06 September 2018

September 1968 'On the Cover'

In this blog's monthly 'On the Cover' series, when was the last time the same chess personality featured on the covers of both American chess magazines 50 years ago? It turns out that it was exactly two years ago, in September 1966 'On the Cover', when Spassky was so honored. A few months before that, in May 1966 'On the Cover', Petrosian was similarly honored.

This month, 50 years ago, Larry Evans became the first person to appear solo on the cover of both magazines. The captions on the following photos explain the circumstances.

Left: 'U.S. Champion Larry Evans'
Right: 'Three Time Champ'

Chess Life

The 1968 United States Championship, a 12-man invitational round-robin, was won handily by the second-best player in the country. Larry Evans, a sometime New Yorker (he prefers the west coast), landed on top of this truncated field by dint of what can only be described as accurate plodding. He accepted gambits, grabbed pawns, capitalized on his opponents' errors (there were plenty) and in general was content to let his renowned technique do all the work.

Chess Review

Larry Evans of New York won the United States Championship for the third time. He did so by effectively tacking down just the points needed till his last-round draw with Arthur B. Bisguier secured his first in the standings. It was Evans' play which was most impressive throughout the toumament.

GM Evans also appeared in the series for the November 1966 'On the Cover', as a member of the U.S. Olympiad team ('Evans, Addison, Benko, Fischer, Rossolimo, R. Byrne, and Team Captain D. Byrne'). For one of his many other mentions on this blog, see Borrowing Leaves (December 2015), playing chess with Marcel Duchamp.

For a less flattering portrayal of this month's featured American, see Edward Winter's The Facts about Larry Evans (chesshistory.com). It's hard to reconcile that Evans the player and Evans the writer were the same person.

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