Dome levels 4 and 5 will be closed to the public from Monday 13 May to Friday 24 May. Visit our refreshed World of the Book exhibition from Saturday 25 May.


The MV Anderson Chess Collection, with over 13,000 volumes of books, magazines and tournament reports, is one of the largest chess collections in the world.

Five thousand recent volumes and the latest issues of the world’s major chess magazines are kept in the Library's Chess Room. There are almost 3000 volumes on openings such as the Sicilian Dragon, King’s Indian, Complete Hedgehog and Hippopotamus. The collection includes books about the history of chess, chess in film and art, and even novels in which chess is a central theme.

A feature of the collection is the many older books on chess; the earliest is a leaf from The game and play of chess, published by Caxton in 1483.

The collection owes its origins to the generosity of MV Anderson, who donated his collection of 6700 volumes between 1959 and 1966. The Library adds several hundred volumes to the collection each year. Others have made generous donations of chess sets.

Players preparing for tournaments, chess commentators and chess historians are all frequent users of the MV Anderson Chess Collection.

Chess game sets and the chess collection are available in The Ian Potter Queen's Hall mezzanine (Level 3).

More to explore