On This Day

Chess in History

Events in Sport

The Lewis Chess Pieces

1831-04-11 The 12th century Lewis chess pieces are exhibited at the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, shortly after their rediscovery in a sand bank on the Scottish Isle of Lewis

Sports History

1857-10-06 First American Chess Congress hosted by the American Chess Association in NYC, NY; won by Paul Morphy 10 November

  • 1857-11-10 First American Chess Congress is won by Paul Morphy; beats Louis Paulson, 6-2 for a tournament record of 14 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss
  • 1858-06-21 Louisiana chess prodigy Paul Morphy arrives in Europe
  • 1859-02-26 Paul Morphy's chess match vs Augustus Mongredien begins; Morphy wins
  • 1859-04-30 Paul Morphy returns from 10-month chess tour of Europe, retires
  • 1894-05-26 German Emanuel Lasker becomes undisputed World Chess Champion by beating Austrian-American defending titleholder Wilhelm Steinitz, 10-5 (4 draws) in Montreal, Canada

Sports History

1927-03-24 Cuban chess champion José Raúl Capablanca wins 33-day Grand Chess Tournament

  • 1935-12-15 In major upset, Dutch grand master Max Euwe becomes World Chess Champion beating Russian Alexander Alekhine (9 wins, 13 draws, 8 losses) in Zandvoort, Netherlands
  • 1937-12-07 Russian chess player Alexander Alekhine recaptures his final world title from Dutch grand master Max Euwe by a large margin (+10−4=11)
  • 1945-09-04 American chess grandmaster Reuben Fine wins 4 simultaneous rapid (10 seconds per move) games blindfolded in New York City
  • 1948-05-16 First chess world championship since WWII; Russian player Mikhail Botvinnik wins a 5-player tournament to begin 20-year Russian domination

Sports History

1956-10-17 Chess "Game of the Century": 13-year-old Bobby Fischer defeats 1953 U.S. Champion Donald Byrne in the Rosenwald Memorial Tournament at the Marshall Chess Club in New York City

  • 1958-05-09 Russian Mikhail Botvinnik recaptures world chess championship
  • 1960-05-07 Michael Tal beats Mikhail Botvinnik 12½-8½ for world chess championship
  • 1961-05-12 Russian Mikhail Botvinnik wins world chess championship for 3rd time
  • 1970-08-07 First all-computer chess championship is conducted in New York and won by CHESS 3.0 (CDC 6400), a program written by Slate, Atkin & Gorlen at Northwestern University
  • 1972-09-01 American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer beats Russian champion Boris Spassky 12.5-8.5 in Reykjavik, Iceland; most publicised world title match ever played; Fischer 1st American to win title
  • 1975-04-03 Bobby Fischer stripped of world chess title for refusing to defend it, title awarded to Russian Anatoly Karpov
  • 1977-04-23 Czech chess master Vlastimil Hort plays 201 games simultaneously & only loses 10

Sports History

1981-11-20 Russian Anatoly Karpov retains world chess championship

Sports History

1985-02-15 World chess championship match abandoned with Anatoly Karpov 25 leading Gary Kasparov 23

Garry Kasparov Becomes World Chess Champion

1985-11-09 Russia's Garry Kasparov (22) becomes the youngest ever World Chess Champion, with a 13-11 win over fellow countryman Anatoly Karpov

Sports History

2013-01-27 Magnus Carlsen wins the 2013 Tata Steel Chess Tournament

  • 2013-11-22 Norwegian, Magnus Carlsen defeats Viswanathan Anand to win the 2013 World Chess Championship
  • 2014-11-23 Magnus Carlsen defends his World Chess Championship title after defeating Vishy Anand
  • 2018-06-23 Indian chess prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa becomes the second-youngest grandmaster at 12 years, 10 months, 13 days
  • 2019-07-02 Newly rediscovered Lewis chess piece sells at auction for £735,000 in London
  • 2021-06-30 American Abhimanyu Mishra becomes the youngest chess grandmaster ever at 12 years and 4 months, surpassing Sergey Karjakin

Birthdays in Sport

  • 1726-09-07 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, born in Dreux, France (d. 1795)

Peter Mark Roget

1779-01-18 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer (Roget's Thesaurus) and inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard), born in London (d. 1869)

  • 1794-02-12 Alexander Petrov, Russian chess player (d. 1867)
  • 1818-07-06 Adolf Anderssen, German World Chess Champion (1851-66), born in Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1879)
  • 1833-02-05 John Watkinson, founder of British Chess Magazine (oldest chess mag)
  • 1833-11-14 Antonius von der Linde, Neth/German librarian/chess player
  • 1836-05-17 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian World Chess Champion (1866-94), born in Prague, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (d. 1900)

Paul Morphy

1837-06-22 Paul Morphy, American chess player considered the greatest of his era (1857-61), born in New Orleans, Louisiana (d. 1884)

  • 1842-09-07 Johannes Zukertort, German chess player, born in Lublin, Russian Empire (d. 1888)
  • 1845-02-14 Cecil De Vere, 1st official British chess champion (1866), born in London (d. 1875)
  • 1850-11-12 Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess player (d. 1908)
  • 1856-11-07 Semyon Alapin, Russian chess master, born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1923)
  • 1860-08-06 Fernando Canon, Filipino revolutionary general, poet, and the Philippines 1st National Chess Champion, born in Biñan, Laguna, Captaincy General of the Philippines (d. 1938)
  • 1862-03-05 Siegbert Tarrasch, German chess player (d. 1934)
  • 1866-03-14 Alexey Troitsky, Russian chess problemist, born in St. Petersburg, Russia (d. 1942)
  • 1868-12-24 Emanuel Lasker, German World Chess Champion (1894-21), born in Barlinek, Poland (d. 1941)
  • 1872-12-05 Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, born in Somerville, Massachusetts (d. 1906)
  • 1877-08-10 Frank Marshall, American chess player (US Champion 1909-36), born in NYC, New York (d. 1944)
  • 1882-12-12 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), born in Stawiski, Poland (d. 1961)
  • 1883-12-26 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950)
  • 1885-06-22 Milan Vidmar, Slovenian engineer and chess player (d. 1962)
  • 1886-11-07 Aron Nimzowitsch, Latvian chess player (openings theorist), born in Riga, Russian Empire (d. 1935)
  • 1887-02-21 Savielly Tartakower, Austrian-Polish-French chess player, born in Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire (d. 1956)

José Raúl Capablanca

1888-11-19 José Raúl Capablanca, Cuban World Chess Champion (1921-27), born in Havana, Cuba, Spanish Empire (d. 1942)

  • 1889-04-14 Efim Bogoljubov, Russian-German chess player, born in Stanislavchyk, Tarashcha Uyezd, Kiev Governorate, Russian Empire (d. 1952)
  • 1889-07-29 Lajos Asztalos, Hungarian chess player (International Chess Master 1950), born in Pécs, Hungary (d. 1956)
  • 1892-11-01 Alexander Alekhine, Russian, French chess player (world champion 1927-35, 37-46), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 1946)
  • 1896-09-16 André Chéron, French chess and bridge theorist (d. 1980)
  • 1901-05-20 Max Euwe, Dutch World Chess Champion (1935-37), born in The Netherlands (d. 1981)
  • 1903-08-25 Arpad Elo, American chess writer and creator of the Elo rating system for two-player games such as chess, born in Egyházaskesző, Hungary (d. 1992)
  • 1906-01-31 R W Bonham, founder (International Braille Chess Association)
  • 1906-02-16 Vera Menchik, Russian-born British chess master, 1st official women's world chess champion (1927-39), born in Moscow, Russian Empire (d. 1944)
  • 1907-04-15 Gerald Abrahams, English author (Teach Yourself Chess), born in Liverpool, England (d. 1980)
  • 1909-05-14 Vladimir Alatortsev, USSR, International Chess Master (1950)
  • 1911-03-01 Harry Golombek, British chess grandmaster and author (3-time British champion), born in London, England (d. 1995)
  • 1911-04-17 Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian World Chess Champion (1948-63), born in Repino, Russia (d. 1995)
  • 1911-11-26 Samuel Reshevsky, Polish-American chess grandmaster, born in Ozorków, Congress Poland, Russian Empire (d. 1992)
  • 1913-02-15 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (grandmaster 1952), born in Innsbruck, Austria (d. 1997)
  • 1914-02-21 Arnold Denker, American chess champion (1944-46), born in New York City (d. 2005)
  • 1916-01-07 Paul Keres, Estonian and Soviet chess grandmaster (1950), born in Narva, Estonia (d. 1975)
  • 1916-08-20 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player, born in Narva, Estonia (d. 1984)
  • 1917-03-19 Laszlo Szabo, Hungarian chess player (d. 1998)
  • 1919-06-09 Izaak Boleslavsky, Soviet chess player, born in Zolotonosha, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union (d. 1977)
  • 1922-02-08 Joeri Averbach, Russian chess grandmaster
  • 1924-02-19 David Bronstein, Ukrainian chess player (d. 2006)
  • 1927-07-06 Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess grand master, born in The Hague, Netherlands (d. 1988)
  • 1928-01-03 Frank Ross Anderson, Canadian International Chess Master (1954)
  • 1928-07-15 Pál Benkő, Hungarian-American chess player, author (Grandmaster; record 8 US Open Championships), born in Amiens, France (d. 2019)
  • 1929-05-14 Vladimir Antoshin, USSR, International Chess Grandmaster (1964)
  • 1929-06-17 Tigran Petrosian, Soviet Armenian World Chess Champion (1963-69), born in Tiflis, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union (d. 1984)
  • 1931-03-28 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-American chess player (Grandmaster 1968; World Chess Hall of Fame), born in Leningrad, Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1931-07-23 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, born in Leningrad (d. 2016)
  • 1932-03-22 Larry Evans, American chess grandmaster, author and journalist (5 x US Chess C'ship; 20+ books), born in NYC, New York (d. 2010)
  • 1933-03-05 Evgeni Vasiukov, Russian chess grandmaster (World Senior Champion 1995), born in Moscow, Russia (d. 2018)
  • 1935-12-08 Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player (Women's Soviet Chess Championship 1960, 62, 63), born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, USSR (d. 2017)
  • 1936-09-09 Mikhail Tal, Soviet Latvian World Chess Champion (1960-61), born in Riga, Latvia, USSR (d. 1992)
  • 1937-01-30 Boris Spassky, Russian chess player (world champion 1969-72, born in Leningrad, Russia
  • 1937-03-11 Milan Vukcevich, Yugoslavian chemist and a grandmaster of chess problem composition, born in Belgrade, Serbia (d. 2003)
  • 1941-05-03 Nona Gaprindashvili, Georgian world women's chess champ (1962-78), born in Zugdidi, Georgian SSR, Soviet Union

Bobby Fischer

1943-03-09 Bobby Fischer, American chess player (world champion (1972-75), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2008)

  • 1943-11-11 Jan Adamski, Polish International Chess Master (1976)
  • 1944-01-12 Vlastimil Hort, Czechoslovak-born German chess player, born in Kladno, Czech Republic
  • 1946-08-21 Lev Alburt, International Chess Master (1976), born in Orenburg, Russia
  • 1947-01-08 Igor Ivanov, Russian-born Canadian chess champion (1981-84, 1985- ), born in Leningrad, USSR
  • 1949-01-10 Walter S. Browne, Australian-born American chess Grandmaster (1974-78, 1980-84), born in Sydney, Australia (d. 2015)
  • 1949-12-13 Nana Alexandria, Georgian International Woman's Chess Grandmaster (1976), born in Poti, Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union

Anatoly Karpov

1951-05-23 Anatoly Karpov, Russian chess player (world champion 1975-85, 93-99), born in Zlatoust, Russia

  • 1951-06-27 Ulf Andersson, Swedish International Chess Grandmaster (1972), born in Västerås, Sweden
  • 1951-12-14 Jan Timman, Dutch chess player, born in Amsterdam
  • 1953-09-04 Michael Stean, English chess grandmaster, born in London, United Kingdom
  • 1955-01-23 Ruth Haring, American chess player & president of the US Chess Federation, born on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (d. 2018)
  • 1955-04-23 Tony Miles, English chess grandmaster, born in Birmingham, England (d. 2001)
  • 1955-04-25 John Nunn, English chess grandmaster, born in London
  • 1957-03-11 Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya, Leningrad, Soviet Union, Chess Grandmaster, (d. 2012)
  • 1960-02-13 Artur Yusupov, Russian chess player, born in Moscow, Russia
  • 1960-10-20 Konstantin Aseev, Russian chess player (d. 2004)
  • 1961-01-17 Maia Chiburdanidze, Soviet women's world chess champ, born in Kutaisi, USSR
  • 1962-10-14 Jaan Ehlvest, Estonian chess player

Garry Kasparov

1963-04-13 Gary Kasparov, Russian chess player (world champion 1985-93), born in Baku, Azerbaijan

  • 1963-07-25 Julian Hodgson, English chess player, born in London
  • 1964-08-25 Vassilios Kotronias, Greek chess grandmaster, born in Athens, Greece
  • 1964-10-01 Jonathan Sarfati, New Zealand chess player, scientist, and author (FIDE Master), born in Ararat, Australia
  • 1965-06-01 Nigel Short MBE, English chess grandmaster, columnist, coach, commentator (Vice-President FIDE; World #3 1988-89), born in Leigh, England
  • 1966-01-18 Alexander Khalifman, Russian chess player, born in Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 1966-03-30 Efstratios Grivas, Greek chess grandmaster and author, born in Aigio, Greece
  • 1969-03-18 Vassily Ivanchuk, Ukrainian chess player
  • 1969-09-06 Ben Finegold, American chess player, born in Detroit, Michigan
  • 1969-12-11 Vishwanathan Anand, Indian chess grandmaster, born in Mayiladuthurai, India
  • 1971-12-07 Vladimir Akopian, Armenian chess Grandmaster, born in Baku, Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union
  • 1974-06-02 Gata Kamsky, American chess player
  • 1975-03-15 Veselin Topalov, Bulgarian chess player
  • 1975-06-25 Vladimir Kramnik, Russian chess grandmaster, born in Tuapse, Krasnodar Krai, Russia
  • 1976-07-23 Judit Polgár, Hungarian chess player (only female chess player to make world's top 10), born in Budapest, Hungary
  • 1978-01-08 Boris Avrukh, Israeli chess grandmaster, born in Karaganda, Kazakhstan
  • 1978-09-05 Zhang Zhong, Chinese-Singaporean chess player, born in Chongqing, China
  • 1983-10-11 Ruslan Ponomariov, Ukrainian chess player, born in Horlivka, Ukraine
  • 1984-04-23 Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russian chess grandmaster (Women's World Chess Champion 2008-10), born in Perm, Russia
  • 1987-03-31 Humpy Koneru, Indian chess player (youngest woman to achieve title of grandmaster), born in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
  • 1988-12-11 Murugan Thiruchelvam, English chess player, born in England
  • 1990-01-12 Sergey Karjakin, Ukrainian chess player, born in Simferopol

Deaths in Sport

  • 1795-08-31 François-André Danican Philidor, French composer and chess champion, dies at 68

Peter Mark Roget

1869-09-12 Peter Mark Roget, British lexicographer (Roget's Thesaurus) and inventor (slide rule, pocket chessboard), dies at 90

  • 1874-06-22 Howard Staunton, English World Chess Champion, designer of chess pieces, dies at 84
  • 1875-02-09 Cecil De Vere, 1st official British chess champion (1866), dies at 28
  • 1879-03-13 Adolf Anderssen, German World Chess Champion (1851-66), dies at 60

Paul Morphy

1884-07-10 Paul Morphy, American chess player considered the greatest of his era (1857-61), dies at 47

  • 1888-06-20 Johannes Zukertort, German chess player, dies at 45
  • 1900-08-12 Wilhelm Steinitz, Austrian World Chess Champion (1866-94), dies at 64
  • 1906-06-17 Harry Nelson Pillsbury, American chess player, dies at 33
  • 1908-01-25 Mikhail Chigorin, Russian chess player (b. 1850)
  • 1908-04-11 Henry Bird, English Chess player and author (b. 1829)
  • 1934-02-17 Siegbert Tarrasch, German chess player (b. 1862)
  • 1935-03-16 Aron Nimzowitsch, Latvian-born chess player (b. 1886)
  • 1938-07-18 Fernando Canon, Filipino revolutionary general, poet, and the Philippines 1st National Chess Champion, dies at 77
  • 1941-01-11 Emanuel Lasker, German chess player (b. 1868)
  • 1944-06-02 Vera Menchik, Russian born British chess master, 1st official Women's World Chess Champion (1927-39), dies in a London air raid at 38
  • 1944-11-09 Frank Marshall, American chess player (US Champion 1909-36), dies at 67
  • 1946-03-24 Alexander Alekhine, Russian-French chess player (world champion 1927-35, 37-46), dies choking on meat at 53
  • 1952-06-18 Efim Bogoljubov, Russian-German chess player, dies at 63
  • 1956-02-05 Savielly Tartakower, Austrian/Polish/French chess player, dies at 74
  • 1956-11-01 Lajos Asztalos, Hungarian chess player (International Chess Master 1950), dies at 67
  • 1961-02-09 Grigory Levenfish, Russian International chess grandmaster, dies at 70
  • 1961-03-14 Akiba Rubinstein, Polish chess player (openings theorist), dies at 78
  • 1968-12-31 Carl Oscar Ahues, German International Chess Master (1950), dies at 85
  • 1973-07-04 Leonid Stein, Russian chess player, dies at about 39
  • 1975-06-05 Paul Keres, Estonian and Soviet chess player, dies at 59
  • 1977-02-05 Izaak Boleslavski, Russian chess player, dies at 67
  • 1980-03-15 Gerald Abrahams, English author (Teach Yourself Chess), dies at 72
  • 1981-11-26 Max Euwe, Dutch World Chess Champion (1935-37), dies at 80
  • 1984-08-11 Paul Felix Schmidt, Estonian-German chess player, dies at 67
  • 1984-08-14 Tigran Petrosian, Soviet Armenian World Chess Champion (1963-69), dies at 55
  • 1988-11-27 Jan Hein Donner, Dutch chess grand master, dies at 61
  • 1992-04-04 Samuel Reshevsky, Polish-American chess grandmaster, dies at 80
  • 1992-06-28 Mikhail Tail, Soviet Latvian World Chess Champion (1960-61), dies at 55
  • 1992-11-05 Arpad Elo, Hungarian physicist (chess classification system), dies at 89
  • 1995-01-07 Harry Golombek, British chess grandmaster, author (3-time British champion), dies at 83
  • 1995-05-05 Mikhail Botvinnik, Russian influential World Chess Champion, dies at 83
  • 1997-02-02 Erich Eliskases, Austrian chess player (grandmaster 1952), dies at 83
  • 1999-04-13 Ortvin Sarapu, New Zealand chess player, dies at 74
  • 2001-11-12 Tony Miles, English chess grandmaster, dies at 46
  • 2003-05-10 Milan Vukcevich, Yugoslavian chemist and a grandmaster of chess problem composition, dies at 66
  • 2004-08-22 Konstantin Aseev, Russian chess player (b. 1960)
  • 2005-01-02 Arnold Denker, American chess champion (1944-46), dies at 90
  • 2006-12-05 David Bronstein, Ukrainian-born chess grandmaster, dies at 82
  • 2010-11-15 Larry Evans, American chess grandmaster, author and journalist (5 x US Chess C'ship; 20+ books), dies following gallbladder surgery at 78
  • 2011-02-12 Mato Damjanović, Croatian chess grandmaster (b. 1927)
  • 2012-11-18 Elena Donaldson-Akhmilovskaya, Russian Woman Grandmaster of chess, dies from brain cancer at 55
  • 2013-01-19 Anatoly Bannik, Ukrainian chess master, dies at 91
  • 2013-04-12 Robert Byrne, American grand chess master, dies from Parkinson’s disease at 84
  • 2016-06-06 Viktor Korchnoi, Russian-born chess grandmaster, dies at 85
  • 2017-07-02 Tatiana Zatulovskaya, Israeli chess player (Women's Soviet Chess Championship 1960, 62, 63), dies at 81
  • 2018-03-01 Anatoly Lein, Soviet-American chess player (Grandmaster 1968; World Chess Hall of Fame), dies at 86
  • 2018-05-10 Evgeni Vasiukov, Russian chess grandmaster (World Senior Champion 1995), dies at 85
  • 2018-11-29 Ruth Haring, American chess player and President of the US Chess Federation, dies at 63
  • 2019-08-25 Pál Benkő, Hungarian-American chess player, author (Grandmaster; record 8 US Open Championships), dies at 91

Famous Chess Grandmasters