Chess in 1925

 by Bill Wall


In 1925, the Romanian Chess Federation was founded.


In 1925, the first international chess tourney in Germany after WWI was played in Baden-Baden.  Alekhine won.


In 1925, Nevzat Suer(1925-1987) was born in Turkey.  He was Turkish champion in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1968, 1969 and 1973.  He was awarded the IM title in 1975.


In 1925, Hermann Helms won the NY State championship.

In 1925, there were at least two stations in Germany (North German Radio) that were giving chess talks and lessons over the radio.   In one broadcast, commentators debated whether chess was an art, a science, or a game.  They also broadcasted classes for beginners as well as general news about chess.

In 1925, Vera Menchik and Mr. Samuel Tinsley of the Times gave lectures on chess over the BBC.

In 1925, Samuel Reshevsky became a naturalized American citizen.


On January 29, 1925, Antony Alfred Geoffrey Guest (1856-1925) died in London, England.  He was British amateur chess champion in 1888.


On February 1, 1925 Alexander Alekhine broke his own world blindfold record by playing 28 games blindfold simultaneously, winning 22, drawing 3 and losing 3. The event took place in Paris.  Alekhine played for over 12 hours.  (source: Helena Independent Record, Feb 2, 1925)


In 1925 Richard Reti played 29 opponents blindfold simultaneously in Sao Paulo. After the exhibition, he was going home and forgot his suitcase. When somebody reminded him about it, Reti said, "Thank you very much. My memory is so bad..."


In February 1925, Alekhine won the Five Masters Tournament in Paris.


On March 8, 1925, Efim Geller (1925-1998) was born in Odessa.  He was awarded the IM title in 1951 and the GM title in 1952. He was USSR champion in 1955 and 1979.   He played in a record 23 Soviet championships. He was World Senior Chess Champion in 1992. 


On March 26, 1925,  Daniel Yanofsky (1925-2000) was born in Brody, Poland.  He was an 8-time Canadian champion.  He was British champion in 1953.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the GM title in 1964.


On April 1, 1925, Bernardo Wexler (1925-1992) was born in Bucharest.  He was Argentine champion in 1959.  He was awarded the IM title in 1959.


On April 25, 1925, Ridha Belkadi (1925-2012) was born in Tunis.  He was awarded the IM title in 1974.


On May 5, 1925, a professor of Greek Literature at Rutgers died of a heart attack while playing chess at his home.


On May 13, 1925, Alexander Alekhine won a tournament in Baden-Baden (+12-0=8). This was the first international tournament in Germany since World War I.   Alekhine’s game with Reti was considered one of the finest games that he ever played.  2nd place went to Akiba Rubinstein.  3rd place went to Saemisch.  1st prize was 1,500 gold marks  (about $400).  (source: The Wilkes-Barre Record, May 14, 1925)


On May 13, 1925, Ratmir Kholmov (1925-2006) was born in Shenkursk, USSR.  He was awarded the IM title in 1954 and the  GM title in 1960.  He played in the Soviet championship 16 times.


On May 23, 1925,  Franciscus Henneberke (1925-1988) was born in Amsterdam.  He was awarded the IM title in 1962.


On Jun 15, 1925, Richard Teichmann (1868-1925) died in Berlin at the age of 56.  He was a German chess master.


On June 23, 1925, Karel Husak (1925-2004) was born in Beroun, Czechoslovakia. He took 2nd in world correspondence championship in  1965-1968.  He was awarded the Correspondence Grandmaster (GMC) title in 1968.


On June 25, 1925, Paul Heilemann (1925- ) was born in Lahn, Germany.  He was awarded the GMC title in 1984.


On June 26, 1925, Wolfgang Unzicker (1925-2006) was born Pirmasens, Germany.  He was West German Champion in 1948, 1950, 1952, 1959, 1963 and 1965 (joint).  He was awarded the GM title in 1954.


On June 29, 1923, Vladimir Zagorovsky (1923-1994) was born in Voronezh, USSR.  In 1951, he won the Soviet Army championship. He was also Moscow Champion in 1952.  He won the 4th World Correspondence Championship in 1965.  He was awarded the IMC title in 1964 and the GMC title in 1966


In August, 1925, the Western Chess Association (US Open) was held in Cedar Point, Ohio.  Abraham Kupchik took 1st place.


In September, 1925, Mrs. June Sawyer was granted a divorce from her husband, Barritt Sawyer of Philadelphia, on the charge of cruel and barbarous treatment.  Mrs. Sawyer alleged that her husband lost control and hit and beat her following chess games in which she defeated him in a game of chess.  (source: Delaware County Daily Times, Sep 23, 1925)


On October 20, 1925, Borisloav Milic (1925-1986) was born in Belgrade.  He was awarded the IM title in 1952 and the GM title in 1977.


On October 26, 1925, Edgar Holladay (1925-2003) was born in Cleveland.  He was awarded the International Master in Chess Composition in 1977.  He published more than 2,200 chess problems.


On October 29, 1925, Nathan Divinsky (1925-2012) was born in Winnipeg.  He was a Canadian master and mathematician.  From 1959 to 1974 he was editor of Canadian Chess Chat and in 1987 became Canada's FIDE representative.


In November 1925, Capablanca proposed a new chess variant, played on a 10x10 board or a 10x8 board. He introduced two new pieces. The chancellor had the combined moves of a rook and knight (the piece could move like a rook or a knight). The other piece was the archbishop that had the combined moves of a bishop and knight.  Capablanca argued that chess was becoming too stereotyped and mechanical. 


On November 20, 1925, Capablanca gave a 30-board simultaneous exhibition at the Leningrad Conservatorium. The play lasted for 7 hours without a break.  He won 18 games, drew 8, and lost 4 games.  One of his losses was to 14-year old Mikhail Botvinnik.  Capablanca said of Botvinnik, “This youngster plays with the confidence of a master.  He will go far.”


On November 25, 1925, Amos Burn (1848-1925) died in London at the age of 76.  He was an English chess player, one of the world's leading players at the end of the 19th century, and a chess writer.


In November-December, 1925, the world's first state-sponsored chess tournament was held in Moscow. Over 50,000 spectators visited the tournament. The event was won by Bogoljubov, followed by Lasker, Capablanca, Marshall, Torre, Tartakower, Reti, Romanovsky, Gruenfeld, Ilyin-Genevsky, Bohatyrchuk, Rubinstein, Spielmann, Verlinsky, Levenfish, I. Rabinovich, Yates, Gotthilf, Saemisch, Duz-Khotimirsky, and Zubarev.


In December, 1925, the first film to deal exclusively with chess, Chess Fever, was filmed in Moscow.