Bogart was born on January 23, 1899 (Warner Brothers publicity changed it to December 25, 1899) in New York City. He was the son of a noted Manhattan surgeon. His mother was an illustrator. Bogart attended Phillips Academy in preparation for medical school by ended up getting expelled for unknown reasons.
probably learned chess in 1912 when he was taught by his father during their
stay at their summer home in Canandaigua Lake, New York. He was known to have visited the chess clubs
in New York City the following year.
strength is generally placed at high expert or low master and he was also a
USCF tournament director and an active member of the California State Chess
Association. He once drew a simul game against Samuel Reshevsky and was friends
with several of the top US players of the day.
In his biography 'Bogart and Bacall', Joe Hyams wrote, “After the Crash of
1929 Bogart was reduced to making eating money playing chess at the numerous ‘sportlands’
on Sixth Avenue. For a bet of fifty cents a game he played all comers. Bogart
was both a good chess player and hungry, and he won more than he lost. He soon
landed a job at an arcade , where he sat in the window playing chess for a
dollar a game. Most often he had only a doughnut and coffee for lunch.” He
was known to have played chess in Times Square in 1933. As an act of support
for US soldiers stationed overseas during WWII. In 1943 he was visited by the FBI who
prevented him from playing any more correspondence chess. The FBI was reading
his mail and thought that the chess notation he was sending to Europe were
secret codes…typical of retarded government bureaucrats, I guess.
many so called celebrities of today, in 1918 Bogart enlisted in the U.S. Naval
Reserve and was called to active service when World War I was nearly over. After
his discharge from the Navy in 1919 he returned to New York City and continued
to play chess and eventually got a job as an office boy at a theater and the
rest is history.
1942 he starred in Casablanca which had several chess playing scenes. All the
chessplaying scenes were Bogart's idea because he wanted a character that was a
chess player that drank too much.
May, 1945 Bogart divorced his wife and married a chessplayer…20 year old Lauren
Bacall. Bogart and Bacall, appeared on
the cover of the June-July, 1945 issue of Chess Review magazine. Bogart
was playing another actor, Charles Boyer, and Lauren Bacall was looking on. Bogart
helped sponsor the 1945 Pan American Chess Congress in Los Angeles and was
selected as the Master of Ceremonies.
June 1945, Bogart was interviewed by Silver Screen magazine and when asked what
things mattered most to him, he replied that chess was one of those things that
mattered most to him. He said he played chess every day between takes when he
1946 Bogart lost a match for $100 (about $1200 today) to restaurateur Mike
Romanoff and later that evening went home then phoned Romanoff to play one more
game ovre the phone for another $100. Romanoff agreed and lost in 20 moves. Former
US Champion Herman Steiner just happened to be at Bogart’s home and it was
Steiner Romanoff was actually playing.
restaurant on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills was Bogart's hangout. Bogart owned
the second booth from the left corner as you entered the restaurant. No one
else could sit there. If Mike Romanoff was there, he and Bogart would always
play chess at that table. Bogart claimed to be the strongest player among the
March, 1952 Bogart was in San Francisco and played the following game against a
blindfolded George Koltanowski.