Program for the First Piatigorsky Cup: International Grandmaster Chess Tournament July 2 to 27, 1963

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Author: Kashdan, Isaac (1905-1985) inscribed or signed by Tigran Petrosian, Pal Benko, Oscar Panno, Miguel Najdorf, Samuel Reshevsky, Paul Keres, Fridrik Olafsson, Svetozar Gligoric

Year: 1963

Publisher: Piatigorsky Cup Committee

Place: Los Angeles


48 pages with photographs and diagrams. Octavo (8 1/2" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's spiral binding in blue felt wrappers with black and silver Piatigorsky Cup stamped to cover. Included 10 first day tickets for the cup. Signed or inscribed by all the contestants. First edition.

The Piatigorsky Cup was a triennial series of double round-robin grandmaster chess tournaments held in the United States in the 1960's. Sponsored by the Piatigorsky Foundation, only two events were held, in 1963 and 1966. The Piatigorsky Cups were the strongest U.S. chess tournaments since New York 1927. Jacqueline Piatigorsky (née Rothschild) was married to cellist Gregor Piatigorsky. One of the strongest woman chess players in the U.S. and a regular competitor in the U.S. Women's Chess Championship, she designed the cup and was the primary organizer of the tournament. The prize funds were among the largest of any chess tournament up to that time. Every player was guaranteed a prize and all traveling and living expenses were paid. The First Piatigorsky Cup was held in The Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles in July 1963. The tournament field of eight included players from five countries. The Soviet representatives Paul Keres and World Champion Tigran Petrosian finished equal first to share the cup with a score of 8½/14, receiving more than half of the $10,000 prize fund ($3000 for first). Since dollars brought back to the USSR were exchanged by the Soviet government for rubles at an unfavorable rate, Keres and Petrosian were reported to have bought automobiles (Ramblers) with their winnings. Keres won the most games in the tournament (six), but lost twice to Samuel Reshevsky. The Cup was Petrosian's first tournament since winning the 1963 World Championship match with Mikhail Botvinnik and was one of two first prizes he shared in his six-year reign as champion. He was the first reigning champion to play in an American tournament since Alexander Alekhine at Pasadena 1932. After losing in the second round to Svetozar Gligoric, Petrosian was never in danger the rest of the tournament. The remainder of the tournament field included two Americans, Reshevsky and Pal Benko, two Argentinians, Oscar Panno and Miguel Najdorf, and two Europeans, Gligoric (Yugoslavia) and Fridrik Olafsson (Iceland). U.S. Champion Bobby Fischer declined an invitation after his demand for a $2000 appearance fee was refused by the tournament organizers. Gligoric led halfway through the tournament with 4 1/2/7, but he scored only three draws in the last seven games and finished fifth behind Najdorf and Olafsson. Petrosian finished the strongest, with 5/7 in the second half. Before the last round, Petrosian led with 8 points, followed by Keres with 7 1/2 and Najdorf and Olafsson with 7. Both Petrosian and Keres had Black in the final round. Petrosian drew his game against Reshevsky, but Keres beat Gligoric to result in a tie for first place with 8 1/2 points each.


Spiral spine small split at center else a better than very good copy.