01 February 2018

February 1968 'On the Cover'

In contrast to two stories of the moment seen in last month's January 1968 'On the Cover', this month 50 years ago the two leading American chess periodicals featured a contest looking forward in time and a story looking back in time.

Left: 'Announcing the First International Endgame and Problem Composing Contest of the United States'
Right: 'Former USCF President'

Chess Life

The problems above were composed especially for this important occasion by Pal Benko. Each diagram contains two separate and distinct problems in the shape of a letter of the alphabet, corresponding to the initials of the new contest. Each solution is confined to the area of the problem and does not interfere with the other position within the same diagram. Each problem is a mate in three. Every piece is necessary.

The prize fund, sponsored by the Piatigorsky Foundation, was $500. According to Inflation Calculator, that would be the equivalent of around $3500 today. Nine of the 32 pages inside the magazine were used to cover 'The Fischer Affair', in which Bobby Fischer quit the 1967 Sousse Interzonal while he was leading the tournament.

Chess Review

We regret to announce the death of Jerry Spann, popular former President of the United States Chess Federation and representative of the U.S. in the FIDE meetings.

Last year the Oklahoma Chess Monthly (ocfchess.org) published a two-part series on Spann, written by Tom Braunlich:-

'This month [August 2017] is the 60th anniversary of this businessman from Oklahoma becoming USCF President, an organization he has widely been credited with rescuing from failure.'

No comments: