Robert James Fischer was an American chess grandmaster and the eleventh World Chess Champion. Many consider him to be the greatest chess player of all time. Fischer showed great skill in chess from an early age. At age 14, he became the US Chess Champion, at 15, he became both the youngest grandmaster up to that time and the youngest candidate for the World Championship. At age 20, Fischer won the 1963–64 US Championship with 11 wins in 11 games, the only perfect score in the history of the tournament, his book My 60 Memorable Games, published in 1969, is regarded as essential reading. He won the 1970 Interzonal Tournament by a record 3½-point margin, won 20 consecutive games, including two unprecedented 6–0 sweeps, in the Candidates Matches. In July 1971, he became. Fischer won the World Chess Championship in 1972, defeating Boris Spassky of the USSR, in a match held in Reykjavík, Iceland. Publicized as a Cold War confrontation between the US and USSR, it attracted more worldwide interest than any chess championship before or since.
In 1975, Fischer refused to defend his title when an agreement could not be reached with FIDE, chess's international governing body, over one of the conditions for the match. Under FIDE rules, this resulted in Soviet GM Anatoly Karpov, who had won the qualifying Candidates' cycle, being named the new world champion by default. After forfeiting his title as World Champion, Fischer became reclusive and sometimes erratic, disappearing from both competitive chess and the public eye. In 1992, he reemerged to win an unofficial rematch against Spassky, it was held in Yugoslavia, under a United Nations embargo at the time. His participation led to a conflict with the US government, which warned Fischer that his participation in the match would violate an executive order imposing US sanctions on Yugoslavia; the US government issued a warrant for his arrest. After that, Fischer lived his life as an émigré. In 2004, he was arrested in Japan and held for several months for using a passport, revoked by the US government.
He was granted an Icelandic passport and citizenship by a special act of the Icelandic Althing, allowing him to live in Iceland until his death in 2008. Fischer made numerous lasting contributions to chess. In the 1990s, he patented a modified chess timing system that added a time increment after each move, now a standard practice in top tournament and match play, he invented Fischerandom, a new variant of chess known today as "Chess960". Bobby Fischer was born at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on March 9, 1943, his birth certificate listed his father as Hans-Gerhardt Fischer known as Gerardo Liebscher, a German biophysicist. His mother, Regina Wender Fischer, was a US citizen, born in Switzerland. Raised in St. Louis, Regina became a teacher, registered nurse, a physician. After graduating from college in her teens, Regina traveled to Germany to visit her brother, it was there she met geneticist and future Nobel Prize winner Hermann Joseph Muller, who persuaded her to move to Moscow to study medicine.
She enrolled at I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University, where she met Hans-Gerhardt, whom she married in November 1933. In 1938, Hans-Gerhardt and Regina had Joan Fischer; the reemergence of anti-Semitism under Stalin prompted Regina to go with Joan to Paris, where Regina became an English teacher. The threat of a German invasion led her and Joan to go to the United States in 1939. Hans-Gerhardt attempted to follow the pair but, at that time, his German citizenship barred him from entering the United States. Regina and Hans-Gerhardt had separated in Moscow, although they did not divorce until 1945. At the time of her son's birth, Regina was homeless and shuttled to different jobs and schools around the country to support her family, she engaged in political activism, raised both Bobby and Joan as a single parent. In 1949, the family moved to Manhattan and the following year to Brooklyn, New York City, where she studied for her master's degree in nursing and subsequently began working in that field.
In 2002, Peter Nicholas and Clea Benson of The Philadelphia Inquirer published an investigative report backed by detailed and compelling evidence that indicated that Bobby Fischer’s biological father was Paul Nemenyi. Nemenyi, a Hungarian mathematician and physicist of Jewish heritage, was considered an expert in fluid and applied mechanics. Throughout the 1950s, the FBI investigated Regina and her circle for her alleged communist sympathies, as well as her time living in Moscow. FBI files do not identify Nemenyi as Fischer's father, but note that Hans-Gerhardt Fischer never entered the United States, while recording that Nemenyi took a keen interest in Fischer's upbringing. Not only were Regina and Nemenyi reported to have had an affair in 1942, but Nemenyi made monthly child support payments to Regina and paid for Bobby's schooling until his own death in 1952. In addition and Benson found letters by Nemenyi's first son, identifying Bobby Fischer as his brother. In March 1949, 6-year-old Bobby and his sister Joan learned how to play chess using the instructions from a set bought at a candy store.
When Joan lost interest in chess and Regina did not have time to play, Fischer was left to play many of his first games against himself. When the family vacationed at Patchogue, Long Island, New York, that summer, Bobby found a book of old chess games and studied it intensely. In 1950, the family moved to Brooklyn, first to an apartment at the corner of Union street and Franklin Avenue, to a two-bedroom apartment at 560 L
The World Chess Federation, FIDE, awards several performance-based titles to chess players, up to and including the prized Grandmaster title. Titles require a combination of Elo rating and norms. Once awarded, FIDE titles are held for life, though a title may be revoked in exceptional circumstances. Open titles may be earned by all players, whilst the women's titles are restricted to female players. A strong female player may have a title in both systems. A chess title in an abbreviated form, may be used as an honorific. For example, Viswanathan Anand may be styled as "GM Viswanathan Anand". FIDE has implemented online titles including AGM, AIM, AFM and ACM; these are permanent and are for lower levelled players and can only be achieved through the FIDE Online Arena. FIDE's first titles were awarded in 1950 and consisted of 27 Grandmasters, 94 International Masters, 17 International Women Masters. FIDE's first GMs were: The standards for FIDE titles were not formally defined, were decided by a committee.
In 1957, FIDE introduced norms for FIDE titles. The term "Grandmaster" had been in informal use for strong chess players for several decades before its official institution by FIDE in 1950. At the same time FIDE instituted the lesser rank of International Master, two further subordinate ranks, FIDE Master and Candidate Master were created; the requirements for each rank have varied over time, but require having demonstrated suitably strong skill in rated competition. Additionally the World Federation for Chess Composition awards Grandmaster, International Master and FIDE Master titles to persons who demonstrate high skill in the field of composing and solving chess problems; the title Grandmaster is awarded to outstanding chess players by FIDE. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title. Once achieved, the title is held for life. In chess literature it is abbreviated to GM; the abbreviation IGM for International Grandmaster can sometimes be found in older literature. This title can be awarded to the players with an Elo rating greater than 2500 who achieve the required three title norms.
Players with an Elo rating greater than 2700, such as Viswanathan Anand, Garry Kasparov, Magnus Carlsen, Vladimir Kramnik are sometimes informally referred to as "Super-GMs". There are 44 players who would qualify for this title as of March 2019. Beginning with Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978, a number of women have earned the GM title. Since about 2000, most of the top 10 women have held the GM title; this should not be confused with the Woman Grandmaster title. At 12 years and 7 months, Sergey Karjakin became the youngest person to qualify for the Grandmaster title; the title International Master is awarded to strong chess players. Instituted in 1950, it is a lifetime title abbreviated as IM in chess literature. Three norms in international tournaments involving other IMs and Grandmasters are required before FIDE will confer the title on a player. IMs have an Elo rating between 2400 and 2500. Sometimes, there may be an IM who has not yet become a Grandmaster but has a rating greater than 2500; the IM title can be awarded for a few specific performances.
For example, under current rules, the runner up at the World Junior Championship will be awarded the IM title if he or she does not have it. Current regulations may be found in the FIDE handbook. After becoming an IM, most professional players set their next goal as becoming a Grandmaster, it is possible to become a Grandmaster without having been an International Master. Larry Christiansen of the United States, Wang Hao of China, Anish Giri of The Netherlands, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik of Russia all became Grandmasters without having been an IM. Bobby Fischer of the United States attained both titles by virtue of qualifying for the 1958 Interzonal and 1959 Candidates Tournament bypassing the usual process of achieving norms at each level only incidentally becoming IM before GM. However, the more usual path is first to become an IM move on to the GM level. At 10 years, 10 months, 19 days, Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu became the youngest person to hold an IM title in 2016. Introduced in 1978, FM ranks below the title of International Master but ahead of Candidate Master.
The usual way for a player to qualify for the FIDE Master title is by achieving an Elo rating of 2300 or more. The current title regulations can be found in the FIDE handbook. Introduced in 2002, the usual way for a player to qualify for the Candidate Master title is by achieving an Elo rating of 2200 or more. Candidate Master ranks above the WFM and WCM titles. Though the open FIDE titles are not gender-segregated, the following four titles given by FIDE are exclusive to women and may be held with an open title; the requirements for these titles are about 200 Elo rating points lower than the requirements for the corresponding open titles. Not all leading female players have elected to take such titles. Woman Grandmaster is the highest-ranking chess title restricted to women aside from Women's World Champion. FIDE introduced the WGM titl
Brooklyn Heights is an affluent residential neighborhood within the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is bounded by Old Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Bridge on the north, Cadman Plaza West on the east, Atlantic Avenue on the south, the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway or the East River on the west. Adjacent neighborhoods are Dumbo to the north, Downtown Brooklyn to the east, Cobble Hill and Boerum Hill to the south. Referred to as Brooklyn Village, it has been a prominent area of Brooklyn since 1834; the neighborhood is noted for its low-rise architecture and its many brownstone rowhouses, most of them built prior to the Civil War. It has an abundance of notable churches and other religious institutions. Brooklyn's first art gallery, the Brooklyn Arts Gallery, was opened in Brooklyn Heights in 1958. In 1965, a large part of Brooklyn Heights was protected from unchecked development by the creation of the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, the first such district in New York City.
The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. Directly across the East River from Manhattan and connected to it by subways and regular ferry service, Brooklyn Heights is easily accessible from Downtown Brooklyn. Columbia Heights, an upscale six-block-long street next to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, is sometimes considered to be its own neighborhood. Brooklyn Heights is part of Brooklyn Community District 2 and its primary ZIP Code is 11201, it is patrolled by the 84th Precinct of the New York City Police Department. The New York City Fire Department operates two fire stations near Brooklyn Heights: Engine Company 205/Ladder Company 118 at 74 Middagh Street, Engine Company 224 at 274 Hicks Street. Brooklyn Heights occupies a palisade that rises from the river's edge and recedes on the landward side. Before the Dutch settled on Long Island in the middle of the seventeenth century, this promontory was called Ihpetonga by the native Lenape American Indians. Ferries across the East River were running as early as 1642.
The most significant of the ferries went between the current Fulton Street and Peck Slip in Manhattan, was run by Cornelius Dirksen. The ferry service helped the lowland area to thrive, with both farms and some factories along the water, but the higher ground was sparsely used; the area was fortified prior to the Battle of Long Island in the American Revolutionary War, After British troops landed on Long Island and advanced towards Continental Army lines, General George Washington withdrew his troops here after heavy losses, but was able to make a skillful retreat across the East River to Manhattan without the loss of any troops or his remaining supplies. After the war, the 160-acre tract of land belonging to John Rapeljie, a Loyalist, was confiscated and sold to the Sands brothers, who tried to develop the part of the land on the palisade as a community they called "Olympia", but failed to make it come about because of the difficulty of building there, they sold part of their land to John Jackson, who created the Vinegar Hill community, much of which became the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Brooklyn Heights began to develop once Robert Fulton's New York and Brooklyn Steam Ferry Boat Company began scheduled steam ferry service in 1814, with the financial backing of Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont, one of the area's major landowners. Pierrepont had accumulated 60 acres of land, including 800 feet which directly overlooked the harbor, all of which he planned to sub-divide. Since his intention was to sell to merchants and bankers who lived in Manhattan, he needed easy access between Brooklyn Heights and New York City, which Fulton's company provided. Pierrepont bought 60 acres – part of the Livingston estate, plus the Benson, De Bevoise and Reemsen farms – on what was called "Clover Hill", now Brooklyn Heights, built a mansion there. Pierrepont purchased and expanded Philip Livingston's gin distillery on the East River at what is now Joralemon Street, where he produced Anchor Gin. Wishing to sub-divide and develop his property, Pierrepont realized the need for scheduled ferry service across the East River, to this end he became a prominent investor in Robert Fulton's New York and Brooklyn Steam Ferry Boat Company, using his influence on Fulton's behalf.
Fulton's ferry began running in 1814, Brooklyn received a charter as a village from the state of New York in 1816, thanks to the influence of Pierrepont and other prominent landowners. The city prepared for the establishment of a street grid, although there were competing plans for the size of the lots. John and Jacob Hicks, who owned property on Brooklyn Heights, north of Pierrepont's, favored smaller lots, as they were pitching their land to tradesman and artisans living in Brooklyn, not attempting to lure merchants and bankers from Manhattan as Pierrepont was. To counter the Hickses' proposal, Pierrepont submitted an alternative. In the end, the Hickses' plan was adopted north of Clark Street, Pierrepont's, featuring 25 by 100 foot lots, south of it. Thanks to the influence of Pierrepont and other landowners, Brooklyn received a charter from the state as a village in 1816, which led to streets being laid out in a regular grid pattern, sidewalks being laid, water pumps being installed and the institution of a watch.
After 1823, farms begin to be sub-divided into 25-by-100-foot lots, which were advertised as suitable for a "country retreat" for Manhattanites, leading to a building boom that resulted in Brooklyn Heights becoming the "first commuter suburb," since it was easier and faster to ge
U.S. Chess Championship
The U. S. Chess Championship is an invitational tournament held to determine the national chess champion of the United States. Begun as a challenge match in 1845, the U. S. Championship has been decided by tournament play for most of its long history. Since 1936, it has been held under the auspices of the U. S. Chess Federation; until 1999, the event consisted of a round-robin tournament of varying size. From 1999 to 2006, the Championship was sponsored and organized by the Seattle Chess Foundation as a large Swiss system tournament. AF4C withdrew its sponsorship in 2007; the 2007 and 2008 events were held in Oklahoma. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in St. Louis has hosted the annual event since 2009. America's national chess championship is the world's oldest. Hikaru Nakamura is the current champion. George Henry Mackenzie died in April 1891 and that year, Max Judd proposed he, Jackson Showalter and S. Lipschütz contest a triangular match for the championship. Lipschütz withdrew so Showalter played a match which the latter won.
A claim by Walter Penn Shipley that S. Lipschütz became US Champion as a result of being the top-scoring American at the Sixth American Chess Congress, New York 1889 is refuted in a biography of Lipschütz; the following US Champions until 1909 were decided by matches. U. S. Women's Chess Championship U. S. Open Chess Championship U. S. Women's Open Chess Championship American Chess Congress Soltis, Andy; the United States Chess Championship 1845–1996. McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0248-2. Isaac Kashdan. History of the United States Chess Championship. Chess Review, November–December, 1933, reprinted in The Best of Chess Life & Review 1933–1960. ISBN 0-671-61986-1. Official US Chess Championship Site St. Louis Chess Club, St. Louis, Missouri
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska and the county seat of Douglas County. Omaha is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 10 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River; the nation's 40th-largest city, Omaha's 2018 estimated population was 466,061. Omaha is the anchor of the bi-state Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area; the Omaha Metropolitan Area is the 59th largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 944,316. The Omaha-Council Bluffs-Fremont, NE-IA Combined Statistical Area encompasses the Omaha-Council Bluffs MSA as well as the separate Fremont, NE Micropolitan Statistical Area, which consists of the entirety of Dodge County, Nebraska; the total population of the CSA was 970,023 based on 2017 estimates. 1.3 million people reside within the Greater Omaha area, within a 50 mi radius of Downtown Omaha. Omaha's pioneer period began in 1854, when the city was founded by speculators from neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa; the city was founded along the Missouri River, a crossing called Lone Tree Ferry earned the city its nickname, the "Gateway to the West".
Omaha introduced this new West to the world in 1898, when it played host to the World's Fair, dubbed the Trans-Mississippi Exposition. During the 19th century, Omaha's central location in the United States spurred the city to become an important national transportation hub. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, the transportation and jobbing sectors were important in the city, along with its railroads and breweries. In the 20th century, the Omaha Stockyards, once the world's largest, its meatpacking plants gained international prominence. Today, Omaha is the home to the headquarters of four Fortune 500 companies: mega-conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway. Berkshire Hathaway is headed by local investor Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, according to a decade's worth of Forbes Magazine rankings, some of which have ranked him as high as No. 1. Omaha is the home to five Fortune 1000 headquarters: Green Plains Renewable Energy, TD Ameritrade, Valmont Industries, Werner Enterprises, West Corporation.
Headquartered in Omaha are the following: First National Bank of Omaha, the largest held bank in the United States. Notable modern Omaha inventions include the following: the bobby pin and the "pink hair curler" created at Omaha's Tip Top Products. S. at Omaha's KOWH Radio. Various Native American tribes had lived in the land that became Omaha, including since the 17th century, the Omaha and Ponca, Dhegian-Siouan-language people who had originated in the lower Ohio River valley and migrated west by the early 17th century; the word Omaha means "Dwellers on the bluff". In 1804 the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed by the riverbanks where the city of Omaha would be built. Between July 30 and August 3, 1804, members of the expedition, including Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, met with Oto and Missouria tribal leaders at the Council Bluff at a point about 20 miles north of present-day Omaha. South of that area, Americans built several fur trading outposts in succeeding years, including Fort Lisa in 1812.
There was fierce competition among fur traders until John Jacob Astor created the monopoly of the American Fur Company. The Mormons built a town called Cutler's Park in the area in 1846. While it was temporary, the settlement provided the basis for further development in the future. Through 26 separate treaties with the United States federal government, Native American tribes in Nebraska ceded the lands constituting the state; the treaty and cession involving the Omaha area occurred in 1854 when the Omaha Tribe ceded most of east-central Nebraska. Logan Fontenelle, an interpreter for the Omaha and signatory to the 1854 treaty, played an essential role in those proceedings. Before it was legal to claim land in Indian Country, William D. Brown was operating the Lone Tree Ferry to bring settlers from Council Bluffs, Iowa to the area that became Omaha. Brown is credited as having the first vision for a city where Omaha now sits; the passage of the Kansas–Nebraska Act in 1854 was presaged by the staking out of claims around the area to become Omaha by residents from neighboring Council Bluffs.
On July 4, 1854, the city was informally established at a picnic on Capital Hill, current site of Omaha Central High School. Soon after, the Omaha Claim Club was formed to provide vigilante justice for claim jumpers and others who infringed on the land of many of the city's founding fathers; some of this land, which now wraps aro
Fast chess is a type of chess in which each player is given less time to consider their moves than normal tournament time controls allow. The rules specify a cumulative total time for moves for each side. In a fast chess game, each player will have less than the usual 60 minutes at their disposal, based on a 60-move game, sometimes less time. Fast chess is further subdivided, by decreasing time controls, into rapid chess, blitz chess, bullet chess. Armageddon chess is a particular variation in which different rules apply for each of the two players; the 2018 world rapid chess champion is Daniil Dubov from Russia, the 2018 world blitz chess champion is Magnus Carlsen. Ju Wenjun from China is the 2018 women's world rapid champion, Kateryna Lagno from Russia is the 2018 women's world blitz champion; the World Chess Federation divides time controls for chess into "classical" time controls, the fast chess time controls. As of July 2014, for master-level players the regulations state that at least 120 minutes per player must be allocated for a game to be rated on the "classical" list.
Games played faster than these time controls can be rated for rapid and blitz if they comply with the time controls for those categories. A fast chess game can be further divided into several categories, which are distinguished by the selection of time controls. Games may be played without time increments per move. Time controls for each player in a game of rapid chess are, according to FIDE, more than 10 minutes, but less than 60 minutes. Rapid chess can be played without time increments for each move. In a game where time increments are used, a player can automatically gain, for instance, ten more seconds on the clock after each move. In a case where time increments are used, the total time per player for a 60-move game must be more than 10 minutes, but less than 60 minutes. For the FIDE World Rapid Championship, each player will have 15 minutes, plus 10 seconds additional time per move starting from move 1; the United States Chess Federation quick chess rating for players is based on games with time controls per player greater than 10 minutes, up to a maximum of 65 minutes.
Games between 30 and 65 minutes per player are dual rated for both regular ratings. Time controls for each player in a game of blitz chess are, according to FIDE, 10 minutes or less per player; this can be sudden death, with no time increment per move, but it may be played with a small increment per move—a more recent development due to the influx of digital clocks. Three minutes with a two-second increment is preferred. In the case of time increments, the total time per player for a 60-move game must be 10 minutes or less. For the FIDE World Blitz Championship, each player has 3 minutes, plus 2 seconds additional time per move starting from move 1; the USCF define blitz chess as time controls between 10 minutes per player. The terms blitz or blitzkrieg in chess sometimes means a quick attack on the f7- or f2-square early in the game, putting the king in check; this term is not limited to fast chess. A variant of blitz chess, bullet chess games have less than three minutes per player, based on a 40-move game, this extends down to one-minute-per-player games.
Other time control options for bullet games include 2 minutes with one-second increment or 1 minute with a two-second increment. The term lightning can be applied to this variant. Online bullet chess avoids practical problems associated with live bullet chess players accidentally knocking over the pieces. Under USCF rules, bullet games are not ratable. A game guaranteed to produce a decisive result. To compensate, White has more time on the clock. Common times are six minutes for White and five for Black, or five minutes for White and four for Black; this can be played with a small increment. This is known as "time odds" and it is used in various tie breaks for quick tournaments. An example of Armageddon was played by Ian Nepomniachtchi versus Hikaru Nakamura at the 2015 FIDE World Cup. Lightning A general term for fast chess, it can refer to games with a fixed time for each move. This can be used for one-minute games. Active chess Used from 1987 to 1989, to refer to rapid chess. Before the advent of digital clocks, five minutes per side was the standard for blitz or speed chess.
Before the introduction of chess clocks in the mid-1950s chess club "rapid transit" tournaments had a referee who every ten seconds called out. The Washington Divan had regular weekly games and used a special clock that beeped every ten seconds to indicate the time to move. Players had to move on the bell. In 1988 Walter Browne formed the World Blitz Chess Association and its magazine Blitz Chess, which folded in 2003. In some chess tournaments and matches, the final standings of the contestants are decided by a series of games with shortening control times as tie breaks. In this case, two games may be played with each time control, as playing with black or white pieces is not liked among players; the short time controls in fast chess reduce the amount of time available to consider each move, may result in a frantic game as time runs out. A player whose time runs out automatically loses, unless the oppo
Grandmaster is a title awarded to chess players by the world chess organization FIDE. Apart from World Champion, Grandmaster is the highest title. Once achieved, the title is held for life, though exceptionally it may be revoked for cheating; the abbreviation IGM for International Grandmaster is sometimes used in older literature. The title of Grandmaster, along with the lesser FIDE titles of International Master and FIDE Master, is open to both men and women; the vast majority of grandmasters are men, but a number of women have earned the GM title, with the first three having been Nona Gaprindashvili in 1978, Maia Chiburdanidze in 1984 and Susan Polgar in 1991. Since about 2000, most of the top 10 women have held the GM title. There is a Woman Grandmaster title with lower requirements awarded only to women. FIDE awards separate Grandmaster titles to composers and solvers of chess problems, International Grandmaster for chess compositions to the former and International Solving Grandmaster to the latter.
The International Correspondence Chess Federation awards the title of International Correspondence Chess Grandmaster. The first known use of the term grandmaster in connection with chess was in an 1838 issue of Bell's Life, in which a correspondent referred to William Lewis as "our past grandmaster". Lewis himself referred to Philidor as a grandmaster, the term was applied to a few other players. In the Ostend tournament of 1907 the term grandmaster was used; the tournament was divided into two sections: the Championship Tournament and the Masters' Tournament. The Championship section was for players who had won an international tournament. Siegbert Tarrasch won the Championship section, over Carl Schlechter, Dawid Janowski, Frank Marshall, Amos Burn, Mikhail Chigorin; these players were described as grandmasters for the purposes of the tournament. The San Sebastián 1912 tournament won by Akiba Rubinstein was a designated grandmaster event. Rubinstein won with 12½ points out of 19. Tied for second with 12 points were Rudolf Spielmann.
By some accounts, in the St. Petersburg 1914 chess tournament, the title "Grandmaster" was formally conferred by Russian Tsar Nicholas II, who had funded the tournament; the Tsar awarded the title to the five finalists: Emanuel Lasker, José Raúl Capablanca, Alexander Alekhine, Siegbert Tarrasch, Frank Marshall. Chess historian Edward Winter has questioned this, stating that the earliest known sources that support this story are an article by Robert Lewis Taylor in the June 15, 1940, issue of The New Yorker and Marshall's autobiography My 50 Years of Chess. Before 1950, the term grandmaster was sometimes informally applied to world class players; the Fédération Internationale des Échecs was formed in Paris in 1924, but at that time did not award formal titles. In 1927, the Soviet Union's Chess Federation established the title of Grandmaster of the Soviet Union, for their own players, since at that time Soviets were not competing outside their own country; this title was abolished in 1931, after having been awarded to Boris Verlinsky, who won the 1929 Soviet Championship.
The title was brought back in 1935, awarded to Mikhail Botvinnik, who thus became the first "official" Grandmaster of the USSR. Verlinsky did not get his title back; when FIDE reorganized after World War II it adopted regulations concerning international titles. Titles were awarded by a resolution of the FIDE General Assembly and the Qualification Committee, with no formal written criteria. FIDE first awarded the Grandmaster title in 1950 to 27 players; these players were: The top players of the day: world champion Mikhail Botvinnik, those who had qualified for the inaugural Candidates Tournament in 1950: Isaac Boleslavsky, Igor Bondarevsky, David Bronstein, Max Euwe, Reuben Fine, Salo Flohr, Paul Keres, Alexander Kotov, Andor Lilienthal, Miguel Najdorf, Samuel Reshevsky, Vasily Smyslov, Gideon Ståhlberg, László Szabó. Players still living who, though past their best in 1950, were recognised as having been world class when at their peak: Ossip Bernstein, Oldřich Duras, Ernst Grünfeld, Boris Kostić, Grigory Levenfish, Géza Maróczy, Jacques Mieses, Viacheslav Ragozin, Akiba Rubinstein, Friedrich Sämisch, Savielly Tartakower, Milan Vidmar.
Since FIDE did not award the Grandmaster title posthumously, world-class players who died prior to 1950, including World Champions Steinitz, Lasker and Alekhine, never received the title. Title awards under the original regulations were subject to political concerns. Efim Bogoljubov, who had emigrated from the Soviet Union to Germany, was not entered in the first class of Grandmasters though he had played two matches for the World Championship with Alekhine, he received the title by a vote of thirteen to eight with five abstentions. Yugoslavia supported his application. In 1953, FIDE abolished the old regulations, although a provision was maintained that allowed older masters, overlooked to be awarded titles; the new regulations awarded the title of International Grandmaster of the FIDE to players meeting any of the following criteria: The world champion. Masters who have the absolute right to play in the World Championship Candidates Tournament, or any player who replaces an absent contestant and earns at least a 50 percent score.
The winner of an international tournament meeting specified standards, any player placing second in two such tournaments within a span of four years. The tournament must be at least eleven rounds with seven or more players, 80 p