This is to show you what WAS available in 2001.

A slightly revised version of
the London production script
Samuel French, Ltd.

From One Shubert Alley-BroadwayNewYork

The Broadway version 1989
Samuel French, Inc.
A reprint of the original London Poster
Reprint of London Poster
Reprint of the original Broadway Poster
Reprint of Broadway Poster
The London Vocal Selections revised to include 'Someone Else's Story'
Vocal Selections
The Broadway Souvenir Brochure (not a reprint). When the show closed on Broadway, One Shubert Alley bought up all unsold brochures. The price was just lowered from $40.00.
NY Souvenir Brochure


New Recording

Chess London Version 

The complete London version, with all music,
has at last been recorded in a studio with a full cast.
CHESS: Complete Cast Album
From the Danish 2001/2002 tour
Scanbox #81851
Anatoly Sergievsky - Stig Rossen
Florence Vassy - Emma Kershaw
Frederick Trumper - Zubin Varla
Arbiter - Michael Cormick
Alexander Molokov - Simon Clark
Svetlana Sergievskaya - Gunilla Backman
Walter de Courcey - James Graeme

The orchestrations are the original London ones, the whole show is well-sung, with superb diction. The style is generally the same as the original London cast, with slight variations. The booklet does not have production photos, unfortunately, just a few costume designs and photos of the principals in the studio. No libretto is included (but it can be downloaded from this site on the London page).

Chess Karaoke  


If you want to sing the songs yourself, this is fantastic. Though unfortunately based on the Broadway score, it's still fun. Available from PocketSongs for $29.98, for $26.97, and for $29.98. Track listings: Anthem, Heaven Help My Heart, I Know Him So Well, Lullaby, No Contest, Nobody's Side, One Night In Bangkok, Pity The Child, Someone Else's Story, Story Of Chess, Terrace Duet, Where I Want To Be, You And I, You And I (Reprise). PocketSongs also has Mamma Mia!, Evita, Aida and over 200 other Broadway musicals available on karaoke Includes complete lyrics to sing along.


CHESS PIECES The Swedish pressing of the Concept Album exerpts. Track Listing: Prologue, Merano, The Arbiter, Nobody's Side, Chess, Mountain Duet, Embassy Lament, Anthem, One Night in Bangkok, Heaven Help My Heart, I Know Him So Well, Pity the Child, You and I/Story of Chess. Some tracks are shortened versions of the Concept Album tracks.


There is a rumor that RCA is reissuing this CD
Studio Cast, Europe 1986, QED 210. No artists listed. Track listing: Merano, The Arbiter, Nobody's Side, Chess, Embassy Lament, Anthem, One Night in Bangkok, Heaven Help My Heart, I Know Him So Well, Pity the Child, You and I, The Story of Chess
Revolution CD RRCD00158 released in 1998 in Sweden. This is a recording of one of the original Concept Album concerts. Elaine Paige, Murray Head, Tommy Körberg and Barbara Dickson perform with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Singers in Stockholm in November 1984. Track listing: Merano, Heaven Help My Heart, Merchandisers, Argument, Nobody's Side, I Know Him So Well, Mountain Duet, Pity the Child, Embassy Lament. Epilogue/Endgame, Anthem, You and I/The Story of Chess

Please be aware that the following CDs are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. They were NOT made in recording studios and their quality varies. They are NOT commercial releases. Quality varies widely and there is often hum, hiss or other artifacts. These are 'as is' and are offered as unique recordings of material unavailable elsewhere, despite their lack of quality. Bootlegs are bootlegs and must be regarded as such.

The only version of the Broadway script which worked. The Broadway score was used with 'The Arbiter's Song' added in its London position. Florence gets her father back in this one! Likely source is an audience tape of the entire show, which stars Susie McMonagle, Kim Strauss as Freddie and David Studwell as Anatoly. Quality is good, with minor audience and mic noise. The show is well sung and orchestrated.
U.S. TOUR - 1990
Arguably the worst rewrite of the Broadway version. The characters are nearly unrecognizable from any other version. Richard Coe's script makes everyone even more unpleasant and the story muddy and confusing. The whole show takes place in Bangkok, so the Hungarian songs and Florence's father are not in the show. Stars Carolee Carmello, Stephen Bogardus as Freddie and John Herrera as Anatoly. Quality is good for an audience tape source.
In 1984, RCA released these interviews with Benny Andersson, Tim Rice and Björn Ulvaeus to radio stations to promote the concept album.
In 1998, a bootleg audio tape was released on CD in France. It is a complete recording of a performance at the Prince Edward Theatre, recorded in April 1987 with Elaine Paige, Tommy Körberg, Michael Howe, Siobhan McCarthy and the rest of the original cast. By the time this recording was made, 'Golden Ballet' had been cut.
Despite its appearance, the CD is NOT related to this website and our original (and copyrighted) opening page graphics have been used as the CD's cover without our knowledge or authorization.
An Australian bootleg of the complete show with the entire original cast. It includes versions of 'Soviet Machine,' 'Someone Else's Story,' 'One Night In Bangkok,' 'No Contest,' 'The Deal' and 'Endgame' different from other productions and 'Cocktail Chorus' unavailable elsewhere. Complete track list is the same as the song order listed on the Sydney page.
COMPLETE BROADWAY OPENING NIGHT - 1988 Another bootleg, this of the Broadway production's opening night, April 28, 1988. 3 Discs. Includes material cut within the week including longer versions of 'Merchandisers Song,' 'Arbiter's Song,' 'U.S. vs. U.S.S.R.,' and the unrecorded 'Let's Work Together.' The show ran over 3 hours and the musicians and stagehands were all on overtime, which is why over 15 minutes was cut from the show later that week. Source seems to be a 'lap' tape and like all lap tapes, there is occasional mic noise and the sound of other machines clicking off (you would have needed 2 for this show). However, the balance between vocals and orchestra is very good and both are clear and true. No tape hiss. Under the circumstances, a good recording. Bonus tracks include the five-song Tony Voters tape recorded April 17, 1988. For details on the recording of these studio tracks, go to the Broadway Souvenir page.
At last! The whole show, including Golden Ballet/Bangkok, with ALL of the original cast. Recorded at the Prince Edward Theatre, London. The likely source is the show's sound system, as applause and audience sound is minimal, and on one chorus number ('Der Kleine Franz'), where the chorus faced away from the downstage mics, the vocals are very hard to hear. The chorus voices in 'Merano' and 'Endgame' are fine. There is also a distinct hum from the system, and some tape hiss. This is problematic during quiet moments. Otherwise, the vocals and orchestra are superbly clear, far better than an audience tape. There are also a few different, minor lyrics which were changed when the show was finalized in late June.
On April 12, 1992, the cast members of then currently-playing companies of Aspects of Love, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera joined together in a benefit concert for Equity Fights Aids and The Actors Fund of Canada to perform Chess in Concert at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. Colm Wilkinson joined the cast for 'Anthem' at the end. Susan Gilmour is Florence, Rob Lorey is Freddie, Robert Longo plays Anatoly, Kelli James is Svetlana and Jay Turvey is the Arbiter in a huge 62-member cast.
Toronto Chess in Concert
David Carroll and Judy Kuhn called all the members of the original Broadway Chess cast to come back to New York six months after the show had closed to perform their show in concert at Carnegie Hall to benefit David's chosen charity, Emergency Shelter, Inc. Carnegie Hall is very 'hot' accoustically and this CD suffers from that, with the vocals and orchestra echoing throughout the auditorium, but as an event, with a wildly enthusiastic audience of 6000, it is memorable, and everyone is in fantastic voice. Proceeds to Emergency Shelter, Inc.
 Chess in Concert Carnegie Hall
Murray Head and Tommy Körberg starred with Delia Hannah in this semi-staged production using both the London version and Sydney versions as its sources. Christian Hughes, who understudied and then replaced Tom Jobe in London, plays the Arbiter. The quality is excellent, though applause is clear, there are no other audience sounds. Possibly made from the sound system or the booth. Körberg puts a different spin on 'Where I Want to Be' with new phrasing, and Florence is a refugee of the Czech Revolution. 'Embassy Lament,' 'Soviet Machine' and most of 'The Story of Chess' have been cut and the show ends with 'Nobody's Side.'
Auckland Chess
Recorded in Basil, Switzerland, 2001
This is the tour which played many cities in Germany. The songs are in English and the dialogue in German. This is a little odd when it's a scene with both dialogue and sung lines, but it's well done and enjoyable. Though it is likely the source is an audience tape, the singers and orchestra (a fairly small one) are extremely clear and the quality of this recording is very good. The show is quite well sung by Marion Musiol, Bruno Grassi, Matthias Pagani, Dorota Kowalewska, Bernard Szyc and Kenneth Derby. The show is complete, with all scenes and songs from the London version with 'Someone Else's Story' interpolated after 'Mountain Duet' and 'Pity the Child' moved to the second act.
European Tour
This is a collection of studio vocal and instrumental tracks of songs written for Chess, performed by Elaine Paige, Murray Head, Karin Glenmark, Tommy Körberg, Björn Ulvaeus and Björn Skifs with instrumentals played by Benny Andersson. Most songs have the original 'dummy' lyrics. Includes 'ONIB,' 'Anthem,' 'When the Waves Roll Out to Sea,' 'Just Like That', 'Hot Shit!' (early 'What a Scene'), 'When the Stars are in the Sky,' 'The Deal,' 'The Arbiter,' 'Mountain Duet,' 'Argument,' 'Every Good Man' ('Heaven Help My Heart' music, sung by ABBA), etc., and live performances of 'ONIB' and 'IKHSW' from British and Swedish TV. 22 Tracks. The sources vary, and the quality is not good. Most are simply keyboards and vocals, with studio noise, false starts, etc., but are fascinating. THERE HAVE BEEN COMPLAINTS ABOUT THE QUALITY OF THIS CD. IT IS THE BEST QUALITY OF THIS SPECIAL MATERIAL THAT HAS COME OUR WAY IN 15 YEARS. The rarity of the material is the sole reason we offer this CD with significantly inferior quality.
Chess Demos
In conjunction with the Concept Album's release, this NTSC music video was released, Chess Moves, which includes introductions to the songs by Tim Rice and Elaine Paige, Murray Head, Barbara Dickson and Björn Skifs from the concept album in music videos of the songs from Chess. Contained on the videotape (RCA/Columbia Pictures MusicVision U.S. VHS #60571, Beta #20571) are: One Night in Bangkok, Nobody's Side, The Arbiter, I Know Him So Well, Pity the Child.

2001 - Sylvia Stoddard