Chess in 1974

 by Bill Wall


In 1974, Pal Benko and Hort tied for 1st in the US Open, held in New York.  There were 549 players in the event.


In 1974, the 1st world cadet (under 16) championship was held.  It was won by Jonathan Mestel.


In 1974, FIDE temporarily banned South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) from the chess Olympiad in Nice, France, due to their apartheid practices. 


In 1974 in a tournament in Poland, Mikhail Tal (1936-1992) was playing Jan Adamski (1943- ) with both players in time trouble. Adamski’s flag fell but Tal lost a piece and resigned. At that moment Tal’s wife, who had been counting the moves, said “Black has not yet made 40 moves.” The flag had fallen before Tal resigned.  The arbiter intervened and awarded the win to Tal, who went on to win the tournament.  Tal’s wife scored this point!  Later, it was shown that Adamski quit writing his moves down after move 25 because of time trouble, and then he added two fake moves while reconstructing his scoresheet to make it seem he made more than 40 moves.


In 1974, Claude Bloodgood (1937-2001) escaped from a chess tournament after he and another fellow inmate chessplayer, Lewis Carpenter, overpowered a guard watching over him.  They had received a furlough to play in a local Virginia chess tournament.  He was captured a few days later.  This ended any further chess organization in the prison.  Bloodgood was sentenced to death in 1970 for strangling his mother in 1969.  His sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment.


In 1974, Tal and Beliavsky won the 42nd Soviet Championship, held in Leningrad,


In early 1974, FIDE's rules committee issued a 14-page document with 179 numbered paragraphs of regulations for the world championship match. Bobby Fischer agreed to all the regulations except one. He did not agree to a 36-game limit.   Fischer insisted that the championship be decided by 10 wins, draws not counting, and that the number of games be unlimited. Also, Fischer insisted that if the score reached 9 wins apiece, the champion should retain the title.


On January 25, 1974, Igor Miladinovic was born in Nis, Yugoslavia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1991 and the GM title in 1993.  He won the World U-20 Chess Championship in 1993.


On January 29, 1974, Artur Kogan was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.  He was awarded the GM title in 1998.


On February 2, 1974, Qin Kanying was born in Shanghai, China.  She was awarded the WGM title in 1992.  She won the women’s Chinese championship in 1988, 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2004.


On February 7, 1974, Sergey Volkov was born in Saansk, Russia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1998.  He was Russian champion in 2000.


On February 15, 1974,  Conel Hugh O’Donel Alexander (1909-1974) died in Cheltenham, England at the age of 64.  He was British Champion in 1938 and 1956.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950 and the IMC title in 1970.  He was also one of the lead code breakers during World War II and helped break the Enigma machine.  He was a colonial in British Intelligence and was part of the British Government Code and Cipher Code at Bletchley Park.  He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his wartime services. 


On March 1, 1974, Maria Manakova was born in Russia.  She was awarded the WGM title in 1997.  She was Serbian women's champion in 2013.


In March 1974, Walter Browne won at the international tournament at Wijk aan Zee.  He was now the 4th strongest player in the USA with an Elo rating of 2612, behind Fischer (now retired), Kavalek, and Robert Byrne.


On April 2, 1974, Josef Lokvenc (1899-1974) died in Sankt Polten, Austria.  He was German Champion in 1943 (tournament was held in Vienna) and Austrian Champion in 1951 (after a play-off) and 1953.  He was awarded the IM title in 1951.


On April 13, 1974, Konstantin Sakaev was born in Leningrad.  He was World U16 Champion in 1990, USSR Junior Champion  in 1990, and World U18 Champion in 1992.  He was awarded the IM title in 1990 and the GM title in 1992.


On May 1, 1974, Ziaur Rahman was born in Bangladesh.  He was awarded the IM title in 1993 and the GM title in 2002.  He was Bangladesh champion fourteen in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2014.


On May 10, 1974, Anatoly Karpov, 22, defeated Boris Spassky in Moscow, eliminating Spassky from the world challengers’ competition.  Karpov went on to beat Viktor Korchnoi (who defeated Tigran Petrosian in Odessa) to become the official challenger against Bobby Fischer for the world chess championship.  Karpov won 4 games, lost 1 game, and drew 6 games.  Karpov was coached by Semyon Furman.  Karpov earlier defeated Lev Polugaevsky in the quarterfinal round.  (source: Abilene Reporter-News, May 11, 1974)


On May 15, 1974, Matthew Sadler was born in England.  He was USSR Junior champion in 1987 and 1988.  He was awarded the GM title in 1990.  He was British champion in 1995 and 1997.   He ceased playing chess professionally and opted for a career in Information Technology in the Netherlands, working for Hewlett-Packard.


On June 1, 1974, Mohammed Al-Modiahki was born in Qatar.  He was awarded the GM title in 1998.  He won the Arab chess championship in 1994, 1997, 200, and 2002.


On June 2, 1974, Gata Kamsky was born in Novokuznetsk, Siberia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1990.  He was World Championship Challenger in 1995.  He won the US championship in 1991, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014.


On June 3, 1974, Rashid Nezhmetdinov (1912-1974) died in Kazan, Tatarstan, at the age of 61.  He wrote the 1st Tatar chess book in 1953.  He was awarded the IM title in 1954. 


In June, 1974 at the Nice Olympiad, W. Reussner of the U.S. Virgin Islands lost 19 games in one Olympiad, a record.  He drew three games and did not win a game.  South Africa and Rhodesia were expelled from FIDE during the Olympiad.  South Africa dropped out but Rhodesia still played in the rest of the Olympiad, winning the Final E group.


On June 27, 1974, Bobby Fischer sent a telegram from Pasadena, California to the FIDE Congress: "As I made clear in my telegram to the FIDE delegates, the match conditions I proposed were non-negotiable...FIDE has decided against my participation in the 1975 World Chess Championship. I therefore resign my FIDE World Championship title."


On July 3, 1974, Henri Grob (1904-1974) died in Zurich, Switzerland at the age of 70. He was Swiss champion in 1939 and 1951.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950.  He was a newspaper columnist, artist, and Swiss portrait painter.  He painted portraits of several grandmasters.  He helped popularize the move 1.g4, known as Grob’s Attack.


On July 25, 1974, Reefat Bin-Sattar was born in Bangladesh.  He was champion of Bangladesh in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 2000 and 2003.  He was awarded the GM title in 2007.


In August, 1974, Walter Browne won his first of 6 US chess championships.   The event was held in Chicago.


On August 8, 1974, the first computer world championship was held in Stockholm.  It was won by the Russian computer Kaissa.


In September, 1974, Walter Browne moved to Berkeley, California, living in a penthouse apartment.  He had two huge photographs on the walls of his apartment, one of Sigmund Freud and one of himself.  He played tennis in the mornings and spent his afternoons and evenings studying chess books.


On October 15, 1974, Sergei Rublevsky was born in Kurgan, Russia.  He was awarded the GM title in 1994.  He was Russian champion in 2005.


In late 1974, the Zaire government offered Bobby Fischer $5 million to play a match with Anatoly Karpov in their country.  Fischer turned it down.


On November 2, 1974, Zsófia (Sofia) Polgar was born in Budapest.  In the 1986 World under-14 championship she finished second to Joël Lautier and was declared world under-14 girls champion.  She was awarded the Woman International Master (WIM) title in 1988 and the IM title in 1990.  She is a Woman Grandmaster (WGM).


On November 15, 1974, Roland Schmaltz was born in Germany.   He was awarded the GM title in 2001. 


On December 11, 1974, Wang Pin was born in Shanghai, China.  She was awarded the WGM title in 1992.  She was Chinese women's champion in 2002.


On December 14, 1974, an episode called “Mike’s Friend” appeared on All in the Family (TV series from 1971 to 1979).  Mike’s college friend, Stuart Henderson (Greg Mullavey), comes over to the house to spend the evening playing chess with him.  Stuart checkmates Mike 3 times in a row and calls him the worst player in chess.


In 1974, Anatoly Karpov's FIDE rating was 2700.  He defeated Polugaevsky, Spassky, and Korchnoi in the Candidates matches in 1974.  In June he scored 12 out of 14 in the Nice Olympiad for a gold medal and top board one.  Karpov became the official challenger for Bobby Fischer for the world chess championship.  He won the chess Oscar for 1974.