Thursday, May 20, 2021

May 20th in stamps Max Euwe, James Stewart

Here are some events that happened on May 20th. It could be an event or a person that died or was born on that day


1901 Born: Max Euwe, Dutch chess player, mathematician, and author (d. 1981)

Machgielis "Max" Euwe (May 20, 1901 – November 26, 1981) was a Dutch chess player, mathematician, author, and chess administrator. He was the fifth player to become World Chess Champion, a title he held from 1935 until 1937. Euwe served as President of FIDE, the World Chess Federation, from 1970 to 1978.

In 1933, Max Euwe challenged Alekhine to a championship match. Alekhine accepted the challenge for October 1935. Earlier that year, Dutch radio sports journalist Han Hollander asked Capablanca for his views on the forthcoming match. In the rare archival film footage where Capablanca and Euwe both speak, Capablanca replies: "Dr. Alekhine's game is 20% bluff. Dr. Euwe's game is clear and straightforward. Dr. Euwe's game—not so strong as Alekhine's in some respects—is more evenly balanced." Then Euwe gives his assessment in Dutch, explaining that his feelings alternated from optimism to pessimism, but in the previous ten years, their score had been evenly matched at 7–7.

On December 15, 1935, after 30 games played in 13 different cities around the Netherlands over a period of 80 days, Euwe defeated Alekhine by 15½–14½, becoming the fifth World Chess Champion. Alekhine quickly went three games ahead, but from game 13 onwards Euwe won twice as many games as Alekhine. His title gave a huge boost to chess in the Netherlands. This was also the first world championship match in which the players had seconds to help them with analysis during adjournments.

Euwe's win was regarded as a major upset – he reportedly had believed that beating Alekhine was unlikely – and is sometimes attributed to Alekhine's alcoholism. But Salo Flohr, who was helping Euwe during the match, thought over-confidence was more of a problem than alcohol for Alekhine in this match, and Alekhine himself said he would win easily. Former World Champions Vasily Smyslov, Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, and Garry Kasparov analysed the match and concluded that Euwe deserved to win and that the standard of play was worthy of a world championship. Former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik has said that Euwe won the 1935 match on merit and that the result was not affected by Alekhine's drinking before or during the match.

Euwe's performance in the great tournament of Nottingham 1936 (equal third, half a point behind Botvinnik and Capablanca, half a point ahead of Alekhine) indicated he was a worthy champion, even if he was not as dominant as the earlier champions. Reuben Fine wrote, "In the two years before the return match, Euwe's strength increased. Although he never enjoyed the supremacy over his rivals that his predecessors had, he had no superiors in this period."

Euwe lost the title to Alekhine in a rematch in 1937, also played in the Netherlands, by the lopsided margin of 15½–9½. Alekhine had given up alcohol and tobacco to prepare for the rematch, although he would start drinking again later. Alekhine got back to the sort of form he had shown from 1927–34, when he dominated chess. The match was a real contest initially, but Euwe's play collapsed near the end, and he lost four of the last five games. Fine, who was Euwe's second in this match, attributed the collapse to nervous tension, possibly aggravated by Euwe's attempts to maintain a calm appearance.

The two world title matches against Alekhine represent the heart of Euwe's career. Altogether, the two played 86 competitive games, and Alekhine had a +28−20=38 lead, according to chessgames.com. Many of Alekhine's wins came early in their series; he was nine years older, and had more experience during that time. The rematch was also one-sided in Alekhine's favour.

Dutch stamps commemorating Max Euwe

Netherlands 2001 Chess Max Euwe Sheet





1908 Born: James Stewart, American actor (d. 1997)

James Maitland "Jimmy" Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997) was an American actor. Known for his distinctive drawl and everyman screen persona, Stewart's film career spanned 80 films from 1935 to 1991. With the strong morality he portrayed both on and off the screen, he epitomized the "American ideal" in the twentieth century. In 1999, the American Film Institute (AFI) ranked him third on its list of the greatest American male actors.

Born and raised in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Stewart started acting while studying at Princeton University. After graduating in 1932, he began a career as a stage actor, appearing on Broadway and in summer stock productions. In 1935, he landed his first of several supporting roles in movies and in 1938 he had his big breakthrough in Frank Capra's ensemble comedy You Can't Take It with You. The following year, Stewart garnered his first of five Academy Award nominations for his portrayal of an idealized and virtuous man who becomes a senator in Capra's Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939). He won his only Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in the comedy The Philadelphia Story (1940), which also starred Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

A licensed amateur pilot, Stewart enlisted as a private in the Army Air Corps soon after the United States entered the Second World War in 1941. After fighting in the European theater, he attained the rank of colonel and had received several awards for his service. He remained in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was promoted to brigadier general in 1959. He retired in 1968 and was awarded the United States Air Force Distinguished Service Medal. President Ronald Reagan would later promote Stewart to the rank of major general in the Air Force retired list, in 1985.

Stewart's first postwar role was as George Bailey in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Although it earned him an Oscar nomination, the film was not a big success at first. It has increased in popularity since its release, and is considered a Christmas classic and one of Stewart's most famous performances. In the 1950s, Stewart played darker, more morally ambiguous characters in movies directed by Anthony Mann, including Winchester '73 (1950), The Glenn Miller Story (1954) and The Naked Spur (1953), and by Alfred Hitchcock in Rope (1948), Rear Window (1954), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), and Vertigo (1958). Vertigo was ignored by critics upon release, but is now recognized as an American cinematic masterpiece. His other films in the 1950s included the Broadway adaptation Harvey (1950) and the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder (1959), both of which landed him Academy Award nominations. He was one of the most popular film stars of the decade, with most of his films becoming box office successes.

Stewart's later Westerns included The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964), both directed by John Ford. He appeared in many popular family comedies during the 1960s. After a brief venture into television acting, Stewart semi-retired by the 1980s. He received many honorary awards, including an Academy Honorary Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, both in 1985.

Stewart remained unmarried until his 40s and was dubbed "The Great American Bachelor" by the press. In 1949, he married former model Gloria Hatrick McLean. They had twin daughters, and he adopted her two sons from her previous marriage. The marriage lasted until McLean's death in 1994; Stewart died of a pulmonary embolism three years later.

US stamps depicting James Stewart

James Stewart single

James Stewart Full Sheet Of 20


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