02 February 2017

February 1967 'On the Cover'

Fifty years ago, for 65 cents each, you could buy an issue of both of the leading American chess magazines.

Left: 'Past and Future'
Right: 'Eight Straight'

Chess Life

THE PAST: Gordon Knight, president of Georgia's Peachtree Chess Club passes winner's check to William Lombardy, champion of last fall's Peach State Open. James R. Ballard (center), a USCF Director and Vice-President of the Atlanta Chess Association, holds championship trophy.

THE FUTURE: The Atlanta Chess Association is hosting the 1967 U.S. Open, August 13-25, at the Atlanta American Motor Hotel. The concurrent U.S. Speed Championship will be held on August 19 at Massey Junior College, which was patron and host to the Peach State Open. President Jack Barnette of Massey is enthusiastically supporting the 1967 U.S. Open.

Chess Review

Fischer Adds to his Record in the U. S. Championships • Robert J. Fischer has now competed in and won eight straight U. S. Championships. He tied Samuel Reshevsky's record with six straight, broke it last year with seven and now holds a brand new record. With his record-tieing sixth straight championship, Fischer won all eleven games. In the first round this time, after he had pulled out from a losing position against Benko, and won, it looked again as though he was going all the way.

Fischer's eighth win (+8-0=3) was covered in last month's CL; see January 1967 'On the Cover'. The February CL had another half-page story of historical interest.

A History-Making Tournament! • January 21-23, 1966: Boston, Massachusetts; United States of America, Planet Earth. [should be 1967?]

The Massachusetts Amateur Championship marks the very first time (in the world, as far as we know) that an electronic computer played chess against human beings under regular tournament conditions; time limit, Swiss-system pairings, touch-move, the works.

In the past, as everyone knows, computers have been programmed for chess playing, but only for scientific experimental purposes, and their opponents have usually been limited to the programmer and his colleagues. This time the computer was paired against rated chess players who were interested only in winning the game, not to demonstrate a scientific point.

The story continued with 'a report sent in by Benjamin Landey, well-known New England chess organiser, and Tournament Director for this event'. The chess playing computer was named MacHack VI.

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