Chess in 1964

 by Bill Wall


In 1964, chess master Raymond Weinstein (1941- ) was arrested for murder after he killed an 83-year old man in a nursing home with a razor.  He was judged mentally ill and was confined to Ward’s Island for the mentally ill.


On January 2, 1964, Bobby Fischer, age 20, won the 1963-64 U.S. Championship with a perfect score of 11 wins.  First prize was $2,000. Frank Brady was the arbiter for the event.  The event was held at the Henry Hudson Hotel.  This was Fischer’s 6th US Championship win.  Larry Evans took 2nd place with 7.5-3.5 score.  (source: Anderson, Indiana Herald, Jan 5, 1964)


On February 13, 1964, Jonnt Hector was born in Malmo. Sweden.  He was awarded the GM title in 1992. He was awardd the GMC title in 1999.  He won the Swedish Championship in 2002.


On February 17, 1964, Cyril Stanley Kipping (1891-1964) died in Walsall, England.  He composed over 7,000 problems.


On March 1, 1964, Peter Romanovsky (1892-1964) died in Moscow at the age of 71.  He was USSR champion in 1923 and 1927.  He was Leningrad champion in 1925. He was awarded the IM title in 1950.


On March 8, 1964, Bogdan Lalic was born in the former Yugoslavia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1988. 


On March 11, 1964, Joel Benjamin was born in Brooklyn.  He was awarded the IM title in 1980 and the GM title in 1986.  He won the US championship in 1987, 1997, and 2000.


On March 31, 1964, Esam Aly Ahmed (1964-2003) was born in Egypt.  He won the Arab Championships in 1996. In 2003, he won the Egyptian championship. He was an Egyptian International Master and Egypt’s top player before he died.


On April 17, 1964, Alon Greenfeld was born in New York City.  He was awarded the IM title in 1983 and the GM title in 1989.


On May 10, 1964, Sonja Graf won the US women’s chess championship, held in New York.  She won 8, lost 1 and drew 1. (source: Ottawa Journal, May 12, 1964)


On May 26, 1964, Valery Salov was born in Wroclaw, Poland.  He was World under 16 champion in 1980.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1986


On May 29, 1964, Fred Reinfeld (1910-1964) died in New York at the age of 54.  He was an American master best known as a chess writer of over 100 books. He won the New York State Championship twice (Rome 1931 and Syracuse 1933).


On June 21, 1964, Valery Neverov was born in the Ukraine.  He was Ukrainian champion in 1983, 1985, 1988 and 1996.  He was awarded the GM title in 1992.


On June 23, 1964, Dan Barbulescu was born in Bucharest.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984.


On August 13, 1964,  Jozsef Horvath was born in Budapest.  He was awarded the IM title in 1986 and the GM title in 1990.


On August 25, 1964, Vasilios Kotronias was born in Athens.  He was awarded the IM title in 1986 and the GM title in 1990.  He has won the Greek championship 8 times.


In September 1964, a radio match between a South African Antarctic outpost and Radio Nederland had to be called off because Moscow radio was jamming their frequency. 


On September 15, 1964, Viktor Goglidze (1905-1964) died in Tbilisi, Georgia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950.


On September 18, 1964,Curt Hansen was born in Bov, Denmark.  He was awarded the IM title in 1982 and the  GM title in 1985.  He was World Junior Champion in 1984.  He was Danish champion in 1994, 1998 and 2000.


On September 23, 1964, Tibor Tolnai was born in Hungary.  He was awarded the GM title in 1990.


On September 27, 1964, Igor Stohl was born in Czechoslovakia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1992.


On October 12, 1964, Russia launched Voskhod I, the first space flight to carry more than one crewman in orbit.  It launched three cosmonauts and it was the first flight without the use of spacesuits (there was no room).  The command pilot was Vladimir Komarov.  The medical doctor was Boris Yegorov. The engineer, Konstantin Feoktistov (1926-2009), was described as a chess-playing intellectual.  He was the first civilian and the first chess expert to make a space flight.  Other cosmonauts that were chess players include Georgi Beregovoy (1921-1995), Boris Volynov (1934- ), Georgy Shonin (1935-1997), Valery Kubasov (1935-2014), Pyotr Kolodin (1930- ), Vladislav Volkov (1935-1971), Alexey Leonov (1934- ), and Viktor Patsayev (1933-1971).  (source: Albuquerque Journal, Oct 13, 1964)


On October 26, 1964, Yuri Dokhoian was born in Russia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1988.


On November 10, 1964, an episode (Season 1, Episode 7) called “the Giuoco Piano Affair,” starring Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, and Leo G. Carroll, appeared on The Man from U.N.C.L.E (TV series from 1964 to 1968).   There is a party and a man (Norman Felton) is playing chess by himself.  Illya tries to make a moves and the man knocks over the pieces and leaves.


In November 1964, the 16th Chess Olympiad was held in Tel Aviv, the first time an Olympiad was held in Asia.  With Australia playing for the first time, it was the first time that players from all five continents were able to participate in a chess Olympiad.  It was another victory for the Soviet team (Petrosian, Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Stein, Spassky).


On December 16, 1964, an episode (Season 13, Episode 20) called “Chess Set” appeared on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (TV series from 1952 to 1966).  Ozzie gets a large-scale chess set in the mail.  He ordered a chess set, but the fine print neglected to state the size of the set.  Ozzie discovers a neighborhood kid with a talent for chess.  The two play chess.  The boy then challenges Ozzie to a bet and Ozzie loses $50 playing chess with the boy.


On December 21, 1964, Olivier Renet was born in France.  He was awarded the GM title in 1990.