03 January 2019

January 1969 'On the Cover'

After last month's Christmas-y post, December 1968 'On the Cover', we return to the main theme of the two main American chess magazines fifty years ago.

Left: 'Armed Forces Champion PFC Charles W. Powell (left) and second and third place winners [Michael] Senkiewicz and [Walter R.] Cunningham, with American Chess Foundation Executive Director Sidney Wallach.'
Right: 'Is this the year of the champion?'

Chess Life

PFC Charles W. Powell is the 1968 Armed Forces Worldwide Chess Champion. He scored 11-1 in the annual tournament which was played during October in The American Legion Hall of Flags, Washington, D.C. Powell's only loss was to the Air Force's S/SGT. Roy H. Hoppe, in a contest which earned the Brilliancy Award for Hoppe.

The last time we saw an 'Armed Forces Champion' on the cover was the CR side of January 1967 OTC. The post ended with a question:-

'Thomas Emery Trophy', 'Thomas Emery Awards dinner' -- who was Thomas Emery and what was his connection to the American Chess Foundation?'

I answered that question a few months later in a pair of posts that were later summarized in an unrelated topic: The Limits of Image Recognition (June 2018); 'The main reason I had saved [the image] was because of a pair of posts from last year: ... Thomas Emery'.

Chess Review

'Game of the Month' by Svetozar Gligorich [Gligoric] • After Spassky qualified last year, the rumors were stronger than ever that, this time, the Challenger would have an easy job of taking the title from Petrosyan. Such opinions are based on the Champion's -- if not poor -- then certainly unimpressive form in several successive tournaments the while Spassky was producing incredible victories over some most dangerous rivals.

Though many are aware of the fact that Petrosyan has never tended to impress, that he came to the top with his fantastically realistic approach and that his strength is slow in motion but hard to resist, especially in the long run, the simplified view that Petrosyan is in a clear decline has so overtaken some minds that they are dismissing him as a possible world champion for the future.

We have to go back to the same point in the previous World Championship cycle to find the spotlight on Petrosian -- July 1966 OTC; 'After the "January 1966 OTC", at least one of the two main chess magazines featured the 1966 Petrosian - Spassky Title Match on its monthly cover.' The reigning World Champion appeared in a shared CR cover later in the year -- September 1966 OTC; 'Piatigorsky Cup Tournament; Petrosian - Spassky, Reshevsky - Fischer'

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