Hastings Chess Congress 1953-54

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Author: Wade, Robert Graham (1921-2008) and William Riston Morry

Year: 1954

Publisher: Passant Chess Publications

Place: Birmingham

Description:

22 typescript pages. Quarto (10 1/4" x 6 1/4") bound in original publisher's wrappers. All 45 games with notes from the Premier tournament. (Betts: 25-224) First edition.

The 29th Hastings Christmas Chess Festival was held at the end of the year 1953. After resuming annual tournaments in 1945 after the war, the chess club at 7 Carlisle Parade had struggled to keep the event ongoing without many foreign participants to make the contests more engaging to the public. This edition of the premier tournament saw an opportunity that would shape the course of the event for the remainder of the 1950s. The Soviet Chess Federation, in the interest of displaying their dominant grandmasters to the West, sent as emissaries David Bronstein and Alexander Tolush to participate in the festival. They were met by four time Hastings winner Dr. Savielly Tartakower, and Conel Hugh O'Donel Alexander who had won the 22nd edition of the Hastings event and been a code-breaker for the Allies during WWII. The remaining seats were filled by International masters Aleksander Matanovic, Alberic O'Kelly de Galway, and Robert Wade; Fridik Olafsson who had placed 3rd in the 1953 World Junior Championship; Rudolf Teschner, the editor of Deutsche Schachzeitung and West German champion of 1951; and a previous Hastings participant, Dennis Horne. The time control for the event was 34 moves in two hours followed by 17 moves every hour. Alexander won his second Hastings festival with 6½/9, sharing first with world vice-champion Bronstein. Despite Bronstein's shared first, his and Tolush's losses to Alexander, as well as their inability to sweep the field, were considered an embarrassment by the Soviet Chess Federation. They would retaliate the following year by sending Vasily Smyslov and Paul Keres to Hastings to accomplish what Bronstein and Tolush had failed to do. Nevertheless, the new invitations to Soviet grandmasters was a success and the Hastings Christmas festivals continued with new vigor throughout the 1950s. Third O'Kelly de Galway 5½, =4th Olafsson, =4th Tolush, =4th Teschner and =4th Matanovic 4½, 8th Tartakower 3½, 9th Wade 3 and last 10th Horne 2.

Condition:

Wrappers soiled, corners bumped and rubbed else about very good.