08 January 2014

Che Guevara at the Havana Zonal

Judging by the amount of email I receive on the topic, my page on the World Chess Championship Zonals is more popular than I would otherwise guess. The most recent message was from Rafael Santana of Caracas, Venezuela, who was confused by a crosstable on the page for Zonals 1963-1966 (C06). The heading for zone 7 reads,
Zone 7 Havana (not Torremolinos!) 1963-00

followed by a crosstable for the Torremolinos 1962 tournament. To avoid any further confusion, he sent a crosstable for the real zone 7 qualifier of that cycle, Havana 1963, won by Perez of Cuba. For good measure, he also forwarded scanned clippings from news sources of that period. Here, for example, is a scan of Che Guevara watching a game from the tournament. The photo caption is the file name of the forwarded scan.

Che Guevara in Zonal T 7 1963 (Jaque Mate, Mar-Abr 1964)

While adding the crosstable for Havana 1963 to my page, I started to wonder how the Torremolinos / Havana error first occurred. In my case, I documented the source of the information in a previous post on this blog: More Zonal Resources. Searching a little further, I found a Chessbase.com article from 2003: Two new CDs: historical and one instructional. It said,

Ulvestad participated in numerous famous chess competitions, among them the U.S. Championship in 1939, 1946, and 1948, the 1939 and 1940 Ventnor City tournaments, the 1950 U.S. vs, Yugoslavia radio match, the 1962 Torremolinos zonal tournament, the 1970 Chess Olympiad, and most notably the 1946 U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. match.

How the Chessbase error arose is unknown. The article notes that the CD has its roots in 'Olaf Ulvestad: An American Original' by John Donaldson, but I can't see the well known IM and chess historian placing his subject in an invented zonal.

1 comment:

Alejandro said...

I confirm Torremolinos 1962 was not a Zonal Tourney, and this can be shown in Spanish newspapers.

Alejandro Melchor; Barcelona; SPAIN