05 December 2017

December 1967 'On the Cover'

For the first time since I started this 'On the Cover' series in 2014, the December edition does not feature a scene reminding us of the year end holidays.

Left: 'Interzonal Qualifiers'
Right: 'Manhattan Chess Club President'

Chess Life

The following players have emerged from the Interzonal Tournament at Sousse, Tunisia, just completed, as those who will join Spassky and Tal (already seeded) in a series of matches to determine which of them will play Tigran Petrosian for the World Championship. Reshevsky, Stein and Hort, who finished with identical scores, will participate in a playoff in February to determine the sixth qualifier. A full report follows soon.

That full report will recount a dark moment in American chess. My page on the tournament, 1967 Sousse Interzonal Tournament ('Sousse, X-XI, 1967'), says, '[Bobby] Fischer withdrew while leading the tournament after playing ten games of his schedule.' The event was, however, a bright moment in Bent Larsen's career. The 'Doughty Dane', who was featured on the CR side of the November 1967 'On the Cover', finished first with a score of +13-3=5.

Chess Review

On the cover this month is Manhattan Chess Club President Jacques Coe. His speech on the 90th anniversary of the club appeared [in November].

That speech started,

In the summer of 1877, while people were still talking about whether Hayes or Tilden should have been President, and the Civil War was fresher in memory than World War II is for us, the Manhattan Chess Club was born.

Its members met at the Cafe Logeling, 49 Bowery, between Bayard and Canal Streets, where over their beards they drank lager beer, and under their beards they played chess. The proprietor, Mr. Logeling, kept on hand one of the greatest selections of German, American, English and French newspapers. He was also a chess enthusiast, and eventually built a room over the garden at the back of the cafe which was set aside for the players.

The rest of the speech, which covered nearly a full CR page, was a recap of the club's New York residences. A query on this blog (see the search box in the right column) reveals its importance to the history of American chess.

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