One sheet cover with cancelled stamp of the 1978 Olympiad in Argentina signed by Erich Gottlieb Eliskases; Boris Vasilievich Spassky; Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi; Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin and Svend Hamann

One sheet cover with cancelled stamp of the 1978 Olympiad in Argentina signed by Erich Gottlieb Eliskases; Boris Vasilievich Spassky; Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi; Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin and Svend Hamann

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Author: Eliskases, Erich Gottlieb (1913–1997) ; Boris Vasilievich Spassky; Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi; Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin and Svend Hamann signed

Year: 1978

Publisher: Republica Argentina

Place: Buenos Aires


One sheet cover with cancelled stamp. Oblong duodecimo (3 3/4" x 6"). Signed by Erich Gottlieb Eliskases; Boris Vasilievich Spassky; Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi; Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin and Svend Hamann.

Event covers are decorated, stamped and canceled commemorative envelopes. They are created to celebrate an event or note an anniversary. The design (called a "cachet") is generally placed on the left side of the envelope (although there are also "all over" cachets). It explains what is being commemorated on what date, and some times includes an illustration page. Ideally, the stamps used relate to the celebration. Cancels are either obtained in the city of the event. If a special cancellation (one with a design) has been created for the event, you can generally only receive that cancel from the local post office.

Three of the signers were either world champions or were considered contenders for the title. Towards the end of the 1930s, along with Keres and Capablanca, Eliskases was regarded as a potential contender for a World Championship encounter with Alexander Alekhine. Indeed, Alekhine spoke out in favor of a match with the Austrian, who had acted as a second during his successful attempt to regain the title from Max Euwe in 1937. However, Eliskases' defection to South America was badly timed, as documentary evidence later showed that the Nazi regime had scheduled him a 1941 match with the World Champion. Boris Vasilievich Spassky was the tenth World Chess Champion, holding the title from 1969 to 1972. Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi lost the Candidates final to Karpov, who was declared world champion in 1975 when Bobby Fischer refused to defend his title. He then won two consecutive Candidates cycles to qualify for World Championship matches with Karpov in 1978 and 1981, losing both. At the Olympiads Oleg Mikhailovich Romanishin represented the Soviet Union in 1978 and thereafter played for Ukraine through the 1990s, winning a total of 2 silver medals and 2 bronze. At the European Team Chess Championships his medal haul has amounted to an incredible 6 gold and 1 silver. Svend Hamann was born in Copenhagen. Awarded the IM title in 1965, he was Danish champion in 1972 and played board one for Denmark at the 1978 Olympiad.

The 23th Chess Olympiad came back to South America after 39 years. Unfortunately no participant from 1939 appeared in the line-ups although bigger gaps have been seen in the history of the Olympiads. We have seen 66 nations, among them team USA, the titleholders, together with group of hawkish youngsters from Western European teams and full set of Communist nations, including USSR of course. The Soviets were lacking Karpov and Tal this time having put three newcomers into the squad. It was the second time when the Olympiad was running according to the rules of Swiss system, but the first time when both West and East countries joined. The 4-year break made it hard to predict who is going to reach the medal zone, apart from the Soviets who, as usual, were big favorites for Gold. Hungary lead by Portisch, Ribli and Sax looked very solid as well as Yugoslavia with Gligorić and Ljubojević, The American squad was based on their Haifa golden team. Argentina, the host nation, once again were deprived of their best players (Najdorf, Panno, Quinteros and more) who missed the Argentinian Championship, the major and only Olympic team qualifier. Of 33 first round clashes as much as 16 ended up in a clear 4-0 but no major team managed to do so. Hungary and Yugoslavia dropped a fraction, USSR and USA left a full point behind the leaders beating Wales and Paraguay respectively by 3 to 1. Experienced Hölzl of Austria lost to G.Broomes of Guyana but it were the impatiently expected newcomers from China who produced major round 1 sensation hammering Iceland 3-1, where Qi trashed GM Sigurjónsson at board 1. Nothing interesting happened on the next day when we have seen the favourites taking what they should take, with few exceptions like Sweden's lost to Norway or Spain dropping 1½ point vs Venezuela. England took over the narrow lead ahead of Bulgaria and Holland. The Brittons retained the lead at the end of the next day as they ran over Argentina. Hungary wiped out the Netherlands and Soviet Union beat Romania comfortably. Cuba beat West Germany by surprisingly easy 3-1. Poland struggled vs Hong Kong only to achieve a modest win. Next day saw bunch of 2-2 and 2½-1½ results with only USRR and USA pulling up thanks to 3-1 wins. Poland recovered impressively hammering Brazil 4-0 to move into top 10. USSR moved into a share of lead together with England - at last. Miles' outstanding win over Spassky was only enough for a draw for England in key match of round 5. We saw four draws at table 2, where Hungary shared points with USA. Cuba recovered from last day's loss killing the Dutch - to everyone's astonishment. On the next day Spassky's win over Portisch sealed Soviet's win in a match that seemed to be decisive about the gold medals. USA cruised to a prestigious 2½-1½ win over England. Denmark murdered Canada leaving them just a half of a point and mounted the runner up position - together with Bulgaria who beat irregular Cubans. England dropped back to 4th shared with USA. Hungary, Yugoslavia and Poland were lying down in joint 6th. Bulgaria put up tough resistance vs USSR (Padevsky beat Gulko) but this was only enough to avoid heavy loss. Hungary barely halved vs amazing Danes despite Portisch's firm win. USA beat Yugoslavia and Polish newly emerged star Kuligowski sealed his country win over England. Cuba continued their swing play defeating Philippines. Germany reverted to the top hammering poor Welsh team. It were USSR who were the leaders at the halfway a full point ahead of USA and Denmark followed by Germany, Bulgaria and Poland. Round 8 proved to be successful fishing for USSR and Hungary who scored 3 points both vs USA and England respectively. Denmark drew vs Cuba and West Germany went on with their stunning pace wiping out the host nation. That day we have seen one of most memorable Olympic curiosities as Liu Wenzhe of China demolished GM Donner in a game that soon happened to become an epitome of China's rising power. USSR retained their lead ahead of Germany and Hungary. Round 9 brought major upset as USSR lost to West Germany (Pfleger beat Polugaevsky) to only make themselves nervous and lacking confidence followed by their opposition's boost in morale. Hungary modestly beat Bulgaria and USA crushed sensational Denmark by 4-0, flushing the latter down to 18th position in the table. The Soviets were still in the lead though, a fraction ahead of Germany and USA, and bearing a one point advantage over Hungary. The rest were far behind. The next round brought another major disappointment for the Soviet team who were lucky to avoid loss vs Israel. West Germany and Hungary did not even try to take a risk and halved quickly. USA beat Cuba but it was still not enough given Lombady lost to García Martínez wasting huge chance to overtake the leaders to whom the Americans only levelled on that day. The rest day did not help the Soviets who got on with their pathetic run dropping 2 points vs Sweden. A stiff USA-West Germany match gave the Americans the minimal win and Hungary took all their chances defeating 3-1 team Iceland. Israel recovered from scratch and climbed up to 4th place thanks to 3½-½ victory over Cuba. However they came back when they were earlier just 24 hours later after having been defeated by mighty Americans. The Soviets finally managed a win but a 2½-1½ over Poland barely revived their hopes. Hungary destroyed Sweden to become yet one more nation to find themselves at the top of the table. Canada demolished France 4-0 and were back in top 10. With two rounds to go the medal winners were already decided, since USA, Hungary and USSR earned comfortable advantage over the rest. But not over each other... In penultimate round the Hungarians dispelled Israeli hopes for medals but conceded three draws while the Soviets beat Canada 3-1. The United States were very lucky to avoid loss vs stunning Poles. The rest of the top matches were all draws. Before the last round started Hungary were in the lead ahead of Soviet Union and USA. Everyone was hoping for very close finish but it was not the case. The Soviets managed only one win in a pallid last round clash vs The Netherlands and the Hungarians did not miss the chance of their life crushing Yugoslavia 3-1 to enjoy the most surprising Olympic title in the history. USA easily retained their bronze medal positions halving vs Switzerland (Kavalek lost to Korchnoi) but they never looked like making it better than that. Germany came 4th ahead of Israel and Romania. Denmark and Poland were very happy to see their teams in top 10, something they definitely deserved. England, the early leaders were down in 12th, still better than Yugoslavia (15th) and Argentina, the host nation. The Chinese finished 20th showing truly good form and Brazil once again did badly, although they were deprived of Mecking who was suffering muscular atrophy at the time. France did not improve much finishing in joint 37th despite promising start. The fully deserved success of Hungarian team was achieved thanks to their top 3, namely Portisch, Ribli and Sax. Portisch contributed most and scored >70% despite two losses. The reconstructed Soviet team missed a clear leader, Polugaevsky achieved most valuable result perhaps. The bronze for USA, exactly what they were supposed to get, is primarily owed to Tarjan who won gold individual medal for his excellent 9½/11. Superb youngster Kuligowski boosted performance of Polish team and Korchnoi produced stunning performance for his new homeland Switzerland. Bordonada of Philippines and Turner of British Virgin Islands (best individual percentage performance) did remarkably well also. The 1978 Buenos Aires Olympiad was one of those that did not bring much spectacular games and events, apart from Hungary celebrating their first Olympic gold since 1928.


Light edge wear and light soiling else a very nice item.