Photograph Lisa Land and Sonja Graf at Chess Board
Photograph Lisa Land and Sonja Graf at Chess Board
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Photograph Lisa Land and Sonja Graf at Chess Board

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Author: Lane Hickey, Marianne Elizabeth (1938- ) signed

Year: 1963

Publisher: Self Published

Place: New York

Description:

Original photograph (8" x 10") of Lisa Lane and Soja Graf at the chess board in 1963. Signed by Lisa lane on front and verso: me with Sonja Graf dated 1963 signed Lisa Lane.

Marianne Elizabeth Lane Hickey is an American former chess player. Her combination of good looks and chess-playing ability made her an international celebrity, even though she never achieved the title of chess master. Her photo appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated, making her the first of only two chess players ever to appear on its cover (the other was Bobby Fischer, in 1972). There were articles about her in Look, Newsweek, The New Yorker and many other magazines. Born in Philadelphia, Lane never knew her father, a leather glazer. As a child, she and her sister Evelyn lived with various neighbors and their grandmother while their mother held down two jobs. After investing her remaining savings in a Philadelphia bookstore, Lane began playing chess at local coffeehouses and "winning all the time," she said. After coaching by master Attilio Di Camillo, Lane won the women's championship of Philadelphia in 1958 and took her first U.S. Women's Chess Championship in 1959 at the age of 21, just two years after she began playing the game. She held this title until 1962, losing it to Gisela Kahn Gresser. Lane had an Elo rating of 2002, a low expert rating, from the United States Chess Federation as of the end of 1961. In 1963, Lane opened her own chess club, The Queen's Pawn Chess Emporium in New York City. In 1966, she shared the U.S. Women's Chess Champion title with Gresser. Both Lisa and her husband were friends of Bobby Fischer and assisted Fischer in some chess articles.

Susanna (Sonja) Graf (1908-1965) was a German chess master who also lived in Argentina and the United States. She was women's world vice-champion, two-time U.S. women's champion and author of two books which describe her life in chess as well as the sufferings of her abusive childhood. Born in Munich, Susanna Graf was the daughter of Josef Graf and Susanna Zimmermann, both Volga Germans from the Samara region, who had moved to Munich in September 1906. She later wrote that despite the suffering she endured at the hands of her father, who was originally a priest in Russia, but moved to Munich to pursue life as a painter, she was grateful that he taught her the game of chess when she was still a child. In 1939, Sonja Graf traveled to Buenos Aires to play on the German team for the 8th Chess Olympiad. As a result of her outspoken defiance of Hitler's government, she was taken off the list of German participants and played under "Libre" ("free" in Spanish) flag. In September, with the tournament still in progress, Germany invaded Poland, unleashing World War II and causing unprecedented confusion within the competition. Some teams withdrew, others refused to play teams from certain countries. Both Graf and Menchik played the entire tournament. Graf won 16 games and lost 3. In her game against Menchik, Graf lost after achieving a winning position, something she always regretted ("against Menchik, when she was world champion, I had a won game, but I found the three stupidest moves you could think of and lost."—New Yorker, September 19, 1964). Following the outbreak of the war, Sonja Graf, along with many other participants of the 8th Chess Olympiad had decided to remain in the safety of Argentina. While in Argentina she met merchant mariner Vernon Stevenson, whom she married in 1947. The newlyweds moved to Southern California, settling in Hollywood, and Graf started playing under the name Sonja Graf-Stevenson. She retired from chess to give birth and raise her son Alexander, but subsequently returned to co-win (with Gisela Kahn Gresser) the 1957 U.S. Women's Chess Championship. She and her family moved to New York City's Greenwich Village, where she gave chess lessons at Lisa Lane's Queen's Pawn Chess Emporium. In 1964 she had her second win in the U.S. Women's Chess Championship, but was already suffering from the liver ailment which would take her life the following year.

Condition:

Corners creased else a very good item.