Chess in 1922

 by Bill Wall


In 1922, the Australian Chess Federation was formed.


In 1922, Emanuel Lasker wrote Mein Wettkampf mit Capablanca (My Match with Capablanca).  In it, he believed that chess would exhaust itself in short order and that draws would kill chess.


A picture of Samuel Reshevsky playing Charlie Chaplin on a Drueke chess set appeared in the January 1922 issue of the American Chess Bulletin.  Another picture was taken of Charlie Chaplin playing Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. (1833-1939) in a game of chess while Reshevsky watched.  Charlie Chaplin offered Reshevsky a movie job, but Reshevsky’s advisors turned it down for religious reasons.


On January 24, 1922, Eeltje Visserman (1922-1978) was born in Blokzilj, Netherlands.  He was a Dutch chess composer. He was one of first four to be awarded the International Grandmaster of Chess Compositions (IGCC) title when it was introduced in 1972.


In 1922, the Marshall Chess Club was incorporated.


In January, 1922, Frank Marshall played 155 games simultaneously in Montreal.  He won 126, drew 21, and lost 8.


In February, 1922, New York University played a radio chess match with Princeton.  It was the first intercollegiate radio chess match of its kind.


In February, 1922, Levi Benima (1828-1922) died in Amsterdam.  He was a Dutch chess master who twice won the Dutch Championship, in 1881 in The Hague and in 1883 in Rotterdam.


On February 4, 1922, Bogdan Sliwa (1922-2003) was born in Wieliczka, Poland.  He won the Polish Championship in 1946, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, and 1960. He also played on seven Polish Olympiad squads from 1952 to 1966. He was awarded the IM title in 1953 and an Honorary GM title in 1987


On February 4, 1922, Capablanca played 103 opponents in Cleveland, winning 102 games and drawing 1 (to Erik Anderson) game in seven hours.  This was the largest chess simultaneous exhibition in history up to that time.  It set the record for the best winning percentage ever in a large simultaneous exhibition.


On February 8, 1922, Yuri Averbakh (1922-  ) was born in Kaluga, Russia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950, the GM title in 1952.  He won the USSR Championship in 1954.  He was president of the USSR Chess Federation from 1973 to 1978.  He is currently the world's oldest living grandmaster.


On February 16, 1922, Rudolf Teschner (1922-2006) was born in Potsdam, Germany.  He was East German Champion in 1948 and West German Champion in 1951.  He was awarded the IM title in 1957 and an Honorary GM title in 1992.


On March 2, 1922, Herbert Ahues (1922-2015) was born in Berlin.  He was awarded the International Master in Chess Composition title in 1976 and the Grandmaster in Chess Composition title in 1989.


On March 14, 1922, Eric Arnlind was born in Arnas, Sweden.  He participated in the 2nd World Correspondence Chess Championship (1956-1959) and took 6th place. In 1959, he received the International Correspondence Master title. In 1968, he was awarded the International Correspondence Grandmaster title. In the 8th World Correspondence Chess Championship (1975-1980), he took 6th-10th place.


In March 1922 a candidate match was supposed to take place between Alexander Alekhine and Akiba Rubinstein (1882-1961). The winner was supposed to be recognized by Capablanca as the official challenger to a world championship match. The match never took place.


In April 1922, Samuel Reshevsky visited Washington, D.C. and played chess with several congressmen.  He also met President Harding.


On April 9, 1922, Francek Brglez (1922-1997) was born in Cadram, Yugoslavia.  He was awarded the IM title in Correspondence (IMC) in 1974.  He was awarded the GM title in Correspondence (IMC) in 1979.


On April 19, 1922, Theodor von Scheve (1851-1922) died in Germany at the age of 70.  He was a German chess master and writer.


On April 23-24, 1922, a cable match between the Manhattan Chess Club and the Argentine Chess Club of Buenos Aires was played.  The match lasted over 14 hours.  Only 2 games of 6 games played was finished.  The two finished games were both drawn.  Capablanca adjudicated the rest of the games. (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 24, 1922)


On May 1, 1922, Fernando Saavedra (1847-1922) died in Dublin, Ireland.  He was author of the most famous of all endgame studies.


On May 25, 1922,  Borisenko, Georgy (1922-2012) was born in  Kharkov, Ukraine.  He finished 2nd in the World Correspondence Championship of 1965. He was joint USSR Correspondence Champion in 1957 and 1962. He was Uzbekistani champion in 1966, 1968 and 1971.  He was awarded the IMC title in 1961 and the GMC title in 1966.


In the May 1922 issue of Illustrated World, there appears an article called “Playing Games by Radio” by Windsor Kay.   It mentions how you can test your skill at chess with your opponent miles away.  The article describes how you can use the radiophone or the usual spark transmitter of dots and dashes (Morse code).   The article had a picture of a lady, Miss Rosaline Kendall, playing chess by radio.  She was one of the contestants in a radio chess game between New York and Chicago.


On June 7, 1922, a radio chess match was played between E. T. Gundlaen, a passenger on the steamship President Taft in the Atlantic Ocean, and Edward Lasker at the Chicago Chess Club.  It was billed as the world’s first radio chess match between land and sea. Lasker won the game in 24 moves.  (source:  The Louisville Courier-Journal, June 8, 1922)


On June 25, 1922, Alexander Alekhine played 34 boards at the Royal Asturian Regatta Club in Gijon, Spain, and won all 34 games in record time.


In August-September, 1922, the Western Chess Association championship (US Open) was held in Louisville. Max Factor took 1st place.


In August 1922, the 15th British Chess Federation Congress (known as the London victory tournament) was won by Capablanca.   This was the first event after World War I that Alekhine and Capablanca played against each other.  The participants of the tournament signed the so-called London agreement on August 9, 1922, which were the regulations for world championship matches, first proposed by Capablanca.  The signers of the London Rules included Alekhine, Capablanca, Bogoljubow, Maroczy, Reti, Rubinstenin, Tartakower, and Vidmar.  Clause one of the London Rules stated that the match to be one of six games up, drawn games not to count.  The London tournament invited all the strongest players in the world except Emanuel Lasker, due to his politics during World War I.


On August 26, 1922,  Petar Smederevac (1922-1994) was born in Pancevo, Yugoslavia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1965.


On September 2, 1922, Martin Christoffel (1922-2001) was born in Basel.  He was Swiss champion in 1943, 1945, 1948 and 1952, and was awarded the IM title in 1952. He became an IMC in 1989 and a Senior IMC in 2000.


On September 8, 1922, Hector Rossetto (1922-2009) was born in Bahia Blanca, Argentina.  He was Argentine champion in 1942, 1944, 1947, 1961 and 1972. He was also Champion of South America in 1963.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1960.


In September 1922, Alekhine won the Hastings International Tournament with the score of 7.5 out of 10.


In October 1922, at the age of 10,Samuel  Reshevsky (1911-1992) played in the New York Master tournament.  He was perhaps the youngest chess player to have completed in a strong master tournament.  He finished in a tie for 3rd-6th (1 win, 2 draws, 2 losses), and  he defeated Dawid Janowski, a strong master and former French champion.  Reshevsky won the brilliancy prize of the tournament for his victory.  During the tournament, Reshevsky met with Eugene Morphy, Paul Morphy’s cousin.


On October 8, 1922, Charles Stanley Hunter (1922-1982) was born in England.  He was joint British Correspondence Champion in 1961.  He was awarded the IMC title in 1967.


In 1922, Reshevsky did not attend school.  A late-night simultaneous exhibition in October, 1922 got him in trouble with child welfare officials.  Reshevsky was giving a simul for charity at a theater in New York when it was “raided.”  Reshevsky then complained in front of a judge that America wasn’t a free country as advertised in Poland if they were going to interfere with his chess playing (source: The Des Moines Register, Oct 24, 1922) .  His parents were charged with improper guardianship in the District Court in Manhattan.  However, it was demonstrated that Reshevsky was receiving religious education in a rabbinical school on East Broadway in New York, and the case was dismissed on November 15, 1922.  Following a court recommendation, a sponsor outside the Reshevsky family was designated to report to the court periodically on his behalf.


On October 25, 1922, Rune Averby (1922-1990) was born in Sweden.  He was Swedish Correspondence Champion in 1973.


On November 1, 1922,  Vladimir Kozomara (1922-1975) was born in Tuzla, Yugosslavia.  He won the Championship of Bosnia and Herzegovina twelve times (1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1965).  He was awarded the IM title in 1964.


In December, 1922, Alexander Alekhine (1892-1946) was playing Ernst Gruenfeld (1893-1962) at Vienna where Gruenfeld played the Gruenfeld Defense (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5) for the first time.  Alekhine tried to refute the opening and failed.  Gruenfeld won the game in 54 moves after sealing the strongest move during the adjournment.  Alekhine, wearing his hat and overcoat, went to his table to see what the sealed move was.  When he saw that Gruenfeld had sealed 54…Qf3, the strongest move, he resigned by picking up his king and throwing it across the tournament room.  The Vienna tournament was won by Akiba Rubinstein of Warsaw, Poland.


In December, 1922, M.I.T. defeated New York University in the annual Intercollegiate Chess League.  One of the winners on the M.I.T. was Theodore Miller Edison (1898-1992), the son of inventor Thomas Alva Edison.  (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Dec 29, 1922)