Who is George koltanowski?
Our history is full of many extra ordinary legendry personalities in different fields. George koltanowski is one of those legends in the history of chess. He was master of incredibly powerful memory. Informally named by his friends and fans as ‘Kolty’, he was born on 17th of September in 1903. He belong to a polish Jewish family and lived in Antwerp, Belgium (United States). His father was a diamond cutter and broker. In the beginning the chess master was bound to work as a diamond cutter with his father. But later on he decided to play chess professionally. He met his wife Leah in US on a blind date and after marriage they settled in San Francisco where he began his daily column.
George koltanowski and Chess
Titled as the international master and grand master of chess, he learned chess from his father. He used to watch his father and brother playing chess from his childhood, but at the age of 14 he started taking it seriously. It took him only 10 days to beat his father and brothers in game.in 1920, he joined the Antwerp chess club when his father encouraged him to play chess professionally. In a result at the age of 17 in March 1921, he was the champion of Belgium and the journey of victory continued to 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.In 1936 he won the Belgian chess championship.
Grand master of chess
Playing and winning was not enough for the chess champion. He also lived and nourish and enhanced the game. The legendry Grandmaster was holding the position for a reason. He wrote more than 19000 chess columns in the San Francisco chronicle for more than 52 years continuously. It was the longest running daily chess column in the history. Not only this, he wrote 18 books on chess in four different languages in which Adventure of chess master is the most famous which was published by David Mcky in 1955. More than a player and writer Mr. Kolty was also an exhibitor, promoter, coach and showmen. He had his own organization named chess friends of northern California. He also directed every US open from 1947 to 71970.
The world records
Chess master was best known for his unbeatable moves in blindfold chess, a form of chess where players do not see the position of pieces and don not touch them and the players have to remember the positioning of pieces until the opponent allow. In 1937 in Edinburgh Scotland, he set a world record by playing 34 games simultaneously, 24 won and 10 drew In 13.5 hour all blindfolded. This record is still stands in Guinness book of world record.
He set another world record in 1960 in San Francisco, where he played 56 consecutive games of blind fold chess in which he won 50 and drew 6 games.
Along with the world records in blind folded chess the grand master played an important role for the existence of chess. The list of achievements is so long but some of them are so remarkable and mentioned further. Mr. Koltanowski was the Belgium champion during the period of 1920s and 1930s.he scored victories in 1934 and 1935 at international platform. He was awarded as IM (international master) title in 1957 and an honorable title of grand master of chess in 1988. He dedicated himself to promote the chess in America for this he was famed as the Dean of the American chess he also served as the president of US chess federation from 1975 to 1978. From 1948 to his death, he was a chess correspondent for the San Francisco chronicle.
The End of an Era
The international chess master and author, died in 5th of February 2000, in a hospital in San Francisco at the age of 96 due to heart failure.it is said that Mr. Koltanowski was never far from his chess board. He used to bring the chess board even in the hospital in his last few days. Although he is not here but he will always be remember as the Grand master of chess for his remarkable contribution to chess.