02 April 2020

April 1970 & 1995 'On the Cover'

Every time I see the cover of the April 1970 CL&R, with a face I don't recognize, I think it must be the U.S. Amateur Champion. The annual amateur champions were featured prominently in previous editions of Chess Life, for example, the July 1968 'On the Cover'.

Left: 'Ray Martin - American Open Champion'
Right: "Knight Moves" • 'Russians Win Olympiad; Ivanov (A.) Repeats as Novag Grand Prix Champion'

Chess Life & Review (50 Years Ago)

The related story, 'Looking back on the American Open' (Santa Monica, California, November 1969) by 'Carl L. Budd, Pres. & Reed Newport, Vice-Pres. Santa Monica Bay Chess Club', reported,

When the names of the 202 entries with their ratings were posted, the large audience and players were almost all willing to concede first place and the $600 prize to the only International Master entered [a footnote added, 'Now a Grandmaster'], Walter Browne (2445) from Australia, and get on with the business of playing for the remaining $1800.

Browne lost in the third round of the eight-round event to John Davidian (2012) and never regained front-runner status. Ray Martin (2114), the eventual winner, was rated 20th overall. The report noted,

The new American Open Champion has been a member of the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club since 1948. Subsequent to that time he has won many important local titles including the California State Championship. About 10 years ago he gave up tournament chess to work evenings and adequately provide for his family. Now that things have eased a bit, he resumed tournament play last year. Prior to the American Open he won the Southern California Championship and the Ventura Marina Chess Festival in 1969.

For more about the winner, see The chess games of Raymond Martin (chessgames.com).

Chess Life (25 Years Ago)

The artwork was the most striking feature of the April 1995 cover. The writeup said,

"Knight Moves" (acrylic on handmade paper) by Ingrid Evans (photographed by Dirk Schenck) was part of an exhibition at the Stremmel Gallery in Reno, Nevada. [...] Ingrid has had numerous showings and exhibitions both here and abroad, since the 1970s. Her experience as an aerial photographer has given her a unique outlook into man's intrusion upon nature. Her current interests revolve around multi-media pieces, including, painting, printing, and diverse papermaking techniques. And yes, she is.

She is ... what exactly? According to Ingrid Evans (1929-2015; legacy.com),

In 1968, she married Larry Evans. Larry was an American chess Grandmaster as well as an International Chess Grandmaster, five time U.S. Chess champion and an author and journalist. Larry preceded Ingrid in death on November 15, 2010.

In last month's post, March 1970 & 1995 'On the Cover', I promised, 'As for the 'Castle Heights' reference, I'll come back to it next month.' The street sign on that cover -- 'Chess Dr. 4200' -- was explained in the '1994 Yearbook'. (It was assigned to 1994 because the information was 'current as of 31 December'.) The 11-page yearbook was illustrated with a multi-section article titled 'Checkmate Plaza' by Steven W. Gordon. It included a street map of the Castle Heights area and started,

Subdivisions around the country are often built along a theme, with the streets all having a common set of names. Flowers, birds, state and president names are frequently seen motifs. Other themes I've seen include aircraft companies. famous aviators, minerals, trees and a multitude of related topics. But Anchorage, Alaska, has the only subdivision with a chess theme I have seen or heard of.

When I noticed the street names on the east side of Anchorage I thought it was on a medieval theme as the first names I saw were QUEENS COURT and KNIGHTS WAY. I was amused and of course thought 'chess' but didn't really think the names would be actual chess references...

But they were indeed chess references, even 'Bisquier Dr.', i.e. GM Arthur Bisguier (RIP). As long as we're clarifying names, I should point out that the name 'Ivanov (A.)' on the CL cover meant GM Alexander Ivanov.

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