15 September 2013

Groningen 1946 Autographs

In my ongoing series, Top eBay Chess Items by Price, I occasionally feature a philatelic item. The last post on the subject was First Chess Postcards in the World?, unless you count Burundi Chess Masters, which wasn't an eBay auction.

The item pictured below, titled 'Netherlands 1946 GRONINGEN CHESS TOURNAMENT stamps on Souvenir SIGNED by players', sold for US $1,136.11 after receiving 25 bids from 11 bidders. The price jumped 50% in the last 20 minutes of bidding.

As for the item's description, it was the same as the title, leaving us to match the signatures to the players. I once wrote about the Groningen event on my World Chess Championship Blog -- see World Championship Qualifiers 1946 -- along with a few relevant links.

That's Botvinnik's signature sloping upward from the top right corner of the stamp in the center. He won the event a half point ahead of Euwe. I think that's his signature directly below Botvinnik's just to the right of the central postmark. I count 20 signatures and there were 20 players, so all are present and accounted for unless a non-player managed to sneak in somewhere.

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