03 November 2020

November 1970 & 1995 'On the Cover'

It's been one year since the post November 1969 & 1994 'On the Cover' (November 2019) announced,

In November 1969, Chess Life and Chess Review were merged for the first issue of Chess Life & Review. Let's continue the 'On the Cover' series with CL&R from 50 years ago, together with CL from 25 years ago.

The 1970 CL&R had 60 pages with less than six pages of 'Tournament Life' announcements. The 1995 CL had 84 pages with 17 pages of tournament announcements. The 6th American Open (1970, Santa Monica), the premier tournament held over the long Thanksgiving weekend, had a $25 'Regular' on-site entry fee and a $1000 first prize. The 31st American Open (1995, Los Angeles) had a $129 on-site entry fee in the top section, with a $3300 first prize.

Left: 'Andy Soltis (foreground) and Ken Rogoff, Members of the World Champion Student Team'
Right: 'Dato' Tan: World's Richest Amateur?!; Botvinnik Remembered...'

Chess Life & Review (50 Years Ago)

The headline and byline for the featured event said, 'Haifa 1970 : U.S. Student Team Captures World Title by Frank Skoff and Dick Verber'. The first paragraph said,

With a last-minute spurt, the U.S. Student Team captured 1st place in the 17th Annual World Student Team Championship, held this summer at Israel's beautiful Mediterranean Seaport, Haifa. England led from the very start, and it was not until the final round that we nosed them out in a dramatic finish. Eleven countries participated; Russia, and her Eastern allies, chose to boycott the tournament, protesting Israel's "imperialist aggression" against her Arab neighbors.

The Skoff/Verber report placed Rogoff on first board for the U.S. team, Soltis on second board. Today both Andrew Soltis and Kenneth Rogoff are prominent ambassadors of the chess community -- Soltis as a world class historian and writer, Rogoff as a GM celebrity thanks to his status as one of the world's leading economists.

Chess Life (25 Years Ago)

The upper right corner of the CL cover said, 'Inside: Official U.S. Chess Holiday Catalog'. The 'On the Cover' writeup opposite the masthead had two parts. Both related to the part of the world bordering the Pacific Ocean:-

Dato' Tan may arguably be the richest man in the world of chess organization and sponsorship. While most of his largesse is evidenced on the Pacific Rim, he played a large part in securing sponsorship for the U.S. Amateur Team playoff at the Harbor View Marina and Yacht Club in Baltimore, in 1993.

Grandmaster Utut Adianto won the Pacific Zonal, which was held in Malaysia. Scoring 9-2, a full point and a half ahead of the rest of the field, is certainly noteworthy, but the event captured the attention of the world press for another reason. Ian Murray of the Queensland Chess Association issued a statement on behalf of the players, protesting France's resumption of nuclear testing in the Pacific. The statement called for all chessplayers to boycott the use of the French Defense ...

Boycott the French Defense? Tongue in cheek?

As for ex-World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik, who had passed away 5 May, the issue had a three page writeup by ex-Soviet refugee and American GM Leonid Shamkovich (translated by GM Alex Fishbein), followed by a one page appreciation by Anthony Saidy.

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