From the 1930s through the 1960s, the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC) had its official magazine published by permitting its name to be attached to existing magazines run by dedicated Canadian chess journalists: Dudley LeDain's Canadian Chessner and Daniel MacAdam's Maritime Chess Chat (later Canadian Chess Chat). In the 1970s, Kalev Pugi recommended that the CFC's modernization effort include publishing its own magazine. After he become CFC President, The Chess Federation of Canada Bulletin was launched in November, 1973. The print magazine concluded its 35 year run in early 2008 after 205 issues. Here's a look back at the magazine and the people who made it happen.
The Chess Federation of Canada Bulletin, known informally as Bulletin, is launched by the CFC. Editor: Les Bunning; Associate Editor: Bonnie Bunning (No.1-12). The stapled magazine is small format: an 8.5x11 sheet of paper folded in two. The first issue is 40 pages. The CFC logo designed by Montreal artist Stanley Wilson appears prominently on the cover. The blue cover set the pattern for rotating a set of colours over the course of the six issues per year (No.1-124). It also helped disguise the fact that the cover photos were in black and white. The cover photos featured Past President Phil Haley and FIDE Representative John Prentice. Content was primarily in the English language. The first issue has several articles translated into French; future issues published articles in the language of the author's submission. Long-running regular features debuting here include: Coast to Coast (later titled Across Canada); International News; the Rating List; and Coming Events. General content always included: reports on the activities and rules of the CFC; reports on Canadian representatives at international competitions; reports on major Canadian events and Championships; games; personal reminiscences; and articles on chess and chess theory.
Peter Nurmi, the newly crowned Canadian Junior Champion, is featured on the first cover of the year, starting a long tradition. Slick cover (No.8-181).
Larry Kirstein joins as Associate Editor (No.10-12).
The first of what was to become the Annual issue, printing the CFC's rules as well as the complete Annual Rating List of all active members. Canadian Women's Champion Smilja Vujosevic becomes the first person to be featured on more than one cover photo.
Entire staff replaced by new Editor, the multi-talented Jonathan Berry (No.13-61).
Masters' Forum revived. The guest panelists annotate a game and guess who the players were. The popular feature was originally created by Vladimir Dobrich for his publication Chess Canada.
A separately produced 20-page catalog of Books and Equipment included.
A special issue covering the 1978 Canadian Closed Championship. The regular issue was tucked inside, produced with the help of assistants Frank Sexton (later an Editorial Consultant on No.32) and Jan Green-Krotki.
Still known as Bulletin, the title Chess Canada Echecs appears for the first time, both on the cover and inside.
With this extra Yearbook issue, Chess Canada Echecs becomes the new name for the publication. Editor Berry credits "the help and collaboration of many in the Canadian chess community."
Chesscan Publishing becomes the magazine's publisher.
No. 46 1981.03-04
A separate French section is credited to F. Dorion (French section Editor No.47-49), R. Bérubé and M. Marcoux.
No. 49 1981.08
Special extra issue on the 1981 Canadian Closed Championship.
Credits to new Associate Editor R.V. Mohan (No.51-56) and to production assistants Shirley Richerzhagen and Philip Jurgens.
New Associate Editor Robert Zuk (No.57-59).
CFC resumes publishing the magazine.
New Associate Editor Stephen Ball.
Stephen Ball becomes Editor (No.62-98). The magazine is renamed En Passant and published by En Passant, Publishers Ltd. The change was made to obtain cheaper mailing rates by meeting Canada Post's rules requiring that the magazine be published by a company independent of the CFC. The CFC continues to publish its Governors' Letter and Northern newsletters. The magazine sports a new logo: a pawn on the background of half a chessboard.
The magazine uses an additional mailing cover, containing ads and info as well as the address label (No.66-121).
Return of the French section edited by Jacques Dubé (No.67-91).
Special extra issue on the 1984 Canadian Closed Championship. When I went to donate a copy to the Ottawa Room collection of local interest items at the Ottawa Public Library (to accompany their holding of the book of the 1955 Canadian Closed Championship also held in Ottawa), I discovered that nowhere in the issue did it mention that the tournament was held in Ottawa!
Only five issues in 1987, to get production back on schedule.
New French section Editor Michel Gagné (No.93-115).
Edited by a committee of Stephen Ball, Deen Hergott and John Coleman.
New Editor Gordon Taylor (No.99-112).
New Editor Hal Bond (No.113-130).
New cover design by Kristine Gravelle, although the colour continues to rotate.
Layout and design: Troy Vail (No.116-147); copy editor: Brad Thomson (No.116-130).
No. 125 1994.04
First cover colour photo, of the magazine's long-time black and white photographer, Jonathan Berry.
New Editor Brad Thomson (No.131-144); chess editor: Deen Hergott (No.131-135,137-142).
Chess editor: Tom O'Donnell (No.136,138-140,142-144). Last small format issue, with a return to the cover photo by FIDE Representative Phil Haley.
Magazine changes to large size format.
Copy editor: Philip Jurgens (No.138-139).
New Editor: Tom O'Donnell (No.145-150); copy editor: Kristine Gravelle (No.145).
Copy editor: Deen Hergott (No.146).
Copy editor: Stephanie Powers (No.147).
Technical assistance: Troy Vail (No. 148-150,152-161).
Staff: Troy Vail (No.150).
New Editor: Knut Neven (No.152-182).
Layout and design: Knut Neven (No.153-182); cover design: Troy Vail (No.153-161).
Cover design, technical assistance: David Miriguay (No.162-166).
Cover design: Knut Neven (No.167-182); technical assistance: Chris Collins (No.167-170).
Technical assistance: Serge Archambault (No.171-174).
Technical assistance: Gerry Litchfield (No.175-186).
New Editor: Hans Jung (No.183-192); assistant editor: Alan McGowan (No.183-192); technical assistance: Alan McGowan (No.183), Patrick McDonald (No.183-200).
Return to the old name: Chess Canada Échecs. New cover design by Michael Crusz.
Photography: Patrick McDonald (No.185-200); art direction: Michael Crusz (No.185-193).
Technical assistance: Peter Arseneau (No.187-193).
No.193 2005.08 (Vol.33 No.4)
New Editor: Robert Hamilton (No.193-205); layout assistant: Alan McGowan (No.193). The issues are no longer numbered, and this is the last magazine with a volume and issue number.
Renamed Chess Canada. Layout: John MacPhail (No.194-205).
Copy editor: Frank Dixon (No.196-201). Games analyst: Nikolay Noritsyn (No.196-205).
Only five issues published in 2006, as the magazine switches to a quarterly schedule.
No.201 2007 Issue 1
Graphic art: Colin Jameson (No.201-205).
No.205 2008 Issue 1
The magazine finishes with a cover photo and report of the death of former World Champion Bobby Fischer. A fitting end, as the magazine was launched in the chess boom created by his capturing the crown in 1972.
And there you have it all. In 2009.01, the CFC launched its Chess Canada Webzine with Vincent Chow as Editor. It only lasted a few months, before being revived in 2009.09 as Canadian Chess News, a monthly electronic newsletter (delivered by email in PDF format) with Tony Ficzere as Editor.
This article was originally published by The Chess Federation of Canada in its webzine Chess Canada, 2009.01.05.