Vladimir Nabokov

NABOKV-L post 0003236, Tue, 28 Jul 1998 10:44:56 -0700

Replies to Query: Nabokov Chess Sonnet & "Djuser" (fwd)
>From "Peter A. Kartsev" <petr@glas.apc.org> Moscow

"Dyuser" was a French chess player, an amateur probably not quite of the
same league as Philidor, a frequent visitor of the cafe "Regence" in
Paris, where Philidor used to play. So, at least, maintains the commentary
to a Russian edition of the text. Beyond that, I can't verify it, but my
guess would be not du Sire, as tentatively suggested, but Dusserre, which
would be more in line with the transliteration rules then in use. Anyway,
I'd suggest looking it up in some French book on Philidor. VN himself
probably got that name from a Russian chess source.

From: Thomas Seifrid <seifrid.las.usc@hermes.usc.edu>

For what it's worth, neither a Russian source (*Shakhmaty.
Entsiklopedicheskii slovar'*) nor the *Oxford Companion to Chess* lists any
one resembling "Djuser." Both, however, list Oldrich Duras, who was an
International Grandmaster and composer. Metrically "Djuser" works better,
of course; but could there have been a misprint at *Rul'*?

Thomas Seifrid