Chess in 1923

 by Bill Wall


In 1923, George Koltanowski won the Belgium championship.


On February 2, 1923, Svetozar Gligoric (1923-2012) was born in  Belgrade.  . He won the championship of Yugoslavia a record twelve times, and is considered the best player ever from Serbia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1951.


On April 23, 1923, Yakov Estrin (1923-1987) was born in Moscow.  In 1966, he was awarded the Grandmaster in Correspondence title.  In 1976, he won the world correspondence championship. 


On April 25, 1923, Albert Sandrin (1923-2004) was born in Chicago.  In 1949, he won the 50th US Open in Omaha, Nebraska.  He won the US Braille Association Chess Championship in 1974, 1982, and 1984.


On May 14, 1923, Frank Marshall successfully defended his US chess championship title in a match with Edward Lasker.  Marshall won 5, lost 4, and drew 9. 


In May 1923, Alexander Alekhine tied for first at Carlsbad with Bogoljubow and Maroczy.  After losing to Spielmann at Carlsbad, Alekhine went back to his hotel room (the Imperial, the best hotel in Carlsbad) and smashed every piece of furniture in his room.  Alekhine lost three games at Carlsbad.


On June 1, 1923, Leonid Shamkovich (1923-2005) was born in Rostov-Don, USSR.  He was awarded the GM title in 1965.  In 1975, he won the Canadian Open.  In 1976, he tied for 1st in the US Open.


On June 3, 1923, Alfred Beni (1923-1995) was born in Vienna.  In 1947, he tied for 1st in the Austrian championship.  He was awarded the International Master title in 1951. 


On June 3, 1923, Sam Katz was playing a game against Louis Silverman at the Pitkin Chess Club in New York.  Katz made a move which resulted in the loss of Silverman’s queen.  The shock of losing his queen caused Silverman to have a heart attack.  He died at the chess board.  Silverman was only 47.  (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 4, 1923)


On June 14, 1923, Gerhard Pfeiffer (1923-2000) was born in Leipzig.  He was awarded the IM title in 1957.  He was West German champion in 1964.


In July 1923, ex-world champion Emanuel Lasker won at Moravska Ostrava with 8 wins, 5 draws, and no losses.


On July 8, 1923, Dragoljub Janosevic (1923-1993) was born in Belgrade.  He was awarded the GM title in 1965. 


On July 15, 1923, Semyon Alapin (1856-1923) died in Heidelberg, Germany at the age of 66.  He was one of the strongest players in the Russian Empire in the late 19th century.  In 1893, he tied for 1st place in the championship of Berlin. In 1911, he won the championship of Munich.


On July 20, 1923, Faneuil Adams (1923-1999) was born in Boston.  He was a former president (1990-1999) of the American Chess Foundation (Chess-in-the-Schools), former director and treasurer of the Manhattan Chess Club, and former member of the US Chess Federation Policy Board (FIDE delegate).  He was a former senior executive of Mobil Corporation for 28 years and multi-millionaire.  He was a direct descendant of a brother of President John Adams and direct descendant of Samuel Adams.


From July 28 to August 4, 1923, the 24th Western Chess Association (24th US Open) was held in San Francisco. Stasch Mlotkowski (1881-1943) and Norman Whitaker (1890-1975) tied for 1st with 9 out of 11 points. Each won $150. Samuel Factor took 3rd place, followed by Adolph Fink, Elmer Gruer, Walter Lovegrove, F.M. Currier, G.E. Branch, A.W. Ryder, Donald Mugridge, George Patterson, and A.M. Feldman. Mlotkowski won the 3rd California State Championship title for being the top Californian in the Western Chess Association tournament.


In August 1923, Alekhine won the 16th British Chess Federation Congress at Portsmouth.


On August 29, 1923, Georg Marco (1863-1923) died in Vienna at the age of 59.  He was a Romanian chess master.   He was secretary of the Viennese Chess Association and editor of the Wiener Schachzeitung chess magazine.


On October 13, 1923, Alberto Foguelman (1923-2013) was born in Buenos Aires.  He was awarded the IM title in 1963.  He took 2nd place in the 1959 and 1962 Argentine Chess Championship.


On November 4, 1923, Alexander Alekhine played 54 games simultaneously at the Montmarte Chess Club in Paris against the best players in Paris and the provinces.  He won 46, lost 3, and drew 5. 


On December 4, 1923, Srecko Nedeljkovic (1923-2011) was born in Dragacevo, Yugoslavia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950. 


On December 4, 1923, William M. de Visser (1855-1923) died in Long Island, New York at the age of 68.  He was a charter member of the Manhattan Chess Club, an expert player and organizer. In 1899, he won the New York State Chess Championship.  He was the president of the Metropolitan Chess League.  (source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Dec 5, 1923)


On December 15, 1923, Alexander Alekhine played 22 opponents blindfolded at the National Chess Club in Montreal.  He won 13, drew 5, and lost 4.  (source: Oakland Tribune, Dec 16, 1923)


On December 19, 1923, John Watkinson (1833-1923) died in Huddersfield, England at the age of 90.  He became the first editor of the British Chess Magazine, the oldest chess magazine in continuous publication. He was editor from 1881 to 1887.


On December 24, 1923, Carl Pilnick (1923-2013) was born in New York City.  He tied for 1st place in the 1971 American Open.


On December 30, 1923, James Moore Hanham (1840-1923) died in New York City at the age of 83.  He was an American chess master.  He is remembered today for the Hanham Variation of Philidor's Defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nd7).