Chess Notes started as a bimonthly periodical, and was described by its author, in the first issue (January–February 1982), as “A forum for aficionados to discuss all matters relating to the Royal Pastime”. At the end of 1989, the periodical ceased publication. In 1993, Winter resumed publication of Chess Notes, which appeared, this time, as a syndicated column, in many languages around the world. From 1998 to 2001, it was published exclusively in New In Chess. Later, it appeared online at the Chess Café website. Since September 2004, Chess Notes has been located at the website Chesshistory.com.
Between 1996 and 2006 four anthologies of Chess Notes were published in book form.
On 15 March 2020, in C.N. 11763, Edward Winter announced that from the end of March 2020, Chess Notes would no longer be updated regularly.
Yasser Seirawan calls Winter “the chess world’s foremost authority on its rich history”.Jan Timman has commented: “Writers on chess history and the games of yesteryear are not normally pathfinders or perfectionists, but Edward Winter is an exception, taking great pains not only to tackle difficult research tasks but also to present the facts precisely.”William Hartston observed of him: “Edward Winter is probably the most meticulous and diligent researcher and chess writer around. For several years, from his home in Switzerland, he produced the much-admired Chess Notes, a privately published journal of chess history and anecdotes that was the scourge of all that was sloppy or dishonest in chess. Winter’s brilliantly scathing style, always adopted in the noble cause of accuracy, gives his writings a marvellously entertaining as well as instructive quality.”Harry Golombek remarked that Chess Notes is “written in a most refreshing acerbity of tone.”
Chess writers whom Winter has criticized for poor work include Eric Schiller,Raymond Keene, and Larry Evans. Timman has observed of Winter: “When he criticizes another writer, he does so fairly by setting out the facts for the reader to inspect for himself.”