2017 Hall of Fame Inductees to be Honored in Saint Louis on March 28

Viktor Korchnoi on the cover of April 1981 Chess Life Magazine

Induction Ceremony Will Kick Off the 2017 U.S. Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship

SAINT LOUIS  — An induction ceremony on March 28, 2017, will recognize four exceptional chess players as they take their places in history as members of the World and U.S. Chess Halls of Fame.

Representatives of the World Chess Federation (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or FIDE) nominated and selected Soviet and Swiss Grandmaster and writer Viktor Korchnoi, Austrian chess master Paula Kalmar-Wolf, and Russian–born Israeli Woman Grandmaster Alla Kushnir for induction into the World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF). They join 27 other players who have received the honor since the WCHOF’s creation in 2001. Members of the WCHOF are chosen for their total contribution to the sport. Players as well as others who have made an impact as authors, journalists, organizers and in other ways are eligible for induction.

“The 2017 World Chess Hall of Fame inductees are talented men and women of diverse cultural backgrounds recognized for their significant contributions to the game,” Beatriz Marinello, FIDE Vice President, said.

The trustees of the U.S. Chess Trust have selected International Master and author Edward Lasker for induction into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. Lasker joins 57 players currently in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. The U.S. Chess Federation Hall of Fame Committee considers and sends candidates for the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame to the U.S. Chess Trust each year.

“Lasker was not only an elite chess player but an accomplished author. We are thrilled to welcome him into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame for his role in advancing the game of chess” Harold Winston, U.S. Chess Trust Chairman, said.

Each player is commemorated at the World Chess Hall of Fame in Saint Louis, Missouri, with a plaque bearing their image and a biography of their notable contributions to the game.

“The World Chess Hall of Fame commends the 2017 inductees, and we look forward to celebrating their contributions to the game at this year’s induction ceremony in Saint Louis on March 28th,” Shannon Bailey, chief curator of the WCHOF in Saint Louis, said.

About the 2017 World Chess Hall of Fame Honorees

Viktor Korchnoi (1931 – 2016)

Paula Kalmar-Wolf (1881 – 1931)

Alla Kushnir (1941 – 2013)

About the 2017 U.S. Chess Hall of Fame Honorees

Edward Lasker (1885 – 1981)

About the World Chess Hall of Fame

The World Chess Hall of Fame is a nonprofit organization committed to building awareness for the cultural and artistic significance of chess. It opened on September 9, 2011, in the Central West End after moving from previous locations in New York and Miami. The World Chess Hall of Fame is located at 4652 Maryland Avenue, housed in an historic 15,900 square-foot residence-turned -business, and features the U.S. and World Chess Halls of Fame, displays of artifacts from the permanent collection and exhibitions highlighting the great players, historic games and rich cultural history of chess. The World Chess Hall of Fame partners with the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national and international audiences.   

For more information, please visit the World Chess Hall of Fame online at www.worldchesshof.org.


  1. Why can’t the guy who’s won the most USCF tournaments (well over 1000) FM John Curdo from Boston, get any love from the US Chess Hall of Fame?

      • Before snarking, do you know who FM John Curdo is?

        At 85, John Curdo is still an active player, and is the highest-rated U.S player over age 81 at 2204 (March 2017 rating).

        Back in the late-1940s thru 1950s there were only a couple U.S. GMs (Sam Reshevsky and Reuben Fine are the only ones that come to mind), and one could name all of the IMs as well (e.g., Arnold Denker and Arthur Dake). There were few opportunities to gain FIDE titles in the U.S., so one would have to be willing to literally starve for several years playing in Western Europe (Eastern Europe was behind the Iron Curtain), which was still rebuilding from WWII. There was little money in chess, as I recall, even Reshevsky worked a job.

        Link to a good Boston Globe article written Aug 19, 2009 on John Curdo:

  2. Thank you Jim T. for the excellent information. It’s awesome that FM John Curdo (2204) is still playing tournaments at 85! I’ll be lucky if I’m still alive and able to know what Chess is at 85….

  3. Yes, Curdo became a master in 1948 and is still an active master in 2017. 69 years of being a master and still capable of winning tournaments at age 85. No, he was not a world class GM but he still dominated the New England area for decades. A Hall of Famer for sure.

  4. Yes… John Curdo is a legend. There are many legends who have made contributions to chess who are not Grandmasters, International Masters or world-class players. In fact, playing strength is not always the reason for induction. I remember reading about Curdo in Chess Horizons magazine which was one of the best back in the 80s. I played in Chicago, but Curdo was a fixture in the coverage. I am not certain on the criteria and I am not advocating that Curdo should be inducted, but the truth of the matter is that there should be consideration for those who are not world-class level as other sports Halls.

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