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I have recently learned that former chess world champion Tigran Petrosian earned a PhD title from Yerevan State University; the title of his dissertation title was Chess Logic.

I would like to read what he wrote. I can read Russian. Any idea how to get hold of this text?

EDIT: I have just read in a chess history book that between his two matches with Spassky, Petrosian worked on the philosophy of the chess battle, studied the secrets of the process of chess thinking, successfully defended a dissertation on this subject and became a candidate of philosophical sciences - my translation from Russian. This cryptic text does not mention the title of doctor (PhD) but an obscure title of candidate.

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    I think it was a master's degree, and it was written in Armenian. – Post-It-Note Apr 24 '16 at 6:54
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    The results of my research haven't found it on Google Scholar or for sale on Amazon or eBay. – user1108 May 3 '16 at 10:00
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    biblio.co.uk/book/chess-logic-some-problems-logic-chess/d/… - I did find that, although I also did not find a record of a PhD, only a M. Phil. (Master Philosophy). However, that is a title awarded for ABD (All But Dissertation), so presumably the dissertation is the one you are looking for. Also found this link, but not sure what that is: webcache.googleusercontent.com/… – JohnP Jun 13 '16 at 15:09
  • According to Wikipedia, Armenia was claimed as part of Russia from 1828 to 1991, except for a brief period from 1917 to 1922, hence, I suppose, that the dissertation was written in Armenian. – phedup Oct 15 '16 at 6:53
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    @Christophe Strobbe, No. But now at least I know that this is not PhD. – DrCapablasker Aug 24 '17 at 15:46
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There is another copy of the English edition in the University Library in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), here.

This particular library obtained the chess book collection of Willi Summ (1896–1982) as donation in 1975. Though it is not as large as Cleveland or Den Haag, it possesses some rare volumes. The paper in question is no. 1379 in the printed catalogue:

@BOOK{summ:meissenburg:1982,
    EDITOR = {Summ, Willi AND Meissenburg, Egbert},
    TITLE = {Der Frankfurter Schachbücherkatalog},
    SUBTITLE = {Schachschriften in der Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt am Main},
    DATE = {1982},
    PAGETOTAL = 116,
    PUBLISHER = {Schachverlag Horst Helten},
    LANGUAGE = {german},
    GENDER = {pm},
    EDITORTYPE = {compiler},
    ISBN = {3-922853-03-X},
    EDITION = 2,
}
5

According to WorldCat.org, Tigran Petrosian's PhD thesis is available in three libraries: the Koninklijke Bibliotheek ("royal library") in The Hague (Netherlands), the Danish Union Catalogue and Danish National Bibliography (a catalogue strangely identified as a "library"?) and the State and University Library in Denmark.

Apparently, the English translation is (or was) only available in 250 copies, so there may be other libraries that have it but that aren't covered by WorldCat.org. Once you've identified a library that has it, you can try to get a copy through interlibrary loan. (This may work best if you have access to a university library, especially for international interlibrary loan.) The other option is trying to buy it through a website for second-hand books, but the book is so rare that your chances of finding it are very small.

See:

  1. Tigran Vartani Petrosjan: Chess Logic. Skakhus-forlaget, 1968. Translated from the Russian into English by Carl Andersen. (See the catalogue entry at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.)
  2. Tigran Vartani Petrosjan: Skak logik. Copenhagen : Skakhus, 1968. Translated into Danish by Carl Andersen. (See the catalogue entry at the Koninklijke Bibliotheek.)
  • Danish version too: worldcat.org/title/manuskriptet-til-skak-logik/oclc/7107972 Perhaps unsurprisingly, in the USA, the Cleveland Public Library is the place to go (HUGE chess special collection), and Univ Delaware also has it. – Post-It-Note Jul 27 '16 at 10:52
  • I can probably understand the Danish version because I can read Norwegian but how to get it from Poland? – DrCapablasker Jul 27 '16 at 16:24
  • @user3456 Where to find rare chess books may be a StackExchange question in its own right ;-) – Christophe Strobbe Jul 27 '16 at 16:37
3

There seems to be an English copy of a 39-page “personal summary by the author" (presumably not the full dissertation) here.

  • Looking again the listing says this is actually a 39-page “personal summary by the author of a dissertation contending for the degree of Master of Philosophical Science”. So, not the full dissertation. – EastNine Jun 13 '16 at 11:50
  • I contacted that seller but received no reply. Still trying to get hold of that text. – DrCapablasker Jul 13 '16 at 12:41
  • @EastNine Is it possible that the orginal thesis was also only 39 pages long? In the past, PhD theses could be much shorter that today. – Christophe Strobbe Jul 27 '16 at 10:16

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