At Lugano in 1968, Professor Arpad Elo (Milwaukee), Folke Rogard (FIDE President), Dr. Dorazil (Austria) and GM Svetozar Gligorić, formed a (FIDE) sub-committee charged with creating an internationally compatible rating system. Such a system could be used to judge the comparative strength of players and provide a fairer basis upon which 'master titles' would be awarded. Upon completion of their task, the newly conceived Elo rating system is used to make sense of the many game results collected from January 1966 to May 1969. The resulting, provisional 'world list' comprises the top 10 players (given above) and further includes ... Smyslov, Stein, Tal (all 2610); Olafsson, Kholmov (both 2600); Bronstein, Furman, Gligoric, Hort, Najdorf, Taimanov (all 2590); Gipslis, Krogius (both 2580); Evans, Lein, Reshevsky, Vasiukov (all 2570); Antoshin, Lutikov, Matulovic, Savon, Suetin, Unzicker, Zaitsev A. (all 2560) ...
Petrosian wins the 37th Soviet Championship after a (1970) play-off with Lev Polugaevsky, both players having finished with 14/22. The tournament doubles up as a zonal qualifier for the next cycle of the World Championship. Fellow qualifiers are Efim Geller, Vasily Smyslov and Mark Taimanov; they all progress to next year's Interzonal tournament. Mikhail Tal awaits an operation to remove a kidney and understandably struggles to finish 'off the pace', with 10½/22.
In America, Samuel Reshevsky is also making history. His U.S. Championship win echoes all the way back to 1936 when he won the first ever (tournament style) national championship. With this, his eighth win, he equals Bobby Fischer's previous record achievement.
The Women's Chess Olympiad, held in Lublin, is thoroughly dominated by the USSR team with a near perfect 26/28, ahead of Hungary (20½/28) and Czechoslovakia (19/28).
Ludek Pachman, Czechoslovak chess player, writer and political activist is imprisoned for a considerable time on unspecified charges, following his constant campaigning against the Communist occupation of his homeland. At one point he goes on hunger strike and is dangerously close to death. Much later, he is allowed to immigrate to West Germany.
Publishers Simon & Schuster (New York) and Faber and Faber (London) release Bobby Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games. Reviewers hail it as one of the most important chess books in modern times. It is particularly praised for the candour of the commentary and the expert quality of the analysis.