On January 7, 1931, the annual Hastings Christmas Congress finished. Max Euwe won the Premier section and Salo Flohr won the Premier Reserves section. The next year, Flohr would win the Premier section.
On January 8, 1931, Nikolai Minev was born in Rousse, Bulgaria. He was Bulgarian champion in 1953, 1965, and 1966. He was awarded the International Master (IM) title in 1960.
On February 5, 1931, Krystina Holug-Radzikowska in Lvov, Russia. She won the Polish Women’s Championship 9 times. She was awarded the Women’s Grandmaster (WGM) title in 1984 and became Poland’s first grandmaster. She died on November 29, 2006.
On February 22, 1931, Zbigniew Doda was born in Poznan, Poland. He was Polish champion in 1964, 1967, and 1968. He was awarded the IM title in 1964.
On March 7, 1931, Bernhard Fleissig died in Vienna. He was a Hungarian-born Austrian chess master.
On March 23, 1931, Victor Lvovich Korchnoi was born in Leningrad. He was awarded the GM title in 1956.
On March 28, 1931, Anatoly Lein was born in Leningrad. He was awarded the GM title in 1968.
On April 6, 1931, Brian Douthwaite was born in Cardiff, Wales. In 1958 he was the Welsh champion. He later moved to Canada.
On May 13, 1931, Andrija Fuderer was born in Subotica, Yugoslavia (now Northern Serbia). In 1953, he tied for 1st place in the Yugoslavian Championship. He was awarded the Honorary GM (HGM) title in 1990. He is a chemist by profession and currently lives in Antwerp, Belgium.
From May 31 to June 13, 1931, the 27th German Chess Federation Championship was held in Swinemunde. It was won by Efim Bogoljubow after a play-off with Rodl.
In July 1931, the first Michigan State Championship was held in Jackson, Michigan, won by W. T. Adams. Andrew Palmi started the Michigan Chess Assoication in 1931.
From July 11-26, 1931, the 4th Chess Olympiad was held in Prague. The USA took the gold medal. Poland took the silver medal. Czechoslovakia took the bronze medal. Alexander Alekhine took the individual gold medal for 1st board, scoring 13.5 out of 18.
In July 1931, the 3rd World Women’s Championship was held in Prague. Vera Menchik won it with 8 wins and no losses or draws.
On August 12, 1931, Bela Berger was born in Szombatheley, Hungary. He was awarded the IM title in 1954. After the failure of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, he moved to Australia. He died in December 2005 in Sydney, Australia.
From August 17-22, 1931, the 53rd New York State Championship was held in Rome, New York. It was won by Fred Reinfeld.
From August 23 to September 20, 1931, an international tournament was held in Bled. Alexander Alekhine took 1st place with 15 wins and 11 draws. He scored 5.5 points more than the 2nd place finisher, Efim Bogoljubow (+12 -8 =6).
In August 1931, the 10th California State Championship was held in Beverly Hills. Harry Borochow took 1st place.
On September 1, 1931, Arturo Pomar-Salamanca was born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. At age 11, he was the champion of the Balearic Isles. In 1944, at the age of 13, he drew a game with Alexander Alekhine. He is the youngest player ever to draw a reigning World Champion at a normal time control. He won the Spanish championship 7 times. He was awarded the GM title in 1962.
On September 9, 1931, Edwin Bhend was born in Switzerland. He was awarded the IM title in 1960. He won the Swiss championship in 1966.
On September 27, 1931, Stefan Witkowski was born in Lodz, Poland. In 1959, he won the Polish championship. He was awarded the IM title in 1977. He died on October 25, 2007 in Warsaw.
On September 30, 1931, Milko Bobotsov was born in Plovdic, Bulgaria. He won the Bulgarian championship in 1958. He was awarded the GM title in 1961, becoming the first Bulgarian grandmaster. He died in Sofia, Bulgaria on April 3, 2000.
On October 3, 1931, Eugene S. Martinovsky was born in Skopje, Yugoslavia (now Macedonia). He won the US Seniors Championship twice. He died on February 22, 2000. He was a physician and psychiatrist.
From October 5-12, 1931, the 32ndWestern Open (US Open) was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was won by Samuel Reshevsky.
On October 8, 1931, Roman Toran-Albero was born in Spain. He won the Spanish championship in 1951 and 1953. He was awarded the IM title in 1954. He died in Madrid on October 1, 2005.
From October 24 to November 14, 1931, the 7th USSR championship was held in Moscow. It was won by Mikhail Botvinnik (+12 – 2 =3).
On October 31, 1931, Iivo Nei was born in Tartu, Estonia. He won the Estonian Championship 8 times. He was awarded the IM norm in 1964.
On November 14, 1931 John Curdo was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. He has won the Massachusetts state championship 17 times.
On November 15, 1931 Rajko Bogdanovic was born in Vares, Yugoslavia. He was awarded the IM title in 1963.
On December 17, 1931, Dale Brandreth was born in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. He is the owner of Caissa Editions which publishes chess books.
On December 19, 1931, Corvin Radovici was born in Romania. He was awarded the IM title in 1968.
On December 28, 1931, the 12th Christmas Congress was held in Hastings. It would be won by Salo Flohr.
In 1931, Henri Weenik died. He was a Dutch chess composer, player, and author.
In 1931, Ernest Jones published ‘The Problem of Paul Morphy’ in the International Journal of Psycho-analysis.
In 1931, Josef Krikheli was born in the USSR. He was a leading Soviet chess composer. In 1984, he was awarded the International Grandmaster for Chess Compositions (CMComp) title. He died in 1988.
In 1931, Benjamin Grover Laws died. He was an English chess problemist.
In 1931, Nikita Plaksin was born in the USSR. He was a Russian chess composer.
In 1931, Franklin Knowles Young died in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He was a US chess author who tried to apply battlefield principles to the chessboard in a number of his books.
-- written by Bill Wall