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1933 in chess

On January 6, 1933, the 13th Annual Christmas Congress in Hastings ended.  The Premier event was won by Salo Flohr of Czechoslovakia, scoring 7 out of 9 (+5 =4).  He was followed by Pirc (6.5), L. Steiner and Sultan Khan (5.5), Michell (4.5), Alexander, Menchik, and Thomas (3.5), Jackson (3), and Tylor (2.5).  The Premier Reserves Tournament was won by J. Rejfir.

In January 1933, Isaac Kashdan published the first monthly edition of Chess Review magazine.  In November 1969, it merged with Chess Life to become Chess Life & Review.

On January 11, 1933, Erbin Haag was born in Mosonmagyarovar, Hungary.  In 1961, he was awarded the International Master (IM) title and the International Master for Correspondence (IMC) title.

On January 14, 1933, Fritz Englund died at the age of 61.  He popularized the Englund Gambit (1.d4 e5).

On January 18, 1933, Orest Popovych was born.  He was a professor of analytical chemistry and FIDE master.  He won the New Jersey championship in 1959, 1961, 1985, and 2001.

On January 22, 1933, William Branch died in Cheltenham, England.  He was a chess historian.

On January 22, 1933, Karl Burger was born in New York City.  In 1980 he was awarded the IM title.  He died in 2000.  He was a physician.

On February 3, 1933, Raul Sanguinetti was born in Argentina.  He won the Argentina chess championship 7 times.  He was awarded the Grandmaster (GM) title in 1982.  He died on August 6, 2000.

On February 5, 1933, Anatoly Lutikov was born.  He was awarded the GM title in 1974.  He died on October 15, 1989.

On February 18, 1933, Venelin Alaikov was born in Shumen, Bulgaria.  In 1988, he was awarded the International Master for Chess Compositions (IMComp) title.

On February 23, 1933, Adrian Mikhalchisin was born in Yugoslavia.  In 1963, he was awarded the IM title.

On March 5, 1933, Evgeny Vasiukov was born in Moscow.  He was awarded the GM title in 1961.

On March 7, 1933, Hermann von Gottschall died in Gorlitz, Germnay at the age of 70.  He was a German lawyer, author and editor.

On March 18, 1933, Peter Clarke was born in London.  In 1980, he was awarded the Correspondence GM (GMC) title.

On March 27, 1933, William Samuel Viner died at the age of 52.  He won the Australian Chess Championship four times (1906, 1912, 1913, 1924) and won the New Zealand Chess Championship in 1907.

In April 1933, the 57th Varsity Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University was won by Oxford, scoring 5-2.  Cambridge still led the series with 26 wins, 25 losses, and 6 ties.

On April 3, 1933, Laslo Navarovsky was born in Budapest, Hungary.  He was awarded the IM title in 1965.  He died on January 17, 1996.

On April 6, 1933, Jesus Diez del Corral was born in Saragossa, Spain.  In 1974, he was awarded the GM title.

On April 6, 1933, Gyorgy Bakcs (né Bartok) was born in Budapest.  In 1980, he was awarded the GMComp title.

On April 8, 1933, Jose Capablanca played 23 boards at the Hollywood Chess and Bridge Club.  He won 21 and drew two games.

From April 8-26, 1933, the 11th Hungarian National Championship was held in Budapest and won by Esteban Canal, who scored 10 out of 14.

On April 16, 1933, Lujsa Honfi (né Gurszky) was born in Budapest.  In 1969, she was awarded the Women’s International Master (WIM) title.

On April 23, 1933, Henry William Barry died of a stroke at the age of 54.  He was an American problemist and problem editor of the American Chess Bulletin beginning in 1904.  He was a musician, teaching the violin.

On April 26, 1933, Bizidar Djurasevic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.  In 1957, he was awarded the IM title.

On May 25, 1933, William Anthony Shinkman died in Grand Rapids, Michigan at the age of 86.  He was an American chess problemist and known as the Wizard of Grand Rapids.

On May 29, 1933, Nikola Padevsky was born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.  In 1964, he was awarded the GM title.  He was a corporate lawyer.

In early June 1933, a National Masters Tournament was held in Aachen, Germany.  It was won by Efim Bogoljubow.  The tournament was organized by the Grossdeutsche Schachbund, a new state-supported chess federation with Joseph Goebbels serving as honorary chair.

On June 13, 1933, Levente Lengyel was born.  He was awarded the GM title in 1964.

On June 19, 1933, the National Chess Federation organized a chess program for the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago.   World champion Alexander Alekhine played a blindfold simultaneous exhibition on 32 boards.  He won 19, lost 4, and drew 9 for a new world record for blindfold play.

In June 1933, the United States Team Tournament was held to select players to join Frank Marshall and Isaac Kashdan on the US Olympiad team.  The winner was Reuben Fine, followed by Arthur Dake and A.C. Simonson.


On July 7, 1933, Josef Nun was born in Czechoslovakia.  In 1976, he was awarded the IM title.

On July 9, 1933, all non-Aryans (Jews), were expelled from the Greater German Chess Federation.

From July 12-23, 1933, the 5th International Team Championship Tournament (Chess Olympiad) was held in Folkestone, England.  The gold medal went to the USA team.  The silver medal went to the Czechoslovakia team.  The bronze medal went to the Sweden team.

On July 22, 1933, Adolf Georg Olland died in The Hague at the age of 66 while playing chess.  He was the leading Dutch chess master in the time before Max Euwe.  He was a physician.

In July 1933, the Women’s World Championship was held in conjunction with the Chess Olympiad.  Vera Menchik of Czechoslovakia retained her title with a perfect 14-0 score.

From July 31 to August 11, 1933, the26th  British Championship was held at Hastings and won by Mir Sultan Khan.  Miss Fatima won the British Ladies Championship. 

In 1933, the first British Boys’ championship was held in Hastings.

In August 1933, the first Bulgarian championship was held in Varna, won by Georgi Geshev.

On August 21-26, 1933, Fred Reinfeld won the 55th New York State Championship, held in Syracuse, New York.

From September 23 to October 1, 1933, the 34th Western Chess Congress (US Open) was held in Detroit.  Reuben Fine won the event, scoring 12 out of 13 (+10 -1 =0).    Samuel Reshevsky took 2nd, followed by Arthur Dake.  There were 14 players in the event.

On September 9, 1933, Mikhail Botvinnik won the 8th All-Union (USSR) championship with 11 wins, 2 losses, and 6 draws.  He had just completed his electrical engineering studies at the Leningrad Polytechnic Institute.

On September 30, 1933, Janos Flesch was born in Budapest.  In 1980, he was awarded an honorary GM title.  He died in a car crash in 1983.

On October 7, 1933, Jonathan Penrose was born in Colchester, England.  He won the British championship 10 times.  He was a psychologist.

On October 15, 1933, Zadok Domnitz was born in Tel Aviv.  He played for Israel in the 1962, 1964, and 1968 chess Olympiads.

On October 17, 1933, Professor Johann Nepomuk Berger died in Graz, Austria at the age of 88.  In 1870 he won the first major tournament in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  In 1873 he helped create the Sonnenborn-Berger tie-breaking system.  In 1886 he won the world championship chess problem-solving contest.  He authored a classic on endgame studies.

On October 21, 1933, Nils Gustav Gerand van Dijk was born in Indonesia.  In 1961, he was awarded the IMComp title.

On October 22, 1933, Burt Hochberg was born in New York City.  He died on May 13, 2006.  He was a former editor of Chess Life magazine.

On October 23, 1933, Francesco Scafarelli was born in Italy.  In 1957, he was awarded the IM title.  He died on December 3, 2007.

On October 25, 1933, James Sherwin was born in New York City.  In 1958, he was awarded the IM title.  From 1979 to 1990, he was the president of the American Chess Foundation.

On November 12, 1933, Borislav Ivkov was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.  In 1951, he became the first world junior chess champion.  In 1955, he was awarded the GM title.

On November 13, 1933, Bukhuti Gurgenidze was born in Surami, Georgia.  In 1970, he was awarded the GM title.  He played in 8 USSR championships.  He was a geologist by profession.

On November 15, 1933, Egon Varnusz was born in Budapest, Hungary.  He is a FIDE master and chess writer.

On November 28, 1933, William Addison was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  In 1967, he was awarded the IM title.  He played in five U.S. championships.  He died in 2008.

On December 27, 1933, the 1933-34 Hastings Chess Congress began in Hastings, England. 

In December 1933, Arnold Denker won the first Chess Championsip of Bronx County.

At the end of 1933, Mir Sultan Khan returned with his master to India and his chess career was over.

In 1933, Emilian Dobrescu was born in Romania.  In 1989, he was awarded the GMComp title.

In 1933, Emanuel Lasker, age 64, and his wife were driven out of Germany and their property confiscated.  The Hitler regime confiscated their apartment in Berlin, took their farm at Thyrow, and stole all of their savings.  In 1933, they moved to England, then to Holland.

In 1933, Wolfgang Dittman was born.  He was a German chess composer.

In 1933, the Correspondence Chess League of America was the first organization to adopt a numerical rating system.

In 1933, Samuel Reshevsky received an accounting degree from the University of Chicago.


-- written by Bill Wall

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