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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

1950 Was a Good Year

9th Chess Olympiad: Dubrovnik: Eleven years had passed before the Olympiads were brought back to life. The War cut out full six years from the chess life and it took next 5 years to hold the first post-war Olympiad…In 1948 FIDE congress held in Saltsj√∂baden submitted Yugoslavia's proposal to organize the 9th Chess Olympiad. The following year it was finally confirmed. Unfortunately the Communist Information Bureau comprised of USSR Communist Party and its satellites expelled Yugoslavia and moved the event from Belgrade to Bucharest…USSR authorities finally decided to boycott the event and all East European countries had nothing to do but follow Big Brother…MORE
Amsterdam: In the winter of 1950 Lodewijk Prins, backed by a committee presided over by Hendrik Jan Van Steenis, organized an international chess tournament that was held at the stock exchange in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Invitations went out to all the strongest chess masters of the day, whether they reside in Europe, the Soviet Union, or the Americas. The Soviet Chess Federation declined the invitations sent to their masters (they would refrain from entering international competitions until late 1952), as did Lazslo Szabo. Nevertheless, the eventual line-up was still one of the finest selections to be found of the best, active Western chess masters of the day. The field was notable also for the healthy mix of both early century chess mastery and post-war talent emerging for the next generation…MORE

1st World Correspondence Chess Championship:  Following the foundation of the International Correspondence Chess Union ( IFSB )* in Berlin on the 2nd of December 1928 the idea of a Correspondence Chess Championship was discussed for the first time. Alexander Alyekhin who had played numerous games of correspondence chess in his youth held it in high regard and became a driving force to see the realization of a Correspondence Championship. In August 1936 an IFSB conference resolved to set up a committee to work out a draft of Alyekhin's ideas and bring them to fruition. A year later in August 1937 at another IFSB conference in Stockholm a resolution to create and regularly hold a Correspondence Championship was reached. Amongst those present at this conference were FIDE President Dr Alexander Rueb and Dr Max Euwe. The outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 delayed plans but eventually in 1947 the preliminaries for the World Correspodence Championship started. There were 78 participants from 22 countries in 11 preliminary groups. This lead to a Final Tournament of 15 players. Play for this final commenced in 1950 with the games finishing in 1953…MORE
Budapest - Candidates Tournament: When discussing some of the background to the Budapest contest, Averbakh relates how the Yugoslav grandmaster Petar Trifunovich (Trifunovich has earned the reputation of being a very hard man to beat, and the other grandmasters have acquired a healthy respect for his technical skill. At Bled, for example, he lost only this one game - from the introduction to game 33 of Fischer's My Sixty Memorable Games) was kept out of the tournament. This was a knock-on effect of the breach between the communist dictators Stalin and Tito. The Soviets, in order to keep the Yugoslav out, sacrificed Bondarevsky's place. Grandmaster Bondarevsky will be known as Spassky's trainer, a subject treated by Averbakh elsewhere in the book. A bit of spice can be added by revealing that there may have been links to the NKVD (i.e. the Cheka)…MORE

US Open, Detroit: The victory of 20-year-old Arthur Bisguier ushered in a couple of new trends in the US Open. A new generation was reaching the top, taking over as thoroughly as in the Fine/Reshevsky days of the 1930s. Outside of Reshevsky's first place tie in 1955, nobody who played in the US Open before 1946 would ever win the tournament again…MORE
USSR Championship: The 18th Soviet Chess Championship took place in the capital of Moscow from November 10th to December 12th, 1950. Fifteen of the Soviet Union's best masters and grandmasters qualified from five semi-final tournaments held earlier in the year. Lev Aronin, Victor Liublinsky, and Tigran Petrosian qualified from Gorky; Isaac Lipnitsky, Alexey Sokolsky, and Efim Geller qualified from Kiev; Vladimir Alatortsev, Alexander Tolush, and Igor Bondarevsky qualified from Leningrad; Salomon Flohr, Alexander Konstantinopolsky, and Vladas Mikenas qualified from Tartu; and Yuri Averbakh, Georgy Borisenko, and Alexey Suetin qualified from Tula. Vasily Smyslov was invited as returning Soviet champion, and since both Mikhail Botvinnik and David Bronstein were preparing for their upcoming world championship match in several months, their invitations went to 1947 USSR championship winner Paul Keres and world candidate semi-finalist Isaac Boleslavsky…MORE

I turned 5 years old and had not yet heard of chess:

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