Chess in 1957
by Bill Wall
In 1957, the first European team chess championship was held in Vienna. The USSR team took 1st place.
In 1957, China held its first national championship. Chess was officially recognized and encouraged in China.
In 1957, Samuel Reshevsky played Donald Byrne in a match in New York. In the first game of the match, Byrne's flag had fallen, and Reshevsky offered a draw. Byrne accepted, and the draw stood, because Reshevsky did not claim a loss on time after the flag fell before the game ended. In the 2nd game, Byrne's flag fell again, and again Reshevsky did not notice it. Then Reshevsky's flag fell. Neither player noticed that both flags had fallen. However, Mrs. Reshvsky, sitting in the audience, remembering that is was important to claim a flag-fall, claimed it herself. Byrne pointed out that only the player on the move could claim a time forfeit. Since it was his move, he claimed the game himself. An appeals committee was organized to settle the dispute, which Byrne objected to. The committee declared that the game was drawn. Byrne then walked out of the match, but returned later. He lost the match 7-3.
In 1957, John Wayne starred in Jet Pilot. The director was Josef von Sternberg (1894-1969). Von Sternberg noticed that John Wayne brought a chess board to the set and made a remark about the excellence of his own game. John Wayne said, "I played him without looking at the board. And I beat him. Pure luck. He was livid." Von Sternberg was a member of the Herman Steiner Chess Club in Hollywood.
In 1957 a chess program was written by Alex Bernstein at MIT for an IBM 704. It could do 42,000 instructions per second and had a memory of 70 K. This was the first full-fledged game of chess by a computer. It did a 4-ply search in 8 minutes. In 1957 Herbert Simon said that within 10 years, a digital computer would be the world's chess champion. He was off by 30 years. It took 40 years (1997) before the first computer (Deep Blue) could defeat a world champion in a match under tournament refulations.
In 1957, Harry Lyman won the US Amateur chess championship in Ashbury park, NJ. He scored 6-0.
On January 5, 1957, Oldrich Duras died in Prague at the age of 74. He was a three time Czech Champion (1905, 1909 and 1911) and he also tied for first in the German Championship of 1912. He was awarded the GM title in 1950.
On January 9, 1957, Anna M Akhsharumova was born in Moscow. she was USSR Women's Champion in 1976 and 1984 (=Svetlana Matveeva). She was awarded the WIM title in 1977. She is married to GM Boris Gulko.
On January 14, 1957, Gerd-Peter Gruen was born in Minden, Germany. He was awarded the IM title in 1986.
On January 16, 1957, Carsten Hoi was born in Copenhagen. He was Danish champion in 1978, 1986 and 1992. He was awarded the IM title in 1979 and the GM title in 2001.
On January 20, 1957, Evgeny Vladimirov was born in Kazakhstan. He was awarded the GM title in 1989.
On January 30, 1957, Dragan Barlov was born in Kragujevac, Yugoslavia. He was awarded the IM title in 1982 and the GM title in 1986. He won the Yugoslav Championship in 1986.
On February 7, 1957, Knut Joran Helmers was born in Oslo. He was Norwegian champion in 1976 and 1977. He was awarded the IM title in 1979. he was Nordic champion in 1981.
On February 11, 1957, Gennadi Zaitshik was born in Soviet Georgia. He was Georgian champion in 1978 and 1979. He was awarded the GM title in 1984.
On February 15, 1957, Harald Malmgren (1904-1957) died in Uppsula, Sweden at the age of 52. he was Swedish Correspondence Champion in 1942. He was awarded the GMC title in 1953. He tied for 2nd place in the first world correstpondence championship (1950-1956).
On March 9-10, 1957, Bobby Fischer played two games against former world champion Max Euwe (1901-1981) at the Manhattan Chess Club in New York, drawing one and losing one. Euwe was paid $65 for his winning effort and Fischer was paid $35.
On March 11, 1957, Elena Akhmilorskaya (1957-2012) was born in Leningrad. She was awarded the WIM and WGM titles in 1977. She was Women's World Championship Challenger in 1986. She won the U.S. Women's Championship in 1990 and 1994, and tied for 1st in 1993. She married IM John Donaldson in 1988, but divorced in 1995. She then married IM Georgy Orlov.
On March 13, 1957, Andrew Jonathan Mestel was born in Cambridge, England. He was world under 16 champion in 1974. He won the British Championship in 1976, 1983 and 1988. He was awarded the IM title in 1977 and the GM title in 1982.
On April 6, 1957, Nancy Roos (1905-1957) died of cancer in Los Angeles at the age of 52. She won the US Women's Championship in 1955 with Gisela Kahn Gresser, both scoring 9-2. Her body was willed to the UCLA Medical Center. (source: Albuquerque Journal, Apr 7, 1957 and Sandusky Register, Apr 9, 1957)
On April 15, 1957 the USSR issued a stamp depicting Leonard Euler (1707-1783) and the Knight's Tour.
On April 27, 1957, Vasily Smyslov defeated Mikhail Botvinnik to become world chess champion. After 22 games, Smyslov won the match (12.5 to 9.5) and became the 7th official world chess champion, ending Botvinnik's nine-year reign as world chess champion. Smyslov was awarded the Order of Lenin for his efforts.
On May 2, 1957, Jaime Sunye-Neto was born in Curitiba, Brazil. He was Brazilian champion in 1976, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982. He was awarded the IM title in 1980 and the GM title in 1986.
In the May 5, 1957, issue of Chess Life, Bobby Fischer was rated 2231 on the 11th USCF national rating list. He had gained over 500 rating points in one year. This made him at that time America's youngest master ever.
On May 12, 1957, an episode (Season 2, Episode 33) called "A Man Greatly Beloved" appeared on Alfred Hitchcock Presents (TV series from 1955 to 1962). There is a chess scene with a young girl, Hildegarde Fell, playing chess (she has been playing for years) with Judge John Anderson, but with mistakes (illegal chess moves). He gives check, and she next takes a piece and says mate. The story was by A.A. Milne, the creator of Winnie the Pooh.
On May 30, 1957, Leonid Bass was born in Leningrad. He was awarded the IM title in 1982.
In June, 1957, the World Junior championship was held in Toronto. Bill Lombardy took 1st place with a perfect score.
On June 24, 1957, Harry Schussler was born in Malmo, Sweden. He was Swedish champion in 1976 and 1978 (=Nils-Gustaf Renman). He was awarded the IM title in 1978 and the GM title in 1988
On June 30, 1957, Daniel Hugo Campora was born in San Nicolas, Argentina. He was awarded the IM title in 1982 and the GM title in 1986. He was Argentinian champion in 1986 and 1989.
In July 1957, Alexander Piotrowski was playing chess with Kazimierz Oslecki on the lawn on their jointly-owned house in Clapton, England. Osiecki captured Piotrowski's queen without sayding "guard" when he threated it on the previous move. Piotrowski tolkd Osiecki to take the move back. Osiecki refused. That's when Piotrowski picked up a garden chair and hit Oslecki. Oslecki then picked up the wooden chess board and threw the board in Piotrosski's face. A more serious fight then broke out. Both players were then sent to the hospital with a fractured rib and assorted cuts and bruises. The case went to court in London. The magistrate observed that this was the first chess match in 2,000 years to send both participants to the hospital. He declared the match to be a draw and dismissed both charges. (source: The Ottawa Journal,
July 18, 1957)
On July 8-14, 1957, Bobby Fischer played in the U.S. Junior Championship in San Francisco and took first place (8.5 out of 9) and won another typewriter. The event was held at the Spreckels Dairy Company. He also won the U.S. Junior Speed Championship. His prize for that was a copy of the 1956 Candidates Tournament book by Euwe and Muhring. His USCF rating at the end of the US Junior Championship was 2298.
On July 21, 1957, Vladimir Malaniuk was born in Arkhangelsk. He was awarded the GM title in 1987.
On July 26, 1957, Nicholos (Nick) DeFirmian, Nicholas born in Fresno. He was awarded the IM title in 1979 and the GM title in 1985. He was US champion in 1987, 1995, and 1998.
On July 29, 1957, Viktor Gavrikov was born in Lithuania. He was awarded the GM title in 1984. He was Lithuanian champion in 1978, USSR champion in 1985, and Swiss champion in 1996.
On July 31, 1957, Franciszek Borkowski was born in Wroclaw, Poland. He was awarded the IM title in 1980.
On July 31, 1957, Franja Begovac was born in Sombor, Yugoslavia. He was awarded the IM title in 1986.
In August 1957, Bobby Fischer tied for 1st-2nd (scoring 10/12) with Arthur Bisguier at the 58th U.S. Open in Cleveland and won $750. He won the event on tie-break, making him the youngest U.S. Open Champion ever at the age of 14. His rating after the event was 2264. There were 176 players in the event. Bisguier said, "Who could have seen in the early stages, by not winning against Fischer, I created a Frankenstein!" At the conclusion of the U.S. Open, it was assumed that Bisguier won the tournament. He took the trophy and prize money home. When he got home, the tournament director called Bisguier to say he was not the winner. After recalculating the tie-break points, it was determined that Fischer was the winner on tie-breaks. Bisguier later gave the trophy to Fischer.
On August 19, 1957, an episode called "The Chess Player," starring David Janssen (1931-1980), appeared on Richard Diamond, Private Detective (TV series from 1957 to 1960). However, only checkers was mentioned.
On August 30, 1957, Hans Haberditz (1901-1957) died in Vienna at the age of 56. He was a Viennese analyst who has the variation 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 f6 in the French Defense named after him when it was tested in correspondence play.
On September 4, 1957, Max Pavey (1918-1957) died of leukemia in New York at the age of 39. He won the Scottish Championship in 1939. He was US Lightning Champion in 1947 and New York State Champion in 1949. He won the 1952-53 and 1955-56 Manhattan Chess Club championship.
In September, 1957, the first women's chess Olympiad was held in Emmen, Netherlands. USSR took 1st place. 21 countries participated. One of the participants in the 1957 Women's Olympiad was 82 year old Helen Chater who played board 1 for Ireland. She won 2, lost 2, and drew 11.
On September 16, 1957, Mark Diesen (1957-2008) was born in Buffalo. He was World Junior Champion in 1976 and was awarded the IM title the same year. He was Louisiana State Champion in 1986, 1987 and 1988.
On October 6, 1957, Branko Filipovic was born in Banja Luka, Yugoslavia. He was awarded the IM title in 1984.
On October 30, 1957, Lubomi Ftacnik was born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia. He was awarded the IM title in 1977 and the GM title in 1980. He was Czechoslovak Champion in 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1985.
On November 11, 1957, Jean Hebert was born in Quebec. He was awarded the IM title in 1978 and the GMC title in 1984.
On December 21, 1957, Roberto Cifuentes-Parada was born in Santiago, Chile. He was Chilean champion in 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985 and 1986. He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1991.
On December 30, 1957, an episode (Season 5, Episode 13) called "The Chess Game" appeared on The Danny Thomas Show (Make Room for Daddy). It was a TV series from 1953 to 1965. Nurse Kathy's Uncle Sean, who has been carrying on a chess game by mail with Paddy McCormack in Ireland, visits the Williamses. He is on the verge of losing the game, which would solidify his feelings of inferiority to Paddy, so Danny tries to help him out by writing to Paddy to tell him that Uncle Sean has died, thus ending the game. Trouble ensues when Paddy announces his plans to attend the funeral.