Chess in 1963

 by Bill Wall



On January 1, 1963, Luc Winants was born in Belgium.  He was Belgium champion in 1986.  He was awarded the GM title in 1993.


On January 4, 1963, Bobby Fischer won the U.S. Championship with 6 wins, 4 draws, and 1 loss (to Edmar Mednis). His rating was 2664.


On January 6, 1963, Hermann Helms (1870-1963) died in Brooklyn at the age of 93.  He was known as 'The Dean of American Chess.'  He was a chess journalist and editor of the American Chess Bulletin from 1904 until his death in 1963.


On January 6, 1963, Weaver Adams (1901-1963) died in Cedar Grove, New Jersey at the age of 61.  He was an American chess master who participated in the U.S. Championship in 1936, 1940, 1944, 1946 and 1948. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in 1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945.  He won the 49th U.S. Open, held in Baltimore, in 1948.  He won the New Jersey championship in 1958.


On February 1, 1963, Rodolfo Garbarino was born in Argentina.  He was awarded the IM title in 1982.


On February 8, 1962, Johann Hjartarson was born in Reykjavik.  He was Icelandic champion in 1980, 1984, 1994, 1995 and 1997.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1985. He became a World Title Candidate in 1987 when he finished 1st= at the Szirak Interzonal.


On February 12, 1963, Doug Root was born in Long Beach, California.  He was awarded the IM title in 1988.


On March 20, 1963, Andrei Sokolov was born in Russia.  He was Moscow champion in 1981.  He was World Junior Champion in 1982 and USSR Champion in 1984.

He was awarded the IM title in 1982 and the GM title in 1984.  He became a Candidate in 1985.


On March 24, 1963, Ivan Morovic-Fernandez was born in Vina del Mar, Chile.  He was Chilean Champion in 1981. He was awarded the IM title in 1980 and the GM title in 1986. He was Champion of South America (jointly) with Miguel A Quinteros at Corrientes in 1985.


In April 1963, Mrs. Edvige Ruinstein, the wife of a chessplayer in Milan, Italy was granted a separation (there was no divorce in Italy) from her husband, Alfredo Ruinstein, age 43, on the grounds that he was so obsessed with chess that he refused to work and support their two children.  The court ordered the husband to pay 25,000 lire monthly allowance.  The court decision read, “Playing chess would be all right if at the same time he would also have looked after his family’s needs.” (source: Delaware County Daily Times, Apr 13, 1963)


In April, 1963, President Kennedy met a 12-year-old named Levi Frazier while being introduced to some members of the Washington Boys Club.  Levi, an African-American, was also an expert chess player.  Kennedy told the boy, “How about coming over to the White House and teaching me to play chess?  I’ve never learned.”  (source: Eau Claire Daily Telegram, Apr 12, 1963)


On April 13, 1963, Garry Kasparov (originally Weinstein or Weinshtein) was born in Baku, Azerbaijan.  He was undisputed World Champion from 1985 until 1993, and Classical World Champion from 1993 until 2000.  He was awarded the GM title in 1980.


On April 23, 1963, Pia Cramling was born in Stockholm.  She was awarded the WGM title in 1982, the IM title in 1983 and the GM title in 1992.


On May 21, 1963,Tigran Petrosian, age 34, defeated Mikhail Botvinnik, age 52, to become world chess champion (one headline read: Ex-Janitor is New World Chess Champ).  Over 2,000 spectators jammed the Moscow theater to watch the final game.  Resentful that FIDE had abolished  the return match, Botvinnik made no attempt to qualify and play in any further world championship qualifiers or matches.  Botvinnik never won a match when defending his title.  His overall record in match play was 2 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws.  His world championship record was 36 wins, 39 losses, and 82 draws. (source: Long Beach Independent, May 21, 1963)


On May 27, 1963, Eduardas  Rozentalis was born in Vilnius, Lithuania.  He was awarded the IM title in 1987 and the GM title in 1991.


In June, 1963, a space symposium was held in Denver, with the conclusion that chess was not a good activity for astronauts.  Dr. Julien Christiansen of Wright-Patterson AFB presented a paper of a study of men who spent 15 days in a space-like capsule.  Chess was an early favorite of an off-duty pastime, but the mental excitement created by chess interfered with their sleep. (source: Colorado Springs Telegraph, Jun 7, 1963)


On June 3, 1963, Jonathan Paul Levitt was born in Southwark (London).  He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1991.


On June 14, 1963, Gregory Hjorth (1963-2011) was born in Melbourne, Australia.  He was joint Commonwealth Champion in 1983.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984.


On June 16, 1963, Jonathan Schroer was born in the USA.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984.


On June 25, 1963, Byron Jacobs was born in England.  He was awarded the IM title in 1988.


On July 25, 1963, Julian Hodgson was born in St Asaph, Wales.  He was awarded the IM title in 1983 and the GM title in 1988. He was British Champion in 1991, 1992, 1999 and 2000.


On July 25, 1963, Gosta Stoltz (1904-1963) died in Sweden at the age of 59.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1954.  He was Swedish Champion in 1951, 1952 and 1953 and also joint Nordic Champion in 1947.  Before becoming a chess professional, he was a car mechanic.


From July 2-28, 1963, World Champion Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres tied for 1st at the Piatigorsky Cup Tournament. It was held at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. 3rd-4th went to Najdorf and Olafsson. 5th went to Reshevsky. 6th went to Gligoric. 7th-8th went to Benko and Panno. Bobby Fischer was invited, but he requested a $2,000 appearance fee. His invitation went to Pal Benko. Isaac Kashden directed the event. One of the spectators at the first Piatigorsky Cup was Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), who took some chess literature home with him. (source: San Bernardino County Sun, Jul 30, 1963)


On August 28, 1963, Daniel John King was born in Beckenham, England.  He was awarded the IM title in 1982 and the GM title in 1989. 


On September 18, 1963, Gerald Hertneck was born in Germany.  He was awarded the IM title in 1985 and the GM title in 1991.


On September 26, 1963,  Jonathan Yedidia was born in the USA.  He was awarded the IM title in 1996.


On October 30, 1963, Gilberto Milos was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1988.  He was Brazilian champion in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1994 and 1995.


On November 3, 1963, Boris (Bora) Kostic (1887-1963) died in Belgrade at the age of 76.  He won the Yugoslav Championship in 1935 (jointly) and 1938.  He was awarded the GM title in 1950. (source Terre Haute Tribune, Nov 4, 1963)


On November 14, 1963, Mikhail Krasenkov was born in Moscow.  He was awarded the IM title in 1988 and the GM title in 1989.


On November 27, 1963, Fischer was to play over 400 opponents at once in an exhibition, but was postponed because of President Kennedy's assassination (Nov 22, 1963) and a fire at the Astor hotel where the event was to have taken place.


On December 6, 1963, John Hawksworth was born in England.  He was awarded the IM title in 1986.


1963.12.22 Sacconi d.  Born 1895.  Italian ch 1935.  IM 1951.


On December 28, 1963, Miles Ardaman was born in the USA.  He won the Florida State Championship in 1986 and 1987. He won the Texas State Championship in 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1997. He won the South Carolina State Championship in 2001. He won the Georgia State Championship in 2005.