~Benson Chess Book Collection~

~Story Selections~

Berkeley, CA

International Grandmaster
~Vasily Smyslov~

World Chess Champion 1957 - 1958

Berkeley, CA
March 1976

Being so lucky that I was a favorite of the late Guthrie McClain
and his chess comrade Robert (Bob) Burger. It was during one
of our many adventures after the Lone Pine Chess Tournament
in 1976 that Smyslov (who was staying at the Burger Meister
digs as Petrosian had to leave early on some personal matter)
was able to meet with Guthrie, Bob and myself over at the
Men's Faculty Club on the University of California (Berkeley)
campus (UCB is just three blocks away from my abode) as
we had arranged a private dinner there for just the four of us.

Later that night Smyslov stayed with me and we walked over
to my apartment... BTW: we had already met several times
previously over in San Francisco when Guthrie and Bob had
arranged a private booth luncheon at the Tadich Grill over on
California Street (Financial District). A place that Guthie just
loved to eat and he had taken me there many times for lunch
previously. I was also invited to attend and we played in tan-
dem each taking turns as his (Smyslov) partner. Just my luck
-- as I was paired up with Vassily in the first two games. I do
vividly remember being quite nervous at the time and because
of "you know who's errors" we lost that first game! ~lol~

Anyway, back to our main story after we had made it back to my
place it was there I told Vasily the story of my '59 Candidates
tournament book (knowing the chess history and that it wasn't
his favorite tournament) which he then graciously signed any-
way. Never overlooking an opportunity, I then handed him
proudly the 1953 and 1956 Candidates Chess Tournaments
(he won them both). As well as several other chess books
that evening for him to sign. Then I called up my old friend,
Ulf Wostner, and arranged to meet him over at the Cafe
Renaissance (now its turned into Tower Records), and we
ended up playing five-minute chess and drinking late night
cappuccinos for well over an hour (maybe two). Then when
Vassily grew tired, we (Ulf and I) arranged for a taxi cab to
take him back to Bob's Berzerkeley manor... What a night! :-)

GM Vasily Smyslov vs. IM Norman Weinstein

Louis D. Statham
Master Chess Tournament
Result: Draw, Round #4, Board #3
Wednesday, March 10th, 1976

To see the image scan and game just click on:
"Smyslov vs. Weinstein // chess scoresheets"
to view original images...

GM Vasily Smyslov vs. IM John Grefe

Louis D. Statham
Master Chess Tournament
Result: Draw, Round #6, Board #2
Friday, March 12th, 1976

To see the image scan and game just click on:
"Smyslov vs. Grefe // chess scoresheets"
to view original images...

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