22 December 2015

FIDE's Cradle

Rummaging through 30-year-old chess magazines looking for details on Zonals 1984-1987, I discovered a small photo filler (Europe Echecs 1986-02 p.4) captioned,

Mairie du 9e arrondissement de Paris ou furent signés, en 1924, les statuts constitutifs de la F.I.D.E. Le berceau n'a pas changé.

If your French isn't any better than mine, the photo showed the city hall of the Paris 9th district where the FIDE statutes were signed in 1924 ('the cradle hasn't changed'). There was no need to scan the photo, because better shots are available on the web (and the building still hasn't changed).

Source: Mairie du 9e arrondissement de Paris
or 9e arrondissement de Paris

Wondering if anyone had already documented this bit of chess history trivia, I discovered a series of three more recent articles, also from Europe Echecs -- see Paris 1924 Création de la FIDE (1), (2), (3) -- signed Georges Bertola.

That's the same Bertola I featured a few years back in Early Chess Magazines, and that makes an easy blog post for a busy holiday season. Not bad for a half hour of rummaging, plus I found plenty of info about the zonal cycle I was researching.


In part (1) of the series, Bertola says that FIDE was born on Sunday, 21 July 1924. Kazic's 'International Championship Chess : a Complete Record of FIDE Events' says, 20 July 1924. The page on International Chess Day [Wikipedia] says,

The international chess day is celebrated annually on July 20, the day the International Chess Federation (FIDE) was founded, in 1924.

Did Bertola get it wrong? But he knew it was a Sunday...


Later: ...Bertola got something wrong. According to the page for July 1924 (infoplease.com/calendar), 21 July 1924 was a Monday.

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