Chess in '69
by Bill Wall
In 1969, the top U.S. players were Bobby Fischer (2745), Sam Reshevsky (2604), Larry Evans (2587), Pal Benko
(2583), and Robert Byrne (2530). There were 12,580 members of the United States Chess Federation (USCF).
In November, 1969, Chess Review merged with Chess Life, to become Chess Life and Review.
In 1969 the chess Oscar went to Boris Spassky, who also won it in 1968.
In April, 1969, the first U.S. High School championship was held in New York. There were 370 players. The
winner was John Watson of Omaha, Nebraska. The High School team championship went to Gompers HS in Chicago.
The world chess championship was held in Moscow from April 14 through June 17. Boris Spassky defeated the
world champion Tigran Petrosian by the score of 12.5 to 10.5 to become new world champion.
The world's women championship was won by Nona Gaprindashvili, who defended her title.
In 1969, Simon and Schuster published his My 60 Memorable Games by Bobby Fischer.
Andy Soltis won the 1969 U.S. Intercollegiate championship. The Pan Am Intercollegiate Championship was won
by the University of Chicago.
Kimbal Nedved won the 1969 U.S. Amateur Championship, which was held in Philadelphia.
Ken Rogoff won the 1969 U.S. Junior championship. Larry Day won the 1969 US Junior Open.
Pal Benko, Milan Vukcevich, and Arthur Bisguier tied in the 1969 US Open, held in Lincoln, Nebraska.
In 1969, Sam Reshevsky won the 20th U.S. chess championship, held in New York.
In 1969, Gisela Gresser won the U.S. women's chess championship for the 9th time.
In 1969, the top international players were Bobby Fischer (2720), Boris Spassky (2690), Viktor Korchnoi
(2680), Mikhail Botvinnik (2660), Tigran Petrosian (2650), Bent Larsen (2630), Efim Geller (2620), Lajos
Portisch (2620), Paul Keres (2610), and Lev Polugaevsky (2610).
In 1969, Ray Martin won the 5th American Open, held in Santa Monica. There were 202 players (including
myself, who ended up with a 1552 USCF rating).
The 1969 All Postal Correspondence championship (APCT) was won by George Fawbush.
Army won the 1969 U.s. Armed Forces Championship. The individual winner was Army PFC Steven Hohensee.
The 1969 Women's Olympiad was held in Lublin. The gold medal went to USSR, the silver went to Hungary, and
the bronze went to Czechoslovakia.
In 1969, Japan held its first national chess tournament.
Births of chess players in 1969 include Jeroen Piket (Jan 27), Ferdinand Hellers (Jan 28), Alexei Dreev (Jan
30), Vasily Ivanchuk (March 18), Susan Polgar (April 19), Gregory Serper (Sep 14), Viswanathan Anand (Dec
Deaths included Alexander Tolush (March 3), Alexey Sokolsky (Dec 27), and Kurt Richter (Dec 29).
Other tournaments for 1969 included Amsterdam (won by Portisch), Atlantic Open (won by Benko), Australian
championship (won by Walter Browne), Beverwijk (won by Botvinnik and Geller), British Championship (won by
Jonathan Penrose for the 10th time), Busum (won by Robert Huebner), Canadian Championship (won by Duncan
Suttles and Vranesic), Continental Open (won by Kavalek), Hastings 1969-70 (won by Portisch), Ljubljana (won
by Planinc), Malaga (won by Benko and Ivkov), Monaco (won by Smyslov and Portisch), Netanya (won by
Reshevsky), Palma de Mallorca (won by Larsen), Raach (won by Uhlmann), San Juan (won by Spassky), Skopje
(won by Hort and Matulovic), Tallinn (won by Stein), 37th USSR Championship (won by Petrosian and
Polugaevsky). Venice (won by Hort), World Junior Championship (won by Karpov), World Student Team
Championship (won by USSR)