05 May 2020

May 1970 & 1995 'On the Cover'

The previous post in the 'On the Cover' series, April 1970 & 1995 'On the Cover' (April 2020), featured the American Open, Santa Monica, California, on the CL&R side of the post. A month later we see a report on another of the top three opens in the U.S. of A.

Left: '[...]n Winners Arthur Bisguier (left) and Larry Evans', [...]rr (seated), General Manager of John Ascuaga's Nugget; (Photo: Harvey Presley)
Right: 'The Men Who Would Be King'

Chess Life & Review (50 Years Ago)

In the more than six years since I've been preparing the monthly 'On the Cover' series -- the first was March 1964 'On the Cover' (March 2014) -- this is the first time I haven't been able to read a cover caption. The left of the CL&R caption was obscured by a mailing label. If it was removed, why isn't the underlying text visible? Whatever the reason, the missing words in the first line are 'National Open'. I wasn't able to determine the missing name in the second line. For more about the playing venue, see Nugget Casino Resort (wikipedia.org; 'formerly Dick Graves' Nugget and John Ascuaga's Nugget, is a hotel and casino located in Sparks, Nevada').

The tournament itself was covered in a report titled 'The National Open' by George Koltanowski. The future Dean of American Chess gushed,

The playing hall at the Nugget is one of the best yet. We had 111 participants with room for at least four times that many. A "kibitzer's room" adjacent, with lighting, tables and chairs, sets and boards enough to play a tournament, too. The air-conditioning was perfect, and even Robert Fischer would NOT be able to complain about the lighting. I am an old hand at directing all kinds of chess events; this one at the Nugget was by far the top.

As for the winners,

In the tournament proper, which was exceptionally strong, it was a rat race until the finish and the air had to clear after the last round before we knew who were the actual winners. When the dust finally did settle, Grandmasters Larry Evans of Reno and Arthur Bisguier of New York had each scored 7-1 to share top honors.

Chess Life (25 Years Ago)

CL returned to the two races to qualify for a World Championship title match, last seen in November 1969 & 1994 'On the Cover' (November 2019). The cover write-up started,

We know that Gata Kamsky (upper right) will play Anatoly Karpov (center) for the World Championship (administered by FIDE) title later this year, by virtue of their recent victories in Sanghi Nagar. Karpov beat Boris Gelfand 6-3, and Kamsky eliminated Valery Salov 5 1/2 - 1 1/2. We know that Kamsky is currently playing Viswanathan Anand (left) for the right to challenge Garry Kasparov (lower right) for the World Championship (administered by the PCA) even later this year. We also know that in 1996, a unification match will take place, with the following possibilities: [...]

For the scores of those matches, see 1994-96 FIDE Candidates Matches and 1994-95 PCA Candidates Matches on my personal site. As for the 'unification match', my page on the FIDE/PCA Chronology doesn't mention such a match until later in 1995. What did I miss?

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