Kindred’s Special: A Very Chessic Wedding Gift

We all know there are Gold and Silver medals passed out in various Olympic sports. But in 1956, when Grace Kelly, captured the heart of Prince Rainier III, it was the crown jewel of weddings that year.  The casino waiters raised enough funds to present the happy couple with a Gold and Silver Chess Set.  Another great event brought world recognition to Monte Carlo when, in 1967, a great chess tournament was held and the 24-year old American Grandmaster Robert Fischer managed to climb the ladder to win the tournament.  What made this such a memorable event?  1966 saw for the first time a change of menu from a Swiss Tournament to a Round-Robin Tournament.  What made the 1967 Monte Carlo Tournament such a great world attraction was the invitation of players who had won major tournaments, and invitation to Robert (Bobby) Fischer who accepted to participate.

Monte Carlo was famous as a sporting and gaming center and one of several Monaco districts which brought great wealth to the region. It was expecially known for car racing where world famous driver, Graham Hill, won 5-times during the 1960s.  It was a time of great change and Rainier wanted Monaco to be known not only for sport but also as a cultural centerpiece. His effort succeeded in establishing a reputation for entertainment, sport, art and music. So, in keeping with this spirit, the French Chess Federation approached Prince Rainier III who enthusiastically agreed to help but insisted he be the President of the organizing committee with the added wit to say it was after all, an event featuring the royal game!

Various chess stars with wins in major tournaments were invited. Darga, Forintos and Matanovic had tied for lst at Bordeaux 1964;  Gereben won at Strasbourg in 1965; Larsen was victorious at Le Havre in 1966; it was rumored that Bobby had received a letter and invitation from Princess Grace Kelly inviting him to compete.

Want to learn more about Jimmy Adams recollections on this great event?  You can do so by getting a copy of New In Chess Magazine, issue #3.

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