03 May 2016

May 1966 'On the Cover'

Fifty years ago the chess world witnessed a defense of the World Championship title by Tigran Petrosian. In those days a title match lasted for two months.

Left: 'Petrosian Keeps Title'
Right: 'World Champion (Photo by Cantwell at Curacao 1962)'

Chess Life

Tigran Petrosian retained the world chess title by defeating challenger Boris Spassky in the 22nd game of their match. Petrosian's victory gave him a 12-10 edge and made it impossible for Spassky to achieve a plus score in the 24-game contest.

Chess Review

World Champion Tigran Petrosyan of the USSR, specifically of Armenia, is currently defending his title. The Challenger, Boris Spassky, also of the USSR (Leningrad), is meeting him in the Variety Theater in Moscow, three games per week. Spassky is 29, Petrosyan 33. Spassky had White in the first game, a Caro-Kann Defense, and in the five games finished as we go to press, Petrosyan had put up three Caro-Kanns.

CL reported through game 22, CR through game 5. Curious about the publication schedules, I looked for the dates of those games. Although I have a half-dozen references at hand for the match, only one gave the dates on which the individual games were played. Gelo's 'Chess World Championships, 1834-1984' lists 20-21 April 1966 for game 5, and 3 June for game 22.

In the April 1966 'On the Cover', CL said, 'The Match Begins • First Six Games Drawn'. Although the cover dates of the two chess publications are the same, there is a one month difference in the content they reported.

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