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A little known fact about Humphrey Bogart is that he was an accomplished chess player,
a United States Chess Federation tournament director, and an active member of the California State Chess Association.
A strong player, he is known to have drawn with US champion Samuel Reshevsky, and was friends with several top international players.|
But chess was more than a purely intellectual and creative pursuit for Bogie. In his biography 'Bogart and Bacall', Joe Hyams writes, After the Crash of `29 Bogart was reduced to making eating money playing chess at the numerous "sportlands" on Sixth Avenue. For a bet of fifty cents a game he played all comers. Bogart was both a good chess player and hungry, and he won more than he lost. He soon landed a job at an arcade , where he sat in the window playing chess for a dollar a game. Most often he had only a doughnut and coffee for lunch.
|As Rick Blaine in Casablanca|
As an act of support for US soldiers abroad during WWII Bogie played correspondence chess by mail, until the FBI stopped him for fear he might be sending secret codes in his chess moves.
Playing Chess with the crew of Passage To Marseille||Like many other actors from his era he would also play chess on the sets of his movies during breaks,
and also managed to incorporate his love of the game into several of his films, most notably Casablanca, in
which his character Rick Blaine is depicted as a chess player.
In 1945 he appeared on the cover of Chess Review magazine to help promote that years Pan American Chess Congress. The cover featured Bogie playing a game against fellow actor and chess aficionado Charles Boyer as chessmaster Herman Steiner and Lauren Bacall watch on.
Watch, study and discuss Bogie's actual chess games at Chessgames.com