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Monday, February 26, 2018

Monaco 1967


    Monaco is a principality of only one square mile situated in the south of France that is famous for its casino, car racing, tennis tournament and Princess Grace (former American Actress Grace Kelly).
     Princess Grace was killed on September 13, 1982 when the car she was driving tumbled over a cliff after failing to negotiate a steep hairpin turn. Her daughter, 17-year old Stephanie, was a passenger. 
     On Monday morning, September 13, Princess Grace and Stephanie, who was due start school on Wednesday, were getting ready to leave the family farm. The chauffeur parked an old Rover 3500 in front of the house and Princess Grace and a maid then filled the back seat with clothes. Grace's chauffeur was ready to drive the two of them to the palace, but with the back seat filled with clothes, there wasn't room for the three of them, so Grace said she would drive. Her chauffeur tried to dissuade her, but she insisted. 
Rover 3500

     There are several versions of the accident. According to a Chicago Tribune article dated October 23, 1989, Grace's other daughter Caroline, the only family member to have discussed what happened with Stephanie, later said Stephanie told her that Princess Grace was in a panic and kept saying she couldn't stop because the brakes didn't work. Stephanie had pulled the emergency brake, but it didn't work. 
     When paramedics arrived on the scene Princess Grace was unconscious and badly injured. At the hospital doctors attempted to resuscitate her, but because of the extent of her brain injury and injuries to her thorax and a fractured femur, they were unable to save her life. Doctors believed that she had suffered a minor stroke and that's what resulted in the accident. She died the following night at 10:55 p.m., age 52, after Prince Rainier chose to take her off life support. Stephanie was was diagnosed with minor bruising and a slight concussion. However, x-ray results showed she suffered a hairline fracture of the seventh cervical vertebra. She was unable to attend her mother's funeral because of her injuries.
     Wikipedia says doctors believed that Princes Grace suffered a stroke that may have caused the car to veer off the road causing the accident. A 2002 article in The Guardian said a postmortem concluded that a massive brain hemorrhage had caused Princess Grace to lose control of the car. The article also stated that ever since the accident there has been a couple of rumors: Stephanie was the driver or she was in a heated argument with her mother about her plans to marry her boyfriend at the time. 
     According to The Guardian article, a policeman and a truck driver saw Grace driving. But a farmer, the first person on the scene, told the police that he saw a woman lying unconscious on the back seat and a young girl groaning with pain in the front. In an interview Stephanie said she and her mother were both thrown around inside the car and the passenger door was smashed in so she got out on the driver's side. She refused to discuss what she and her mother were talking about at the time of the accident. 
    Some people think Stephanie blocked the accident out of her mind and she remembers nothing of what happened. However, in a taped interview she said she remembered every minute of it. 
     That was not the only famous car accident in Monaco. Less than a month after the 1967 chess tournament Lorenzo Bandini (December 21, 1935 - May 10, 1967), an Italian race car driver who raced in Formula One for the Scuderia Centro Sud and Ferrari teams, was killed in an horrific car crash in Monaco. 
     On May 7th Bandini was racing at the Monaco Grand Prix, running second on the 82nd lap, when he lost control of his car after his Ferrari's left rear wheel hit a guard rail sending it skidding into a light pole which caused it to overturn and slide into straw bales. 
     The fuel tank was ruptured and sparks ignited the fuel as the car rolled over with Bandini trapped beneath it. Rescuers flipped his car upright and pulled the unconscious Bandini from the flaming wreckage. It is thought that during the effort to right the overturned car, fuel leaked onto a hot brake line or the exhaust pipe and a second fire occurred when the fuel tank exploded after Bandini had been pulled away from the Ferrari. Bandini sustained third degree burns over more than 70 percent of his body, as well as a chest wound and ten broken ribs. Three days after the crash, Bandini succumbed to his injuries. 100,000 people attended the funeral. You can see a video of his terrible accident HERE.  
     On a less morbid note, Monaco (aka Monte Carlo) has been the scene of some very strong chess tournaments. Winners have been: David Janowsky (1901), Geza Maroczy (1902), Siegbert Tarrasch (1903), Geza Maroczy (1904), Bobby Fischer (1967), Bent Larsen (1968) and Lajos Portisch and Vasily Smyslov (1969). 
     Since the early 1990s, the Amber tournaments and the Mini States Championships in 1993 and 1995, the Women Candidates match between Nana Ioseliani and Susan Polgar in 1993, the ESNA Team Championship in 2013 and the Women’s Grand Prix in 2015 were held in Monaco. 
 
Lombardy and Fischer at Monaco
    Originally more than 10 players were invited to participate in the 1967 event, but French master Pierre Rolland had died in a car accident on February 10, Klaus Darga canceled for business reasons, Florin Gheorghiu was invited but couldn't get a visa in time and Wolfgang Unzicker telegraphed at the last minute that he could not come. Finally, the world champion Tigran Petrosian withdrew in a snit at the last minute because he objected to Fischer being granted an extra $2,000 appearance fee. Dr. Volf Bergraser drew with Mazzoni, but then lost to Larsen, Fischer, Smyslov and Matanovic before he got sick and had to withdraw. 

     The 1967 tournament was held March 24th to April 4th. Fischer performed well, losing only one game, to Geller. Smyslov was undefeated while Geller suffered one defeat at the hands of Bent Larsen. Larsen lost two games, to Fischer and Matanovic. 
     As for Larsen, the year had started badly for him. In a small New Year's tournament in Stockholm he had lost three games and in Beverwijk he got off to a similar start, but managed to catch the leaders only to lose in the last two rounds. At Monaco his play was spotty because he was suffering from stomach trouble. Larsen observed, the stomach is an organ that it is essential to master; it has to adapt to different diets and his had behaved, but at Monaco it began acting up. 

1) Fischer 7.0 
2) Smyslov 6.5 
3-4) Geller and Larsen 6.0 
5) Matanovic 5.5 
6-7) Gligoric and Lombardy 4.5 
8) Forintos 4.0 
9) Mazzoni 1.0 
10) Bergraser 0.5 

     The winner of the following game was Gyozo Forintos (born July 30, 1935) of Hungary. Forintos was awarded the IM title in 1963 and the GM title in 1974 and was made an International Arbiter in 1994. He was Hungarian Champion in 1968-69. His daughter is married to English GM Tony Kosten. His opponent, Guy Mazzoni (August 29, 1929 – October 25, 2002), was French Champion in 1961 and 1965. 
 

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