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Date: 30 Dec 2007 08:52:43
From: zdrakec
Subject: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
Hello all, and especially the historians among us:

I have in front of me a copy of Botvinnik's "Half a Century of Chess".
This edition was published by Pergamon Press, translated by E.
Strauss, edited by K. P. Neat, and printed in 1984 as the first
English edition.
On page 66 of this edition, I find Botvinnik saying, in reference to
the conclusion of the tournament in Moscow in 1935:
"...I was also awarded the title of USSR Grandmaster (after
consultation with Lasker and Capablanca)."

I find this statement to be curious, to say the least. Botvinnik needs
approval from Lasker and Capablanca to be named grandmaster? I wonder:
1) Who actually awarded this title to Botvinnik? I don't mean an
agency, but which actual person would get to make this sort of
decision?
2) Who actually consulted with Lasker and Capablanca?
3) What form did this consultation take?

Best regards,
zdrakec




 
Date: 31 Dec 2007 23:15:19
From: EJAY
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
On Dec 30 2007, 11:52=A0am, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians among us:
>
> I have in front of me a copy of Botvinnik's "Half a Century of Chess".
> This edition was published by Pergamon Press, translated by E.
> Strauss, edited by K. P. Neat, and printed in 1984 as the first
> English edition.
> On page 66 of this edition, I find Botvinnik saying, in reference to
> the conclusion of the tournament in Moscow in 1935:
> "...I was also awarded the title of USSR Grandmaster (after
> consultation with Lasker and Capablanca)."
>
> I find this statement to be curious, to say the least. Botvinnik needs
> approval from Lasker and Capablanca to be named grandmaster? I wonder:
> 1) Who actually awarded this title to Botvinnik? I don't mean an
> agency, but which actual person would get to make this sort of
> decision?
> 2) Who actually consulted with Lasker and Capablanca?
> 3) What form did this consultation take?
>
> Best regards,
> zdrakec

I think one had to win a Grandmaster tournament to get the Title of
Grandmaster.1935 Botvinnik tied for 1st Place with Salo Flohr.Both
Lasker and Capablanca played also.It could be as former Champs they
could declare Botvinnik a Grandmaster.This is purely speculation on my
part.Back in the day there was only a handful of Grandmasters.As for
Lasker and Capablanca being "consulted"to be awarded the titleof "USSR
Grandmaster" I can't speculate and agree with you that is odd.Was FIDE
in existence in 1935? Don't know....Ernie


  
Date: 02 Jan 2008 09:38:54
From: Chess One
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster

"EJAY" <[email protected] > wrote in message
news:[email protected]..
On Dec 30 2007, 11:52 am, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians among us:
>
> I have in front of me a copy of Botvinnik's "Half a Century of Chess".
> This edition was published by Pergamon Press, translated by E.
> Strauss, edited by K. P. Neat, and printed in 1984 as the first
> English edition.
> On page 66 of this edition, I find Botvinnik saying, in reference to
> the conclusion of the tournament in Moscow in 1935:
> "...I was also awarded the title of USSR Grandmaster (after
> consultation with Lasker and Capablanca)."
>
> I find this statement to be curious, to say the least. Botvinnik needs
> approval from Lasker and Capablanca to be named grandmaster? I wonder:
> 1) Who actually awarded this title to Botvinnik? I don't mean an
> agency, but which actual person would get to make this sort of
> decision?

I think a few weeks ago in discussion of Soviet School of Chess we saw the
title was awarded politically, and the book's co-author, Kotov said that he
himself became the 3rd.

It was also pointed out that this ignored the fact previous titles awarded
Russian players - by restarting the [political] clock at the time of the
revolution - were ignored as if they did not exist.

Therefore, there are Russian GMs, Soviet GMs, and Fide GMs.

I would be interested to know when Western publishers switched titles from
their usual 'master' to grandmaster, and if that was a result of the Fide
award, rather than repeat titles Soviets awarded themselves, [since neither
Capablanca nor Alekhine were 'honored' with a title by the Soviets].

Phil Innes

> 2) Who actually consulted with Lasker and Capablanca?
> 3) What form did this consultation take?
>
> Best regards,
> zdrakec

I think one had to win a Grandmaster tournament to get the Title of
Grandmaster.1935 Botvinnik tied for 1st Place with Salo Flohr.Both
Lasker and Capablanca played also.It could be as former Champs they
could declare Botvinnik a Grandmaster.This is purely speculation on my
part.Back in the day there was only a handful of Grandmasters.As for
Lasker and Capablanca being "consulted"to be awarded the titleof "USSR
Grandmaster" I can't speculate and agree with you that is odd.Was FIDE
in existence in 1935? Don't know....Ernie




  
Date: 01 Jan 2008 15:05:17
From: David Richerby
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
EJAY <[email protected] > wrote:
> Was FIDE in existence in 1935? Don't know...

FIDE was founded in 1924 but didn't issue Grandmaster titles until
later.


Dave.

--
David Richerby Old-Fashioned Flower (TM): it's like
www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~davidr/ a flower but it's perfect for your
grandparents!


  
Date: 01 Jan 2008 07:40:30
From: Anders Thulin
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
EJAY wrote:

> I think one had to win a Grandmaster tournament to get the Title of
> Grandmaster.1935 Botvinnik tied for 1st Place with Salo Flohr.Both
> Lasker and Capablanca played also.It could be as former Champs they
> could declare Botvinnik a Grandmaster.This is purely speculation on my
> part.

You missed an important fact in the question: it is about the USSR GM
title, not anything else. And so any answer, of course, must be USSR-related

Botvinnik seems to have been declared FIDE GM at the FIDE congress of 1949
-- though I'm not 100% certain if the decision was ratified then also.
Most accounts state that the GM title was created in 1950, but in 1949 the
BCM report from the FIDE congress seem pretty clear on the subject, as does the
1950 report.

--
Anders Thulin anders*thulin.name http://www.anders.thulin.name/


 
Date: 31 Dec 2007 23:02:50
From: EJAY
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
I always thought make then one had to win a Grandmaster tournament to
earn the GM Title.Of course back in the 30's there was just a handful
of Grandmasters.


 
Date: 31 Dec 2007 15:47:53
From: Chvsanchez
Subject: Re: Botvinnik becomes a grandmaster
On 30 dic, 14:52, zdrakec <[email protected] > wrote:
> Hello all, and especially the historians among us:
>
> I have in front of me a copy ofBotvinnik's"Half a Century of Chess".
> This edition was published by Pergamon Press, translated by E.
> Strauss, edited by K. P. Neat, and printed in 1984 as the first
> English edition.
> On page 66 of this edition, I findBotvinniksaying, in reference to
> the conclusion of the tournament in Moscow in 1935:
> "...I was also awarded the title of USSRGrandmaster(after
> consultation with Lasker and Capablanca)."
>
> I find this statement to be curious, to say the least.Botvinnikneeds
> approval from Lasker and Capablanca to be namedgrandmaster? I wonder:
> 1) Who actually awarded this title toBotvinnik? I don't mean an
> agency, but which actual person would get to make this sort of
> decision?
> 2) Who actually consulted with Lasker and Capablanca?
> 3) What form did this consultation take?
>
> Best regards,
> zdrakec

"Mikhail Botvinnik is awarded the title of grandmaster by order of the
All-Union Committee for Physical Culture" (page 35 of "The Second
International Chess Tournament Moscow 1935"