08 September 2016

1966 Olympiad, USSR Winners

Whoever invented live chess on the web gave us both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it used to be nearly impossible to witness world class events while they were happening -- you had to be there. A curse because it can be a time waster second to nothing -- except blogging in my case.

While watching round six of the Baku Chess Olympiad (that link is to the official site), I suddenly realized that it was getting late and I hadn't started my daily blog post. Even worse, I hadn't decided what to write about. What to do?

I searched my archive of chess images on the key word 'olympiad' and found about 350 candidate images. Many of these weren't interesting on their own -- pictures of coins, medals, lapel pins, that sort of thing -- and the best of the bunch I had already used earlier this year: 1966 Olympiad, USSR & USA. The best of the rest is shown below.

The auction description said,

Up for auction is this ORIGINAL Photo, which shows the WINNER of the XVII CHESS OLYMPIAD in Cuba - World CHESS CHAMPION Tigran PETROSIAN from Soviet Union (Armenia), dated November 1966. This VINTAGE PHOTO measures app. 8" x 10" inches and is still in GOOD condition: some edge and margin wear.

The description went on to copy some basic information about Petrosian, probably from Wikipedia. The other players in the photo were not mentioned. I'll overlook that the auction seller didn't understand that the Olympiad is a team event -- we can't expect everyone to be up to snuff on chess history -- because the photo was his/her contribution to the field.

The Havana Olympiad took place 50 years ago and I expect we'll come back to it later this year for an 'On the Cover' post (that link is to the September 1966 edition). In the meantime, see the 'USSR & USA' post for an identification of the players and a link to Olimpbase. The 1966 event might have been the most iconic Olympiad in history; after all, Iconic Is Awesome (December 2015).

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