The Friedel Chronicles

Writing a biographical and general interest book on

The Friedel Chronicles
7 min readDec 11, 2019


  • A full index of all my Chronicle stories is further below.

In May 2016 I had a bicycle accident. I was hit by a car, on a pedestrian crossing, and was incapacitated for a few days. My son Tommy visited me and decided that this was the ideal time for me to start writing my autobiography — something I had been talking about for quite some time.

For twenty years I edited a bi-monthly magazine (in German), then for seventeen years the news page of my software company, ChessBase. The latter involved writing on average three articles a day, with no breaks — not for birthdays, Christmas or holidays. The news page flourished: we sometimes had over 100,000 visitors per day.

But now I had reached seventy and was seeking to go into retirement. I had a few residual projects to manage, and two wonderful grandsons to look after. I have a fairly interesting life behind me, and so an autobiography would be appropriate. But, said Tommy, not flat-out write the book, but do it bit by bit. I should write about different things whenever they occur to me. On any of a variety of subjects. Afterwards we can use the text to make a book (or books). He set me up in — the process took under one minute. Now I had my biographical and general interest blog: The Friedel Chronicles.

Then I started. The very first article was entitled “Vera’s Prosopagnosia” and told about the strange affliction an extraordinarily brilliant young lady of my acquaintance has: she cannot recognize faces. Since then I have been writing stories: whenever anything interesting falls into my mind I quickly produce a three or four-page article, enjoying myself thoroughly in the process. At times I write quite assiduously, at times neglect the task for weeks. Depends on the residual workload for my company.

This has gone on for some years now, quietly in the background, without any announcement or publicity. But a couple of hundred people have “discovered” the blog and have, in general, reacted very positively. They keep urging me to “go public”. Maybe that will come at some stage, but in general the Friedel Chronicles will remain low-key until I decide to show them to publishers — or otherwise find an appropriate way to proceed. has served me well, but there is one thing I needed to do: create an index for friends and relatives to easily find articles. It is also something I need myself — I often discuss something with someone and want to point to an article I have written. For that you need an index. And after writing a large number of articles, here and on ChessBase, I am sometimes not sure I have not already told a story that occurs to me.

So now, without further garrulous intro text, here is the index I have put together. I intend to maintain it, keeping it up-to-date and rearranging things occasionally. Ideally you should be able to consult it to find things you are looking for. Let us see how this works out.

The Friedel Chronicles

Frederic Friedel: biographical stories

Alois Friedl: biographical stories


Thinking, the scientific method, scepticism


Magic, scams and tricks

Ken Thompson


Language, poetry

Physics, Astronomy, astrophysics, geography


Geography, travel

Biology, animals

Chess, artificial intelligence







The Friedel Chronicles

Frederic Alois Friedel, born in 1945, science journalist, co-founder of ChessBase, studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford.