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Chess Champion Yanofsky


Daniel Yanofsky was the first Grandmaster of the British Commonwealth. He was born in Poland on this date in 1925, and grew up in Winnipeg, where his talent as a chess player emerged during the Great Depression. He was only 11 years old when he took part in his first professional competition – the Manitoba-Minnesota match, which was held in Fargo in 1936. Yanofsky won on the eighth board, but his sharpest memory of the event was being left alone with a Gideon Bible in the Gardner Hotel, while his 20-year-old teammates went out on the town.

Yanofsky won the Canadian championship eight times by 1965. In 1962, he played Bobby Fischer in Stockholm, where it took Fischer 112 moves to win; a 1968 rematch in Israel resulted in a draw.

Source: Cecil Rosner, En Passant Magazine, Daniel Abraham Yanofsky: A Tribute to the First Grandmaster in the Commonwealth

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm