In September 1467, the first known chess tournament of Middle Europe was held in Heidelberg, Germany.
In 1575, the first major chess tournament was held in Madrid at the Court of Philip II. The players were Ruy Lopez and Alfonso Ceron of Spain, and Giovanni Leonardo (also known as Il Puttino) and Paolo Boi of Italy. Leonardo was the winner of the first prize. The event took place at the Royal Court of Spain in El Escorial, near Madrid, in presence of King Philip II (1527-1598) of Spain, the most powerful ruler in Europe. First place went to Giovanni Leonardo Di bona (1542-1597), followed by Paolo Boi (1528-1598), then Ruy Lopez de Segura (1530-1580), and Alfonso Ceron (1535-1590?) of Grenada. King Philip presented Ruy Lopez with a golden chain for his neck, from which was suspended a rook, and obtained preferment to a rich benefice. Ruy Lopez was given some property and was declared a noble. King Philip II granted Boi certain official appointments in Sicily. Leonardo received a thousand crowns, jewels, and furs.
In 1825, the first ever Swiss Federal Chess Tournament was held in Baden, organized by the Schachgesellschaft (Zurich Chess Club — SG Zurich). The tournament was suggested by Heinrich Meister, a language teacher at the Lindenhof in Zurich.
In January 1841, "tournament" was first used as a chess term by a group of Yorkshire players in Leeds.
In 1843, Ludwig Bledow (1795-1846) was the first person to suggest an international tournament. He intended the winner of the proposed tournament, to be held in Trier, Germany (the oldest city in Germany, founded before 16 BC), should be recognized as the world champion.
In 1843, the first documented American chess tournament was held, a local event in New York.
In 1848, the first open chess tournament was held at Simpson's. (source: Chess History and Reminiscences by Henry Bird, 1893)
In January 1849, there was a 12-player knockout elimination chess tournament held at Samuel Ries' Chess Divan in the Strand in London. The tournament was won by Henry Thomas Buckle (1821-1862), followed by George Medley (1826-1898) and John R. Medley. The 12 competitors were paired by lot. The 6 players winning two out of three (not including draws) were declared the victors of the First Section of the tournament. The 6 winners were then paired off by lot to form three matches. The three winners then played a match between themselves to determine the winner.
On May 27, 1851, the first international tournament (the Grand Chess Tournament), London began. It was held at St. George's Chess Club, RoyaL Polytechnic Institute Building, 5 Cavendish Square during the Great Industrial Exhibition (World's Fair). There was no entry fee. Admission to the tournament was three guineas. There were 16 participants in this knockout event. Henry Bird got knocked out in the first round. Carl Mayet got knocked out in the first round by Hugh Alexander Kennedy. The tournament was conceived and organized by Howard Staunton. It was won by Adolf Anderssen. Marmaduke Wyvill took 2nd place, winning 55 British pounds. The winner was supposed to have received 500 British pounds, but the organizing committee did not raise enough money. Anderssen only got 183 pounds (and a silver cup) and gave 1/3 of his money to Szen on an agreement before the tournament started. In January 1851, the Calcutta Chess Club and Cochrane personally both made significant financial contributions to the first international chess tournament (Cochrane contributing 20 British pounds and the Calcutta CC contributing 100 pounds), which Howard Staunton organized. Johann Loewenthal's chess customers in Cincinnati paid his fare to the London International Tournament in 1851, but he got knocked out in the first round. Because of his early loss, he felt too embarrassed to return to the United States. This was called a tournament because it was analogous to the medieval institution in which armored knights clashed in combat. The tournament was supposed to be a meeting of gentlemen amateurs.
In June 1851, there was a one day knockout chess tournament held in Amsterdam with 38 players. The winner was Maartin Van't Kruijs (1813-1885).
From June 6, 1851 to July 15, 1851, a "London Provincial Tournament" was organized for British players not strong enough for the International Tournament. The winner was Samuel Boden (1826-1882), followed by Charles Ranken (1828-1905).
From July 28, 1851 to August 8, 1851, a club tournament was held in London. The winner was Adolf Anderssen.
In January 1853, the first unofficial Berlin Chess Championship was won by Jean Dufresne (1829-1893) followed by Max Lange (1832-1899) and Karl Mayet (1810-1868). There were 12 players in the event.
From February through April 1853, an 8-player knockout tournament was held at the New York Chess Club. The winner was James Thompson.
In 1854, the first problem-solving chess contest, the Era Problem Tournament, held in London, was won by Walter Grimshaw (1832-1890).
In 1855, a chess tournament was held at Kling's Coffee House in London. The winner was Adolf Zytogorski (1807-1882) in this 8-player event.
In 1855, the first world problem tournament was organized by Charles Stanley.
In January-February 1856, a tournament was held at the McDonnell Chess Club in London. The event was won by Ernst Falkbeer (1819-1885) in this 12-player event.
In 1856, Napoleon Marache (1818-1875) won the championship of the New York Chess Club.
In 1856, a knockout tournament was held in Berlin. The winner was Hermann Balduin Wolff (1819-1907) in this 8-player event.
In August 1857, the first British Chess Association (BCA) Congress was held in Manchester. The tournament was part of a major cultural occasion in the city: the Art Treasures Exhibition. The winner was Johann Jacob Loewenthal (1810-1876) in the 8-person major section. Loewenthal was supposed to play Boden in the final round, but after the first game was drawn, Boden was unable to remain in Manchester, and conceded the prize to Loewenthal. First prize was a set of Chinese carved ivory chessmen. John Owen (1827-1901) won the 16-player minor section. The first place prize was a set of Staunton chessmen made of wood.
On October 6, 1857, the first American Chess Congress started. It was the first true tournament in the New World. Entry fee was $10. Admission fee for spectators was $5. The event was held at Descombes' rooms, No. 764 Broadway. The winner was considered the United States Chess Champion (source: Louisville Daily Courier, Aug 19, 1857 and New York Times, Sep 19, 1857 and Oct 7, 1857). On November 10, 1857, the first American Chess congress ended. It was won by Paul Morphy. William Homer of Brooklyn won the Minor Tourney. Morphy won a service of plate consisting of a silver pitcher, 4 goblets, and salver. The plate was inscribed, "This service of plate was presented to Paul Morphy as the Victor in the Grand Tournament at the first Congress of the American National Chess association, New York, 1857." It was valued at $300. Paulsen received a gold shield and eagle. (source: New York Tribune, Nov 12, 1857, New York Times, Nov 13, 1857, The Chess Monthly, vol 1, 1857, p. 348)
In March 1858, there was a California Chess Congress (also called the Pacific Chess Tournament or Grand Chess Tournament). It was the first major chess tournament in California. Three San Francisco chess clubs joined together to host the Congress: the Mechanics' Institute, the German Chess Club of San Francisco, and the Pioneer Chess Club. The entrance fee was $5. The spectator fee was $2.50. Ladies accompanied by subscribers were admitted free. On fair days, there were nearly 400 spectators for this tournament. Selim Franklin won 1st prize, a gold watch. Edward Jones took 2nd prize, an inlaid rosewood chess table. John S. Ellis won 1st prize in the First Division of the Second Class, a chess set. R. H. Bacon won 2nd prize, a gold specimen watch seal. J.H. Gardiner won 1st prize in the Second Division of the Second Class, a quartz specimen seal. George F. Sharpe won 2nd prize, also a quartz specimen seal. The problem-solving tournament was won by William Wheaton, a Staunton chess set.
In August 1858, Howard Staunton played in the Birmingham Chess Congress, defeating H. Hughes in the 1st round (2 wins) but losing to Johann Lowenthal (1810-1876) in the 2nd round (2 losses). This was to be Staunton's last public chess competition. Paul Morphy was scheduled to play, but he decided to withdraw just before the start of the congress. Loewenthal won the event, followed by Falkbeer. 16 players participated. The winner received 60 British pounds. The tournament was a knock-out event.
In 1859, Carl Hamppe won the Vienna, Austria championship. Jenay took 2nd place, followed by Wilhelm Steinitz.
In August-September 1860, Ignatz Kolisch won the 3rd British Chess Association Congress (actually named the 2nd Chess Association Tournament), held in Cambridge, England. He knocked out Charles Stanley in the final round. There were 8 players in the event (it was originally intended for 16 participants). The tournament was played at the Red Lion Hotel in Cambridge, England, and the private home of Mr. Henry C. Foster (the final game). Kolisch received 8 British pounds and Stanley received 4 British pounds.
In September 1861, Louis Paulsen (1933-1891) won the 1st British Chess Association Congress (renamed from the Chess Association Tournament), held in Bristol, England. It was a knockout event. In the final round, Paulsen knocked out Samuel Boden.
On September 22, 1861, the first West German Chess Congress, Dusseldorf, was won by Conrad Waldemar Vitzthum von Eckstaedt (1802-1875).
In 1861, Wilhelm Steinitz won the Vienna championship. He scored 30 wins, 3 draws, and one loss (to Bachmann). As the result of his Vienna 1861 victory, Steinitz was asked to represent Austria in the London 1862 tournament.
In June 1862, the second international tournament ever held was played in London. It was organized by Johann Loewenthal (1810-1876) and called the London Chess Congress. It was held during the second British world exhibition. They played at the St. George's Club, St. James's Club and Divan. This was the first time, hourglasses were used as clocks in this event. Twenty-four moves had to be played in two hours. It was the first international Round Robin event (every competitor plays against every other competitor). Wilhelm Steinitz, age 26, was invited to play. He traveled to London and played in his first international tournament. He was the Austrian delegate to the tournament and was sponsored by the Vienna Chess Society. He took 6th place (out of 14) behind Adolf Anderssen (11 out of 14), Louis Paulsen, John Owen, George MacDonnell, and Serafino Dubois. His score was 8 wins, 5 losses (draws did not count). His prize money for 6th place was 5 pounds sterling. He was awarded the brilliancy prize of the tournament from his win over Augustus Mongredien, a Center Counter game. He sacrificed his rook and later forced mate. His games earned him the name of "Austrian Morphy." The first study-composing chess tournament was organized by the Committee of the London Chess Congress. It was won by Bernhard Horwitz (1807-1885), then a resident of Manchester.
In 1864, the Adelaide Chess Club organized the first handicap chess tournament in Australia. Henry Charlick (1845-1916) won the 1st place.
In 1865, an international tournament was held in Berlin. Gustav Neumann (1838-1881) won the event. He had a perfect score and won 34 out of 34 games.
In September 1865, Wilhelm Steinitz won a 5-player round robin tournament at the Dublin Chess Congress. At the same time, the Irish Chess Championship was held, won by Porterfield Rynd (1846-1917), scoring 16 out of 17.
In 1865, Captain George Mackenzie won first prize at the New York Chess Club. He also won first prize at the New York Chess Club in 1866, 1867, and 1868.
In November 1866, the first official British Championship (Grand Challenge Cup) was held in London and won by Cecil Valentine de Vere (1846-1875). He won 28 guineas. Wilhelm Steinitz won the Handicap Tournament. It was sponsored by the British Chess Association.
In January-February, 1867, George Mackenzie (1837-1891) won a tournament at the New York Chess Club.
On June 4, 1867, the Paris Chess Congress opened during the International Exposition of 1867 (Exposition Universelle d'art et d'industrie), held at the Champ de Mars in Paris. The tournament took place in the Grand Cercle, 10 boulevard Montmarte in Paris from June 4, 1867 (only 2 games played that day) to July 11, 1867 (prizes were not awarded until July 21). The tournament was scheduled to start on May 15, 1867, but was delayed. Thirteen participants played in a double round-robin. Draws counted for zero points and were not replayed. It would have to wait until Dundee (September 1867) that draws counted for 1/2 point. The time control was 10 moves an hour (6 minutes per move). This was the first time that hour-glasses were first used, and exceeding the time control by 15 minutes was punished by 20 francs. It was the first international tournament ever held in France. There were 13 players (the 14th player, Francois Charles Devinck, did not play). It was a double round robin. It was the first international chess tournament in France. On July 11, 1867, Ignatz Kolisch (1837-1889) won the Paris tournament, scoring 20 wins, 2 losses, and 2 draws. He was presented the Emperor's Vase (a Sevres vase) by Napoleon III (1808-1873) and 5,000 francs. Szmon (Simon)Winawer (1838-1919) took second place, followed by Wilhelm Steinitz.
In September 1867, the British Chess Congress was held in Dundee, Scotland at the board room of the Caledonian Railway Company. It was presided over by Lord Lyttleton, President of the British Chess Association. Draws counted as 1/2 point for the first time and did not have to be replayed. Players tossed for color at the start of each game. At the Dundee tournament, Steinitz got in an argument with Blackburne. He then spat on Blackburne, who promptly knocked Steinitz's head through a window. On September 14, 1867, the Dundee Chess Congress Grand tournament was won by Gustav Richard Neumann (1838-1881), who score 7.5 out of 9 points. Steinitz took 2nd place. There was also a Scotch tournament and a Handicap tournament. In the Handicap tournament, the final round was Dr G.B. Fraser v Steinitz and Neumann v Scott. Neumann defeated Scott to take third prize but the other game proved controversial. Steinitz claimed a win, in a hopeless position, on the grounds that Dr Fraser had over-stepped the time allowance - two hours for thirty moves. Fraser had made only 27 moves when his one hour sand-glass ran out for the second time. Fraser wished the game to be annulled, which it duly was, as no rule or procedure had been laid down for deciding the penalty for over-stepping the time limit. No replay was possible for Steinitz "had to leave per steamer in the afternoon." They mutually agreed to share the first and second prizes. The Scotch tourney was open to Scottish players only. It was won by Dr. G. B. Fraser.
In December 1868 to January 1869, the first Cafe Europa Handicap Tournament was held with 48 contestants. It was played at the Europa Chess Rooms, 16 Division Street in New York City. Entry fee was $1. There were prizes for first, second and third places. The amounts are unknown. Participants played against each other twice, draws did not count. Captain George Mackenzie won the event with 82 wins and 8 losses. Delmar took 2nd place and Mason took 3rd place.
In 1868-69, Joseph Henry Blackburne won the 2nd British Chess Association (BCA) Challenge Cup, held in London. He won after a playoff with Cecil de Vere. Both scored 9 out of 10 points. Drawn games, which did not count, were replayed. There were 11 players in the event. The BCA organization suffered from the absence of a strict timetable to which players were obliged to adhere. Games not played were supposed to be arranged as soon as possible, at the convenience of the players.
In August 1869, George Mackenzie won first prize in the Grand Tournament at the Europa Chess Rooms in New York. He won $33 after winning 44 games and losing 6. James Mason took second prize and won $29. The tournament lasted over 3 months. (source: New York Times, Jul 22, 1869 and Aug 3, 1869)
On July 18, 1870, the first mechanical chess clocks were used in a major tournament, Baden-Baden. 20 moves had to be made per hour in this double round-robin event. On August 4, 1870, Adolf Anderssen won at Baden-Baden, ahead of Steintiz and Blackburne. This was the first strong international tournament, which included 10 strong international players. Anderssen won 3,000 francs. (source: New York Times, Sep 2, 1870). In that time, France declared war on Prussia on July 19, 1870. The southern German states, including the Grand Duchy of Baden, took the side of Prussia and its North German allies. The Franco-Prussian War came close to Baden-Baden. During the event Adolf Stern was mobilized as a Bavarian reservist, after four rounds (1 win, 1 draw, 2 losses). The finish of Baden-Baden 1870 marked the end of the beginning of hostilities. The thunder of the artillery could be heard at a distance of 30 km in Baden-Baden. Adolf Stern sent a card from the fields near Sedan on 4 September: "Emperor Napoleon has been mated,"
In 1870, John Wisker (1846-1884) won the 3rd British Chess Association Congress, after a play-off with Amos Burn. The BCA Challenge Cup was held in London.
In September 1870, the first major chess tournament in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was held at Graz. It was won by Johann Berger (1945-1933), who scored 24.5 out of 26. It was a double round robin with 14 players.
In 1871, Reverend Arthur Skipworth (1830-1898) won the 3rd British Chess Association Challenge Cup (7th Counties Chess Association) in Malvern, England.
In December 1871, the 2nd American Chess Congress was held in Cleveland. George Mackenzie won the 9-player event. Drawn games, which did not count, were replayed. It was the first round-robin tournament in the United States.
In August 1872, Wilhelm Steinitz won the 2nd British Chess Association Congress, held in London. Second place went to Joseph Henry Blackburne. There were 8 players. Drawn games, which did not count, were replayed.
In 1873, Albert Ensor won the first Canadian Chess Championship, held in Toronto. There were 20 players. It was a single game knockout format.
In February 1873, the first Brooklyn Chess Club tournament was held. Eugene Delmar, Frederick Perrin, and Dill all tied for 1st place. (source: Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb 4, 1873)
In June-August 1873, Steinitz beat Blackburne at the Vienna international tournament after a play-off (2 wins). The chess tournament was a side event of the world exhibition of 1873. There were 12 players in a double round-robin. Each player played a match for the best of 3 games vs. the other players. The event was held in the rooms of the Wiener Schachgesellschaft. The time limit was twenty moves per hour. Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria, Baron Albert Salomon von Rothschild and Baron Ignaz von Kolisch contributed large sums to the prize fund. The prizes winners were: Steinitz 10 points & winner of playoff (1000 guldens (F) & 200 golden ducats), Blackburne 10 points (600 F), Anderssen 8 1/2 points (300 F), Rosenthal 7 1/2 points (200 F). Scores of the other players were: Paulsen and Bird 6 1/2, Fleissig and Meitner 3 1/2, Heral, Schwarz and Gelbfuhs 3, Pitschel 1.
In 1873, the first Netherlands Chess Federation tournament was held in The Hague. The first Dutch champion was Henry William Birkmyre Gifford (1847-1924), who defeated Benjamin Willem Blijdenstein in the playoff.
In 1874, William Henry Hicks won the 2nd Canadian Chess Championship, held in Montreal. He scored 7 out of 9.
In July 1874, the 3rd American Chess Congress was held in Chicago. George Mackenzie won this event, scoring 10.5 out of 14. There were eight players (Mackenzie, Hosmer, Judd, Bock, Elder, Perrin, Congdon, and Kennicott) and they had to pay a $20 entry fee. First place prize was $225. The tournament was a round robin, but for the first time, draws were not replayed. The time control was 15 moves per hour. Elder and Kennicott withdraw before completing half their games, but their scores still counted.
In 1874, A. De Lelie won the 2nd Netherlands Chess Federation tournament after a play-off.
In 1875, Pietro Seni won the 1st Italian National tournament in Rome.
In 1875, George Jackson won the 3rd Canadian championship, held in Ottawa. He scored 8 out of 9.
In the autumn of 1876, the first correspondence all-play-all chess tournament was organized by Rev. T. Hewan Archdall. There were 17 entries. The winner was John Crum (1842-1922) of Glasgow.
On Aug 17, 1876, the 4th American Chess Congress (called the American Centennial Championship) began in Philadelphia. It was the first US tournament to attract foreign masters. It was the first tournament to award a brilliancy prize. James Mason of Ireland won the event, scoring 10.5 out of 14. There were nine players (Mason, Judd, Davidson, Henry Bird, Elson, Roberts, Ware, Barbour, and Martinez). The entry fee was $20. First place was $300. It was never intended to recognize the best player in America. This tournament was geared towards attracting foreign masters, and to awarding the Governor Garland Silver Cup, as well as celebrating the American Centennial.
In August 1876, George Mackenzie won the Café International Tournament in New York. It was a 17-player double round robin.
In September-October 1876, James Mason won the Clipper Free Centennial Tournament in New York. Delmar took 2nd and Bird took 3rd. There were 21 players. The time control was 20 moves an hour. Draws did not count and not replayed. First prize was $100. 2nd prize was $50. 3rd prize was $25. The tournament was sponsored by the New York Clipper newspaper. The winner of the most brillian game received a silver cup, donated by Lieders.
In 1876, Andrei Asharin (1843-1896) won the first master chess tournament in Russia, ahead of Mikhail Chigorin and Emmanuel Schiffers. It was played in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
In July 1877, a group of German chess fans organized a chess tournament to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Adolf Anderssen's learning the chess moves. The event was held in Leipzig. This is the only tournament in chess history organized to commemorate a competitor. Louis Paulsen won the event (6 wins, 4 losses, and 1 draw), followed by Adolf Anderssen. There were 12 players.
In June-July 1878, the first intercontinental chess tournament in Europe was held in Paris. The winner was Johannes Zukertort after a play-off with Szymon Winawer. This was the first tournament that had an adjournment and the sealing of a move. The tournament was held as part of the world exhibition in Paris. The first place prize, given to him by the President of France, were two Sevres vases, worth over 5,000 francs (perhaps about $10,000 in today's currency). Winners of the prizes were: Zukertort (1000 Francs + two Sèvres vases), Winawer (500 F + one vase), Joseph Henry Blackburne (1500 F), Mackenzie (1000 F), Bird (500 F), and the ill Adolf Anderssen (200 F). Zukertort's vases were priced at 5800 Francs. He needed cash. It took three days until he could sell them much below the estimated value. Zukertort took the vases to a pawn shop and sold them for about 2,500 francs.
In 1878, Mephisto (Isidor Gunsberg) won the England Counties' Chess Association Handicap tournament. MacDonnell withdrew from the tournament unless the Mephisto player was identified.
In 1878, the first New York State Chess Championship was held. It was won by Judge James R. Cox of Auburn, New York.
In January 1880, the 5th American Chess Congress was held in New York. George Mackenzie won the play-off against James Grundy in the major section. The tournament was a 10-player double round robin. The minor section was won by Nicolai Gedalia. First place prize was $500 in the major section. During the tournament, Preston Ware, by his own admittance, accepted a $20 bribe offered by James Grundy to draw a game. According to Ware, "As I was walking down the Bowery with Mr. Grundy, on Sunday 25 January, he remarked that he was poor and really needed the second prize." The prize was $1,000. But, much to Ware's shock, Grundy didn't follow the planned scenario and "'Grundy was making desperate efforts to win, and finally did so, perpetrating an infamous fraud on me." Rather than winning second place, as a draw would have accomplished, Grundy was now tied with George Mackenzie for first place when Ware blew the whistle. One account states that the tournament committee decided to award Mackenzie first place but that Mackenzie, a most honorable and courageous man, knowing about the scheme, insisted that the play-off take place and went on to beat Ware decisively. (source: The Fifth American Chess Congress, by Charles Gilberg, 1881)
In July 1880, the first international tournament in Germany was held in Wiesbaden. It was also the first major tournament interrupted by war (the Franco-Prussian war). The tournament was the first to introduce chess clocks. It was a three-way tie for first between Joseph Blackburne, Berthold Englisch, and Adolf Schwarz. 16 players participated. Steinitz was there, but as a reporter.
In 1880-1881, Samuel Rosenthal (1837-1902) won the first unofficial French Chess Championship, held in Paris. There were 7 players in this double round robin.
In August-September 1881, Joseph Blackburne (1841-1924) won the 2nd Deutscher Schachkongress (German Chess Congress) tournament, held in Berlin. It was organized by Hermann Zwanzig and Emil Schallopp.
In 1881, Edward Chamier (1840-1892) won the 2nd French National Tournament (unofficial French Chess Championship), held in Paris.
In May-June 1882, an international tournament was held in Vienna. The event was held on the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Vienna Chess Society. William Steinitz and Winawer tied for 1st place. 9 of the top 10 chess players in the world participated. It was an 18-player double round robin. he main sponsors were Ignác Kolisch and the club's president Albert Salomon von Rothschild who together donated 7500 francs to be split over the top six. Franz Joseph I of Austria was the patron of the event, who also donated a special prize of 2000 Austrian Gulden (Kaiserpreis). The time control was 15 moves per hour, with a 2-hour break after 4 hours. Games not completed after eight hours of play were adjourned to be finished on the rest day. A special prize was awarded to Zukertort for the best performance against the top three players. On May 12, Steinitz drew a game with Mackenzie, thus ending the longest winning streak in chess history. Steinitz at the time had won 25 consecutive games, the last draw he conceded was nine years earlier, on August 3 in the Vienna 1873 tournament. After this Steinitz would lose three consecutive games to Zukertort, Hruby, and Ware.
In 1883, a 14-player international tournament was held in London. One of the financial backers of the event was Lord Randolph Churchill (1849-1895). Another patron was Prince Leopold (1853-1884). The event was won by Johann Zukertort. This was the first tournament to use double-headed chess clocks. It consisted of two balanced clocks on a seesaw beam so that when one was tilted, it stopped and the other started. The tumbling-clock was manufactured by Fattonini & Sons of Bradford, England. Time control was 15 moves in two hours, and if you failed to make the time limit, you forfeited the game. The first two draws did not count and were replayed. The third draw counted. It was the first time that double-headed chess clocks were used. At the same time, a minor tournament, called the Vizayanagaram Tournament, was won by Curt Von Bardeleben.
In 1883, the first International Chess Problem Tournament for Ladies was held, and won by Frideswide Fanny Beechey Rowland (1843-1919). (source: British Chess Magazine, 1981, p. 403)
In July 1884, the first Scottish chess championship was held in Glasgow. The winner was John Crum, scoring 7 out of 9.
In 1884, the first international correspondence chess tournament was organized by the French chess magazine, La Stratégie.
In 1884, the first women's chess tournament was held, sponsored by the Sussex Chess Association in England. It was won by Miss Parvess on tiebreak over Mrs. Dunhill. (source: The Chess Player's Chronicle, 1885, p. 176)
In 1885, the second Scottish championship was held in Edinburgh. The winner was Daniel Yarnton Mills (1849-1904).
In 1885, the first Irish Chess Association tournament was held in Dublin. The winner was William H. K. Pollock (1859-1896). He scored 9 out of 10.
In July 1885, the first British Chess Federation championship was held in London. The winner was Isidor Gunsberg (1854-1930).
In 1886, the second British Chess Federation championship was held in London. The winner was Joseph Henry Blackburne after he defeated Amos Burn in a play-off.
In 1886, the first British Amateur chess championship was held in London. The winner was Walter Montagu Gattie (1854-1907).
In 1886, the second Irish Chess Association tournament was held in Belfast. The winner was William Pollock.
In 1886, the third Scottish championship was held in Glasgow. The winner was Georges Emile Barbier (1844-1895).
In 1886, the first Bavarian Chess Federation tournament was held in Munich. The winner was Hermann Neustadtl (1862-1909).
In 1886, the first New York State Association (NYSCA) championship was held in Cooperstown, NY. The winner was Walter Penn Shipley (1860-1942).
In 1887, the second Australian championship was held in Adelaide. The winner was Henry Charlick.
In 1887, the 3rd British Chess Federation Congress was held in London. Amos Burn and Isidor Gunsberg tied for 1st place.
In 1887, the 2nd British Amateur chess championship was held in London. The winner was Charles Dealty Locock (1862-1946).
In 1888, the first United States Chess Association chess tournament was held in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was won by Jackson Showalter (1859-1935) with 8 wins, no losses, and 2 draws. The tournament was a 6-player double round robin.
In 1888, the first international correspondence chess tournament was organized.
In May 1889, Mikhail Chigorin and Miksa Weiss tied for 1st at the 6th American Chess Congress held in New York. Chigorin won the most games in a single tournament, 27. The top US player was S. Lipschutz. 20 players played a double round robin. 430 games were played from March 25, 1889 to May 18, 1889. Drawn games had to be replayed. In addition, the players who shared 1st and 2nd places (Chigorin and Weiss, each scoring 29-9) had to play a match for first prize (4 more games - all drawn). The match lasted 9 days. Weiss played the most games with 47 games. There were 38 regular rounds, 8 replay rounds, and a 4-game playoff for first, making it 50 total rounds for the top two players. The first "best game prize" was awarded to Gunsberg over Mason, New York 1889. Nicholas MacLeod (1870-1965) lost 31 games in this tournament. After the 6th American Chess Congress was over, there was no money left for the non-prize winners. Taubenhaus of Paris was left destitute, having spent all his money he had to live on during the two months of the tourney. He received a cable dispatch from Paris to return and help manipulate the automaton Mephisto for 100 francs a week. But Taubenhaus had no money to buy a ticket for a ship leaving for Europe. He asked the tournament committee for $25 to enable him to secure at least a steerage passage, but the request was refused. (source: New York Times, May 24, 1889)
In February 1890, the 3rd United States Chess Association Congress tournament was held in St. Louis. The winner was Jackson Whipps Showalter. He scored 11 wins, no losses, and one draw. There were 7 participants.
In 1890, an international tournament was held in Vienna. Adolf Albin (1848-1920), a Romanian chess master, played his first international tournament at this event at the age of 42.
In 1891, the 4th United States Chess Association Congress tournament was held in Lexington, Kentucky. Showalter beat William Pollock in a play-off to take 1st place. There were 7 players.
In 1892, Edward Roberts and Arthur Rivett ties for 1st in the first South African Championship, held in Cape Town.
In March 1893, General Hiram Barden died while playing chess at the Metropolitan Club in Washington, DC. He was the inventor of the Berdan range finder, torpedo, and rifle. (source: New York Times, April 1, 1893)
On Oct 14, 1893, Emanuel Lasker won the New York International, held at the Manhattan Chess Club, with 13 straight wins and no losses and no draws. He won 4.5 points ahead of 2nd place Albin. President Grover Cleveland offered a gift of a $500 gold medal as a prize. (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb 9, 1893)
In October 1894, Steinitz won in the 1894 New York championship, scoring 8.5 out of 10.
In August-September 1895, the great Hastings tournament was held in Hastings, England. It was the strongest chess tournament at the time it occurred. Beniamino Vergani (1863-1927) was invited to play in the Hastings International tournament of 1895. He was a chess master from Italy. He ended up in last place, scoring only 3 points (2 wins and 2 draws) out of 21. He was so disgusted with his game that he never played in a masters' chess tournament again. He was given 2 British pounds for his efforts. The tournament had 22 world class chess players. It was won by Harry Nelson Pillsbury, scoring 16.5 out of 21. 2nd place went to Mikhail Chigorin and 4rd place went to world champion Emanuel Lasker. The women's tournament was won by Lady Thomas.
In 1895, the first tournament that used the Swiss pairing system (a non-eliminating tournament format) has held in Zurich, Switzerland.
In July-August 1896, Emanuel Lasker won at Nuremberg with 12 wins, 3 draws, 3 losses. The tournament was organized by the Nuremberg Chess Club and scheduled to coincide with a large industrial exhibition of the city. 39 players wanted to participate, but 19 players were allowed. The time limit was thirty moves in two hours. The main prizes went to Emanuel Lasker (3000 marks), Géza Maróczy (2000 marks), Siegbert Tarrasch and Harry Nelson Pillsbury (each 1250 marks), Dawid Janowski (600 marks), Wilhelm Steinitz (300 marks), Carl August Walbrodt and Carl Schlechter (each 100 marks).
In June 1897, the 1st women's international tournament was held at the Ladies' Club at Hotel Cecil in London. It was won by Mary Rudge (18 wins and one draw), followed by Fagan, Thorold, Worrall, Ponnefin, Thomas, and Barry. Miss Rudge won 60 British pounds. (source: New York Times, July 5, 1897 and The Westminster Budget, July 9, 1897)
In 1897, the first Nordic Congress was held in Stockholm. The winner was Sven Otto Svensson.
In September-October 1897, an international tournament was held in Berlin. Berthold Englisch (1851-1897) an Austrian master, fell ill and withdrew after 12 rounds. He returned to Vienna and died of a brain infection two weeks after the tournament. Rudolf Charousek won the event. The Internationales Turnier Berlin 1897 celebrated seventy years of the Berliner Schachgesellschaft. Twenty great chess masters started but Curt von Bardeleben had to withdraw after a short draw. Charousek won 2000 Marks and Carl August won 1500 Marks.
In 1898, an international tournament was held in Vienna. Chigorin and Tarrasch were playing and it came down to an ending with a symmetrical pawn formation and bishops of opposite colors. Chigorin got fed up and offered a draw. Tarrasch refused. Tchigorin knew Tarrasch well, and was half expecting that; he calmly removed his bishop from the board and said, in broken German, "Go ahead. Win." Tarrasch proceeded to reappraise the position in the light of this startling development, and then tamely agreed to a draw. Tarrasch and Pillsbury tied for 1st.
In 1899, the second Nordic Congress was held in Copenhagen. The winner was Jorgen Moeller (1873-1943).
In May-July 1899, a strong international tournament was held in London and won by Emanuel Lasker, scoring 23.5 and 4.5 points ahead of the group that tied for 2nd (Maroczy, Pillsbury, and Janowski). It was a 15-player double round robin. Amos Burn was scheduled to play, but he withdrew on the opening day. Richard Teichmann withdrew after round 4 due to an eye infection.
In 1899, the first All-Russia chess championship was held in Moscow, won by Mikhail Chigorin.
In 1899, the first Baltic Chess tournament was held in Riga, Latvia. The winner was Roberts Betins after a play-off with Karl Rosenkrantz.
In 1900, the first U.S. Open (Western Chess Association) was held in Excelsior, Minnesota. The winner was Louis Uedemann. There were 20 players.
In January 1901, Chigorin won the 2nd Russian National Tournament in Moscow.
In 1901, the second U.S. Open (Western Chess Association) was held in Excelsior, Minnesota. The winner was Nicholas MacLeod. There were 16 players.
In 1901, an international tournament was held at a casino in Monte Carlo. David Janowski (1868-1927) won the event with a score of 10 ¼ out of 13. Drawn games were worth ¼ point and were replayed. He then all his first-place money in the casino the same evening the tournament ended. The casino management had to buy his ticket home.
In 1902, an international tournament was held in Monte Carlo. Geza Maroczy won the event, ahead of Harry Pillsbury and Dawid Janowski.
In 1902, Janowski won the German Open Chess Championship.
In 1903, an international chess tournament was held in Monte Carlo. I was sponsored by Salome Dadian de Mingrelie (1848-1913), prince of Mingrelia. He invited Mikhail Tchigorin to play but later paid him 1,500 francs (greater than 3rd prize money) not to play because Chigorin had published analysis of one of the Prince's games, pointing out he had made gross errors. A valuable art object was to go to the winner of a short match between the 1st and 2nd place finishers (Tarrasch and Maroczy). The players wanted a play for money also. This annoyed the Prince who gave the art object to the 3rd place finisher (Pillsbury). In the event, Colonel Charles Moreau (1837-19160 lost all 26 games, winning none and drawing none (and earning 75 francs). He lost two games each to Tarrasch, Maroczy, Pillsbury, Schlechter, Teichmann, Marco, Wolf, Mieses, Marshall, Taubenhaus, Mason, Albin, and Reggio.
In April-May 1904, the great Cambridge Springs International Chess Congress was held in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania. It was sponsored by William Rider, who owned the Hotel Rider in town. Most of the support came from Rider and the directors of the Erie Railroad Company. On April 16, 1904, eight of the strongest chess players from Europe arrived in New York by ship (S.S. Pretoria). This included current world chess champion (1894-1921) Emanuel Lasker (1868-1941) coming from Berlin, Russian champion and number two player in the world Mikhail Chigorin (1850-1908) coming from St. Petersburg, number 6 player in the world Carl Schlechter (1874-1918) coming from Vienna,Berlin champion and number 7 player in the world Richard Teichmann (1868-1925), French champion and number 8 player in the world David Janowski (1868-1927) coming from Paris, Viennese champion and number 11 player in the world Georg Marco (1863-1923) coming from Vienna, German master and number 15 player in the world Jacques Mieses (1865-1954) coming from Leipzig, and 6-time London champion Thomas Lawrence (1871-1953) coming from London. It was reported that the players would attend a reception with President Theodore Roosevelt at the White House, but the reception was cancelled. At the end of the tournament, the organizers tried to recoup some of their expenses by selling chess boards and sets for $15. Mikhail Chigorin was stunned at these high prices, complaining that the sets were cheat, not worth more than $2.50, and the poorly made chess boards were only worth 10 to 15 cents. The sets and boards sold anyway. (source: Andy Soltis, Chess Life, Dec 1995)
In June-July 1905, the first in a planned series of international chess master tournaments was held in the coastal town of Ostend, Belgium. The tournament was conducted at the local casino with 14 masters. It was won by Maroczy.
In 1906, an international tournament was held at Ostend. There were 36 competitors. 326 games were played. Only Emanuel Lasker and Siegbert Tarrasch opted not to play. It was won by Schlechter.
In 1907, a quadruple round robin elite chess tournament was held at a casino in Ostend, Belgium. It included the top six players in the world, except for Lasker. The event was called the "World Tournament championship." It was the first time that the title of grandmaster was used. Nimzowitch, who was 19 at the time, participated in the event, but was forbidden by law to enter the tournament room in the casino. He had to play all his games outside the tournament room. The Ostend, Belgium Masters' Tournament was played in May-June 1907. Ossip Bernstein and Akiba Rubinstein tied for 1st place with 19.5 points. Nimzowitsch and Jacques Mieses tied for 3rd-4th place with 19 points. A championship tournament was also held for the top 6 players. Siegbert Tarrasch won that event.
In March-April 1908, an international tournament was held at Vienna. It was in honor of the 60th anniversary of Franz Joseph I of Austria's elevation as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. 20 masters participated. Geza Maroczy, Carl Schlechter, and Oldrich Duras all tied for 1st place, with 14 out of 20 points.
In 1909, Alexander Alekhine won the All-Russian Amateur tournament in St. Petersburg.
In 1909, the first Chigorin Memorial Tournament was held in St. Petersburg. Rubinstein and Lasker tied for 1st place. Rubinstein and Lasker won 875 rubles (each), Spielmann and Duras 475 rubles (each), Bernstein 190 rubles, Teichmann 120 rubles, Perlis 80 rubles, Cohn, Schlechter, and Salwe 40 rubles (each).
In 1910, an international tournament was held at Hamburg. Because of an injury to his foot, one of the participants, Alexander Alekhine, had to be carried to his table every day. This would have been the 17th German Chess Federation (DSB) tournament in July-August, 1910. Carl Schlechter won the event. Alekhine (1892-1946) tied for 7th-8th. Alekhine was 17 years old and could not walk on account of a serious swelling of the lymphatic vessels of his ankles.
In 1911, an international tournament was held at San Sebastian, Spain. 9 of the top 10 players in the world participated. It was limited to those masters who had won at least one third prize in an International Tournament. An exception was made to this ruling in the case of Capablanca (who had never played in an International Tournament) on the strength of his phenomenal victory over Marshall two years earlier. The exception won the tournament! Initially, Ossip Bernstein (and Aron Nimzowitsch) had objected to Jacques Mieses, the tournament organizer, about Capablanca's inclusion in the tournament based on one match victory. Capablanca proved himself first by defeating Bernstein in the first round (winning the Rothschild prize for the most brilliant game of the tournament). He then beat Nimzowitsch, silencing his protests for the rest of the tournament. He then went on admirably to win clear first in the tournament, taking home the 5000 Franc prize, as well as winning the brilliancy prize. Capablanca scored 9.5 out of 14 to win the event. San Sebastian was the strongest chess tournament since Nuremberg in 1896. Capablanca won a major international tournament at his first attempt (the last person to do that was Pillsbury when he won Hastings 1895). He won 6, drew 7, and lost 1 (to Rubinstein) ahead of Rubinstein and Schlechter. At age 23, Capablanca was now the 2nd strongest player in the world, after Emanuel Lasker. This was the first international tournament that reimbursed all the competitors for their travelling and living expenses.
In 1911, an international tournament was held in Carlsbad. Oscar Chajes (1873-1928), as Black, had an interesting game against Amos Burn in the final round. The Burn-Chajes game saw 5 queens on the board during play. Chajes lost after 115 moves. Burn, at one time, offered a draw, knowing that he was winning, but Chajes refused. There were 4 queens on the board at the same time from move 77 to 92 in the queen-pawn ending. It was the last round of the tournament and both players booked space on ships which left in the evening of the following day. They would have had to take an early morning train to get to the port of embarkation in time. The outcome of the game was of no real importance. Chajes played on in hope of getting a better score than last place. The game lasted 15 hours and it was now dawn. When the game was over, the remaining spectators and other players still there gave them a standing ovation. The tournament organizers voted to create a special prize and award it to both players for their fighting spirit. After Chajes was checkmated, both players rushed to their rooms to pack and make it to the railway station. Both players missed their train. Chajes had to wait a week before he could get another ship bound for New York. Richard Teichmann won the event.
In February-March 1912, an international tournament was held in San Sebastian, Spain. It was won by Akiba Rubinstein, scoring 12.5 points out of 20.
In 1913, a tournament was held in Havana which included Jose Capablanca and Frank Marshall (1877-1944). Capablanca asked the mayor of Havana to clear the tournament room so that no one would see him resign to Marshall. Charles Jaffe (1879-1941) drew his game with Frank Marshall in the first round, and later, lost his next game to Marshall, blundering away his queen for a rook and then promptly resigned. Jose Capablanca, who lost to Marshall and Jaffe, charged that Jaffe intentionally lost his game to Marshall so that Marshall would win the tournament ahead of Capablanca. It was alleged that Capablanca influenced tournament organizers in the USA and Cuba so that Jaffe would be unable to be invited or play in major tournaments after this, especially tournaments in which Capablanca was playing. Jaffe never played again in a tournament where Capablanca also participated.
In July-August 1914, the 19th German Chess Federation Championship was held in Mannheim, Germany. During the event, World War I broke out and the tournament ended prematurely. Alekhine was leading 9.5-1.5 before the tournament ended. All the Russian players were interned after the tournament.
In 1914/15, an international chess tournament was held at Triberg. It was won by Efim Bogoljubow, ahead of Ilya Rabinovich and Peter Romanovsky.
In January-February 1916, the first Rice Memorial Tournament was held in New York City. There were 14 participants. The event included two stages (preliminaries and final). The preliminaries started as a round-robin tournament. Five players qualified for the final. José Raúl Capablanca played superior chess in the preliminaries. Since the results of the preliminaries carried over into the finals, Capablanca with a 3 1/2-point lead was a heavy favorite to win the tournament. Dawid Janowski, Boris Kostic and Abraham Kupchik tied for 2nd-4th, and Oscar Chajes took 5th place. The final tournament was won by Chajes (who beat Capablanca) and Janowski, ahead of Capablanca, Kostic and Kupchik. Summary, the winner was Capablanca (+12 —1 =4), followed by Janowski 11 points, Chajes 10 1/2 points, Kostic and Kupchik 10 points each.
In 1916/17, the 8th Leopold Trebitsch Memorial Tournament was won by Carl Schlechter, ahead of Miland Vidmar.
In 1918, the first chess tournament held in China was won by Xie Xiaxun (1888-1987).
In 1919, Jose Capablanca won the Hastings Summer Congress.
In 1920, Friedrich Saemisch won the 20th Deutscher Schachbund (DSB) Congress, held in Berlin.
In 1920/21, the first Hastings Chess Congress was held in Hastings, England. It was won by Frderick Yates.
In 1922, the first Annual Tournament of the Southern Chess Association was held in Florida. It was won by Nestor Hernandez of Tampa.
In 1922, the London Chess Congress was played at the Central Hall in Westminster, London. The event was won by Capablanca.
In April-May 1923, and international chess tournament was held in the health resort of Carlsbad (Karlsbad, Karlovy Vary), Czechoslovakia. There were 18 masters, directed by Viktor Tietz. Alekhine, Bogoljubow and Maroczy all tied for 1st place. The three winners earned 3,505 Czechoslovak koruna for their victory, with Alekhine earning an additional "Prize of Honor," a crystal goblet worth 1,000 Kcs, and Bogoljubov receiving a cash prize worth half Alekhine's prize. The tournament also saw the distribution of ten brilliancy prizes, including three "first prizes" which went to Alekhine for his win against Grünfeld, Nimzowitsch for his win against Yates, and Yates for his win against Alekhine.
In July 1924, the first world team competition (called the Chess Olympic Games or Tournament of Nations) took place in Paris, France, to coincide with the 8th Summer Olympic Games. There were 55 players (one player later withdrew) from 18 countries. Each team had a maximum of four players (Ireland, Canada, and Yugoslavia only had one player). Although officially chess was not part of the Olympic Games, the rules of the Olympiads applied with a ban on professional players. The two players representing Russia were refugees living in Paris. The painter, Marcel Duchamp, played board 1 for France. Max Euwe played board 1 for Holland. The World Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded by the players at this event. Czechoslovakia (Hromadka, Schulz, Vanek, Skalicka) took 1st place, followed by Hungary and Switzerland. The individual Gold went to Herman Mattison of Latvia and was given the title "Amateur World Champion." World champion Alexander Alekhine was the tournament director.
In 1925, the first international tournament in Germany after World War I was held in Baden-Baden. The event was won by Alexander Alekhine.
In 1925, the first chess tournament financed by government funds was held in Moscow.
In 1926, a lightning chess tournament was held at the British Chess Federation Congress in Edinburgh. One of the participants was James Marshall, a former Scottish chess champion. He had travelled from his home in Stirling to see the championship tournament, and decided to take part in the lightning event. He won his first game, but later collapsed at the board and died a few minutes later, despite medical assistance from other competitors. The tournament was abandoned and the chess room closed until the evening as a sign of respect.
In 1927, an international tournament was held in New York. Two of the participants were Aron Nimzowitsch and Dr. Milan Vidmar (1885-1962). Nimzowitsch was paired with Vidmar when Vidmar took out his pipe and began to fiddle with it. Nimzowitsch asked Vidmar not to smoke. Vidmar agreed, but later during the game, he absent-mindedly took his cigar case out of his pocket and laid it on the chess table. Nimzowitch at once left the table and ran to Geza Maroczy (1860-1951), the tournament director, complaining that Vidmar had his cigar case out. Maroczy said to Nimzowitsch, "But Vidmar is not smoking; his cigar case in unopened." Nimzowitsch responded, "I know, but as an old chessplayer you must know that the threat is stronger than the execution."
The very first official Chess Olympiad began in London in July 1927. Germany and Austria were not invited. 16 teams participated with 70 players. The women did not participate until 1957. Hungary (Maroczy, Nagy, Vajda, Havasi, E. Steiner) took first place and the Hamilton-Russell trophy. The official title of "Chess Olympiad" did not happen until 1952. The Chess Olympiad was also called the International Team Tournament, Tournament of Nations, and the World Team Championship. The first Women's World Chess Championship was held at the same time in London as the chess Olympiad, won by Vera Menchik.
In 1927, the first Soviet Women's Championship was held. It was won by Mrs. Olga Rubsova.
In 1928, before the start of the 2nd official Chess Olympiad at the Hague, FIDE decided that only amateurs could take part. The British sand Yugoslavia suspected that the USA team included chess professionals, so they withdrew in protest. Just before the start of the Olympiad, FIDE canceled the ban on professionals, but it was too late for most of the 17 teams to send their best players. Isaac Kashdan won the gold medal with the score of 13 out of 15. An Amateur World Championship for individuals, with 16 players, also took place during the Olympiad. Each country was allowed one representative. The event was won by Max Euwe. This chess Olympiad was held in conjunction with the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam. This is considered the weakest of all chess Olympiads. The Hamilton-Russell Cup was not offered to the winning team of this event because it was a truly open team event. Hungary (Nagy, A. Steiner, Vajda, Havasi) won the event with 44 out of 64 points.
In 1928, the first Women's Championship of Moscow was held. It was won by Ludmilla Rudkenko, scoring a perfect 12-0.
In 1929, an international tournament was held at Carlsbad with 9 of the top 10 players in the world participating. Vera Menchik, women's world champion, participated in the event. At the tournament, Georg Albert Becker (1896-1984) said "I propose to open the Vera Menchik Club, whose members will be solely masters defeated by the lady world champion." Before the tournament at Carlsbad, he said that he would go onstage as a ballerina if Menchik scored more than 3 points. At Carlsbad (won by Nimzowitsch), she finished last with 2 wins, 2 draws (3 points) and 17 losses. She beat Becker (the first member of the Vera Menchik Club) and Saemisch. The event was won by Aron Nimzowitsch.
San Remo 1930 was the first international chess tournament held in the famous San Remo casino. Sixteen chess masters from Europe and the Americas, including World Champion Alexander Alekhine, played a round robin tournament from 16 January to 4 February 1930. The games were played in the casino during the day, and in the evening the playing hall was used for dancing. Alekhine dominated the field with a score of 14/15, 3 1/2 points ahead of second place Aron Nimzowitsch, and winning the grand prize of 10,000 lire.
In 1930, Alexander Alekhine was the first player to score 100% out of 9 games as he played for France on Board 1 in the Chess Olympiad. In 2002, Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe became the second person to score 100% out of 9 games.
The 1931 Chess Olympiad at Prague was the only Olympiad where every single player lost at least one game. No one was able to win more than 10 games out of a possible 18 games played. The USA (Kashdan, Marshall, Dake, Horowitz, and Steiner) won the gold medal (48 out of 72 points) and the Hamilton-Russell Cup for the first time. This team event of 19 teams did not have a single new county participating for the first time. Every team in this event had played in a previous Olympiad. This event enforced the rule that the playing order submitted with the entry must be adhered to throughout the competition.
In 1931, an international tournament was held at Bled. Two of the participants were Aron Nimzowitsch (1886-1935) and Geza Maroczy (1870-1951). The two got into an argument and Maroczy challenged Nimzowitsch to a pistol duel. Nimzowitch rightly refused. The event was won by Alexander Alekhine. Nimzowitsch took 3rd place and Maroczy took 11th place.
In 1931, an international tournament was held in New York. Capablanca won with 9 wins, no losses, and 1 draw.
In 1932, the first international tournament in Mexico was held in Mexico City. Alexander Alekhine and Isaac Kashdan, who both tied for 1st with an 8.5-0.5 score.
In 1932, the first international correspondence chess tournament was held. It was won by Janos Balogh (1892-1980) of Romania.
In 1933, Dr. Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) banned all Jewish players from official chess tournaments in Germany.
In 1933, the 34th Western Championship was held in Detroit. U.S. chess champion Sammy Reshevsky was asked whether he expected to win the Western Tournament. His reply was, "Who is there to beat me?" Reshevsky was right. Nobody did beat him — but he did not win the tournament. Reshevsky scored 11-2 with 9 wins and 4 draws. Reuben Fine scored 12-1 with 12 wins and 1 loss. The event was held at the Hotel Tuller in Detroit from September 23 to October 1, 1933 (otherwise known as the US Open). The event was sponsored by the Auto City Chess and Checker Club. There were 14 players in the event. Fine lost to Reshevsky in round 6, but won every other game that he played. Reshevsky drew to Arthur Dake, Samuel Factor, Albert Margolis, and George Barnes.
At the Folkestone Olympiad in 1933, Isaac Kashdan represented the USA. He brought along his wife. Umar Khan offered Isaac Kashdan's wife 150 English pounds if she would join his harem. Only 15 teams participated (19 teams applied), the least of any Olympiad. Originally, this Olympiad was scheduled to be played in Chicago, but these plans were cancelled due to financial problems. Alekhine won the gold medal on board 1 with 9.5 out of 12. The USA team (Kashdan, Marshall, Fine, Dake, Simonson) won again with 39 out of 56 points. Robert Combe of Scotland lost to Volfgangs Hasenfuss of Latvia in 4 moves, the shortest chess Olympiad game ever.
In July 1934, an international tournament was held at Zurich. Switzerland. The event commemorated the 125th anniversary of the Schachgessellschaft Zurich (the Zurich Chess Society). The tournament pitted seven Swiss players against 9 international players. Alekhine won the event with 13 out of 15 points. Euwe and Flohr tied for 2nd place. Bogoljubow took 4th place and Emanuel Lasker took 5th place.
In 1935, an international tournament was held in Moscow. Over 100,000 people requested tickets of admission to the first round. Mikhail Botvinnik and Salomon Flohr tied for first place in this 20-player event. The tournament was organized by Nikolai Krylenko, the head of Soviet Chess. He invited two former world champions (Lasker and Capablanca) and eight foreign masters to pit their skills against 12 Soviet masters. The tournament was held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. Over 60,000 tickets to the tournament were sold out long before the event even began. Only 4,000 fans at a time could be accommodated with seating in the playing room. There were also 180 Soviet journalists and 23 foreign journalists that covered the event. During the tournament, Ilya Rabinovich (1891-1942) was ordered to lose against Mikhail Botvinnik to ensure that Botvinnik took 1st place. Botvinnik refused to go along with the plan, saying, "…then I will myself put a piece en prise and resign." The plan was aborted, the game was drawn, and Botvinnik shared 1st place with Salo Flohr (1908-1983) of Czechoslovakia. Rabinovich tied for 11th-14th. Earlier, Flohr had proposed to Botvinnik that they both draw their final game and share 1st place. It was Botvinnik's first success in international chess.
In 1935, the chess Olympiad was held in Warsaw as a reward for Poland's performance in previous Olympiads. Three new countries, Estonia, Ireland, and Palestine, participated for the first time. A total of 20 teams participated in this event. The USA team (Fine, Marshall, Kupchik, Dake, Horowitz) won again with 54 out of 76 points.
In 1935-36, the USSR Trade Unions chess championship was held. It had 700,000 entrants, the largest of any chess tournament.
In August 1936, one of the strongest international tournaments ever held took place at Nottingham, England. Alderman Job Nightingale Derbyshire (1866-1954), a Nottingham manufacturer, underwrote the event. Botvinnik and Capablanca tied for first place. Nottingham 1936 is one of the very few tournaments in chess history to include five past, present, or future world champions (Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alekhine, Euwe and Botvinnik). This was Lasker's last major event. This was the first Soviet success outside the Soviet Union.
In 1936, an international tournament was held in Amsterdam. Max Euwe and Reuben Fine tied for 1st place. International Master Theo van Scheltinga (1914-1994) scored 9. He may have been the strongest chessplayer ever to finish a chess tournament with 0 points.
A chess Olympiad was held in Munich in 1936 to coincide with the Olympic Games. However, Germany was not a member of FIDE (they had withdrawn from FIDE in 1933), so it was an unofficial Olympiad. There were 21 teams and 208 participants in this event. Each team consisted of 8 boards and two reserves instead of the normal 4 boards. 1,680 games were played, a record that stood for 24 years (until Leipzig in 1960). Hungary won every match to win the event with 110.5 out of 160.
In 1936, the first U.S. championship that was played in a tournament instead of a match was held in New York City and won by Samuel Reshevsky.
In 1937, an international chess tournament was held at Jurata, Poland. The 22 masters had to play 21 games in 14 days with no adjournments.
In 1937, the first international chess tournament ever held in Estonia was played in Parnu. It was won by Dr. Paul Felix Schmidt (1916-1984).
In 1937, the 7th Chess Olympiad was held in Stockholm. USA team won for the 4th time in a row, led by Olympic newcomer Sammy Reshevsky.
In June-July 1937, an international tournament was held in Kemeri, Latvia. There were three co-winners: Samuel Reshevsky, Salo Flohr and Vladimir Petrov.
In 1938, a tournament was held in Plymouth, England. Rowena Bruce (1919-1999) played world woman champion Vera Menchik in the morning and world champion Alexander Alekhine in the afternoon for rounds 2 and 3. She is the only person to have played two world chess champions in a tournament on the same day.
In 1938, AVRO sponsored an international tournament in the Netherlands. It had the top 8 players in the world. It was won by Paul Keres (on tiebreak over Reuben Fine), who earned him the right to challenge Alekhine for the world chess championship. The match never came off due to World War II.
In 1938, the US Open was held in Boston. Three ladies drove from New York to participate in the event, Mary Bain, Mrs. McCready and Miss Weart. After the tournament was over, they were on their way back to New York. However, they were in a car wreck after their car skidded on slippery pavement and crashed into a telegraph pole. Miss McCready suffered minor injuries; Miss Weart was pinned under the car and sustained a fracture to her shoulder; Mary Bain suffered a fractured vertebra which required her to be in a cast for eight months, bedridden for much of that time.
In August-September 1939, the 8th official Chess Olympiad, held in Buenos Aires, was the first time held outside Europe. The USA, four-time gold medal winners, did not participate. The players asked for $2,500 compensation but were offered only $1,500 by the U.S. Chess Federation, so they all refused to participate. Abe Yanofsky (1925-2000), age 14 and the youngest player in the event, played second board for Canada. He met a spectator called J. Janowski. It turned out they were brothers and it was the first time they had met. J. Janowsky happened to show Abe Yanofsky a photo of his father when Abe exclaimed, "That's my father too!" Yanofsky scored the best percentage on board 2. The finals of the Olympiad began on September 1, 1939, the beginning of World War II. The English team withdrew immediately after taking 3rd place in the preliminaries group and sailed home on the first available ship. Three members of the British Olympiad team were later instrumental in breaking the German "Enigma" code during World War II. 84 games were not played and 24 games were set by default. This was the first Olympiad that had preliminary groups and a finals section to handle the 27 teams. The German team (Eliskases, Michel, Engels, Becker, Reinhardt) won by 1/2 point over Poland.
In 1940, the US Open wash held in Dallas. Weaver Adams played in the event. He had just written and published a book called White to Play and Win. He did not win a single game with White (3 losses and 1 draw), and won all four of his games as Black! Adams then played a match with I.A. Horowitz. Adams had White every game and Horowitz had Black every game. Adams lost the match.
In 1941, the first USCF Open postal chess tournament was held. It was won by Louis Persinger (1887-1966), one of the greatest violinists who ever lived.
In 1942, the first tournament in the United States that used the Swiss pairing system was the Texas chess championship.
In 1942, the US championship was held in New York. Samuel Reshevsky lost the US championship due to a stupid mistake by the tournament director. Arnold Denker (1914-2005) beat Samuel Reshevsky (1911-1992) on time in the US chess championship. While spectators watched, the tournament director, Walter Stephens (1883-1948), mistakenly declared that Denker's time had expired. Stephens was looking at the clock backwards and refused to change his decision, which ultimately gave Reshevsky the title.
In 1943, the first Chess Review Golden Knights postal tournament (then called the Victory Tournament) was won by John Staffer, born in 1872.
In 1944, a chess tournament was held in Kansas City, Kansas in which Al Horowitz (1907-1973) was participating. Against one of his opponents, he made a spectacular and unexpected move. His opponent was so shocked he dropped dead of a heart attack.
In 1945-1946, the first Pan-American Intercollegiate chess tournament was played in New York and won by City College of New York. It is the largest and most prestigious collegiate chess tournament in the Western Hemisphere.
In July 1946, Larry Friedman of Cleveland won the first USCF National Junior Chess Championship Tournament, held in Chicago. There were 32 players. (source: Chess Life, Sep 5, 1946, p. 1)
In July 1946, Herman Steiner of Los Angeles won the 47th US Open, held in Pittsburgh. He scored 13.5 out of 17. Second place went to Herbert Seidman. Third place went to Abraham Kupchik. The Swiss System was used for the first time in a US Open (after the first two rounds were paired by lot) to determine qualifiers for the various final sections. There were 58 entrants. (source: Chess Life, Sep 5, 1946, p. 1)
In August-September 1946, the first international chess tournament after World War II was held at Groningen, the Netherlands. It was won by Mikhail Botvinnik (14.5-4.5), a half point ahead of Max Euwe (14-5). It was Botvinnik's first outright victory outside of the Soviet Union and Euwe's last major success. Smyslov took 3rd place.
In October-November 1946, the US Chess Championship was held in New York. Samuel Reshevsky regained the US Chess Championship title (he lost it in 1944 when he failed to compete) with the score of 16-2. Isaac Kashdan took 2nd place with 13.5 points and Anthony Santasiere took 3rd place with 13 points. Lewis J. Isaacs withdrew after 9 rounds of play. Larry Friedman, the National Junior Champion, was to have played, but withdrew at the last minute. Miss N. May Karff won the women's chess championship with 8 wins, 1 draw, and no losses. (source: Chess Life, Nov 20, 1946, p. 1)
In December 1946, the first Championship of the Phillipines was held in Manila. It was won by Horacio P. Tagle. He scored 14.5 — 1.5. There were 17 participants. (source: Chess Life, Feb 1, 1947, p. 1)
In December 1946, the first Oklahoma State chess championship was held in Oklahoma City. It was won by Dr. Bela Rozsa, scoring 5-0. The tournament had 22 entrants. (source: Chess Life, Jan 27, 1947, p. 1)
In 1947, the first World Correspondence Chess Championship started with 78 players. It was won by Cecil Purdy several years later.
In July 1947, Larry Friedman of Cleveland won the second USCF National Junior Chess Championship Tournament, held in Cleveland. He scored 15.5 — 3.5. He scored 2 more points than his nearest rival. Jim Cross and Larry Evans tied for 2nd. Both scored 13.5 — 5.5. There were 45 entrants. (source: Chess Life, July 20, 1947, p. 1)
In August 1947, the 48th US Open was held Corpus Christi, Texas. One of the players was Norman Whitaker, who had just been released from Alcatraz. The president of the USCF, Elbert Wagner (1904-1970), told the tournament organizers not to let him play. But the organizers, in a unanimous decision, said that Whitaker paid his debt to society and allowed him to play (he took 8th place). The event had 86 entrants for a 13-round Swiss at the White Plaza Hotel in Corpus Christi. Isaac Kasdhan won with a score of 11.5 — 1.5 (10 wins and 3 draws). Anthony Santasiere and Canadian champion Daniel Yanofsky tied for 2nd place, scoring 10-3. 10 players withdrew before the final round. George Koltanowski was the tournament director. (source: Chess Life, Sep 5, 1947, p. 1)
In August 1947, the Georgia State Chess Association held its first Georgia Open. It was won by Martin Southern of Knoxville, Tennessee. The title of Georgia State Champion went to Milton Jarnagin. (source: Chess Life, Oct 5, 1947, p. 1)
In October 1947, John Curdo, age 15, won the Massachusetts Schoolboy Championship with a perfect score. There were 62 participants. (source: Chess Life, Nov 20, 1947, p. 3) Curdo has been playing in tournaments for over 71 years.
In December 1947, Robert Byrne of Yale won the Individual Intercollegiate Chess Championship. He also won the U.S. Intercollegiate Lightning Tournament with a perfect 9-0 score. The event was held at Columbia University in New York. 21 colleges and 44 players participated. (source: Chess Life, Jan 5, 1948, p. 1)
In 1947, Dr. G. Drexel won the Florida State Championship, Milton Jarnagin won the Georgia Championship, Albert Sandrin won the Illinois State Championship, J.M. Stull won the Kansas State Championship, David Bentz won the Maryland Championship, Leon Stolcenberg won the Michigan Championship, George Barnes won the Minnesota Championship, A.C. Ludwin won the Nebraska Championship, Weaver Adams won the New England Championship, Orlando Lester won the New Hampshire Championship, Stephen Kowalski won the New Jersey Championship, Arthur Pinkus won the New York State Championship, A. diCamillo won the Pennsylvania Championship, Albert Martin won the Rhode Island Championship, Robert Wade won the Southwestern Open in Fort Worth with a perfect 7-0, R. Coveyou won the Tennessee Championship, Leonard Sheets won the Washington State Championship, H. Landis Marks won the West Virginia Championship, and Richard Kujoth won the Wisconsin State Championship.
In 1948, Miguel Colon won the championship of Puerto Rico. He ended the reign of Rafael Cintron, who was Puerto Rican champion for 23 years. Cintron ended up in 6th place. (source: Chess Life, Mar 5, 1948, p. 1)
In 1948, the first world championship match-tournament was held and won by Botvinnik. Smyslov was 2nd, 3 points behind Botvinnik. Keres and Reshevsky tied for 3rd.
In July 1948, Weaver Adams won the US Open, held in Baltimore, scoring 9.5 — 2.5. Isaac Kashdan, George Kramer, and Olaf Ulvestad tied for 2nd place. N. May Karff retained the women's Open title, scoring 6-0 at Baltimore.
In August 1948, Arthur Bisguier won the US Junior Open, held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He won on tiebreak over Frank Anderson of Toronto. Both scored 8-2. Jim Cross took 3rd place.
In August-September 1948, Herman Steiner won the Biennial US Championship, scoring 15 - 4. Isaac Kashdan took 2nd, scoring 14.5 — 4.5. Gisela Gresser and N. May Karff toed for 1st in the US Women's Championship. During the tournament, a fire alarm went off at the tournament site in South Fallsburg, New York. Nobody in the playing room paid the slightest attention.
In August 1948, the first chess Interzonal Tournament was held at Saltsjobaden, Sweden, just outside of Stockholm. On the last day David Bronstein (1924-2006) was playing Tartakower. Suddenly, a Lithuanian made a lunge at Bronstein to kill him. Several spectators grabbed him. He wanted to murder all Russians because he claimed the Russians were responsible for sending his sister to Siberia and murdering her. Bronstein won the game and the Interzonal with a 13.5-5.5 score. First place prize for the first Interzonal was $550. Czech International Master Jan Foleys (1908-1952) qualified for the Interzonal, but died of leukemia before it took place. Szabo took 2nd and Boleslavsky took 3rd. Szabo was leading for the first 17 rounds. He lost to the last-place finisher in the final round to knock him out of 1st place. Four of the five finalists were Russian. The 5th, Szabo, was Hungarian.
In 1948, the championship of North Carolina went to 13-year-old Kit Crittenden, of Raleigh. The tournament was held in Winston-Salem. (source: Chess Life, Sep 20, 1948, p. 1)
In 1948, 16-year-old Larry Evans won the Marshall Chess Club Championship, the New York State Championship, and the New York Speed Championship (scoring 8-0).
In December 1948, New York hosted its first international chess tournament, the Manhattan International Tournament, in 17 years. Reuben Fine, after a 3-year layoff, won the event (7 wins and 2 draws). Miguel Najdorf took 2nd and Max Euwe and Pilnik tied for 3rd. The US champion, Herman Steiner, took last place with 6 losses, 3 draws, and no wins.
In 1949, Olga Rubtsova won the USSR Women's championship. She scored 13-4. She was also USSR women's champion once before, in 1927. (source: Chess Life, Mar 20, 1949, p. 1)
In 1949, 40,000 youths played in the Romanian junior championship. (source: Chess Life, Apr 20, 1949, p. 3)
In 1949, the first USSR correspondence chess championship started, sponsored by the chess magazine, Schachmaty in the USSR. There were 1,000 entries.
In 1949, Albert Sandrin won the US Open, held in Omaha, scoring 10-2. Santasiere took 2nd and Larry Evans took 3rd.
In 1949, Maurice Fox won the Canadian championship for the 8th time. He last won it in 1940. He scored 7.5 — 1.5. Dr. Fedor Bohatirchuk took 2nd.
In 1949, the noted artist Marcel Duchamp, won the Class A Tournament of the New York State Chess Championship, with a perfect 6-0 score. Max Pavey won the New York State Championship, scoring 8-2. Hans Berliner and Larry Evans tied for 2nd place. (source: Chess Life, Sep 20, 1949).
In October-November 1949, David Bronstein and Vassily Smyslov tied for 1st in the 17th Soviet Championship, held in Moscow. Bronstein was co-winner in 1948. Both scored 12-6. Geller and Taimanov tied for 3rd place. 9 Soviet Grandmasters participated in the 20-man event. The tournament celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first "All-Russian Tournament" organized by Chigorin in 1899.
In February 1950, Mrs. Ludmilla Rudenko won the Women's World Chess Championship, scoring 11.5 — 3.5. Her only loss was to Gisela Gresser of the USA in the first round. Rudenko was born in 1904. The Polish entrant, M. Germanova, lost 10, drew 4, and won none. The two American entries, Gresser and Karff. Both ended up in 12th-14th place out of 16. (source: Chess Life, Feb 5, 1950, p. 1)
In 1950, an international tournament was held in Southsea, England. Arthur Bisguier, US Junior champion, and Saveilly Tartakower tied for 1st place. Harry Golombek, Jonathan Penrose (16-year old London champion), and Lothar Schmid (his first international tournament) tied for 3rd place. (source: Chess Life, May 5, 1950, p. 1)
In 1950, David Bronstein and Boleslavsky tied for 1st in the first Candidates Tournament in Budapest, Hungary. They both scored 12-6. Smyslov took 3rd, Keres took 4th, and Najdorf took 5th. First prize was $5,000. The Candidates Tournament was originally scheduled for South America. Bronstein late won in a tiebreak match and won the fright to meet Botvinnik in a world championship match.
In July-August 1950, Arthur Bisguier, US Junior Champion, won the US Open, held in Detroit. He scored 9.5 — 2.5. Herman Hesse, a former Pennsylvania State Champion, took 2nd. There were 120 participants. Larry Evans won the Lightning Championship. May Karff and Lucille Kellner tied for 1st in the US Women's Open Championship. There were only 4 entrants in the women's championship. Right after the tournament, 6 of the participants were in a car accident. They were injured in an accident at Batavia, New York, when their car overturned on a rain-soaked road. The new crowned US Open Champion Arthur Bisguier broke a rib and had a gash in his forehead. Kit Crittenden, former North Carolina champion, broke his collar-bone. Larry Evans was badly bruised in the accident. Walter Shipman had to have leg put in a cast for an injured ankle. (source: Chess Life, Aug 5, 1950, p. 1)
In August-September 1950, the Chess Olympiad for the Hamilton-Russell Trophy was revived. The 9th Chess Olympiad was held in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia (present-day Croatia). Madame Chantel Chaude de Silans (1919-2004) played on the French team at the Dubrovnik Olympiad, the first woman to play on a men's team. She played first reserve board, winning 1 game, drawing 1 game, and losing 4 games. This was the first Olympiad commemorated by a special stamp issue. The USA team (Steiner, Reshevsky, Horowitz, Evans, Kramer, and Shainswit) was the only team that went undefeated, yet did not win a medal, taking 4th place with 11 wins, 4 draws, and no losses. If match scores instead of game scores were used, the USA team would have placed first. US Open champion Arthur Bisguier was supposed to be on the USA team, but was too injured from a car accident in Batavia, NY. 16 teams entered, with Greece being the only new country to play in an Olympiad. The Yugoslav team (Gligoric, Pirc, Trifunovic, Rabar, Vidmar junior, Puc) won the event. Argentina took 2nd, followed by West Germany. The USA team (Reshevsky, Steiner, Horowitz, Shainswit, Kramer, and Evans) took 4th.
In April 1951, the first Maryland Speed Championship was held in Annapolis, Maryland. It was won by Norman Whitaker, with a perfect 7-0 score. There were 22 players in the event.
In 1951, Cecil Purdy won the Australian Championship for the 4th time. For the first time, representatives from all 6 Australian states competed, and the tournament was part of the official Austalian Commonwealth Golden Jubilee. (source: Chess Life, June 5, 1951. P. 1)
In June-July 1951, the first World Junior Chess Championship was held in Birmingham, England. It was won by Boris Ivkov of Yugoslavia, who scored 9.5 — 1.5 without a single loss. Malcom Barker of Birmingham took 2nd place, scoring 8-3. After the tournament, Barker gave up chess and took up bridge. The USA was not represented.
In July-August 1951, the US Open was held in Fort Worth, Texas. It was won by 19-year old CCNY student Larry Evans, scoring 10-2. Evans was already a 3-time winner of the Marshall Chess Club snd victor of the 1951 US Lightning Tournament. Al Sandrin, 1949 US Open Champion, took 2nd. Isaac Kashdan, 1946 US Open Champion, and NY State Champion Eliot Hearst tied for 3rd. (source: Chess Life, Aug 5, 1951, p. 1)
In August 1951, the US Championship was held in New York. It was won by 19-year-old Larry Evans, who hadj won the 1951 US Open. He scored 9.5 — 1.5. Samuel Reshevsky (who won it in 1936, 1938, 1042, and 1946) took 2nd. Max Pavey took 3rd. Evans became the youngest US titleholder up to that time. (source: Chess Life, Aug 20, 1951, p. 1)
In 1951, 17-year-old James T. Sherman won the New York State Championship. Then, as a student at Columbia University, he won the Intercollegiate Championship.
In 1952, the first international chess tournament restricted to college students was held in Liverpool, England.
In February-March 1952, an international tournament, the Capablanca Memorial, was held in Havana, Cuba to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Cuba. A fine cup was donated for the winner by President Juan Peron of Argentina. During the event, there was a revolution in Cuba. The President who sponsored the tournament was deposed. The Mexican entrants were recalled by their government. Also during the tournament, Juan Quesada (1912-1952), the Cuban chess champion, had a heart attack just before the 17th round and died. He was 40. His funeral was attended by all the masters participating in the tournament. Miguel Najdorf and Samuel Reshevsky tied for 1st. Gligoric took 3rd place. (source: Chess Life, April 5, 1952, p. 1)
In July-August 1952, the US Open was held in Tampa. Larry Evans, US Champion, won it again for the second year in a row. He scored 10-2 (8 wins and 4 draws). Arturo Pomar took 2nd. (source: Chess Life, Aug 5, 1952, p. 1)
In August 1952, the 10th Chess Olympiad was held in Helsinki, Finland. The Soviets (Keres, Smyslov, Bronstein, Geller, Boleslavsky, and Kotov) participated for the first time in a Chess Olympiad, at Helsinki. They won the gold medal and repeated winning the gold medal for the next twelve Olympiads in a row. USSR won the gold medal a total of 18 times. Argentina took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze. The USA team (Reshevsky, Evans, R. Byrne, Bisguier, Koltanowski, and Berliner) took 5th. After the tournament, it was generally agreed that the small preliminary and final groups of only 8-9 teams left too much open to chance, since a single blunder would have too big an impact on the final standings. Consequently, FIDE decided that in the future, no final should have less than 12 participants.
In September 1952, an Interzonal was held in Stockholm at the Grand Hotel Saltsjobaden. Alexander Kotov won the event with 13 wins, no losses, and 7 draws. Kotov won the first 8 rounds in a row and maintained the lead.Mark Taimanov and Tigran Petrosian tied for 2nd. As reserves, Stahlberg and Pilnik were picked. Foltys qualified but died before the event. Pal Benko had qualified, but was in prison for trying to defect to the West. USA had several candidates that were invited to play. Reshevsky already qualified for the Candidates and did not pay. Larry Evans and Robert Byrne were in Helsinki for the Chess Olympiad, but returned home rather than play in the Interzonal. Arthur Bisguier was offered a place, but he had to withdraw days before the tournament because of Army service. After round 2, Julio Bolbochan of Argentina had to withdraw because of a brain hemorrhage. The Russians drew all games between them. The 5 Russians in the tournament (Kotov, Petrosian, Taimanov, Geller, and Averbach) took the top 5 spots. Kotov, Petrosian, and Taimanov lost no games in the 21-player event.
In 1953, a small international tournament was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. It was won by the Czecz International Master Cenek Kottnauer (1910-1996). After winning the vent, he announced his intention of seeking political asylum in the West.
In 1953, the Zurich/Neuhausen Candidates tournament had 9 out the top 10 players in the world. The event was won by Vassily Smyslov.
In 1954, the first official college student Olympiad chess tournament was held in Oslo.
In 1954, a tournament was held in the USSR which included David Bronstein and Fedor Dus-Chotimirsky (1879-1965). Dus-Chotimirsky took a move back against Bronstein as spectators watched his game. In response to the crowd and the tournament director who tried to intervene, he shouted, "Hey, I just made a bad move and now I am changing it to a good one. To hell with the rules, this is chess." The game continued as nothing happened.
In September 1954, the 11th Chess Olympiad was held in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Luxemburg lost all 19 matches and took last place again. One player from Luxemburg, Georges Philippe, scored 0 out of 11 games. His teammate, J. Jerolim, scored one draw and 16 losses in his 17 games that he played. Another Luxemburg player, Pierre Kremer, won 1 and lost 16 (with a record of 1 win and 27 losses in two Olympiads). This chess Olympiad was supposed to have been played in Sao Paulo in celebration of its 400th birthday. However, Argentina cancelled the event 6 weeks before the start of this Olympiad due to financial difficulties. Amsterdam decided to host the event at the last minute. Over 30 teams had registered to play in Sao Paulo, but 26 teams eventually arrived in Amsterdam. The most notable absentees were the United States, who couldn't afford the travelling expenses due to financial difficulties in the USCF. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Bronstein, Keres, Geller, Kotov) won the gold, seven points ahead of the next team, Argentina, which took the silver medal. Yugoslavia won the bronze medal.
In 1954, a giant Dychkhoff Memorial Correspondence Chess Tournament was organized with 1,860 chessplayers from 33 countries. As many as 8,856 games were played in this event. The event was won by Lothar Schmid, who later became a grandmaster in correspondence and over-the-board play.
In 1954, the US Open was held in New Orleans. Several African-Americans tried to enter the event, but were refused.
In 1954, the Argentine Chess Federation called off the national chess tournament after a fight broke out between a chess player and the tournament director.
In 1955, the Interzonal was held at Gothenberg. The event was won by David Bronstein.
In 1955-56, the annual Christmas tournament was being held at Hastings. Fridrik Olafsson (1935- ) arrived late to participate in the annual Christmas Hastings tournament in England. No rooms could be found for him, so he spent his first night in a jail cell at the Hastings police station as a guest to the local police. Olafsson went on to tie for 1st place with Vicktor Korchnoi in this event.
In August-September 1956, the 12th Chess Olympiad was held in Moscow. 36 teams participated and it was the first time that over 1,000 chess games were played in one Olympiad. Colonel Hugh O'Donnell Alexander (1909-1974), one of the top British chess players, was not allowed to play in the chess Olympiad in Moscow because of his job with the Government Communications Headquarters where he was head of the cryptanalysis section. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Taimanov, Geller) suffered their first defeat when the Hungarian team defeated them. Luxemburg again took last place. One of their players, Wantz, win 2, drew 1, and lost 14 games. Pierre Kremer lost all four of his games, with a record on only one win and 31 losses in three Olympiads. Due to a special rule for the top board at Olympiads, Larsen's result automatically earned him the GM title. The Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Yugoslavia and Hungary.
In 1956, the Rosenwald tournament was held in New York City. It was this event that 13-year-old Bobby Fischer beat Donald Byrne (1930-1976) in what was called the Game of the Century.
In 1957, the first Women's Chess Olympiad was held in Emmen, Netherlands. That event, plus the next three Women's Chess Olympiads, were held independently of the men's Chess Olympiad. 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.
In 1958, South Africa and Tunisia participated in the Olympiad held in Munich. These were the first African teams to play in a chess Olympiad. International Master Frank Ross Anderson (1928-1980) was playing board 1 for Canada. He became ill after a reaction to an incorrect prescription and was unable to play the final round. He missed the Grandmaster title because of this. Even if he had played and lost, he would have made the final norm necessary for the Grandmaster title. The Soviet team (Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Tal, Petrosian) won again.
In September-October 1958, the 13th Chess Olympiad was held in Munich, West Germany. A total of 36 teams entered the competition and were divided into four preliminary groups of nine teams each. The top three from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed 4th-6th to Final B, and no. 7-9 to Final C. All groups and finals were played as round-robin tournaments. The Soviet Union won the gold medal, followed by Yugoslavia and Argentina. The USA team (Reshevsky, Lombardy, Bisguier, Evans, and Rossolimo) took 4th.
In 1959, the U.S. Open was held in Omaha, Nebraska. Chess master Walter Harris (1942- ), the first African-American chess master, played in the event, but was unable to get a hotel room where the tournament was held because he was Black.
In 1959, the first ham radio chess tournament was organized.
In 1959, the Candidates' tournament was held in Bled. Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) tried to unnerve his opponents by staring at them while they were thinking. Some players thought he was trying to hypnotize his opponents. When he had to play Pal Benko, Benko brought a pair of dark sunglasses to wear during their game. Later, Benko explained that he wore the glasses not to ward of Tal's "evil eye," but as a stunt. A couple of Yugoslav reporters asked Benko to wear them to provide an eye-catching photo and a lively story for their newspapers.
In October-November 1960, the 14th Chess Olympiad was held in Leipzig, East Germany. A total of 40 teams entered the competition and were divided into four preliminary groups of 10 teams each. The top three from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed 4th-6th to Final B, and the rest to Final C. All preliminary groups as well as Finals A and B were played as round-robin tournaments, while Final C with 16 teams was played as an 11 round Swiss system tournament. Max Euwe won 3 games, drew 7 games, and lost 6 games for the worst score by a Grandmaster in Olympiad history. The event drew 10,000 spectators a day as the Olympiad also hosted a "chess in the Fields of History" exhibition. Bobby Fischer participated and played board 1 for the USA. Reshevsky refused to give up first board and did not play. Again, the Soviet team (Tal, Botvinnik, Keres, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Petrosian) won the event. The USA team took the silver and Yugoslavia took the bronze.
In 1961, an international chess tournament was held at Beverwijk, Netherlands. One of the participants was Ernst Gruenfeld (1893-1962). Gruenfeld, age 67, had lost a leg when in his early childhood and had an artificial leg. Despite his age, and this handicap, he spurned the organizers' offer of a car, and insisted on walking the mile or so from where he was staying to the chess tournament hall each afternoon. On one day, he set off, but fell down in the road, and his wooden leg came off and fell into a ditch! A distressed Gruenfeld managed to get to a phone booth and ring the organizers. The organizers contacted Max Euwe, who came on the line. Hearing of Gruenfeld's plight, he jumped into a car, and a few minutes later, he managed to rescue Gruenfeld and his wooden leg and take him back to the house he was staying at. After a refreshing cup of coffee and a few minutes' rest, Gruenfeld was re-united with his artificial leg and driven to the tournament hall. Unfortunately, he faced the East German GM Wolfgang Uhlmann that day, and despite having White, the trauma took its toll on him. He lost in just 21 moves!
In 1962, Japan held its first international chess tournament.
In September-October 1962, the 15th Chess Olympiad has held in Varna, Bulgaria. Milton Ioannidis of Cyprus lost all of his 20 games, the worst score ever of any player at any Olympiad. The Soviet Union won the gold, followed by Yugoslavia and Argentina.
In 1963, the first Piatigorsky Cup was held in Los Angeles. It was the strongest chess tournament to be held in the USA since New York 1927. Tigran Petrosian and Paul Keres tied for 1st place.
In November 1964, the 16th Chess Olympiad was held in Tel Aviv, the first time an Olympiad was held in Asia. A total of 50 teams entered the competition and were divided into seven preliminary groups of seven or eight teams each. The top two from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed 3rd-4th to Final B, no. 5-6 to Final C, and the rest to Final D. All preliminary groups and finals were played as round-robin tournaments. With Australia playing for the first time, it was the first time that players from all five continents were able to participate in a chess Olympiad. It was another victory for the Soviet team (Petrosian, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Stein, Spassky). 2nd place went to Yugoslavia and 3rd place went to West Germany.
In 1965, Henrique Mecking won the Brazilian chess championship at age 13.
In August 1965, Bobby Fischer participated in the 4th Capablanca Memorial in Cuba by playing through a teletype machine at the Marshall Chess Club in New York. He tied for 2nd-4th with 12 wins, 6 draws, and 3 losses. The United States did not have diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the State Department would not authorize him to travel to Havana. Fischer thus had to play by teletype and the Cuban government paid for the services, over $10,000. Fischer's USCF rating was 2706. Fischer was given a $3,000 appearance fee to play in the event.
In 1966, the first USCF-rated scholastic tournament was held in New York, directed by Bull Goichberg (1942- ).
In October-November 1966, the 17th Chess Olympiad was held in Havana. During the Chess Olympiad, Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) went out one evening to a local bar in the city. Apparently, he was caught flirting with a local woman, whose husband or boyfriend took exception. Tal ended up being struck over the head with a beer bottle. As a result, he missed the first four rounds of the event, and when he did appear in the tournament hall, it was with his head heavily bandaged. One woman, Berna Carrasco of Chile, played in this event that had 300 men. She was the only player not score a single half point. The Soviet Union took the gold, followed by the USA and Hungary. When Hungary and Yugoslavia tied on both game and match points, and they had drawn 2-2 with each other, the rules dictated that the final ranking would be decided by using the Neustadtl (Sonneborn-Berger) score - but not which version of it. A so called unweighted score was used, which placed Hungary ahead of Yugoslavia, giving them the bronze medals. Had the weighted variant been used instead, the result would have been the other way around.
In 1966, the second Piatigorsky Cup was held in Santa Monica. It was won by Boris Spassky. Bobby Fischer took 2nd and Bent Larsen took 3rd. When Spassky played Fischer, there were over 900 spectators, and many others were turned away. This was the largest audience ever to witness a chess tournament in the United States.
In 1967, the Interzonal was played at Sousse, Tunisia. Fischer walked out of the tournament early while leading the event. Grandmaster Milan Matulovic of Yugoslavia was playing against Istvan Bilek in the 9th round. Matulovic moved his bishop (38.Bf3??), pressed his chess clock, and soon realized he had made a mistake. So he took back his bishop move, moved his king (38.Kg1), and only then said "J'Adoube" ("I adjust" — which is said before adjusting pieces on a square). Matulovic then wrote his move on his score sheet as if nothing happened. Bilek went to the tournament director to protest, but Matulovic replied, "But I said j'adoube!" There was an argument, but the tournament director, having only Bilek's word against Matulovic, refused to require Matulovic to make his original move with his bishop, as the rules of chess state. Bilek protested three times to the tournament director, but was ignored. The game ended in a draw. After this incident, even the Yugoslav players shunned Matulovic. After the incident, Matulovic was always referred to as "J'adoubovic."
In 1967, the first chess computer to play in a chess tournament with humans occurred when MacHack VI from MIT participated in the Massachusetts Amateur Championship.
In 1968, a chess tournament was held in Kislovodsk, USSR. During the event, GM Vladimir Simagin (1919-1968) had a heart attack and died. He was 49.
In 1968, at a tournament in Athens, two Greek players were trying to qualify for International Master at the event. During the opening ceremony, invited players to the tournament were asked to draw or lose their games to the Greek players. In return, they would be paid a sum of money or points would be thrown in their direction by other accommodating players. Some players cooperated, others refused. The two Greek players did get their International Master title.
In October-November 1968, the 18th Chess Olympiad was held in Lugano, Switzerland. A total of 53 teams entered the competition and were divided into seven preliminary groups of seven or eight teams each. The top two from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed third-fourth to Final B, no. 5-6 to Final C, and the rest to Final D. Preliminary head-to-head results were carried over to the finals, so no teams met more than once. All preliminary groups and finals were played as round-robin tournaments. Dris Benabud of Morocco only played one game (which he lost) at the Lugano Olympiad and 2ndreserve board, the fewest games of any participant in a chess Olympiad. The Virgin Islands (combined team of British and U.S. Virgin Islands) made their first appearance, despite not being a member of FIDE. Bobby Fischer showed up in Lugano to play for the USA team, but withdrew because of the poor lighting in the tournament hall. He asked to play his games in a private room, but the organizers refused, so Fischer withdrew. The Soviet team (Petrosian, Spassky, Korchnoi, Geller, Polugaevsky, Smyslov) won the gold without a single game loss. Yugoslavia took the silver and Bulgaria took the bronze.
In 1969, the first National High School Chess Championship was held in New York.
In 1969, the World Student Team Chess Championship was held in Dresden, Germany. The Yugoslavian player Momcilo Despotovic was playing the American player Gregory DeFotis, who had White. DeFotis got in time trouble and was depending on Despotivic's score sheet to determine when 40 moves were made before time control at 5 hours. Despotovic relaxed, made his next move, wrote it as move 41, and walked away from the board. DeFotis had 25 seconds left and thought he made time control since his opponent had turned over the score sheet after recording what was seemingly his 41st move. When DeFotis saw his flag fall, he thought he had made time control. But Despotovic swooped back to the board and immediately claimed a win on time, stating that his own score "accidently" contained a duplication of one move and hence only 40 white moves had been played. Despotovic was awarded the point. It was alleged that Despotovic pretended to make 41 moves in order to mislead his opponent. Despotovic pulled the same trick on another opponent during the tournament.
In 1969, an international tournament was held in Busum, Germany. Fritz Saemisch (1896-1975) participated in the event. He lost all 15 games on time. He was 73 years old at the time. Bent Larsen won the event.
In 1970, the first North American Computer Chess Championship (NACCC) was held in New York City.
In September 1970, the 19th Chess Olympiad was held in Siegen, West Germany. Andrew Sherman played for the Virgin Islands at the age of 11, the youngest player in the chess Olympiads. In round two of the preliminaries, Viktor Korchnoi overslept and lost his game by default against Spain, his only loss. The round started at 3 pm and he was unable to make it to his game by 4 pm. During the event, Jonathan Penrose collapsed from nervous tension. Oscar Panno drew 15 games, the most in an Olympiad. For the first time, teams had to be rejected because the event reached its capacity of 60 teams to fit the playing schedule. 64 teams registered. The teams from France, Ecuador, and Venezuela had to return home without playing any chess. Panama pulled out, which allowed Argentina to play. In the Indonesia versus Switzerland preliminary match, a player moved his queen next to the opponent's king with check. Capturing the queen with the king was forced and so the player made the move for his opponent, declaring stalemate and shaking hands all in one movement. His dazed opponent ended up signing the scoresheet before recovering his wits and realizing (too late) that it was not a stalemate at all. The Soviet Union won the gold, followed by Hungary and Yugoslavia.
In 1970, an international tournament was held in Zagreb. Bobby Fischer was playing White against Vlatko Kovacevic in the event. On his 18th move, Fischer had a chance to win if Black made the obvious move. Petrosian and Korchnoi, who were watching the game, spotted Fischer's deadly intention and were analyzing the position in a different room. Petrosian's wife had followed the analysis of the Petrosian and Korchnoi, then walked across to the board and whispered the lines to Kovacevic. Kovacevic then played another, less obvious, but stronger move, and actually won the game. It was Fischer's only loss in the 17-round tournament. In 1970, Palma de Mallorca hosted an Interzonal. Mark Taimanov was paired with Milan Matulovic in the final round. It was alleged that Taimanov or his Soviet Federation paid Matulovic $300 to lose the game so that Taimanov would qualify for the 1971 Candidates matches. Taimanov needed a win to qualify. Matulovic showed up 20 minutes late, lingered at the board, looked at the previous day's tournament bulletin, then finally made a move. Matulovic, normally a slow player, played at a fast pace and lost after about an hour of play. Taimanov qualified for the Candidates match and then lost to Bobby Fischer in Vancouver, with a 0-6 score.
In 1970, Buenos Aires hosted the Interzonal. Oscar Panno (1935- ) was to play Bobby Fischer but protested because he did not like that fact that Fischer was playing his last round games at a different time than all the other players due to Fischer's religious beliefs. Fischer was a follower of the Worldwide Church of God and recognized the Sabbath on a Saturday. Fischer played 1.c4 for the first time in his life and waited for Panno to make his move. Panno was out of the tournament room but returned 52 minutes before returning to the game and resigned the game, making it the shortest game ever played.
In 1970, Bobby Fischer (1943-2008) won the Blitz Tournament of the Century in Herceg Novi, Yugoslavia by a score of 19 out of 22. After the tournament, he called off from memory the moves of all his 22 games, involving more than 1,000 moves.
In 1970, an international tournament was held in Caracas. One of the participants was Lubosh Kavalek, who had just defected from Czechoslovakia and was on his way to the United States. He played the first half under the Czechoslovakian flag, the second half under the American flag. He represented the United States before officially setting foot in the USA.
In 1971, Walter Browne (1949-2015) was playing in a Canadian chess tournament. One of Browne's opponents tried to fluster him in a time-pressure scramble by banging an extra Queen down on the side of the board. The opponent's pawn was about to make it to the 8th rank and get promoted to a queen. Browne picked up the extra Queen and hurled it across the tournament room.
In 1971, the chess computer Mac Hack played in the Greater Boston Open. John Curdo (1931- ) played and defeated Mac Hack. Curdo was the first chess master to play a computer program in rated tournament play.
In 1971, the first Women's Interzonal tournament was held in Ohrid. It was won by Tatiana Zatulovskaya (1935-2017).
In 1972, an international tournament was held in San Antonio, Texas, sponsored by Church's Fried Chicken. Two of the participants were Larry Evans and Dr. Anthony Saidy. Evans was playing Saidy in the final round of the tournament. The game was adjourned and Saidy had a winning position. Evans, after staying up all night studying the lost position, decided the adjourned position was hopeless and booked an early flight home. The next day, Saidy blundered on move 46. At move 60 when there was still time to catch the plane, Evans said "It's a book draw." "Show me the book" replied Saidy. Evans responded, "I have a schedule to meet." Saidy replied, "Show me the schedule." With each move the draw became more obvious. Finally, Saidy said "You know it's against the rules to talk to your opponent." "Show me the rules!" said Evans. The game was finally drawn after 106 moves. After the game, Saidy told Evans "You know we have played 12 games and it was the first time I was up a pawn against you. I was enjoying it too much. Sorry." The tournament director later told Evans that he should not have told Saidy that he had a plane to catch. When Saidy finally signed the score sheets, Evans rushed off to the San Antonio airport, but he missed his flight and had to stay another day.
In September-October 1972, the 20th Chess Olympiad was held in Skopje, Yugoslavia (present-day Macedonia). This was the first time that the men's and women's events were held simultaneously. This was the first time that the Soviet Union team were no all grandmasters. The Soviet team had 5 GMs and an International Master (Savon). Since Bobby Fischer had beaten Spassky earlier in the year, the team wasn't led by the current world champion - also a first. It did, however, feature three previous (Smyslov, Tal, and Petrosian) as well as one future champion (Karpov). Grandmaster Nicolas Rossolimo played for France at the Skopje Olympiad. He played on the French team in 1950. He then played on the USA team in 1958, 1960, and 1966. He then played for France again in this Olympiad. International Master Vladimir Savon was the first non-Grandmaster to play for the Soviet team. During the event, Tigran Petrosian lost a game on time to Robert Heubner, his first loss on time in his whole career. This Olympiad was the first time that the men's and women's events were held simultaneously. The Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Hungary and Yugoslavia.
In 1973, the New Hampshire Open was won by 90-year-old Harlow Daly (1883-1979) with a perfect 5-0 score.
In 1973, the police raided a chess tournament in Cleveland, Ohio. The arrested the tournament director and confiscated the chess sets on charges of allowing gambling (cash prizes to winners) and possession of gambling devices (the chess sets).
In June 1974, the 21st Chess Olympiad was held in Nice, France. W. Reussner of the U.S. Virgin Islands lost 19 games in one Olympiad, a record. He drew three games and did not win a game. South Africa and Rhodesia were expelled from FIDE during the Olympiad. South Africa dropped out but Rhodesia still played in the rest of the Olympiad, winning the Final E group. In Final B, the Tunisian team refused to play Israel, so the score was computed according to ELO ratings as a 3-1 win for the Israeli team. The Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Yugoslavia and the USA.
In 1974, an international tournament was held in Poland. Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) was playing Jan Adamski (1943- ) with both players in time trouble. Adamski's flag fell but Tal lost a piece and resigned. At that moment Tal's wife, who had been counting the moves, said "Black has not yet made 40 moves." The flag had fallen before Tal resigned. The arbiter intervened and awarded the win to Tal, who went on to win the tournament. Tal's wife scored this point! Later, it was shown that Adamski quit writing his moves down after move 25 because of time trouble, and then he added two fake moves while reconstructing his scoresheet to make it seem he made more than 40 moves.
In 1974, the first World Computer Chess Championship (WCCC) chess tournament was held in Stockholm, Sweden. It was won by Kaissa, a chess program created in the USSR.
In 1974, China held its first championship chess tournament.
In 1974, Claude Bloodgood, a life prisoner in Virginia, was allowed to play in a chess tournament outside the prison. Bloodgood escaped after he and another chessplayer (Lewis Capleaner — a murderer inmate) overpowered a guard (George Winslow) who was escorting them to a chess tournament. Bloodgood cuffed the guard, stole his guns, and fled to New York. When he was recaptured after several weeks at large. His correspondence privilege was taken away from him at Virginia State Penitentiary. His escape led to the resignation of Virginia's director of prisons, no more prisoners taken to outside chess tournaments, and the Virginia Penitentiary Chess program dismantled. The guard was also arrested for his involvement in the escape.
In 1975, the Vancouver Open was held in Vancouver, British Columbia. It was won by Paul Keres after he defeated Walter Browne in the last round. This was Keres's last chess tournament. He died of a heart attack on his way home to Estonia.
At the 1976 World Open in New York, a stronger player used the identity of a weaker friend in one of the lower sections. The stronger player was winning all his games until his identity was found out. Director Bill Goichberg had a talk with the person who disappeared before the end of the tournament.
In October-November 1976, the 22nd Chess Olympiad was held in Haifa, Israel. For the first time, the event comprised both an open and a women's tournament. In 1976, computers were first used to do the pairings at the Haifa Olympiad and the first Olympiad conducted as a Swiss System (the women's event had fewer participants and did not use the Swiss system until 1980). Libya protested and had an Olympiad of their own. The USSR and other communist countries did not play and the USA team (R. Byrne, Kavalek, Evans, Tarjan, Lombardy, Commons) won the event. It was the first time since 1937 that the USA team won the chess Olympiad. This Olympiad was the only one not to have medals for board prizes. The Israel team won the women's event. That team consisted of four Soviet émigrés. The USA took the gold, followed by Netherlands an England. In the women's event, Israel took the gold, followed by England and Spain.
In 1976 an unofficial chess Olympics was held in Tripoli, Libya in protest to the main chess Olympiad in Haifa. There were 37 countries that played in this event, called the "Against Israel Olympics." Italy was the only country to send teams to both events. The event was won by El Salvador, a nation which had never competed in a FIDE Olympiad.
In 1977, the USCF Blind Chess Championship was held. It was the first tournament to use Braille wallcharts.
In 1977, an international chess tournament was held in Torremolinos, Spain. It was won by Larry Christiansen (1956- ) which earned him the title of Grandmaster without ever being an International Master first.
In 1977, Nona Gaprindashvili (1941- ) tied for 1st place at the international tournament at Lone Pine, California. She became the first woman to win a "men's" chess tournament.
In October-November 1978, the 23rd Chess Olympiad was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During the event, a member of a Middle East team tried to buy one of the girls working at the site for $1 million. The offer was not taken up. Grandmaster Hans Ree broke his leg at the event after someone told him a joke and he laughed so hard he fell out of bed and broke a bone. The Hungarians won the gold medal, ahead of the Soviets, who took the silver medal. This was the first time the Soviet team did not take the gold medal when participating in an Olympiad. USA took the bronze medal. This Olympiad almost didn't happen. Argentina almost went to war with Chile (a dispute over the Beagle Islands in Antarctica) and the chief organizer of the event, Rodolfo Zanlungo, was kidnapped and was being held under the threat of death should the Olympiad be held. On the women's side, the Soviet team was back, and led by newly crowned world champion Chiburdanidze they secured the gold medals in a superior display, as well as all four individual board prizes. On the reserve board, Akhmilovskaya won all of her ten games, the only perfect score in Olympiad history. Hungary and West Germany took silver and bronze, respectively.
In 1979, at an international tournament in Slupsk, Poland, Istvan Bilek (1932-2010) had a bye in the first round, drew his next 10 games in 13, 14, 12, 9, 12, 13, 17, and 9 moves, taking 5, 12, 15, 26, 7, 4, 5, 12, 18, and 5 minutes, respectively. Thus, he made only 125 moves in 109 minutes in this 11-round master event.
In 1979, a tournament was held in Kiev in which Lev Alburt was 5th of 16 players. Shortly after the tournament, Alburt played in another tournament in West Germany and defected. Later that year, a Russian chess book was published of a Kiev tournament. Because of Alburt's defection, the book was published with all Alburt's games omitted. There was also no crosstable or index. The players who played Alburt were given a bye in the book, either a win or a loss or a draw according to what their score was against Alburt.
In 1979, an international tournament was held in West Germany. GM Lev Alburt (1945) of the USSR was playing in the event. After the tournament, Alburt drove to the police station and announced he wanted to defect to the United States.
In 1980, the first international tournament in China was held.
In November-December 1980, the 24th Chess Olympiad was held in Valletta, Malta. The Soviet team was captained by the reigning world champion Karpov (who fell ill during the tournament and didn't perform to his usual standard) and featured a former champion (Tal) as well as a future one: 17-year-old Olympic debutant Kasparov, who in his first appearance took a bronze medal on the 2nd reserve board. John Jarecki played for the British Virgin Islands at the age of 11. He played on Board 2. Anatoly Karpov refused to shake hands with Lev Alburt because Alburt had defected to the USA in 1978. The Soviet team (Karpov, Polugaevsky, Tal, Geller, Balashov, Kasparov) won the event (on tiebreak over Hungary). Both the Soviet men's and women's team came from behind to take the gold in this Olympiad. In the men's event, the Soviet Unio took the gold, followed by Hungary and Yugoslavia. In the women's event, the Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Hungary and Poland.
In 1981, at the Lone Pine tournament in California, Sammy Reshevsky offered a draw to John Fedorowicz. After letting his time tick down, Fedorowicz accepted. Reshevsky then denied he made the offer. There were several witnesses to Reshevsky's offers, but the tournament director, Isaac Kashdan, eliminated all the witnesses, saying they were all Fedorowicz's friends, and upheld Reshevsky's fabrication. However, the game was resumed with Fedorowicz almost out of time and Reshevsky lost!
In 1982, a chess tournament was held on Mount Everest at a base camp at 7,000 meters (22,965 feet). Eight players took place.
In October-November 1992, the 25th Chess Olympiad was held in Lucerne, Switzerland. A total of 91 nations played a 14-round Swiss system tournament- 93 had applied, but Gambia and Mauretania never showed up. To make for an even number of teams, the Swiss hosts also fielded a "B" team. For the first time, the two British Channel Islands, Guernsey and Jersey, participated with a joint team. The Ugandan team showed up in Lugano, site of the 1968 Olympiad. They finally showed up at Lucerne after the first round. The Italian Chess Federation refused to have its best player, Stefano Tatai, to play on the Italian Olympiad team. Tatai was 44 and seven-time national champion. But the Italian Chess Federation only wanted members who were age 30 or younger to represent Italy. The result was a very poor showing at the Olympiad. On the women's side, Tatjana Lemachko defected from the Bulgarian team on the eve of the last round and moved to Switzerland. The youngest player in the event was Najeeb Mohammed Saleh of UAE, age 12. The oldest player was Ron Blow of Guernsey, age 74. The $1.25 million budget for the event was raided by a lottery and private sponsors. In the men's event, the Soviet Union won the gold, followed by Czechoslovakia and the USA.
In 1983, the Soviet Women's Chess Championship was held in Tallinn. Anna Akhsharumova was playing the final round against her main competitor, Nana Ioseliani. Anna won the game on time forfeit and should have won the title. But the next day, Ioseliani filed a protest alleging a malfunction in the chess clock. Ioseliani demanded a new game be played. Anna refused to play, so the result of her game with Ioseliani was reversed by the All-Union Board of Referees in Moscow. thereby forfeiting her title. Anna went from 1st place to 3rd place over this decision.
In 1983, Victor Ciocaltea (1932-1983) was playing in a chess tournament in Manresa, Spain. While playing in the 4th round, he collapsed and died of cerebral apoplexy.
In November-December 1984, the 26th Chess Olympiad was held in Thessaloniki, Greece. Ion Gudju (born in 1897) of Romania served on the appeals committee. He was 87 years old and may be the oldest player to participate in the chess Olympics (but not as a player). He played in the first unofficial chess Olympiad in 1924 in Paris. In 1984, the famous Bermuda Party was held, which continued until 1998. It was the biggest social event of the Olympiads. John Nunn of England won three gold medals: best score on board 2, best performance rating, and winner of the problem-solving contest. The USA team defeated the USSR team for the first time in Olympiad history. The youngest player in the event was 12-year old Isabelle Kintzlere, who played 3rd board on the French women's team. For the first time in Olympic history, the Soviet team (Beliavsky, Polugaevsky, Vaganian, Tukmakov, Yusupov, and Sokolov) didn't feature a single world champion - past, present or future. The Soviet Union took the gold, followed by England and the USA. In the women's event, the Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Bulgaria and Romania.
In 1985, the World Open, held in Philadelphia, was the largest tournament largest (1,251) and richest tournament($150,000) up to that time.
In 1985, the first tournament of high school champions (Denker Champions) was held. It was won by Alexander Fishbein (1968- ).
In November-December 1986, the 27th Chess Olympiad was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It may have been the most expensive chess Olympiad ever. The organizers offered $1 million for free airline tickets to teams who were reluctant to participate. 108 teams showed up, a record at the time (prior to this, Lucerne had 91 teams in 1982). Israel was not allowed to participate, but the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Netherlands refused to play in protest to the Israeli ban. Strong individual players like Viktor Korchnoi, Robert Hübner, and Eric Lobron also stayed away. 10-year old Heidi Cueller represented Guatemala and may be the youngest player to participate in the chess Olympics. The Guatemalan men's team was represented by four brothers named Juarez. The USA team defeated the USSR team, becoming the only team to defeat the Soviet team twice in a row in Olympiad competition. Judit Polgar won a gold medal in the Women's Olympiad at the age of 11. In the men's event, the Soviet Union won the gold, followed by England and the USA. In the women's event, the Soviet Union took the gold, followed by Hungary and Romania.
In 1986, an international tournament was held in Calcutta. It was the strongest chess tournament ever held in India up to that time. Georgy Agzamov (1954-1986) won the event. Vishy Anand took 3rd place.
In 1986, the US Open was held in Somerset, New Jersey. In the event, International Master David Strauss (1946- ) became the first IM to lose to a computer in tournament competition. He lost to a Fidelity chess computer.
In 1986, an international tournament was held in Sevastopol. One of the participants was GM Georgy Agzamov (1954-1986). He had just finished the tournament and was taking a shortcut to the beach. He fell off a cliff and got stuck between two rocks. Several people heard him yell for help, but he was too deep down in the rocks and died before a rescue team could get to him. At one time, he was ranked number 8 in the world, with a 2728 rating. He died a week away from his 32nd birthday.
In 1987, an international tournament was held in Brussels, Belgium. Viktor Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov were two of the participants. Korchnoi was playing Karpov when, in a drawn position, Korchnoi accidently touched his king on his 48th move, which would have led to a loss of his knight and loss of the endgame. Instead of resigning normally, he took his hand and swept all the chess pieces off the chessboard and onto the floor before storming out.
In November 1988, the 28th Chess Olympiad was held at Thessaloniki, Greece. Israel was back, having been effectively banned from the previous Olympiad in Dubai, as were the countries that had stayed away in sympathy: The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Also reappearing in the Olympic arena - after a 16-year absence - was East Germany, who celebrated their return by beating their West German rivals 3-1. The Seirawan-Xu game lasted 190 moves and was a draw (stalemate). This is the longest game in the chess Olympiads. During the Olympiad, Woman Grandmaster Elena Akhmilovskaya, playing on the Soviet women's team (she had a score of 8.5 out of 9 on board 2), defected and eloped with International Master John Donaldson, who was captain of the USA men's team. The two were married at the U.S. Consulate in Greece. The Hungarian women's team (Susan, Judit, and Sofia Polgar with Ildiko Madl) displaced the Soviet team for the gold. It was the first time that the Soviet women's team did not win the women's event. In the men's event, the Soviet Union won the gold, followed by England and Netherlands. In the women's event, Hungary won the gold, followed by the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.
In 1989, an international tournament was held in Rome. It was won by Sofia Polgar, who scored 8.5 out of 9. Her performance rating was over 2900.
In 1989, an international tournament was held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. It had 98 grandmasters participating, the most grandmasters in one tournament. This was the strongest Swiss tournament of all time. The winner was Krunoslav Hulak.
In 1989, the police raided a chess a chess tournament in Los Angeles. The L.A.P.D. vice officers raided a nightly chess tournament held at Dad's Donuts. They cited three men for gambling after finding $1.50 on the table. The police staged the raid after an undercover detective tried unsuccessfully to join a blitz chess game. The detective then pulled out his badge and said "all of you are under arrest," as the L.A.P.D. swooped in.
In 1989, during the French championship, IM Gilles Andruet and IM Jean-Luc Seret got into a violent fight over an argument whether Andruet resigned before Seret checkmated him. After the fight, Andruet needed 8 stitches and had to withdraw from the tournament, despite the fact that he was in the lead after 10 of 14 rounds.
In November-December 1990, the 29th Chess Olympiad was played in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia (present-day Serbia). The Hong Kong men's team was represented by four players from four different countries. The Novi Sad Olympiad had 123 grandmasters, 177 international masters, and 85 FIDE masters. Teams from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania arrived in Novi Sad without an invitation and the organizers refused to let them participate. This would also turn out to be the last Olympic appearances of the "old" Eastern Bloc countries: East Germany, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. The Soviet team (Ivanchuk, Gelfand, Beliavsky, Yusupov, Yudasin, Bareev) won the event. The USA took the silver and England took the bronze. In the women's event, Hungary took the gold, followed by the Soviet Union and China.
From March 2-14, 1991, the Pan Pacific Grandmaster Chess Tournament was held in San Francisco. The event was won by Eugene Torre. 2nd place went to Patrick Wolff. 3rd-6th went to Mikhail Tal, Joel Benjamin, Ian Rogers, and Larry Christiansen. 7th place went to John Fedrorowicz. 8th-10th place went to Utut Adianto, Lubomir Ftacnik, and Susan Polgar. 11th place went to John Grefe. 12th place went to Walter Browne.
In June 1992, the 30th Chess Olympiad was held in Manila. 12 of the 15 former Soviet republics had their own team for the first time. All finished in the top half (including Gold, Silver, and Bronze). An all-German team was present for the first time since 1939. Of the five Yugoslav republics, three had their own teams. This was the last appearance of Czechoslovakia and the re-appearance of South Africa. In the men's team, Russia took the gold, followed by Uzbekistan and Armenia. In the women's team, Georgia took the gold, followed by Ukraine and China.
In 1993, the top 10 players in the world played in an international tournament in Linares. The event was won by world champion Garry Kasparov.
In July 1993, an unrated black player named John von Neumann was playing at the World Open in Philadelphia and scored 4/5 out of 9 in the Open section, including a draw with a grandmaster (Helgi Olafsson) and a win against a 2350-rated player. He wore a large pair of headphones and seemed to have something in his pocket that buzzed at critical points of the game. When quizzed by Bill Goichberg, the tournament director, von Neumann was unable to demonstrate very much knowledge about simple chess concepts, and was disqualified and received no prize money. It appeared he was using a strong chess computer to cheat and play his games. It was alleged that he was entering moves on a communication device whose signal was being sent up to a hotel room where an accomplice was operating a chess computer. Von Neumann has never been seen or heard from since. John von Neumann is the same name as the noted mathematician and pioneer in artificial intelligence.
In 1993, a local chess tournament was held in San Antonio. One of the participants, Tim Trogdon, got so mad at the poor pairing results and the bad tournament conditions, that he tore down and ripped up all the pairing sheets that were posted for the next day. The police were called and he was arrested.
In November-December 1994, the 31st Chess Olympiad was held in Moscow only after the scheduled site in Thessalonki, Greece cancelled out 55 days before the start of the event. A record number of nations counted some old faces playing under new flags. Yugoslavia was back, but now represented by the federation of Serbia-Montenegro. Another former Yugoslav republic, Macedonia, also made its debut, as did the Czech Republic and Slovakia who competed individually for the first time. Finally, the International Braille Chess Association entered two truly international teams. During the event, Grandmasters Alexander Shabalov and Alex Yermolinsky (both representing the USA) were robbed when they went for a walk. The captain of the Macedonia chess team was robbed of $7,000 inside a bank that was across the street from the playing center. Russia A and Russia B won the gold and bronze medal. It was the first and only time that the same nation won more than one medal. Several chess players were robbed during the Olympiad. Ivanchuk played all 14 games without a loss. Hungary had a woman, Judit Polgar, as board 1, a first for the Olympiad. In the men's team, Russia won the gold, followed by Bosnia and Russia B. In the women's team, Georgia won the gold, followed by Hungary and China.
In 1994, Anatoly Karpov won the Linares tournament with a performance rating of 2899, winning 11 out of 14.
In 1995, Alexander Ivanov (1956- ) was playing in the U.S. chess championship in Modesto, California when he lost his first round on time. After the first round, his wife, Woman International Master (WIM) Esther Epstein (1954- ), arrived to play in the Women's championship. She told her husband, "I don't care how you lose, just don't lose on time!" It worked. He won 6 games, lost one (not on time) and tied for 1st place in the U.S. chess championship. Esther finished 3rd place in the women's championship (she won it in 1991 and 1997). She also refrained from telling her husband that a fire had damaged their apartment in Massachusetts until after the tournament was over.
In 1996, the Las Palmas chess tournament was a Category 21 tournament with an average rating of 2756. The six best players in the world participated. Five of the six players had been world champions. The event was won by Kasparov.
In September-October 1996, the 32nd Chess Olympiad was held in Yerevan, Armenia. All the men on the Israeli chess Olympiad team were all born in the Soviet Union. Kirshan Ilumzhinov gave every member of the Olympiad a bottle of vodka, a jar of caviar, and a watch. He was later elected FIDE president. The Afghanistan team showed up after the 7th round and still played. A Mali chess team signed up but didn't show up and were disqualified. In the men's team, Russia took the gold, followed by Ukraine and the USA. In the women's team, Georgia took the gold, followed by China and Russia.
In 1997, an international tournament was held in Novgorod. Just before the last round, where Nigel Short was supposed to play Kasparov the next day, Nigel decided to take a midnight stroll down by the river. Unfortunately, one of the locals was also there, accompanied by his Russian German shepherd. The dog escaped from his owner and attacked Nigel, biting both of his arms as Nigel tried to fend off the dog. The dozy owner realized that his dog was attacking someone and called the dog off, but Nigel was badly bitten and wasn't sure if the dog had rabies. Nigel spent much of the night in a Russian hospital, an experience he later described as worse than the attack itself. The hospital was filthy and unsanitary and he was told that rabies was quite widespread amongst dogs in Russia at that time. Despite the trauma, Nigel was able to draw against Kasparov the next day.
In September-October 1998, the 33rd Chess Olympiad was held in Elista, Kalmykia. The Olympiad was the first international chess event to be held at Chess City. Construction of the complex was not complete by the start of the tournament, and some FIDE members were concerned that the facilities would not be ready in time, including the airport, telephone system, player housing, and the "Chess Palace" to be used as the main playing hall. The organizers had a web page for the Olympiad, but it was hacked with a message that said, "hacked to Kasparov." Russia fielded four teams. In the men's team, Russia took the gold, followed by the USA and Ukraine. In the women's team, China took the gold, followed by Russia and Georgia.
In 1999, the Petrosian Memorial was held in Moscow. 42 of the 45 games (93.3%) were drawn. Five of the 10 players drew every game.
In October-November 2000, the 34th Chess Olympiad was held in Istanbul. A record 129 countries participated. Turkey, as hosts, fielded two teams, whilst the International Braille Chess Association provided one squad. Nicaragua, Mauritania, and Djibouti were signed up but never arrived. From 1956 to 2000, Lajos Portisch has played in 20 chess Olympiads, more than anyone else. In the men's team, Russia took the gold, followed by Germany and Ukraine. Russia won their 5th consecutive title, although only by a single point. In the women's team, China took the gold, followed by Georgia and Russia.
In 2000, Vladimir Bagirov (1936-2000) died of a heart attack at the age of 63 while playing at an international tournament in Finland. He had just finished a move while in time pressure and his flag fell. As both players moved to a separate board to reconstruct the game, he collapsed and died.
In 2001, Leonid Yudasin won the last Manhattan Chess Club championship in New York City.
In October-November 2002, the 35th Chess Olympiad was held in Bled, Slovenia. The 2002 Bled Olympiad was the first to test for drugs through a urine sample. All 802 players passed. Grandmaster Jan Timman of Holland refused to play in protest to the plans of drug testing. World Champion Garry Kasparov participated with the highest Elo rating in the Olympiads. He was rated 2838 at the time and had a performance rating of 2933. A chess ballet opened this Chess Olympiad. The Australian men's and women's teams were sponsored by a pharmaceutical company called Ansell. Part of the deal was to help the company promote their brand of condoms called "checkmate." Two members of the same family played on different teams. International Master Levente Vajda played for Romania while his sister, Woman Grandmaster Szidonia Vajda, played for Hungary. Robert Gwaze of Zimbabwe became the second person (after Alekhine in 1930) to score 100% out of 9 games. In the men's team, Russia took the gold, followed by Hungary and Armenia. In the women's team, China took the gold, followed by Russia and Poland.
In 2003, a tournament was held in Abuju, Nigeria, called the All Africa Games Tournament. Ahmed Esam Aly, the Egyptian chess champion, played in the event, but was bitten by an infected mosquito at the tournament. He died a few weeks later of cerebral malaria. Also bitten by a mosquito at the event was the 60-year-old head of the Egyptian chess delegation, Mohammed Labib. He also died of cerebral malaria. Both were incorrectly diagnosed in Egypt after becoming ill.
In 2003, an international tournament, the Capablanca Memorial, was held in Havana. Peter Szekely (1955- ) took just 130 moves to draw all 13 of his games (an average of 13 moves a game).
In 2004, the 36th Chess Olympiad was held in Calvia on the Spanish island of Majorca. It drew 1,135 players with 250 grandmasters participating. Prior to the closing ceremony, FIDE vice-president Zurab Azmaiparashvili was roughed up and arrested as he attempted to ascend the stage to give out the Nona Gaprindashvili Trophy. Bill Hook played for the Virgin Islands at the age of 79. The USA team was made up of 6 ex-Soviet players: Onischuk, Shabalov, Goldin, Kaidanov, Novikov, and Gulko. A player from Papau New Guinea and a player from Bermuda refused to submit to a urine sample to test for drugs. Their teams were punished by points taken away. New Guinea went from 117th place to 126th place. In the men's team, Ukraine won the gold, followed by Russia and Armenia. The USA took 4th that included a team all born in the Soviet Union. In the women's team. China took the gold, followed by the USA and Russia. In 2004, the UK Challenge Tournament had over 71,000 chess players involving 2,000 schools. It was the world's largest chess tournament.
In 2005, Al Blowers and his company, Tax System Services, sponsored the largest chess tournament in the United States, the HB Global Chess Challenge. The total prize fund was $500,000 and held in Minneapolis. It drew 1,358 players and 43 grandmasters. HB stood for Hilda Blowers, his mother.
In 2005, the Supernationals scholastic chess tournament was held in Nashville, Tennessee. There were 5,270 junior players competing.
In 2006, there were 1,307 players registered in the 37th Chess Olympiad in Turin, Italy. Armenia won its first gold medal at this Olympiad. They would win again in 2008 and 2012. The Russian team finished in 6th place, the worst Olympic result for a Soviet or Russian team since they first played in a Chess Olympiad in 1952. Bill Hook played at the chess Olympiad at Turin at the age of 81, making him the oldest chess player of any Olympiad.
In July 2006, at the World Open in Philadelphia, two players were accused of cheating in chess by using computer assistance. One player was found to be using a wireless transmitter and receiver called "Phonito." He had a wireless device in his ear, claiming it was a hearing aid. He was disqualified from the event. The other player, wearing a hat, was suspected of cheating. The tournament director wanted to search this person. The suspect agreed, but first ducked into a bathroom. Although no device was found, there were suspicions that he used the bathroom visit to dispose of a miniature wireless receiver that might have been hidden in the hat he wore.
At the 2007 international tournament in Lahholm, Sweden, GM Farid Abbasov won the gold medal at the event. However, thieves broke into his hotel room and stole his computer, flight ticket, and documents.
In December 2007, the tournament director's laptop was stolen at the 34th Eastern Open in Washington, D.C. It had occurred shortly after round 3, when the 6-month-old laptop was stolen from the director's room. Generous chess players at the event contributed $600, which was matched by a generous donor to pay for a new laptop.
In 2008, at the Corus chess tournament, Ivan Cheparinov's game against GM Nigel Short was declared a forfeit after the first move because he had twice refused to shake Short's hand at the start. Cheparinov refused to shake hands because Short insulted him a few years ago. The forfeit was overturned, the game was played after a handshake, and Short won.
In November 2008, the 38th Chess Olympiad was held in Dresden. Grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk (ranked 3rd in the world at the time) refused to submit a urine sample for a drug test at the event. He was then considered guilty of doping while playing chess and faced a two-year ban. It was the last day of the tournament and Ivanchuck had just lost to Gata Kamsky. He was then asked to submit to a drug test. Instead, Ivanchuk stormed out of the room in the conference center, kicked a concrete pillar in the lobby, pounded a countertop in the cafeteria with his fists and then vanished into the coatroom. For the first time, the final ranking were determined by match points, not game points. In the men's section, Armenia took the gold, followed by Israel and the United States (a team without a single born in the United States). In the women's section, Georgia took the gold, followed by Ukraine and the United States (a team without a single born in the United States).
In January 2009, a heated argument erupted at a Dubai chess tournament between an Iranian chess master and his Asian opponent. The two then got into a fight after the Asian opponent said he was good in karate.
In 2009, the Pearl Spring chess tournament was held in China. It was a category 21 tournament, with an average rating of 2764, making it the highest tournament ever held at that time. It was won by Magnus Carlsen.
In 2009, the 2nd Gedeon Barcza Memorial was supposed to take place in Budapest. Although the first round was actually played with 5 International Masters and 7 Grandmasters, it soon became clear that the main organizer did not have the money to play with the hotel or the players. The Ramada Resort Hotel, where the players were staying and where the tournament was held, never received any money from the organizer. On the second day, the hotel decided to close the playing hall. The hotel manager said, "no money, no business." All 12 chess players were financially harmed and the top GMs were still waiting for their appearance fees. The organizer blamed the situation on lost potential sponsors.
In 2009, a chess player who had just finished a tournament at the Marshall Chess Club was mugged after leaving the club.
In 2009, at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov of Azerbaijan, the top seed, lost quickly to Igor Kurnosov of Russia. After the game, Mamedyarov accused his opponent of cheating, saying that his opponent went to the bathroom after every move, taking his coat with him. Mamedyarov said he examined the game against the computer program Rybka, and that every move in the game matched the computer's recommendations every time. Kurnosov's pockets were searched, and the organizers only found cigarettes, a lighter and a pen in his pockets. After the protest, Mamedyarov withdrew from the tournament and Kurnosov was allowed to finish the tournament.
In January 2010, Magnus Carlsen won at Corus Wijk aan Zee, a Category 19 tournament with average rating of 2710. In the men's section, Ukraine took the gold, followed by Russia and Israel. In the women's section, Russia took the gold, followed by China and Georgia.
In September-October 2010, the 39th Chess Olympiad was held in Khanty-Mansiysk, Russia. This was the 4thtime that Russia organized a Chess Olympiad. There were 148 teams in the open event and 115 in the women's event. In total, 1306 players were registered. In the first round, the team from Yemen refused to play against Israel. Each of the four Israeli players was thus awarded a technical victory.
In 2011, an international tournament was held at Corsica. Ehsan Ghaem-Maghami (1982- ), and Iranian Grandmaster refused to play his 4th round chess game against Israel's Ehud Sachar. Because of his refusal, Maghami was barred from the rest of the tournament.
In 2011, the K-12 Nationals scholastic tournament was held in Dallas. During the tournament, Quinton Smith (1994-2011), one of the participants, climbed to the roof of the 27-story Hilton Anatole and fell (or jumped) to his death. He laid on the ground for several hours before someone called the police. He had lost his first four games and was given a bye in the 5th round.
In 2012, Cebu City, Philippines drew 43,157 participants from public schools for a chess tournament, with the help of 750 trained teachers.
In Augst-September 2012, the largest Chess Olympiad ever held, took place in Istanbul with 157 teams from 152 countries. In 2012, of the 157 Board 1 players, only three players had no losses — Wesley So (he played 11 games), Le Quang Liem (he played 10 games), and Boris Gelfand (he played 8 games). GM Eugene Torre played in his 20th Chess Olympiad. He ties with GM Lajos Portisch (who played from 1946 to 2000) for the most Olympiad appearances. Torre played in 18 straight Chess Olympiads, breaking the old record of 18 held by Heikki Westerinen. Russian journalist Evgeny Surov was denied accreditation and was not even allowed to enter the venue as a spectator. This led to protests by the Russian Chess Federation and more than 40 top players.
From March 15 to April 1, 2013, the World Chess Candidates was held in London. The winner was Magnus Carlsen on tiebreak over Vladimir Kramnik.
In August 2014, the 41st Chess Olympiad was held in Troms, Norway. During the event, Kurt Meier, 67, a Swiss-born member of the Seychelles team, collapsed and died during his final chess match. Hours later, a player from Uzbekistan, Alisher Anarkov, was found dead in his hotel room. China won the open section of the tournament for the first time (followed by Hungary and India), while Russia claimed victory in the women's section for the third consecutive time as well as third time overall. China took 2nd and Ukraine took 3rd.
In 2014, the Sinquefield Cup was held in St. Louis, Missouri. It had an average rating of 2802 Italian Grandmaster (but born in the USA) Fabiano Caruana took 1st place in the strongest chess tournament ever held, the Sinquefield Cup, played in Saint Louis from August 27 through September 7. Caruana won his first 7 games in a row, before being held to a draw by world champion Magnus Carlsen. Caruana finally won the event with 8/5 out of 10, 3 points ahead of the next person, Magnus Carlsen. His first place prize was $100,000. Carlsen same in second, winning $75,000. Hikary Nakamura, America's top player, ended the tournament in last place. In October 2014, the Millionaire Chess Tournament was held in Las Vegas. It has a total of $1,000,000 in prizes. There were 560 participants. The winner was Wesley So.
In 2015, a chess tournament was held near San Jose, California. During the tournament, International Master Emory Tate (1958-2015) suffered a heart attack and died.
In March 2016, the Candidates Tournament was held in Moscow. The winner, Sergey Karjakin, earned the right to challenge the defending world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in the World Chess Championship 2016. The result was decided in the final round when Karjakin defeated runner-up Fabiano Caruana.
In September 2016, the 42nd Chess Olympiad was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. It was the first time that the Chess Olympiad had been hosted in Azerbaijan, the birthplace of former world champion Garry Kasparov. The total number of participants was 1,587, with 894 in the Open and 693 in the Women's event. The number of registered teams was 180 from 175 countries in the Open section and 142 from 138 countries in the Women's section. Both sections set team participation records. The United States won the gold medal in the Open event for the first time since 1976 and for the sixth time overall, while China won their fifth gold medal in the Women's event and the first since 1994 after winning the silver medal in the last three Olympiads. In the fourth round, a Japanese player (Tang Tang) was forfeited after he was caught with an electronic device in a random check conducted prior to leaving the venue. The game result was reversed from a win for the player to a loss, which also resulted in a change in the match score. Chief Arbiter Faiq Hasanov said that he was approached by an arbiter in the anti-cheating department and informed about the matter. He himself did not bother to check if there was a chess program installed on the device, as possession already violated the rules, leading to an automatic forfeiture. Later information from other arbiters involved indicated there possibly were two devices involved, and their quick check did not indicate a chess program was running. Without sufficient evidence of cheating per se, Hasanov felt that more than game disqualification would be double punishment.
In 2017, the 6th Supernationals (high school, junior high school, and elementary) was held in Nashville, Tennessee with 5,577 participants. It is the largest USCF-rated tournament in history.
In 2017, 18-year-old Iranian Woman Grandmaster (2016) and International Master (2016), Dorsa Derakhshani (1998- ) participated in the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival. After returning to Iran, she was kicked off the Iranian national chess team because she played in a tournament without a hijab (headscarf). Her brother, 15-year-old FIDE Master Bona Derakhshani was banned from any Iranian chess tournament because he competed against an Israeli chessplayer at the Tradewise Gibraltar Chess Festival.
In 2017/18, the Hastings International Chess Congress was held for the 93rd time.
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