Bill Wall’s Wonderful World of Chess
by Bill Wall
Chess Around the World – and Beyond
www.chessville.com

Afghanistan – Chess was forbidden in Afghanistan for 15 years during the reign of the Taliban. Afghanistan joined FIDE in 1984, but was later temporarily excluded from FIDE for non-payment. It issued a chess stamp in 1989. The country has one master and 6 other players as members of FIDE.

Ahmerst, Massachusetts – Home of the college chess team that was the winner of the first intercollegiate chess match, in 1859. The event was actually an intercollegiate baseball and chess match simultaneously as part of a single event. Amherst College played Williams College as the “trial of the mind as well as the muscle.” Amherst won both events and was heralded as “Athletic and Academic Champions.” We now have chess boxing.

Antarctica – In the 1950s, a scientist at a Soviet research station (Vostok) lost a chess game with a fellow scientist, then got so mad he killed his opponent with an axe. After the incident, the Soviets banned chess at their Antarctic stations.

Atlantic Ocean – In 1902, the first chess match between players on different ships at see occurred in the Atlantic Ocean. Passengers on the American liner Philadelphia played passengers from the Cunard liner Campania, 70 miles away. The moves were broadcast by wireless operators aboard the ships. The match was not concluded since the radio was required for navigational uses.

Baden-Baden, Germany – In 1870, Germany held its first international tournament in Baden-Baden. The event was also the first tournament interrupted by war (Franco-Prussian war). First place was 3,000 francs. The tournament was the first to introduce chess clocks (20 moves an hour), but the players had the option of using hour glasses. Adolf Anderssen won the event with 11 points. In 1925, Baden-Baden was the site of the first international tournament in Germany after World War II. Alexander Alekhine won that event with 16 points.

Berlin, Germany – Site of the 2008 world chess boxing championship, won by mathematics student Nikolai Sazhin over 37-year-old German policeman, Frank Stoldt. Berlin is home to the world’s biggest chess boxing club, with over 40 members.

Bonn, Germany – Site of the Chess World Championship 2008 between Viswanathan Anand and Vladimir Kramnik. The match will begin on October 14, 2008

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