Chess in 1932
by Bill Wall

In 1932, the first international correspondence chess tournament was held and eventually won by Janos Balogh (1892-1980).

In 1932, the Braille Chess Association was founded. It was affiliated with the British Chess Federation and the British Postal Chess Federation.

In 1932, the Buchholz system for tie-breaking in tournaments was developed by Bruno Buchholz (died in 1958).

In 1932, the Canadian Chess Federation (CCF) replaced the Canadian Chess Association, which was founded in 1872. For the first time, all major cities in Canada were represented. In 1945, the Canadian Chess Federation was renamed to the Chess Federation of Canada (CFC).

In 1932, Jose Capablanca played 66 teams of 5 players each (330 players) in Havana, winning 46, drawing 16, and losing 4.

In 1932, Emil Josef Diemer (1908-1990) popularized the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f3), which he called the Polish Gambit.

In 1932, the International Chess Federation (FIDE) Congress was held in Paris. Alexander Rueb (1882-1959) was re-elected president.

In 1932, Adolph Jay Fink (1890-1956) won the San Francisco chess championship.

In 1932, Jesse B. Hanson (checker master) and Frank Frain purchased Ajeeb the automaton from Hattie McKeever and later toured the USA with it.

In 1932, Karl Helling (1904-1937) won the championship of Berlin, scoring 9-2. Second was Ludwig Rellstab (1904-1983) with 7.5. Third was Kurt Richter (1900-1969) with 7.

In 1932, George Koltanowski (1903-2000) played 20 boards simultaneously blindfolded in Hampstead, England, a British blindfold record.

In 1932, George Koltanowski played 30 boards blindfolded simultaneously, winning 20, drawing 10, and losing none.

In 1932, a new law of the International Chess Code prohibited against draws by mutual agreement before 30 moves have been made.

In 1932, the Manhattan Chess Club moved to the Hotel Alamac (160 West 71st Street, New York City). It remained here for 9 years.

In 1932, the 5th edition of "Modern Chess Openings" was published by Griffith and White.

A Chess Olympiad for 1932 was to be played in Spain, but that was cancelled due to financial problems.

In 1932, Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) defeated Efim Bogoljubow (1889-1952) in a match on the top of Semmering, the highest mountain in Austria. Spielmann won 4 games, lost 3 games, and drew 3 games.

In 1932, chess master Norman Whitaker (1890-1975) gained notoriety during the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr in March 1932. A former FBI Agent named Gaston Means concocted a scheme to swindle $104,000 from a wealthy heiress by claiming to be in contact with the kidnappers. Means intended to use Whitaker as the bagman to pick up her money, but both were arrested and convicted. Whitaker was later convicted of attempted extortion. He claimed that the Lindbergh kidnappers had refused $49,500 of the ransom money paid by Mrs. Evalyn McLean because the serial numbers on the money had been published. Therefore, he demanded replacement money in the amount of $35,000, in exchange for which he promised to return the original $49,500 plus the baby. That was when the FBI was finally called in. Whitaker never got any of the money and, when asked what happened to the money, Whitaker replied, "I do not know and I wish I did". Whitaker got out in just 18 months. Earlier in his life, he was convicted of several other crimes, including auto theft, sending morphine through the mail, and sexual molestation of a minor. He served time in Alcatraz and was a friend of Al Capone there. (source: New York Times, Jun 29, 1932, p. 9)

In January 1932, the top 10 chess players in the world were Alexander Alekhine, Jose Capablanca, Isaac Kashdan, Efim Bogoljubow, Aron Nimzovich, Max Euwe, Salo Flohr, Akiba Rubinstein, Savely Tartakower, and Mir Sultan Khan.

The 12th Hastings Christmas Congress has held from December 28, 1931 to January 6, 1932. It was won by Salo Flohr, scoring 8 out of 9 (+7=2), followed by Isaac Kashdan with 7.5, Euwe with 5, Sultan Khan with 4.5, Yates, Stoltz, and Menchik with 4, and Thomas and Michell with 2.

Dutch Master Daniel Noteboom (1910-1932) attended the Hastings Chess Congress, held in December-January. The weather was so cold that he caught pneumonia at Hastings and then died a week after the tournament on January 12, 1932.

On January 16, 1932, Victor Ciocaltea was born in Bucharest, Romania. He was Romanian champion in 1952, 1959, 1961, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1975, and 1979. He was awarded the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1979. He died of a heart attack at the chess table while playing at a chess tournament in Manresa, Spain on September 10, 1983. He was 51.

In January 1932, Sir George Alan Thomas (1881-1972) won the 42nd City of London Chess Club championship, ahead of Reginald Michell and William Winter.

In January 1932, Paul Keres (1916-1975) won the Estonian Junior championship.

In February 1932, The London "Sunday Referee" tournament was held. It was won by Alexander Alekhine, scoring 9 out of 11 (+7=4), followed by Flohr with 8, and Kashdan and Khan with 7.5. The "Sunday Referee" was a Sunday newspaper in the United Kingdom until it merged with the "Sunday Chronicle."

In February 1932, Reuben Fine (1914-1993) won the 15th Marshall Chess Club championship, ahead of Fred Reinfeld, Milton Hanuer, and Tony Santasiere.

On February 28, 1932, Alexander Alekhine played 60 teams of 5 players each (300 players) in Paris, winning 37, drawing 17, and losing 6.

In March, 1932, George Koltanowski won a master tournament in Antwerp, ahead of Salo Flohr.

On March 22, 1932, Larry Melvyn Evans was born in Manhattan. He won the U.S. championship 5 times. He died on November 15, 2010. He was 78.

In April 1932, Fleischer Studios released "Chess-Nuts," an animated short film starring Betty Boop. A chess game becomes a chaotic, animated quest for the favors of Betty Boop. Betty comes to life as the black queen and Bimbo the dog becomes the white king. The black king wants Betty for himself and carries her away to his castle. Bimbo must come to her rescue. The battle contains elements of chess, bowling, football and boxing. Koko the Clown appears briefly as part of Bimbo's team of animated chess men.

In April 1932, Geza Maroczy (1870-1951) won the Hungarian Championship (13-4), ahead of Esteban Canal (12.5), Endre Steiner (11), and Andor Lilienthal (10.5).

In April, 1932, George Koltanowski played 160 players simultaneously in Antwerp, winning 135, losing 7, and drawing 18, a world record at the time. (source: Piqua Daily Call, April 20, 1932)

On April 20, 1932, Edgard Colle died in Ghent, Belgium at the age of 34. He died after an operation of a gastric ulcer. He survived three operations for a gastric ulcer, but died after a 4th operation. He was Belgium champion six times between 1922 and 1929.

On April 21, 1932, Lora Yakovleva was born in Perm. She was the second ICCF Women's World Correspondence Champion from 1972 to 1977.

On April 22, 1932, Alexander Fritz (1857-1932) died at the age of 79. He invented the Fritz variation of the Two Knights Defense. He was able to play 12 blindfold games at once.

In 1932, Isaac Kashdan (1905-1985) went on a USA tour from May 9 to July 18, giving 19 simultaneous exhibitions. He won 467, lost 18, and drew 20.

In May 1932, Jose Capablanca gave a chess lecture in Cuba.

On May 29, 1932, the Annual Chess Tournament between Northern California and Southern California, held in San Luis Obispo was won by the South, with the score of 10.5 - 9.5.

From June 10-28, 1932, an international chess tournament was played at the Bad Sliac, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) health resort. It was won by Salo Flohr (+6=7) and Dr. Milan Vidmar, scoring 9.5 out of 13, followed by V. Pirc (8.5), Canal, Maroczy, and Spielmann (8), Treybal (7), Bogoljubow (6.5), Pokorny (5.5), Opocensky and Walter (5), Rohacek (4), May (3.5), and Engel (3).

In July 1932, Alexander Alekhine won the 36th Swiss Championship at Berne, Switzerland, ahead of Euwe, Flohr, Sultan Khan, Ossip Bernstein, and Efim Bogoljubow. The tournament included 10 Swiss masters and 6 foreign masters. Alekhine won with 12.5 out of 15, followed by Euwe and Flohr with 11.5. Sultan Khan scored 11 points. Dr. Osip Bernstein and Efim Bogoljubow both scored 10. This was the strongest tournament in 1932, which included five of the top ten players in the world.

In August 1932, the 25th British Championship, held in London, was won by Mir Sultan Khan with 8.5 out of 11, followed by C.H.O'D Alexander with 8, Sir George Thomas with 7, R. P. Mitchell with 6.5, and F. D. Yates and Tyler with 6. George Koltanowski won the Major Open section, followed by Vera Menchik.

From July 30 to August 7, 1932 the 33rd Western Chess Association Championship (33rd US Open) was held at Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was won by Reuben Fine, scoring 9.5 (+8 =3), followed by Samuel Reshevsky with 9. 3rd place went to Fred Reinfeld. 4th place went to Herman Steiner. There were 12 players in the event. It was Fine's first national title.

In August 1932, Siegbert Tarrasch won the 13th Bavarian Chess Federation.

In August 1932, Nathan Grossman won the 54th New York State Chess Association championship.

On August 11, 1932, Istvan Bilek was born in Budapest. He won the Hungarian championship three times. He was awarded the GM title in 1962. He won the Hungarian championship in 1963, 1965, and 1970. His ex-wife was Hungarian women's champion. He died on March 21, 2010.

Before the Pasadena International tournament, several of the competitors were taken aloft in the dirigible Volunteer. Kashdan and Dake contested an informal game which ended up as a draw. The moves were transmitted by radio to the opening luncheon meeting and commented by Alekhine. Alekhine had just arrived from Berne, Switzerland, traveling 8,000 miles in 15 days by ship and train.

On August 14, 1932, Alexander Alekhine arrived on the eve of the Chess Congress Masters Tournament (part of the Los Angeles Congress) at the Maryland Hotel in Pasadena, following the 10th Modern Olympic Games at Los Angeles. Alekhine won the event (and $250) with a score of 8.5-2.5 (+7=3-1). Isaac Kashdan took 2nd with a score of 7.5-3.5. Next were Arthur Dake, Sammy Reshevsky, and Herman Steiner with 6.5. Next came Harry Borochow, California State champion, with the score of 5.5-5.5. He was followed by Fred Reinfeld, Jacob Bernstein, Reuben Fine, and Samuel Factor, all with 5-6. Jose Araiza came next with a score of 3.5-7.5. Last place went to Adolph Fink, San Francisco's strongest player, with a score of 3-8. It was agreed that the California player having the highest score in this event would be declared champion of California. Thus, Harry Borochow became California champion for the third straight year. This international tournament was promoted by Cecil B. DeMille. The tournament organizers also wanted to invite Capablanca, but Alekhine demanded an extra $2,000 appearance fee if Capablanca participated in the event. The money could not be raised (the whole budget for the tournament was $1,500), and Capablanca was not invited. Lavieve Mae Hines (1896-1997) won the Pasadena Congress Women's Chess tournament, which was held concurrently with the Pasadena 1932 International Chess Tournament.

On September 1, 1932, Alekhine gave a 50-board simul at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. He lost at least 2 games (to R.McBride and to Dr. M. Scholtz).

On September 15, 1932, Alekhine gave an 8-board simultaneous blindfold exhibition at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, winning 5 and drawing 3.

In September-October 1932, Mexico City hosted its first international chess tournament in Mexico. Alekhine and Kashdan shared 1st place with 8.5 out of 9, followed by Captain Jose Joaquin Araiza (champion of Mexico and organizer of the tournament) with 6 and Dr. J. A. Asian with 5.5.

On November 1, 1932, GM Yair Kraidman was born in Haifa.

On November 4, 1932, Rudolf Loman died at the age of 71. He won several Dutch championships.

On November 7, 1932, a new Hollywood Chess Club was opened at 5704 La Mirada Avenue, Hollywood. California State Champion Harry Borochow gave an 18-board simultaneous exhibition (winning 14, drawing 1, and losing 3). The president of the Hollywood Chess Club was Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (1909-2000). The executive board included Lew Ayres (1908-1996), screenwriter Richard Schayer (1880-1956), film director Ernest Laemmle (1900-1950), actor, director, and producer William Wyler (1902-1981), and film director and ediitor Slavko Vorkapich (1894-1976).

On November 8, 1932, Alexander Alekhine won 30, drew 14, and lost 6 against 50 teams of four (200 players).

On November 11, 1932, Frederick Dewhurst Yates (1884-1932) died in London, England at the age of 48. He won the British championship 6 times. He died in his sleep, asphyxiated by a faulty pipe connection at his home. It was not suicide. A gas company official proved that no gas tap was turned on. It was ruled an accidental death. He was buried at Leeds on November 16, 1932. He was only 48.

In November 1932, Mikhail Botvinnik won the 9th Leningrad championship.

On November 27, 1932, Tibor Weinberger was born in Hungary. In 1962, he tied for 1st in the California State Championship. In 1970, he won the California Open. He is a FIDE master.

On December 15, 1932, Alekhine gave a simultaneous exhibition at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, scoring 19 wins and 3 draws.

In December 1932, Herman Steiner formed the Hollywood Chess Group, headquartered in a clubhouse nest to his own house, which was located at 108 North Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood. Steiner invited Alekhine, who played 26 boards at the new Hollywood Chess Club, winning them all. The president of the Hollywood Chess Club was Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (1909-2000).

On December 17, 1932, Alekhine played against 26 boards at the new Hollywood Chess Club, winning them all.

On December 18, 1932, Alekhine gave a 7-board simultaneous blindfold exhibition at the Hollywood Chess Club, winning 5 and drawing 2. The president of the Hollywood Chess Club was Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Herman Steiner later became the president of the Hollywood Chess Club. Members included Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Charles Boyer, and Jose Ferrer.

On December 25, 1932, Reuben Fine, age 18 and a student at CCNY, won the 16th Marshall Chess Club Championship without the loss of a game (+10=3). A. Kevitz finished 2nd.

The 13th Hastings Christmas Congress began in late December, 1932. The eventual winner was Salo Flohr.

The Manhattan Chess Club championship for 1933 began in late 1932. A. Kevitz won in tiebreak over Robert Willman.

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