The Golden Nagler Years (1953 - 1985)
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1953 The SSV hosts the World Championship Candidates' Tournament and tasks the Chess Club with a large part of the organization. The tournament is won by Vassily Smyslov and goes down in chess history as one of the most star-studded and creative tournaments ever, featuring in more than half a dozen tournament books and brochures. Alois Nagler (Image on the left) in his role as tournament director plays a key part in the success of the event.
A donation from American author Clare Benedict provides Alois Nagler, the new president of the Schachgesellschaft, with the funds to organize regular international team tournaments over the next two decades. Organized by the Zurich Chess Club, these "Clare Benedict Tournaments" are held in attractive spa resorts and are highly popular among all participants.
The Chess Club makes its debut at the Swiss Team Championship (SMM) and wins at the first attempt. Numerous titles follow.
1954 The second Clare Benedict Tournament is hosted in Zurich and marks a departure from the norm by taking the form of an individual tournament. Lothar Schmid from Germany takes the title, ahead of Erwin Nievergelt from Zurich and Max Euwe
1956 World Champion Mikhail Botvinnik visits Zurich for a clock-simul and enthrals his thousand-strong audience, only conceding defeat to Dr. Josef Kupper.
1959 The 150th anniversary tournament is once again an event to remember. Mikhail Tal (soon-to-be World Champion) prevails, ahead of Svetozar Gligoric, Bobby Fischer, and Paul Keres.
Alois Nagler steps down from his post and is named honorary president. He remains a vital contributor to Zurich and Swiss chess for many years.
1961 An international tournament held in Zurich once again brings the city to the attention of the chess world. The tournament is won by Paul Keres, ahead of future World Champion Tigran Petrosian.
1968 Paul Keres competes against the Swiss national team in 18 training matches held in Zurich.
1971 Werner Hug (Image) is crowned Junior World Champion in Athens. 1973
1973 Zurich hosts the final round of the SMM and celebrates its eleventh title in 20 years.
1975 The Chess Club hosts the 75th Swiss Chess Championship. As on previous occasions, the event is held on an international level. The Grandmaster Tournament is won by Guillermo García (Cuba) together with Dr. Dieter Keller and Werner Hug. A play-off for the title of Swiss Champion sees Hug win 2:0 with one draw
1984 The international tournament held at the «Zürichhorn» to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Schachgesellschaft Zürich attracts a star-studded line-up of famous grandmasters. Dr. John Nunn from England wins the tournament, ahead of a strong field including ex-World Champion Boris Spassky and twice World Champion runner-up Viktor Korchnoi.
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Main SponsorCredit-Suisse
Co-Sponsor Swiss Re
Stadt Zuerich
Chess Base
Alois Nagler Stiftung