The idea of establishing Dortmund as the chess capital arose in 1972 when Eugen Schackmann, the head of the city's press and information office, suggested Dortmund as the venue for the World Championship between Spassky and Fischer. Although Reykjavik eventually won the bid, Dortmund aroused the interest of the German Chess Federation, which decided to hold the 2nd International German Individual Championship in Dortmund in 1973.
The tournament attracted the former World Champion Boris Spasski (Photo: Eugen Schackmann and Boris Spasski 1973 in the Dortmund Tower Restaurant, by Pressestelle Dortmunder Schachtage), Hans-Joachim Hecht won the IDEM. The championships ended on 2 June 1973 and only one day later three of the participants were back at the board in Dortmund: Ulf Andersson, the Finn Heikki Westerinen and the Slovenian Bruno Parma.
The idea of playing a second tournament and calling it "Schachtage" came to the heads of the event Klaus Neumann and Friedhelm Bachmann around the turn of the year in Hastings. The first International Dortmund Chess Days were born. The aim was to give Dortmund's top players the opportunity to compete with grandmasters and international masters. The Finn Heikki Westerinen won the first edition in 1973:
Table of the first Dortmund Chess Days
Place Name Country/City Points
1st Westerinen, Heikki Finland 7,0
2nd Andersson, Ulf Sweden 6,5
3rd Parma, Bruno Yugoslavia 6.5
4th Ostermeyer, Peter Düsseldorf 5,0
5th Gereben, Ernö Switzerland 5,0
6th Wittmann, Rainer Bochum 4.5
7th Nautsch, Werner Essen 4.0
8th Hüttemann, Karl-Heinz Dortmund 2.5
9th Kuttnick, Helmut Dortmund 2.0
10th Bachmann, Friedhelm Dortmund 2.0
In 8th place: Karl-Heinz Hüttemann, who is still an active chess player at the Dortmund Chess Club!
The tournament winner managed a beautiful attacking win against Ernö Gereben:
Under the direction of Eugen Schackmann, the tournament continued to gain format in the following years.
Heikki Westerinen was able to repeat his success two years later:
Tournament winner in the 1970s:
1973 Heikki Westerinen
1974 László Szabó
1975 Heikki Westerinen
1976 Oleg Romanishin
1977 Jan Smejkal
1978 Ulf Andersson
1979 Tamas Giorgadze
Headline picture: Tournament report Westfälische Rundschau 1973, from TeleSchach.de