Chess in 1929

 by Bill Wall


In 1929, Boris Verlinsky won the 6th Soviet Championship, held in Odessa, and became the first "Soviet Grandmaster."


In 1929, Otto Blathy created a chess problem that took 290 moves to checkmate.


On January 27, 1929, Hans Berliner (1929-   ) was born in Berlin.  He won the 5th World Correspondence Championship (1965-1968) with the record score of 14/16.


On March 13, 1929, James D. Slater (1929-2015) was born in Heswall, Cheshire, England.  He was a British accountant, investor, business writer and chess patron.  In 1972, he stepped in to double the prize fund of the Fischer-Spassky world championship match at a time when Fischer was threatening not to play, thereby enabling the match to go forward. Afterwards he provided significant financial backing for the development of young British players, many of whom later contributed to Britain becoming one of the world's strongest chess countries in the 1980s.


On April 18, 1929, Walter Shipman (1929-   ) was born in New York.  He won the state of New Jersey championship in 1960.  He was awarded the IM title in 1982. 


In May 1929, Dr. Norman Shaw of McGill University, Montreal issued a challenge to play a radio match with Frank Davies, physicist of the Byrd expedition in the Antarctic, a distance of 11,000 miles.   Shaw sent his challenge over radio station KDKA.  (source: Harrisburg Evening News, May 11, 1929)


On May 14, 1929, Vladimir Antoshin (1929-1994) was born in Moscow.  He won the USSR Correspondence Championship of 1960.   He was awarded the IM title in 1963 and the GM title in 1964.


On May 15, 1929, Geroge Kramer (1929-   ) was born in New York.  H won the New York State Chess Championship in 1945 at the age of 16.  He won the 1951-52 Manhattan Chess Club championship and the state of New Jersey championship in 1964, 1967 and 1969.


On May 17, 1929, Boris Vladimirov (1929-1999( was born in the USSR.  He won the Leningrad Championship in 1963.  He was awarded the IM title in 1964.


On June 1, 1929, Julius Kozma (1929-2009) was born in Czechoslovakia.  He won the Czechoslovak Championship in 1967.  He was awarded the IM title in 1957.


In June 1929, Alexander Alekhine won at Bradley Beach, New Jersey.   Bradley Beach offered to host a Capablanca-Alekhine return match, but Alekhine refused and accepted a challenge from Efim Bogoljubow (1889-1952).


On June 6, 1929, Richard Reti (1889-1928) died of scarlet fever in Prague at the age of 40.  He was one of the top players in the world in the 1920s.  He was crossing the road and was hit by a street car in Prague.  He was taken to a hospital to heal, but developed scarlet fever while in the hospital in Prague and died.  (source: The Lincoln, Nebraska Star, June 6, 1929)


On June 17, 1929, Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian (1929-1984) was born in Tiflis (modern day Tbilisi).  He earned the GM title in 1952.  He was world chess champion from 1963 to 1969.


In July, 1929, Hartwig Cassel (1850-1929) died in New York.  He was a chess journalist, editor, and promoter of chess.  In 1904, he and Hermann Helms published the first issue of the American Chess Bulletin.  He was a chess editor for New York newspapers for more than 40 years.  (source: The Amarillo-Globe-Times, July 18, 1929)


On July 25, 1929, Arthur John Roycroft (1929- ) was born in London.  He is an English chess endgam study composer and author.  In 1959 he was awarded the title International Judge of Chess Compositions.   In 1965 he founded EG, the first long-running journal exclusively for endgame studies.   Roycroft served as editor and publisher through 1991.


On July 29, 1929, Alekhine and Bogoljubow signed an agreement in Wiesbaden for a match.  The rules differed from the London Rules (6 wins, draws not counting) with the number of maximum games limited to 30 games, but the winner must still score at least 6 wins.   The match was not played under the auspices of FIDE or the London Rules.


In August, 1929, Alekhine was present at the Carlsbad tournament as a correspondent for the New York Times, in which he wrote six reports.  Alekhine did not play in the event, but Capablanca did.  The two were no longer on speaking terms, and did not greet each other. 


On August 20, 1929, Leonard Barden (1929-  ) was born in London.  He was joint British Champion in 1954 and was 1st= in 1958 but lost the play-off.  He is the chess correspondent for The Guardian newspaper.


On September 2, 1929, Mario Bertok (1929-2008) was born in Zagreb.  He was awarded the IM title in 1957 and represented Yugoslavia in the Leipzig Olympiad in 1960.


On September 05, 1929, Eldis Cobo-Arteaga (1929-1991) was born in  Cuba.  He was joint Cuban champion in 1950. He won the US Open in 1958.  He was awarded the IM title in 1967.


On September 5, 1929, Herman Hahlbohm of Chicago won the Western Chess Association championship, held in St. Louis.  (source: The Lincoln, Nebraska Star, Sep 6, 1929)


On September 16, 1929, Verica (Vera) Nedeljkovic (nee Jovanovic) was born in Cacak, Yugoslavia.   She has been Yugoslav Women's Chess Champion on six occasions - 1950, 1951, 1952 (joint), 1953 (joint) (as Jovanovic), 1958 and 1965 (as Nedeljkovic).  She was awarded the WIM title in 1954 and the WGM title in 1977.


On September 16, 1929, Hans Bouwmeester (1929-   ) was born in Haarlem, Netherlands.  He was awarded the IM title in 1954 and the  GMC title in 1981.


On October 8, 1929, Arthur Bisguier (1929- ) was born in the Bronx.  He was US junior champion in 1948.  He was the US Champion in 1954. He won the US Open in 1950, 1956 and 1959. He won the Manhattan Chess Club championship in 1948, 1949, 1957-58, 1958-59, 1967-68, and 1968-69).  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1957


On October 25, 1929, Zdravko Milev (1929-1984) was born in Targovishte, Bulgaria.  He was Bulgarian champion in 1952, 1960 and 1961.  He was awarded the IM title in 1952.


Alekhine avoided Capablanca's challenge of a re-match and took on Bogoljubow at Wiesbaden (first 8 games), Heidelberg (3 games starting October 3), Berlin (6 games), The Hague, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam from September 6 through November 12, 1929. Alekhine won with 11 wins, 9 draws, and 5 losses. He avoided Capablanca by insisting that the winner get $10,000 in gold, just as he got on Buenos Aires. But after the stock market crash in October, 1929, there were no backers.   Alekhine had a small fortune until the 1929 financial crash, in which he lost almost everything.


On November 12, 1929, Alexander Alekhine defeated Efim Bogoljubov in Holland for the world chess championship.  The match lasted over 9 weeks.  Alekhine scored 11 wins, 5 losses, and 9 draws.  (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Nov 14, 1929)


On December 5, 1929, Ilhan Onat (1929-2013) was born in Turkey.    He won the Turkish Championship in 1974, 1975 and 1982.  He was awarded the IM title in 1975.