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         The History and The Culture of Chess


THE GREAT USA-USSR RADIO MATCH of 1945

 

Radio Match Highlights     by Kenneth Harkness


     As the first peacetime international sports event, the USA-USSR Radio Chess Match was well timed. The second day of the contest was officially declared V-J Day by President Truman. The war ended and the world of chess celebrated the coming of peace.
     The match wrote other "firsts" in the record book. It was the first international match conducted by radio and it marked the debut of the Soviet Union in the field of international sport. Never before has a team representing the USSR played another country in any form of sport.
     For many years, the Soviet people held aloof from international competition. During this period, chess became their national game. Promoted by the USSR Committee on Sports and Physical Culture, chess activities were organized in a wholesale manner. Close to a million and a half players have taken part in various official and unofficial tournaments during the past twenty years. Before the war there were more that 800,000 rated chess players in the Soviet Union who had won their titles in official competitions! Of this number, 1,000 were first category players, just below the rank of Master.
     Despite the tremendous growth of chess interest, most of the Soviet players had never tested their skills against masters of other countries. Their country was not represented in the International Team Competitions, held biennially before the war. But in the spring of 1945 the Soviet Union extended the hand of friendship and agreed to play a chess match, by radio, with the United States.
     There followed a long period during which the rules of the match were agreed upon, the dates settled and the necessary arrangements made. A Radio Match Committee was formed, headed by Maurice Wertheim, President of New York's Manhattan Chess Club. Outstanding personalities in many fields, quick to recognize the importance of the match in developing friendly relations with the Soviet Union, agreed to serve on the Committee. The U. S. Chess Federation gave the match its blessing and official endorsement, but the work of arranging, publicizing and conducting the match was left to the other two sponsors - the American Society for Russian Relief and CHESS REVIEW.
     Your reporter was given the job of supervising the arrangements and directing the New York end of the match. Nikolai Zubarev of the Chess Section, USSR Society for Cultural Relations with foreign Countries, was given similar responsibilities in Moscow. We exchanged many cables and spoke to each other on the overseas telephone, settling the rules of the match. Among other things, we agreed to a ten-man team, playing two rounds, at a time limit of 2 hours for the first 40 moves, one hour for each succeeding 16 moves. We also agreed that all games would be played to a finish, that representatives of the opposing team and a neutral referee would be present in New York and Moscow, that the Udeman Code would be used for transmitting move messages.
     While these negotiations were in progress, elaborate preparations were made for staging the match at the Henry Hudson Hotel. Special demonstration boards, with scaffolding and platforms, were constructed and installed. Signs were painted. Exhibits were prepared. Telephones were installed. Tickets and posters were printed. A program was prepared and published. The method of handling incoming and outgoing move messages was worked out in detail and tested. Special boards were made, marked in Udeman notation, to enable the players' "tellers" to follow the games and translate the moves into this special telegraphic code. The operating staff was selected and trained in its duties. (For the handling of incoming and outgoing moves messages alone, twenty volunteers were required.)
     The Mackay Radio Company agreed to handle the match and gave us magnificent cooperation. Two teletypes, to carry incoming and outgoing messages independently, were installed on one of the balconies of the Henry Hudson Ballroom. These teletype printers maintained contact with the company's Moscow Radio Circuit at 67 Broad Street where the equipment was geared to handle 700 words a minute in both directions.
     The public relations department of the American Society for Russian Relief launched a publicity campaign under the supervision of Anna Goldsborough. She and her staff of eighteen people worked like Trojans for three weeks before the match and during the match itself. Newspapers and magazines were flooded with releases. Material and pictures were given to editorial and feature writers. Special programs were arranged on scores of broadcasting stations. Before long the press became decidedly chess-conscious and devoted large space to the match.
     The team lineups were announced simultaneously from New York and Moscow on August 1st. (Chess Review, Aug.-Sept. issue). Leonard B. Meyer of the Manhattan Chess Club was appointed Captain of the U. S. team. Alexander Fomin of the Soviet Consulate in New York was named as the USSR representative. Dr. Walter Cruz of Brazil agreed to serve as the neutral referee . In Moscow, Edward Frye, of the OWI [Office of War Information - sbc] and L. Melorg of the British Embassy were appointed as the U. S. representative and neutral referee, respectively.
     On August 31st, a practice match was played between New York and Moscow to test the facilities and give the operating staffs some experience. At the Henry Hudson Hotel, in a large room on the second floor reserved for the team players, Mrs. Gisela K. Gresser, U. S. Woman Champion, and Chessmaster Edward Lasker took their places at boards one and two. Their opponents were Olga Morachevskaya, Moscow Women Champion, and Honored Master Peter Romanovsky.
     In the playing room were the five tellers who had been appointed to service the players; boards at the big match, with assistants to relieve and help them when necessary. The tellers were Jack Landau, Harry Fajans, Frank Marshall, Jr., Edgar McCormick, and I. Tessohn. Alfred Kreymbourg was Chief Teller. Ten messengers, directed by Kevin Plessit, were lined up to convey messages from the playing room to the control balcony in the Ballroom, half-a-minute's walk away.
     On the control balcony, Mackay Supervisor Henry Leleu, a clerk and two teletype operators were ready for action. Coordinator Fred Reinfeld had laid out his albums, score cards and other paraphernalia to check  messages and positions, record moves and translate them into descriptive notation for announcement on the public address system. Reinfeld was aided by Irving Chervev, Melvin Chernev and Louis Kurrelmeyer. On the stage, four demonstrators, under the supervision of Irving Rivise, were ready to make moves on the exhibition boards.
     The rehearsal match started at 10 a.m., finished at 4:40 p.m. when 22 moves had been completed on board one, 23 moves on board two. Kinks in the system of handling messages were ironed out. It was found that the operations involved in transmitting a move required an average of five minutes. In other words, a move made on a player's board in New York was duplicated on the opponent's board in Moscow five minutes later. The actual radio transmission time was only about one minute, but each move had to be coded, written on a message blank, taken to the teletype operator; then, at the other end, it had to be decoded, the acknowledgment of the previous move checked and the new move made on the player's board.
    

     On the morning of September 1st, all was in readiness for the big match. At 9:30 a.m. Moscow called us on the overseas phone for a final checkup. The the Soviet newspaper "Izvestia" called from Moscow to interview your reporter for their match edition - a novel experience. The United States team players took their seats in the playing room. The referees checked the clocks. All the members of the operating staff were at their posts. Despite the early hour, a large crowd was gathering in the auditorium.
     At 10 a.m. the match began. The players with the white pieces made their moves. The tellers repeated the moves on their Udeman boards., wrote the code words on radiogram blanks. A messenger from each board came running to the control balcony and the first moves were dispatched to Moscow.
     On the stage, the opening ceremony was being broadcast by station WNYC. Maurice Wertheim spoke briefly, followed by Arnold Denker and USSR Representative Alexander Fomin. Then Mayor LaGuardia addressed the audience, said that he looked forward to the day when Russian and American teams would be competing in all sports and that chess was a good beginning "because there's not much talking and no arguing." Then the Mayor, with a fine show of deliberation, made Denker's opening move on a demonstration board.
     In Moscow, a similar opening ceremony was being held. The principal speakers there were W. Averill Harriman, U. S. Ambassador to the USSR; Nikolai Romanov, Chairman of the USSR Committee on Physical Culture and Sports; M. Kamenov, Chairman of the USSR Society for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. The ceremony was broadcast and filmed.
     At 10:10 a.m. the first move arrived from Moscow - Smyslov's P-K4 against Reshevsky - followed in quick succession by the opening moves on the other four boards on which the Soviet players had White. Recorded quickly by Reinfeld and his assistants, the moves were rushed upstairs by messengers. Then, at 10:17 a.m. we started t receive the replies to our players' first moves and the games were under way.
     As the session continued, spectators streamed in at a steady rate. By early afternoon almost every seat on the floor and mezzanine gallery was filled. Most of the interest centered around the top five boards where it was expected the United States would score several points. Denker was an unknown quantity, playing in an international contest for the first time. His opponent, the great Mikhail Botvinnik, was in the best form of his career. But at boards two and three Reshevsky and Fine were expected to win. Botvinnik had made mincemeat out of Smyslov in their last encounter - so why couldn't Reshevsky do the same thing? And Fine had demonstrated at AVRO and other tournaments that he was more than a match for the best players in the world. His opponent, Boleslavsky, had never even played in an international tournament. At boards 4 and 5, Horowitz and Kashdan were well matched against Flohr and Kotov. At the remaining five boards anything could happen, but it was conceded that they were probably outclassed on some of them.
     But it didn't turn out that way. It soon became apparent that several Americans had been outplayed in the openings. There was some excitement when Botvinnik gave up a pawn to Denker. Hopes soared for the prospects at this board, but the U. S. Champion was apparently unfamiliar with the opening (a favorite of Botvinnik's and analyzed in the Aug.-Sept. issue of CHESS REVIEW, page 20!). By the late afternoon, Denker was in plenty of trouble. At board 2, Reshevsky had walked into a thoroughly prepared variation. The former U. S. Champion took 1 hour, 38 minutes to play the first 23 moves. Young Smyslov rattled them off in 8 minutes flat! He was playing "book" - but the book was in Russian.
     At 7:15 p.m. the Moscow transmitter broke down and we were off the air for 22 minutes. There was some delay in getting started again. Most of the games had played less than 30 moves and it looked as though we would have to adjourn before the agreed 40 moves had been completed.
     The first blow fell at 8:44 p.m. when Denker resigned after receiving Botninnik's 25th move. It was murder. An hour later, at 9:48 p.m., Reshevsky admitted defeat. Smyslov had played 41 moves in 1 hour, 11 minutes and had 1 hour, 19 minutes to spare. Reshevsky had used his entire 2 hours.
     With two zeros at boards 1 and 2 and several bad games at the other boards we seemed to be in for a licking. The only boards with winning chances were numbers 3 and 6. Fine still had prospects and Steiner had a good position against Bondarevsky. However, the West Coast star was in serious time trouble. He had taken more than one hour for his first ten moves. At his 25th, he had just four minutes left to make his remaining 15 moves. At his 26th he offered a draw, but the offer was refused.
     At 9:57 p.m., after about 12 hours of play, Moscow warned that the radio signals might fade. We replied that we would be willing to adjourn as we were all getting groggy. Some of our players, however, protested that they were in critical positions and would rather continue to the 40th moves. When this request for continuation was relayed to Moscow they answered that boards 4, 5, 8 and 9 had sealed and departed. Boards 6 and 7 asked the U. S. players to seal. Boards 3 and 10 would continue. They added, :Remember, it's six a.m. here and we are more than groggy."
     Consequently, the only boards to continue were the Fine-Boleslavsky and the Bronstein-Santasiere games. At 11:22 p.m. Boleslavsky sent his 40th move and Fine sealed his 41st at 11:52 p.m. Santasiere sent his 40th at 11:49 p.m. At precisely midnight - after a 14-hour session - we adjourned.

     On Sunday, September 2nd, chess hit the front page - and on V-J Day at that!  The New York Times ran the story of the match on page one with a two-column head. All other papers gave the match big space.
     When the second session opened at 10 a.m. Moscow offered collective draws on boards 3, 5, 6, and 7. We refused the offer. Shortly after play started, heads began to fall. On receiving Flohr's sealed move from the night before, Horowitz immediately resigned. The long session on Saturday had apparently affected Kashdan, for he blundered in an even position and resigned at 11 a.m. A few minutes later, the United States scored it's first half-point when Lilienthal offered a draw with his 38th move which Pinkus accepted. But at 11:17 a.m. the home team dropped another point when Kupchik resigned to Makogonov. The score stood 5 to against us!
     At 1:15 p.m. Fine drew with Boleslavsky. The Soviet player had defended miraculously and Fine offered the draw. With the conclusion of this game, the five top boards were finished and the United States had scored half-a-point in the five games!
     At 2:40 p.m. Seidman resigned to Ragozin and the score was 7-1. But at 3 o'clock Steiner became the hero of the hour when he won his game with Bondarevsky. He had come through his time-trouble period successfully and had found a win. The game went 51 moves. Steiner was brought down to the stage and a capacity crowd went wild with joy. They stood on their seats, whistled and cheered. No chessmaster has ever received such an ovation before. Grinning from ear to ear, Hollywood's gift to the chess world took his bow and spoke briefly to the fans on the microphone. It was his big moment and I don't think he will ever forget it.
     Play finished at 3:20 p.m. when the axe fell again - this time on the neck of school-teacher Santasiere. 22-year-old Bronstein, latest youthful star of the USSR, won in 56 moves. The round ended with a final score of 8-2. The Soviet team had won seven, drawn 2, lost only one.
     The remainder of the day was devoted to entertainment for the crowd. Horowitz showed how Flohr had sprung a surprise combination on him and explained the whole game in detail. Fine outlined his game with Boleslavsky. Irving Chernev demonstrated some end-game compositions by Soviet masters. The Soviet film "Chess Fever" was shown on the screen. At 7 p.m. the entertainment ended, but the crowd showed no desire to leave and the hall was kept open for another hour so that the fans could see the exhibits and lay offhand games in the skittles corner.

     The second round began at 9 a.m. on September 3rd - Labor Day. Again the morning papers were full of the match. Both the Times and the Herald-Tribune devoted several columns to it and published the scores of all ten games from the first round.
     Up in the playing room the atmosphere was serious and subdued. The holiday spirit of the first round was gone. The players realized that they had taken a bad drubbing and were in no mood for comedy. Orders were issued barring everybody from the room except the players, team captain, referees and operating staff.
     Early in the morning, Moscow called us on the overseas phone and we discussed ways and means of speeding up the handling of moves to reduce the length of the session. In the first round, it had taken an average of 5 minutes to transmit each move from board to board. Moscow explained that they had moved their Radio Circuit into the room next to the players. They had also made some changes in their arrangements. It was agreed that the session that day would be adjourned at 8 p.m. New York time, no matter how many moves had been played.
     Although the session started an hour earlier, there was a big crowd on hand. By noon there was standing room only. It was the biggest day of the match and the enthusiasm of the crowd was amazing. Lasker continued to do a fine job of explaining the moves. At times, Fred Reinfeld would take over from the balcony. The audience ate it up and asked for more. As moves were announced on different boards, hundreds of heads turned to the right or to the left to see what was happening. There was a continuous buzz of conversation as the spectators discussed the positions among themselves. If there were any doubts that chess can be staged as a spectator sport, they were dispelled by this match.
     As the session got under way it was obvious that Moscow had greatly speeded up its handling time. Moves were going back and forth faster than ever before. On some boards replies to transmitted moves came back within 8 minutes. A round trip to Moscow and back in 8 minutes, including the time the players took to make their moves!
     Throughout the entire session, the handling and transmission time on all ten boards averaged 4 minutes, 28 seconds per move - a full minute faster than in the first round. The fastest time was made in the Kotov-Kashdan game in which we handled 41 white and 40 black moves at the average rate of 4 minutes per move from board to board!
     As a result of the speed-up, Kotov and Kashdan completed 40 moves by 7:15 p.m. and all other adjourned games, except on board 10, played 40 moves by 8 p.m. Under these conditions, an eleven-hour session was just right.
     At board 1, Denker took 48 minutes over his first seven moves, but it did him no good. Apparently demoralized, he was taken over the hurdles again and resigned after receiving Botvinnik's 30th move at 6:18 p.m. Not losing his sense of humor, Denker radioed his opponent: "Congratulations again on a very finely played game. Perhaps after I learn the openings I may give you a better fight."
     All the other games were adjourned between 7:23 and 8 p.m. but the prospects of making a better score in the first round were none too bright. At boards 3 and 5, Boleslavsky and Kotov were so confident of success that they sent their 41st moves "open" for their opponents' inspection! At board 2, Reshevsky had another lost game against Smyslov. The Soviet player had again demonstrated greater familiarity with the opening. He took only 13 minutes for the first 14 moves while Reshevsky stewed over them for 1 hour, 21 minutes. As a result, the American player got into serious time trouble. He had to make his last 17 moves in 2 minutes! To make 17 replies, Smyslov had 67 minutes. Reshevsky finished within the time limit but claimed that a blunder on his 39th move cost him the game. Said Reshevsky: "It my opponent were sitting opposite me he wouldn't be playing such good chess." Apparently hypnotism doesn't work by radio.
     The only bright spot in the picture was board 4 where Horowitz had a sure win against Flohr. The editor of CHESS REVIEW sent his 41st move open but Flohr did not reply. Too bad. The big audience would have enjoyed applauding another hero.
     At the end of the day, the score stood at 9 to 2 but it was obvious that the match was lost.

     The final session began at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 4th. Although it was a working day, the attendance was excellent.
The match was decided at 9:17 a.m. when Fine and Kashdan resigned their games without further play. Flohr also resigned to Horowitz without continuing. So the session started with the match in the bag for the Soviet team by a score of 11 to 3. Horowitz had played a brilliant game and scored the only win for the United States in the second round. Denker and Kashdan had been blanked out. Reshevsky had lost one and was on his way to losing another. Fine had drawn on the first, lost the second. In the two rounds, Horowitz was the only player at the top five boards to score a full point. The other four scored half-a-point in 8 games!
     Various messages of congratulations were sent to the Soviet team and officials on their victory. Radioed Maurice Wertheim to Dr. Rokhlin, Chairman of the USSR Match Committee: 
     "Congratulations to you and your associates on your team's well-earned victory. Our only explanation is that you had the better team. Our only reaction is that we are determined to try again next year. Best regards to you all."
     To which Dr. Rokhlin replied:
     " Thank you for congratulations upon our victory in the match. Undoubtedly this match, which required so much energy and labor on the part of both sides, is a new stage in the history of the chess art. Such radio matches permit closer friendly relations between nations and eliminate great distances of thousands of kilometers. Please convey our regards to all participants in the United States team."
     It might be suspected that the rest of the match was an anti-climax, but the crowd in the hall didn't think so. They followed all the remaining games with just as much interest as before.
     The next game to finish was at board ten, where Bronstein made it two straight by defeating Santasiere in 50 moves. The game ended at 12:28 p.m. Then Ragozin presented Seidman with his second goose-egg at 4:25 p.m. when the Marshall Chess Club champion resigned after receiving Black's 68th move.
     Reshevsky was still wriggling on Smyslov's hook but the Soviet player finally landed him at 5:10 p.m. after 72 moves.
     Now there were only two more games to go - at boards six and nine. Both seemed to be draws, but these Russians don't give up! Bondarevsky and Steiner were see-sawing back and forth. The Makogonov-Kupchik game was in a hopelessly blocked position. Yet both Soviet players continued to fight for wins, although their team had already won the match by a wide margin.
     Just before the session was due to close, Makogonov finally offered a draw with his 73rd move and Kupchik accepted. But Bondarevsky was stubborn and refused to give up. As the players were supposed to go on the stage for the closing ceremony at 8 p.m. we suspended the game and agreed to arbitration. However, at 8:26 p.m. the Soviet team captain sent a message accepting a draw. Bondarevsky had tried hard to avoid being the only Soviet player to finish with a minus score but failed. Steiner became the only American to finish in the plus column with 1 points in 2 games.
     The final score in the second round was 7 to 2. The American team had taken another licking and lost the match by 15 points to 4.

     The closing ceremony, broadcast by WNYC, was a big success. Although the team had lost and the match was over, the hall was jammed.
     The program started at 8:30 p.m. when Miss Grace Moore, Metropolitan Opera star, sang the national anthem. She was followed by Efim Vitis of the Russian Opera Company, who sang the Soviet Anthem. Mr. Vitis also entertained with Russian folk songs. He made a big hit and was called back for an encore.
     The next item on the program was a humorous monologue on chess by actor Sam Jaffee, who described the plans of the "big promoters" to take chess out of the drawing room into the great outdoors. His conception of a broadcast of the future:  "Rokevsky kicks a Pawn to King four . . . The White Queen has broken through for a dash of 30 yards . . . now a White Knight is coming down the field. Just a minute - there's tricky play by the Bishop. No, it's a foul. He's going to be penalized . . ." - and more along the same vein.
     Famous war correspondent Leland Stowe then spoke at some length on the international significance of the match. Stowe plays chess himself and has witnessed the Russians tremendous interest in the game. He said that the sponsors and players had perhaps accomplished something much greater than they realized. Said Stowe: "We've learned there are some things the Russians do better than we do, and perhaps it's a good thing to be reminded of it. It's a challenge to know we're going to have to play better chess to keep up with the Russians."
     Committee Chairman Maurice Wertheim also pointed out the importance of the match as a means of bringing American and Soviet peoples closer together, then presented to the Soviet Acting Consul General Pavel Mikhailov a special plaque to commemorate the match. Said  Wertheim:  "Tell the Soviet players that this trophy carries with it the best wishes, the friendship and greatest admiration of the American players, of the Committee and organizations who helped to arrange the match and all the American people."
     After Mikhailov had acknowledged the acceptance of the trophy, on behalf of the Soviet team, citations were presented to the members of the American team by Mrs. Frank J. Marshall. The program ended with an amazing blindfold demonstration by Reuben Fine. He played four boards, simultaneously, at ten seconds a move, thereby breaking his own record. Although Fine was playing blindfold he did not make a single mistake and won all four games. The moves were reproduced on demonstration boards for the audience.
     Thus ended the great Radio Match of 1945. Contact with Moscow had been broken off shortly after the closing ceremony started. During the last few minutes, Moscow asked for the opinion of the American masters concerning the games of the match. The Soviet magazine Chess in the USSR has offered prizes for the best game and the game contributing most to the theory of chess.

Return Match in Moscow Planned

     At the conclusion of the Radio Match, Committee Chairman Maurice Wertheim cabled the Soviet authorities proposing that a series of USA-USSR chess matches be held under the same sponsorship as the 1945 contest, with a Challenge Cup to be played for annually. For the 1946 match, Wertheim suggested the possibility of a face-to-face contest, in Moscow, across ten boards.
     In reply to this proposal, the USSR Committee on Physical Culture and Sports and the Chess Section of the USSR Committee on Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries issued a cordial invitation to the Radio Match sponsors to bring an American team to the Soviet Union in 1946. The official invitation was signed by Nikolai Romanov, Mikhail Botvinnik and Vassily Smyslov. In a later message, received on September 22nd, the Soviet Committees informed us that they welcomed the proposal to hold an annual match and suggested the institution of a trophy to be known as "The Marshall-Tchigorin Challenge Cup." They asked for our suggestions as to dates and terms of cup play.
     As this is written, discussions are still in progress and no definite commitments have been made. However, every effort is being made to send a team to Moscow in 1946 and hold a series of annual matches thereafter. Whether subsequent matches will be played across the board or by radio is not yet settled. Details will be announced as soon as arrangements have been concluded.



Kenneth Harkness was born Stanley Edgar in Glasgow, Scotland in 1896.
One of the early editors of Chess Review, Harkness co-authored, with Irving Chernev,  one of the best-selling chess books of all time, "An Invitation to Chess." In 1956 Harkness wrote "The Official Blue Book And Encyclopedia of Chess." In 1970 he wrote the "Official Chess Rulebook of the USCF." Harkness also promoted the use of the Swiss System in American tournaments and rewrote the rules to accommodate it. As Business Manager for the USCF in the 1950's, Harkness created the "book and equipment" sales as well as the local co-sponsorship program
Harkness also created the "Harkness System," sometimes called the "Median System" (eventually replaced by the Elo System) for establishing chess ratings. He died in 1972, the year he became an International Arbiter.

Maurice Wertheim, born in 1886, was one of the great patrons of American chess in the 20th century. Although he had inherited a small fortune from his father, the owner of the United Cigar Manufacturers Company, he started his own, very successful firm, Wertheim & Company which dealt in investment banking. His interests included Art, Chess, Theater and Conservation. The Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge was created on 2000 acres in Long Island donated by Wertheim.
    A strong correspondence player, Wertheim had an abiding interest in Chess. He organized the Radio Match, working through his connections at the State Dept., and financed most of the costs including the travel and expenses of foreign representatives.
    As president of the Manhattan Chess Club, he financed it's move to a new location in 1941. That same year he also covered the expenses for the Reshevsky - Horowitz U.S. Champion- ship match.
Maurice Wertheim died in 1950.


Irving Chernev was born in Priluki, Russia in 1900. He was brought to the United States in 1904. Known more for his writing than his chess play, Chernev, who published 18 books on chess, was probably best known for his "Logical Chess: Move by Move," ''Curious Chess Facts'' and ''The Golden Dozen; The Twelve Greatest Chess Players of All Time,''  as well as ''The Fireside Book of Chess,"  co-authored with Fred Reinfeld. Chernev worked in the fine-paper industry and lived in Brooklyn. He died in 1981.


The Henry Hudson Hotel
353 West 57th Street
1200 Rooms - 1200 Baths

   Designed by Morris & O'Connor,
   built in 1929 as the American
   Women's Association Building,      
    a club hotel.                                

      82 m / 269 ft high - 27 floors.



Nikolai Romanov



Mikailov Pavel



Alexander Fomin



Grace Moore



Efim Vitis



Leland Stowe



Sam Jaffee



Herman Steiner



Arnold Denker



Al Horowitz



Mikhail Botvinnik playing Denker