Chess for Two: Icelandic GM Johann Hjartarson cut short his honeymoon to play in the 1988 Tilburg GM tournament.
Chess Second: US master Reuben Fine was Max Euwe's "second" during Euwe's 1937 World Championship match against Alexander Alekhine.
Chess In Second: Samuel Reshevshky was refused permission by the US State Department to travel to Hungary to compete in the 1950 World Championship candidates tournament.
Unusual Forfeiture: United Arab Emirates GM Taleb Moussa forfeited his 2nd round game at the 2005 Malaysian Open in unusual circumstances. Moussa was involved in a dispute with the taxi driver who was driving him to the playing venue over the fare payable for the trip. The dispute was resolved at the local police station, which meant that Moussa lost the game on time.
Unusually Young: One of the youngest female, if not youngest ever CC players of all time is Hungarian teenager Monica Lucian-Hoffmann. Born in June 1994, she played on Board Four for Mediator Gaismata Vii in the recent Hungarian national team CC championship.
Original Grandmaster: When FIDE created their inaugural list of Grandmasters in 1950, one of the players who was suggested for the title was ex-USSR player and national champion Fedor Bohatirchuk, who had emigrated to Canada after World War 2. The USSR vehemently opposed his nomination, due to Bohatirchuk having served with German hospital staff in Ukraine during World War 2. He was awarded the IM title as a "compromise".
Original Australian International Match: When Spencer Crakanthorp traveled to England to compete in the 1912 British Chess Federation championship, he took the opportunity to play a 3-game match against US champion Frank Marshall, which Marshall won (+1, -0, =2). This was the first time that an Australian player had played a match against a top international player (excluding the 1885 Australian championship "match" between Frederick Esling and visiting English player George Gossip).
Fischer Wasn't the First One: Samuel Reshevshky was refused permission by the US State Department to travel to Hungary to compete in the 1950 World Championship candidates tournament.
Fine Was the Second: US master Reuben Fine was Max Euwe's "second" during Euwe's 1937 World Championship match against Alexander Alekhine.
Big Brother the Composer: While former Czech and German GM Ludek Pachman (1924-2002) is well known for his OTB career, his brother Vladimir Pachman (1918-84) is well known in the composing field. He created over 900 problems. He was awarded the titles of International Judge of Chess Compositions in 1956, and International Grandmaster for Chess Compositions in 1975.
Institutionalized Composer: There have been many cases where players have suffered from mental illness. Many stories have been written about Rubinstein's experiences. Like the time he arrived in Amsterdam by train and gets on to a trolley car and says take me to my friend Mr. Oskam. Perhaps the strangest case is Carel Mann, a problemist of the early 20th century. He was plagued with the notion that a vampire was after him, wanting to suck his red corpuscles. Once, on a boat trip, he saw the vampire and took a shot at him with his pistol. Fortunately he missed and began his stay in mental institutions. He was well known for his problems involving king chases.
Unfulfilled Ambition? While Yuri Averbakh played for the USSR in friendly matches against Argentina, Uruguay, France, the United States of America, Great Britain, Sweden and Yugoslavia, he never played for the USSR in a Chess Olympiad.
Ambitions Fulfilled? The 1916 Rice Memorial Tournament in New York was delayed so that David Janowski could get permission from the Russian Consul-General in Geneva, Switzerland to travel to the United States to take part. Janowski finished =2nd with Kostich and Kupchik, 3.5 points behind tournament winner Jose Capablanca.
Take Your Chances: Chess was played with dice in Europe between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries. The die was thrown before each move, with the number determining which piece was to be moved, i.e.: 1 - Pawn; 2 - Knight; 3 - Bishop; 4 - Rook; 5 - Queen; 6 - King. If a player was unable to move the piece suggested by the die, they would toss the die until they could move.
Take Your Best Shot: The 1926 Queensland state championship tournament in Australia used for the only time in the history of the championship a "quadruple knock-out" format, rather than the traditional round-robin format. Each of the 13 contestants started with 4 "lives", and were eliminated after they had lost 4 games (draws were counted as half a loss). The final results were as follows: 1. G Koshnitsky 11.5; 2. J McElligott 7.5; 3. AJ Ansaldo 7; 4. A Field 4.
Strong As Steel: The Wijk an Zee International Tournament stated off back in 1938 as a tournament for the employees of the Koninkje steel factory in Hoogoveen.
Stronger Than Steel: Canadian IM Frank Anderson (1928-1980) learnt to play chess when he was bedridden with polio/arthritis at the age of 15.
Theoretical Investigations - The Soviet School of Chess? In the 1950's the USSR government set up a Department of Graduate Studies in Chess in the Central Research Institute of Physical Culture in Moscow. Several masters, including Vladimir Alatortsev, were appointed to work on theoretical investigations designed to raise the level of play in the USSR. Alatortsev published a book in 1960 on the Department's research, titled "Problemy sovremennoi teorri shakhmat".