Chess in 1926

 by Bill Wall


In 1926, chessmen were found during excavation on the grounds of Witchampton Manor in Dorset.  The pieces are made of whale bone and dated to the 11th or 12th century.


In 1926, Leningrad sponsored a chess tournament that had 1,300 players in the event.


In 1926, Haverford College in Pennsylvania played an amateur radio chess match with the University of Paris. 


In January 1926, Alexander Alekhine tied for 1st with Vidmar in the 6th Hastings Congress of 1925-26.


On January 2, 1926, Benjamin R. Foster (1850-1926) committed suicide by shooting himself through the head.  He was chess editor of the St. Louis Globe Democrat for 37 years. (source: The Sedalia Democrat, Jan 3, 1926)


On January 7, 1926, Elaine Pritchard (nee Saunders) (1926-2012) was born in England.  She was World Junior Women's Champion in 1936 and 1937.  She won the British Women's Championship in 1939 and 1946 (after a play-off) under her maiden name, and again in 1956 and 1965. She was awarded the Women’s International Master (WIM) title in 1957


On January 24, 1926, Alexander Flamberg (1880-1926) died in Warsaw at the age of 45.  He was Warsaw champion in 1901, 1902 and 1910.


On February 4, 1926, Rev. Dr. Frederick Gotweald, 58, died of a heart attack while playing chess at the YMCA in York, Pennsylvania. (source: Harrisburg Evening News, Feb 5, 1926)


On February 7, 1926, Mark Taimanov (1926-  ) was born in Kharkov, Ukraine.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1952.  He played in 23 USSR chess championships.


On February 24, 1926, Nikola Karaklajic (1926-2008) was born in Belgrade.  He was awarded the IM title in 1955 and became Yugoslav Champion in the same year.


On March 6, 1926, Ken Whyld (1926-2003) was born in Nottingham, England.  He was a British chess author and researcher, best known as the co-author (with David Hooper) of The Oxford Companion to Chess


In May 1926, the Shanghai chess club defeated the Manila chess club in a radio match over shortwave.  It was the first chess contest ever staged by radio in the Far East.  (source: Oakland Tribune, July 30, 1926)


On June 7, 1926, Ion Balanel (1926-  ) was born in Bucharest.  He was Romanian champion in 1950, 1953, 1955 and 1958.  He was awarded the IM title in 1954.


In July 1926, Capablanca won the Pan American chess tournament at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, with 4 wins and 4 draws.


On September 4, 1926, W. B. Victor, age 55, shot and killed himself at the New Orleans Chess Club.  (source: Greenwood Index-Journal, Sep 5, 1926)


On September 9, 1926, Pierre Rolland (1926-1967) was born in Aude, France.  He was French Champion in 1956. He was invited to play in the International Grand Prix of Monaco in 1967, but died in an automobile accident.


On September 20, 1926, Jack Spence (1926-1978) was born in Omaha, Nebraska.  He won the Midwest Open in 1951 and 1959. He was Nebraska champion twice, as well as a chess author and organizer.


On October 21, 1926, Kveta Eretova (1926-  ) was born in Prague.  She was Czechoslovak women's champion in 1955, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1975, 1976 and 1986.  She was awarded the WGM title in 1986.


On November 14, 1926, the first North-South match between players of Northern California and Southern California met at San Luis Obispo. The South won 7.5 to 4.5.


On Nov 16, 1926, Alexei Suetin (1926-2001) was born in Kirovohrad, USSR.  He was awarded the IM title in 1961 and the GM title in 1965 and became World Senior Champion in 1996.


In December, 1926, Efim Bogoljubov defected from the USSR.


In December, 1926, the first international radio match between Argentina and Uruguay took place between the Club Gimnasia y Esgroma de Rosario and the Uruguayan Chess Federation in Montevideo.  The match lasted nearly 24 hours.