Reproduction Havana 1966 Chessmen.
The House of Staunton has accurately reproduced this legendary chess set from the 1966 Chess Olympiad held in Cuba, the Havana 1966 chessmen. King stands 3-7/8” tall with a 1-3/4” base. This set of chessmen includes an extra pair of Queens to assist during Pawn Promotion, a feature pioneered by Frank Camaratta in 1995. The original chessmen were natural and Black Lacquered Boxwood. The reproduction Havana 1966 Chessmen are available in the same finish as the originals, as well as antiqued and black stained Boxwood as well as the more traditional Boxwood and Ebony. Unlike similarly named sets, this reproduction of the Havana 1966 Chessmen is the only accurate reproductions currently on the market. This reproduction was executed by Frank Camaratta and is part of the Camaratta Signature Series. The 17th Olympiad is now just a memory – but it was one of the finest in the whole series of Chess Olympiads. These Havana 1966 reproduction chessmen are a fitting tribute to that memorable event.
The 17th Chess Olympiad, organized by FIDE and comprising an open team tournament, as well as several other events designed to promote the game of chess, took place between October 23 and November 20, 1966, in Havana, Cuba. The Time control was 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then 1 hour for each next 16 moves.
The Soviet team with 6 Grandmasters, led by world champion Petrosian, lived up to expectations scored 39-1/2 points and won their eighth consecutive gold medals, with the United States (34-1/2) and Hungary (33-1/2) taking the silver and bronze, respectively. The Unites States team consisted of Robert J. Fischer, Robert Byrne, Pal Benko, Larry Evans, William Addison, and Nicholas Rossolimo.
The chessmen used in that illustrious event were produced by local craftsmen. They were based on the popular 1900 Jaques Marshall design. Chess Sets in custom-made boxes were presented to each of the participants, as well as the team captains, the Arbiter and Chief TD. Shown here is the Freeman set.
The event was held from October 23 through November 20, 1966. The event was held at the Havana Libre Hotel in Havana Cuba. Fidel Castro, an avid chess fan, was the Organizer. Mr. José Luis Barreras was the Tournament Director and Jaroslav Šajtar was the Arbiter. The event drew 52 teams and 299 players, including 38 Grandmasters and 45 International Masters.
A few million dollars was budgeted for the event and more than 1,000 technical staff were at disposal of the players during the Olympiad. West Germany boycotted the Havana Olympiad for political reasons while USA, attended.
USSR left Botvinnik, Smyslov and Keres home, while the USA team was missing Reshevsky. Robert Fischer played first board and was joined by with Robert Byrne, Pal Benko and Larry Evans. Yugoslavia fielded six Grandmasters, while Czechoslovakia and Hungary Fielded four each.
The Soviet team won the Championship for the eighth time. Three of the Soviet players also won Board prizes. The second place achieved by the United States was primarily due to Fischer, who had an incredible tournament, scoring 15-2 with only one loss! Unfortunately, Petrosian scored 11.5-1.5 to out-score Fischer for First Board prize (88.5% vs. 88.2%). For a more detailed report on the 1966 Olympiad held in Havana, Cuba, go to https://www.olimpbase.org/1966/1966in.html