Photograph Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik at the Chess Board

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Author: Botvinnik, Mikhail Moiseyevich (1911-1995)

Year: 1956

Publisher: Paul Muller-Brell

Place: Arlesheim


Photograph of Mikhail Botvinnik seated at the chess board at the Moscow 1956 Olympiade. Mounted on stiff oblong paper 4 1/2" x 8 1/4" with typed caption below. Photograph measures 5 1/2" x 3 3/4".

The 12th Chess Olympiad, organized by the FIDE and comprising an open[1] team tournament, as well as several other events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between August 31 and September 25, 1956, in Moscow, Soviet Union. The host nation were double defending champions and naturally huge favourites, and they lived up to expectations. Although their victory margin wasn't as big as two years before, they still won comfortably, with Yugoslavia and Hungary taking home the silver and bronze medals, respectively. A total of 34 teams entered the competition and were divided into four preliminary groups of eight or nine teams. The top three from each group advanced to Final A, the teams placed 4th-6th to Final B, and the rest to Final C. All groups and finals were played as round-robin tournaments. Group 1 was won by the Soviet hosts, well ahead of Bulgaria and Switzerland. Poland, Sweden, and Norway took the places 4-6, while Puerto Rico and Saar finished at the bottom of the group. Yugoslavia took first place in group 2, ahead of Israel and Denmark. Netherlands, Austria, and France made up the middle part of the group, while Mongolia and Scotland had to settle for the bottom. Group 3 was won by Argentina, ahead of West Germany and England. Iceland, Chile, and Finland took the places 4-6, while India, Luxembourg, and Ireland finished at the bottom of the group. Hungary cliched group 4, ahead of Romania and Czechoslovakia. East Germany, Colombia, and Belgium made up the middle part of the group, while the Philippines, Greece, and Iran completed the field. Botvinnik, Smyslov, Keres, Bronstein, Taimanov, Geller composed the Soviet team with board numbers in that order.

Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik was a Soviet and Russian International Grandmaster and World Chess Champion for most of 1948 to 1963. Working as an electrical engineer and computer scientist at the same time, he was one of the very few professional chess players who achieved distinction in another career while playing top-class competitive chess. He was also a pioneer of computer chess. Botvinnik was the first world-class player to develop within the Soviet Union, putting him under political pressure but also giving him considerable influence within Soviet chess. Botvinnik also played a major role in the organization of chess, making a significant contribution to the design of the World Chess Championship system after World War II and becoming a leading member of the coaching system that enabled the Soviet Union to dominate top-class chess during that time. His famous pupils include World Champions Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov and Vladimir Kramnik.


A fine copy mounted on very good paper.