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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Flashback: Hollywood Touch to the Chess Board at Pan-American Chess Congress

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

Hollywood touch was added to the final session of the The Times-sponsored Pan-American Chess Congress when screen stars became game pieces during the live match. 

But, this story is from 1945!

The next morning, a story in the Los Angeles Times reported:

North America demonstrated its chess superiority yesterday when U.S. players defeated Latin America in a living game at Hollywood Athletic Club.

This spectacular match, played on a gigantic board filled with beautiful girls and handsome men, was one of the closing features in The Times sponsored Pan-American Chess Congress.

Linda Darnell, seated on a throne, announced the moves made by the masters in consultation.

She was called Queen of Ceremonies, and Mitzi Mayfair and Victoria Putnam, actresses, who actually moved the pieces, were heralds.

Samuel Reshevsky, winner of the Pan-American tournament, captained the black team

Herman Pilnik, Argentina, captained the whites…

Black mated the Latins in 32 moves. White had tried to resign but the large crowd wanted a mate–so black played queen takes queen mate.

The white queen was Rozanne Murray, Sam Goldwyn player, and her opponent was Barbara Hale, R.K.O. actress. The kings were Bill Williams, R.K.O. player, for black, and Lt. Pace Plagett, U.S.N.R., a chess fan who is duty at Terminal Island.

A similar photo was published on the Aug. 13, 1945, Los Angeles Times local news section front.

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