shortest
proof game in 183" or "last 65 moves" or "ortho-recontruction in 171.5".
Ed. Walter De Gruyter & Co, Berlin, 1955.
A bilingual book. About unorthodox chess problems and a tribute to
T. R. Dawson.
Only a few pages about retros and mathematical chess puzzles. Still,
this book appears in every retro-bibliography because, after Ceriani's
death, Karl Fabel (1905-1975) was the leading retro-composer.
Ed. Walter Rau Verlag, Düsseldorf, 1969.
Among the 1600 pages of this complete chess treatise, one will find
520 dense pages devoted to chess composition, including 13 pages specially
devoted to Retrograde Analysis. I found many precise and complete informations
in its 100 pages long Problemist Who's Who where "everyone"
A must if you read French chess notation. Editor is Robert Laffont
S.A., Paris, ISBN is 2-221-05913-1, price is a very low FF 185.
90 problems (and 58 drawings of chess players!) by Bengt Giöbel. Many
orthodox problems where castling is involved. Several retractors and
other light retros.
Edited by SB:S Förlag, Uppsala. I got my copy for DM30 from Indrek
Aunver, Ymergatan 6 A, 2 tr., S-753 25 Uppsala, SWEDEN.
Contains 100 chess puzzles, including 40 or so retros. In German.
Heyne Verlag, ISBN 3-453-41692-9.
Contains construction problems, SPGs and some other retros. In German.
ISBN 3-499-18928-3. Edited by Rowohlt Verlag, in Hamburg.
These entertaining puzzles come from chess games and from chess composition
(both fields are well represented). There is one chapter about retros,
and one chapter about "sillies" with some construction problems and
ISBN 0-8050-4226-1. Edited by Henry Holt and Company, Inc., in New-York.
About fairy chess. In French.
Has one 30-pages chapter devoted to retrograde analysis. Quite basic
stuff with long explanations, good for a slow start.
Ed. by Editions De Vecchi.
This Danish book contains 258 problems, mostly by Niels Høeg, as well
as some articles.
72 of the problems are retroproblems, and Høeg's inventions,
the (defensive) retromate
and the (cooperative) retrostalemate
and subretrostalemate problems are well represented.
Available for $21 + postage from Skakhuset Danmark ApS / Postboks
38 / DK-3500 Vaerlose / Danmark. Or visit their webpage at
This 56 pages booklet contains the first 100 published problems (with
solutions and comments) of Peter Wong, spanning the 1983-1992 period.
In retros-circles, P. Wong is well known for his
SPGs but the booklet also
contains classical retros and retractors
(mostly fairy) and many (fairy) series retractors which
is a Wong's specialty.
Available for A $9.50 + postage from the author at 20 Bayswater
St / Drummoyne NSW / 2047 AUSTRALIA.