Sarah's Chess Journal

         my journal, blog, web log, blog.....about

         The History and The Culture of Chess

USA-USSR RADIO MATCH of 1945 -  CHESS REVIEW  November, 1943


U.S. Invites USSR to Play Radio Match

     An official message has been transmitted to authorities in the U.S.S.R. suggesting that a RADIO CHESS MATCH be held between the leading players of both countries. If the invitation is accepted, the match will probably be held in January or February, 1844, under the sponsorship of CHESS REVIEW and the U. S. Chess Federation. The Russian War Relief will also co-operate in staging the match and all receipts from the sale of tickets to witness the match will be donated to this agency.
     All arrangements have now been completed at this end. Our leading masters, including Marshall, Reshevsky, Fine, Kashdan and Horowitz have agreed to play on the U. S. team. Maurice Wertheim, President of the Manhattan Chess Club, had worked in close co-operation with the editors of CHESS REVIEW and has agreed to head a committee in charge of financial and other arrangements. Radio transmission facilities have been secured. If a favorable reply is received from Moscow, final details of the match will be agreed upon and announced by CHESS REVIEW.
The invitation to the chess authorities in Moscow was conveyed last month by an official of the Russian War Relief. Dated October 21s1 and signed by George Sturgis, President of the U. S. Chess Federation, the message read as follows:

"To The Moscow Chess Committee of the V. S. F. K., Moscow, U. S. S. R.

     "As President of the United States Chess Federation,  I hereby extend a  cordial invitation to the leading chess masters of the Soviet Union to take part in a RADIO CHESS MATCH against a team of masters representing the U.S.A.
     "The facilities for the transmission by radio of the moves of such a match, including the cost of transmission both ways, will be met by the subscriptions of private individuals in this country. All receipts from the sale of tickets to witness the playing of the match will be donated to the Russian War Relief.
     "We sincerely hope this will meet with your approval and respect, that the U. S. S. R. has continued to foster and

develop cultural pursuits during the war. In particular, we have been greatly impressed by the widespread interest in chess in the U. S. S. R. The contests between your great chess masters at the tournament held in Moscow, Sverdlovsk and other centers have been followed and discussed by thousands of chess players in this country. We feel that our common interest in chess can serve as a fruitful means of developing culture ties between our two countries and that the proposed match will go far to increase the friendly relations between us.
     "We realize that your chess masters are serving their country in the armed forces and in other ways. The same condition exists here.  Nevertheless, we know that the cultural importance of chess - and its beneficial  effect of morale in wartime - have made it possible to hold important tournaments in both the U. S. S. R and the U. S. A.  We hope that it will also be possible for you to arrange this international Radio Chess Match.
     "In this country, the proposal has been met with the enthusiast approval of all concerned. Our leading players, including Grandmasters Marshall Reshevsky, Pinkus, Adams, Shainswit, and others, have gladly agreed to play on the American team.  Mr. Maurice Wertheim, President of the Manhattan Chess Club has agreed to head a committee in charge of financial and other arrangements. The Editors of our official organ, CHESS REVIEW, who suggested and fostered this proposal, will sponsor the match in cooperation with the Unite States Chess Federation and will give wide publicity to the proceedings.  The officials of the Russian War Relief have pledged their whole-hearted support and assistance.
     "The actual details of the match can be agreed upon as soon as we receive your acceptance of this invitation. Tentatively, we suggest that the team, on each side, should consist of not less than five and not more that ten players. The most suitable time would be January, 1944. The match could probably be completed in two or three days, provided transmission is not interrupted.
     "We await your reply with eager anticipation.
GEORGE STURGIS,  Pres.,  U. S. Chess Federation."

The U. S. Chess Team at the Stockholm Olympics in 1937.
Left to right are:
Fritz Brieger (who accompanied the team), Samuel Reshevsky, Isaac Kashdan,
I. A. Horowitz, Reuben Fine,
Team Captain Frank J. Marshall.
All these masters have agreed to play in the proposed RADIO CHESS MATCH against leading players of the Soviet Union.  U. S. teams, victorious in four international Olympics, have never competed against U.S.S.R. players.




Note: The actual Radio Match took place Sept. 1-4, 1945. Frank J. Marshall died on November 9, 1944.