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         The History and The Culture of Chess




     The U.S.A.-USSR Radio Match (CHESS REVIEW, May 1945) will be held In September. Cabled Moscow on June 10:
"We agree to suggestion of U.S. Chess Federation, Russian War Relief, CHESS REVIEW, to slate radio match between chess teams of U.S.A. and USSR for September 1945 ....
Our radio engineers taking measures to establish direct radiotelephone communication with CHESS REVIEW. - Ivan Papanin, Mikhail Botvinnik."
     U. S.
sponsors have suggested September 1st as the starting date, but this has not yet been agreed upon.

(Chess Review - July, 1945)



   In the first round, starting at 10 a.m. on Sept.1st, the United States team will have White on the odd-numbered boards (1,3,5, 7 and 9). In the second round, starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 3rd, the pairings will remain the same as in the first round but the Soviet team will have White on the odd-numbered boards, All games will be played to a finish.
   In both New York and Moscow, an official of the opposing team will be present to check on the satisfactory operation of the rules and procedures which have been agreed on for the match. The chief duty of these officials will be to observe the progress of the time Control, which has been set at forty moves in the first two and a half hours, and sixteen moves thereafter. The method of recording the time consumed in a match of this kind is of course more complicated than In an ordinary game where both players are at the same table, According to present arrangements, this will work out as follows: the American players who have the White pieces will have their clocks started by all official as soon as the time for beginning play arrives, When the player has made his move, be will stop his clock, record his move on the score-sheet and then on a slip of paper. He will hand this slip to the teller, who will process it for censorship and transmission. When the reply to this move has come from Moscow, it will be recorded. confirmed, made by an official at the proper table, and the player's clock will again be started. On the boards where the American players have the Black pieces, their clocks will not start until they have received the first move of their opponents.  At agreed intervals, the cumulative amount of time consumed on every board will be radioed to the opposing team.
     As will be seen, the process of making, recording and transmitting a move involves a considerable amount of labor and precision. Each move passes through the hands of several people, correspondingly magnifying the possibilities of mistake and confusion. To reduce this difficulty to a minimum, all the moves will be translated into a special system, known as the Udeman code. Each square is identified by it two-letter syllable, and moves are indicated by giving the two letters representing the square from which the piece has moved, followed by the two letters of the square to which it has been moved.
   Both sides have agreed that Mr. Derbyshire,, head of the British Chess Federation, is to be the official referee to decide any disputes which may possibly arise in the course of play. Thus all three great United Nations are represented in the match.

Chess Review August-September, 1935

Advertisement of the Radio Match


      The "Udeman code" is actually the "Uedemann Code"

       The equipment used was the Mackey Radio System




History-Making Event to be staged
at New York's Henry Hudson Hotel

overseas telephone conversation between Nikolai Zubarev of Moscow and Kenneth Harkness of New York. Zubarov is Chairman of the Chess Section, USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. Harkness is Managing Editor of CHESS REVIEW and the official representative of the U. S. sponsors.
     In subsequent cable exchanges it was agreed that the time limit for each player would be 40 moves in 2 hours and 16 moves per hour thereafter (not including transmission time).
     On August 1st, the US and USSR exchanged announcements of their primary and reserve teams. If any of the primary team players are unable to compete, the remainder will move up the list and substitutes will be taken from the reserve teams, in the announced order. The U. S. teams were nominated by a committee comprising Elbert A. Wagner, Jr., President of the USCF, Leonard A. Meyer of the Manhattan Chess Club and Kenneth Harkness.
     Much credit for making this match possible goes to chess patron Maurice Wertheim of New York, Chairman of the Match Committee, who agreed to underwrite a large share of the expenses. It is hoped, however, that the cost will be met by ticket sales and the contributions of chess devotees. The U. S. team members are playing without compensation (other than actual expenses). The public relations department of the Society for Russian Relief and the entire staff of
CHESS REVIEW are contributing their services.
     Readers within commuting distance of New York will need no urging to attend this Chess Match of the Century. Others will be able to read all about it in the October and November issues of
THE BIG MATCH IS ON! For four days, beginning September 1st, the leading chess-masters of the United States and the Soviet Union will compete for supremacy in the greatest match of all time.
     Played by radio, the match will be a double round affair. Each country will be represented by ten masters and each pair will play two games. The official lineup is given in the box below.
     Play will start each day at 10 a.m. (New York time) and the sessions may last eight or nine hours. The first round begins September 1st and adjourned games will be completed the following day. The second round will be finished on the 4th.
     The United States team will play at New York's Henry Hudson Hotel, 361 West 57th Street, where arrangements have been made to enable 1000 spectators to follow the progress of the match and enjoy a big program of entertainment.

THE Soviet-American Radio Chess Match of 1945 will go down in history for various reasons.
Most important:

  • because it is the first international sports event since the outbreak of World War II.
  • because it is the first test of strength between the two greatest chessplaying countries in the world. Never before have teams representing the USA and USSR competed against each other.
 attracted to the event by the attendant publicity, newspaper advertising, ticket-selling campaigns. The match will increase enormously the popularity of chess in this country.

U. S. SPONSORS of the match (Chess Review, The American Society for Russian Relief, the U. S. Chess Federation) have made arrangements to provide chess fans with the treat of their lives. The Grand Ballroom of the Henry Hudson Hotel, New York, has been booked for the four days of the match. This big auditorium seats 1000 spectators. Here the audience will see the United States team engage in its historic struggle and witness the transmission of moves to Moscow on the teletype machine. From seats on the main floor, or mezzanine gallery, they can view the progress of the games as reproduced on ten giant chessboards, brilliantly illuminated. Each move will be announced from the stage. Between moves, the audience will be entertained by exhibition games, quiz contests, brief lectures, demonstrations of finished match games and other features. A gala closing ceremony, with many notables present, will be held on September 4th, starting at 8 p.m. The ceremony will be followed by a special program of entertainment.

THE AGREEMENT on match dates and laying schedule was reached last month in an

  • because it is the first chess match to be played by radio telegraphy.
  • because it will give a tremendous boost to the development of cultural ties and friendly relationships between the two great allies of World War II.
  • because it will be the most widely publicized event and the greatest spectacle in the chess history of the United States.

     In the USSR, where chess is the national game, the match will be page one news. Muscovites will throng to the playing hall in Moscow to watch their team in action. The results and games will be published in special editions and broadcast throughout the land.
     In the United States, where chess interest is growing rapidly, the event will be given wide publicity by newspapers, radio commentators, movie newsreels and popular magazines. Chess fans in the area will attend the match in a body, but the general public will also be

O F F I C I A L  L I N E - UP  O F  I N T E R N A T I O N A L  T E A M S

    Board     UNITED STATES                              SOVIET UNION

           1.      Arnold Denker               vs.              Mikhail Botvinnik
         2.      Samuel Reshevsky        
vs.              Vassily Smyslov
         3.      Reuben Fine                 
vs.               Isaac Boleslavsky
         4.      I. A. Horowitz              
vs.               Salo Flohr
         5.      Isaac Kashdan              
vs.              Alexander Kotov
         6.      Herman Steiner             
vs.               Igor Bondarevsky
         7.      Albert S. Pinkus            
vs.              Andrea Lilienthal
         8.      Herbert Seidman           
vs.               Vyacheslav Ragosin
         9.      Abraham Kupchik         
vs.               Vladimir Makogonov
       10.     Anthony  Santasiere        
vs.               David Bronstein

     (Each pair to play two games. 10 points win match.
     For reserve teams see following pages.)