05 February 2019

February 1969 'On the Cover'

Fifty years ago, what appeared on the covers of the two leading American chess magazines?

Left: '1968 Player of the Year'
Right: 'Phantom of the Squares'

Chess Life

To conclude the Mallorca story, it should be added the 1968 "Oscar" for best player of the year was given to Spassky. A special international jury voted for the ten best players of the year: 1. Spassky, 2. Korchnoi, 3. Larsen, 4. Petrosian, 5. Fischer, 6. Tal, 7. Portisch, 8. Smyslov, 9. Keres, 10. Bronstein.

Last year, in May 1968 'On the Cover', we had a more informative excerpt: 'The first "Chess Oscar" is a story worth repeating. From the May 1968 CR...'

Chess Review

Our cover illustration this month is a photograph by Vincent C. Vesce, designed to represent the spirit of chess. It was exhibited some years ago.

Spassky last appeared on the cover for the June 1968 'On the Cover'; CR: 'Boris Spassky of the Soviet Union is leading the prospective challengers in the elimination matches'. We will be seeing more of him as a result of the 1969 Spassky - Petrosian Title Match, 'Moscow, IV-VI, 1969'.

As for Vincent C. Vesce, a search on 'chess' doesn't ring many bells. A search on 'photographer' leads to Vincent C. Vesce, Technical Director of Harmon Colors, 'He was an outstanding amateur photographer whose work in this field was recognized by his being named an Associate of the Photographic Society of America.' I wouldn't have guessed that the CR cover was a photograph.

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