Chess in 1967

 by Bill Wall


In 1967, the Andorra Chess Federation was formed.


On January 10, 1967, Ludwid Engels (1905-1967) died in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the age of 61.  He was one of the leading German players in the 1930s. 


In February, 1967, James Creevey (1873-1967) died in Dublin at the age of 93.  He was Irish champion in 1933 and 1934.


On February 5, 1967, Gad Rechlis was born in Israel.  He was awarded the GM title 1990.


On February 10, 1967, French master Pierre Rolland (1926-1967) died in a car accident.  He was French champion in 1956.


On February 25, 1967, Julio Ernesto Granda-Zuniga was born in Camana, Peru.  He was awarded the IM title in 1984 and the GM title in 1986.  He was champion of Peru in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2002.  He was champion of South America in 1993,


On March 1, 1967, Stuart Conquest was born in Ilford, England.  He was world under-16 champion in 1981.  He was awarded the IM title in 1985 and the GM title in 1992.  He was British champion in 2008.


In April 1967, Bobby Fischer took 1st place at Monaco. His USCF rating was 2762. He received an appearance fee of $2,000 and a 5,000 franc first prize. The trophy was presented to him by Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Fischer refused to pose for a photograph with the prince or princess.


On April 9, 1967, Jon Litvinchuk was born in Russia.  He was the 1982 National High School chess co-champion. In 1986, he won the US Junior Chess Championship.


On April 22, 1967, Christine Flear (nee Leroy) was born in France.  She was awarded the WIM title in 1986.  She was women’s champion of France in 1985, 1991, 1994, 1998 and 1999. 


On May 3, 1967,  Stefan Fazekas (1898-1967) died in Buckhurst Hill, Essex, England, at the age of 69.  He was awarded the IM title in 1953 and the IMC title in 1964.  He was British champion in 1957 at the age of 59.


On May 15, 1967, Simen Agdestein was born in Norway.  He was Norwegian champion in 1982 (after a play-off) and Nordic champion in 1985 (also after a play-off).  He was awarded the IM title in 1983 and the GM title in 1985.  He was Norway’s first chess grandmaster but also represented Norway on their professional soccer (football) team.  He had to give up soccer due to injuries on his knee.  He currently teaches soccer and chess at the Norwegian Sports Gymnasium.  He was the early coach of world champion Magnus Carlsen.


On May 17, 1967, James Clifford Howell was born in Brent, England.  He was awarded the IM title in 1985 and the GM title in 1995.


On May 26, 1967, Gideon Ståhlberg (1908-1967) died of a liver ailment in Leningrad at the age of 59.  Ståhlberg was in Leningrad for an international chess tournament.  He won the Swedish championship 11 times.  He was awarded the GM title in 1950.  He was also a former Argentine bridge champion. (source: Old City Derrick, PA, May 31, 1967)


On May 29, 1967, Lucas Brunner was born in Bern, Switzerland.  He was awarded the IM title in 1986 and the GM title in 1994.  He was Swiss champion in 1994.


On May 30, 1967, Alfred Brinckmann (1891-1967) died in Kiel, Germany at the age of 76.  He was awarded the IM title in 1953.  He was a chess author.


On June 6, 1967, Josef Klinger was born in Austra.  He was Austrian champion in 1985 and 1993. He was awarded the IM title in 1985 and the GM title in 1988.


On July 21, 1967, Walte Arencibia-Rodriguez was born in Holguin, Cuba.  He was awarded the IM title in 1986 and the GM title in 1990.  He was 1986 World Junior Champion.  He won the Cuban championship in 1986 and 1990.


On September 12, 1967, Alexander Shabalov was born in Riga, Latvia.  He was awarded the IM title in 1989 and his GM title in 1991.


On September 29, 1967, an episode (Season 1, Episode 1) called “Arrival” featured live chess in a village on The Prisoner (TV series from 1967 to 1968), starring Patrick McGoohan (1928-2009).  The Prisoner gets checkmated by the Admiral, but beats the General in the next episode.


In October, 1967, a famous incident occurred in a game between Milan Matulović and István Bilek at the Sousse Interzonal in Tunisia.   Matulović played a losing move but then took it back after saying "J'adoube" ("I adjust" – which should be announced before adjusting pieces on their square). His opponent complained to the arbiter but the modified move was allowed to stand. This incident earned Matulović the nickname "J'adoubovic."  Bobby Fischer participated in the Sousse Interzonal, but withdrew after leading the event with 7 wins and 3 draws. He forfeited his game with the Soviet international master Gipslis because of too many games he had to play in succession as a result of the tournament organizers re-scheduling his games around his religious holidays and Sabbath. Since the organizers would not let him replay the forfeited game, Fischer withdrew. His USCF rating was 2754 after this event.


On October 22, 1967, Stefan Mohr was born in Germany.  He was awarded the GM title in 1989.


On October 25, 1967, Arpad Vajda (1896-1967) died in Budapest as a result of a gas leak from a faulty oven.  He was 71.  He was Hungarian champion in 1928.  He was awarded the IM title in 1950.


On November 24, 1967, an episode called “Checkmate” (Season 1, Episode 9) appeared on The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan (Number 6).  The Villagers are the chessmen and the players sit in elevated chairs calling out moves with megaphones playing living chess.  The game ended in checkmate.  The escape secret word was Rook to Queen Pawn 6, check.


In December, 1967, Anatoly Karpov won the European Junior Championship in Groningen, Netherlands.


By the end of 1967, at age 18, Walter Browne was the highest rated Junior (under 21) in the USA, with a rating of 2419.  He was the 17th highest rated player in the USA.  Bobby Fischer was 1st with a 2762 rating.