This 'On the Cover' series is now two years old! See March 1964 'On the Cover' for the first post.
Left: 'A Third Crown for Benko'
Right: 'Will He Win Again?'
International Grandmaster Pal Benko of New York City firmly established himself as "King of the Opens" by scoring a brilliant 7.5-0.5 to capture the second annual Stardust National Open Chess Championship at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 27 through March 4. His National Open title, added to the American Open crown captured last November and the U.S. Open championship shared with William Lombardy in August, gives Grandmaster Benko first claim to the Triple Crown of Chess. Considering the many surprises and difficulties of Open competition, it is very doubtful that his National Open score and his achievement of winning or sharing in all three major Open titles will ever again be matched. Report by E.B.Edmondson, USCF President
Only a year ago, a long reign was still being predicted for the new World Champion Tigran Petrosyan. In his cautious approach to chess competitions, he was, perhaps, not so impressive; but he was very impressive in his unparalleled ability to foresee danger on the chessboard and to avoid any risk of losing. After his match with Botvinnik, Petrosyan seemed to be virtually invincible if he wanted to be. Even Botvinnik, in spite of his iron will and energy, was exhausted by the durability of his younger rival. For Petrosyan was able, each time he needed to ensure his safety, to drain off the possibilities on the board and to make Botvinnik's ambitions look futile. 'Game of the Month' by Svetozar Gligorich (Korchnoy - Petrosyan, 1965 Moscow - Leningrad match; 'Korchnoy' won both games of their mini-match)
In the January 1966 'On the Cover', the National Open was featured on the CL cover and Benko was featured on the CR cover. Although CL gave the dates of the National Open as 27 February - 4 March, the tournament report was already available in March. It makes you wonder when CL issues were sent to be printed.
In the February 1966 'On the Cover', Petrosian was featured on the CL cover. What can I say about CR's green cover? It was also the color of choice for the CR side of the December 1965 'On the Cover'. An article in the March CR, titled 'Petrosyan in Pictures', had a three page photo spread from the same shoot as the cover photo. Why CR chose a photo where 'Petrosyan' covered his face is anyone's guess.