US Chess Digital Archive is Live

As announced at the 2019 Delegates Meetings, US Chess has been working on digitizing its archive of Chess Life and Chess Review magazines (as well as titles such as Chess Life & Review). This project is now complete and the archive is now online and available for download by the general public.

Chess Life and Chess Review Archives

The digital archive includes all Chess Life / Chess Review / Chess Life & Review issues in fully searchable PDF format, save a rolling ‘paywall’ of the most current 12 months of Chess Life, which are only available to US Chess members. Each month, a new PDF will be added to the public archive. This archive is available to the general public at no charge as part of our non-profit educational mission to empower people, enrich lives, and enhance communities through chess.

Virtually all the important events in chess history from 1933 to the present day have been covered in Chess Life / Chess Review / Chess Life & Review. And this includes coverage of both American and international events. From AVRO 1938 to Fischer’s victory over the Russians in 1972 to Caruana’s run at the title in 2018, it’s all here, and it’s free for you to download and enjoy.

Please note that these PDFs are for personal and research use only. If you wish to use them beyond the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, then you must seek the permission of US Chess by writing to US Chess Senior Director of Strategic Communication Dan Lucas.

Additionally, please be aware that during the initial months of this release, we expect download traffic to be heavy and this could affect the download speed and availability; please be patient. Should you not wish to download these files yourself, US Chess Sales plans to sell an external hard drive preloaded with the files. No availability date has been announced yet.

We hope you enjoy this archive and that it aids in your research efforts. If you notice any errors or corrupt files, please notify us at [email protected].


  1. You’ve manage an historic contribution to the American chess community! Not only will chess historians revel in the files, the collection is fun for anyone with an interest to dip into. Clicking on each issue is like cracking open a chess time capsule. Thank you!

  2. Hi,
    In the early 1970’s I entered the Postal Chess tournament. At that time the USCF office was in Newburgh, N.Y. and that is where I obtained the postal chess booklet which enabled the tournament players an easy way to keep track of the six games during the competition. Will I be able to find the copy of the Chess Magazine published by the USCF in your archive?
    Bob Bombardieri

  3. UNBELIEVABLE/ ABSOLUTELY FREE FOR THE ENTIRE WORLD..unforgettable and absolutely world class archival US Chess triumph… ..ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AND PERFECT QUALITY..DOWNLOADS FOR ALL GENERATIONS FOR ALL TIME.. thousands of priceless irreplaceable and top quality forgotten photos…INCREDIBLE 80 YEARS OF WORLD HISTORY WITH PHOTOS YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE….small towns..hundreds of thousands of forgotten chess shadows/names/ faces/places plus thousands of red hot pro annotated games and delightful diagram game fragments by world class players.The whole history of chess suffed in there…”EVANS ON CHESS” COLUMN/SOLTIS ON THE MOVE through time WITH PRICELESS PROSE ALL HIS LIFETIME ..EVERY SINGLE WORD GRANDMASTER EVANS EVER WROTE for half a century..BEFORE BEING FIRED ON HIS DEATHBED…Daddy did you play chess during the war? Were you a famous player? For me this comes like an earthquake amidst 65 years of chess play all over the world…ONE PHOTO was a real long forgotten monster ..Mr. Max Burkett of New Mexico.. chess vagabond on the road is magnificently captured in a 1961 was Burkett and nobody else that 7 years later set off a San Francisco chess explosion like no other with his legendary Haight Street chess house JUST ABOVE BILL GRAHAM’S FILMORE WEST ROCK EMPORIUM ON MARKET STREET.It was chess grand central station in summer 1968. We are talking Subu the Indian/Bills/John Hall/Wilcox/Blohm /Lawless/Fischer/Jim Buff ../Harmon /Pup/SHORMAN THE HIGHWAY MAN”SUPERVOLK” /Schmidt/Grefe/Addison/Browne/Tarjan/McCormick/Schmidt/ THE GREAT BENDIT/BAGBY/McLAIN/Evans/Bisquier/ Dake /BURGERMEISTER /Blackstone/The Mary/FRITZ THE POET /BEN GROSS/MILLER/COPPOLA/ HENRY GROSS/RAMIREZ/Ferlinghetti and Shig at City Lights bookstore /The Berkeley Barb chess column /Benson//City of San Francisco magazine chess column…Caradien and Capps at the Mechanics Institute Chess rooms..and GRANDMASTER TARJAN playing
    in a chess tourney at legendary Grace Slick/Janis Joplin North Beach hangout “THE COFFEE GALLERY WITH 50 YEAR TITANIC SAN FRANCICO CHRONICLE CHESS COLUMNIST/ chess hall of famer GEORGE KOlTANOWSKI AS TOURNEY DIRECTOR here there and EVERYWHERE …it was all so entrancing, off the chart one time only…riveting ..AND BURKETT STARTED IT ALL. I downloaded 40 years today.Thanks beyond measure to all US chess people/ staffers/ contractors who had a hand in this stellar never to be forgotten journey through time.My back pages. Best of all…I saw them all. Mr. Rex Sinquefield said it best…Chess should be everywhere. Period.
    Jude Acers/ New Orleans

  4. The content should not be free. A modest $10 or $20 access charge for downloads seems appropriate. Online views can be free. But at a time when we need to add funding to the LMA, when we should be establishing a more general endowment fund…when we somehow cannot afford to send printed brichures to affiliates and instead point to downloads from the web site…when we get endless appeals for donations to US Chess Trust and similar things…it behooves the federation to actually GENERATE revenue wherever it can

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