Tom Fürstenberg

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Tom Fürstenberg [1]

Tom Fürstenberg,
a Dutch computer chess expert, retired chess and computer chess salesman, formerly representing Fidelity Electronics. With his close friend David Bronstein, Tom Fürstenberg is co-author of The Sorcerer's Apprentice [2] [3]. Tom Fürstenberg participated at Aegon Tournaments on both sides, operating Fidelity computers [4], as well as playing the Aegon 1997 on the human side [5].



Tom Fürstenberg between Anatoly Karpov and Cock de Gorter, 1985 [6]


Tom Fürstenberg and David Bronstein, Aegon 1991 [7]


by Tom Fürstenberg [8]:

At the end of the 70's I got very interested in computer chess and chess computers and in 1977 I bought the first chess computer that became available commercially. I traveled a lot from one such tournament to another and made many new friends and in 1986 I actually started a business selling chess computers. We were selling a lot of computers but not really making any profit. When I started investigating closely, I found out that my only employee had been stealing computers from me and was selling them for his own benefit. I fired him on the spot in 1992 and a legal battle started which I finally won end of 1998. We settled for half what he was condemned to pay. It was just enough to cover my legal fees but for it had become a matter of principle.
As I had no longer the possibility to give adequate after-sales-service without my technical man and as the market became saturated anyway, I discontinued selling chess computers. I now only sell chess playing programs and chess database programs for the PC by mail order. The main advantage is that floppies and CD-ROMs don’t require any after-sales service and if there is something wrong a simple exchange will cure that. 


In 1954 I met Grandmaster Bronstein for the first time in person when he came to Amsterdam with the Soviet team to play in the Olympiad. Little could I foresee then that he would become one of my best friends and that I would write a book about him. I found the title The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, David being the Sorcerer (on the chessboard) and the reader his Apprentice. As I had never written a book before, let alone a chess book, I structured in a way that I felt would show every aspect of David Bronstein's chess. When I asked his wife Tatiana Boleslavskaya (daughter of the famous Grandmaster Isaac Boleslavsky from Minsk, Belarus) to contribute, she wrote a chapter in the form of a moving testimonial about her husband.

External Links


  1. Tom Furstenberg | Facebook
  2. The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Wikipedia about the poem by Goethe
  3. Best chess books ever from Susan Polgar's Chess Daily Mews and Information
  4. CSVN Aegon 1991 site
  5. CSVN Aegon 1997 site
  6. Computerschaak pagina 2 (Dutch) Redactie: J. ten Have and Drs. S. Kooi
  7. Photo from his former page - David Bronstein and myself at the AEGON Human v. Computer tournament in Den Haag, 1991
  8. Quotes by Tom Fürstenberg from his former page
  9. Publication Archive from Chess Computer UK by Mike Watters
  10. 09-1981, 2. Mikrocomputer-Schachweltmeisterschaft in Travemünde und Hamburg (pdf) hosted by Hein Veldhuis
  11. Sorcerer's Apprentice (Cadogan Chess Books) from

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