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- June 6: Official date, according to TTC since 2009, of the creation of the earliest version of Tetris.
- April 3: The oldest known surviving build of the Electronica-60 version has this date.
- January 25: A surviving build of the IBM PC version has this date. There are at least two versions preceding this.
- June or July : Robert Stein encounters Tetris for the first time at the Hungarian Institute of Technology. After discovering that Pajitnov was the creator he sends a telex making a licensing offer for the IBM PC version, while reserving the Hungarian versions for other platforms.
- October 23: Jordan Mechner of Brøderbund writes in his diary about Tetris.
- October or November: Pajitnov responds to the telex, intending to express interest in discussing further. Stein interprets this as agreeing to license the rights.
- November 5: Stein sends another telex, making a hard offer of a $10000 advance and 75% of net sales. (Game Over for some reason claims it was a percentage of gross sales, but the Digital Antiquarian states net.) Slow negotiations begin.
- The oldest known surviving unofficial ports (notably the ZX Spectrum ports by Beliasov and Andic) date to this year.
- Pentix, the oldest known derivative game, has a copyright date of 1986.
- April: Stein informs the Russians that he has licensed the game to Mirrorsoft and Spectrum HoloByte, and offers additional advances for versions other than the IBM PC version.
- June: Stein signs a contract with Mirrorsoft and Spectrum HoloByte. The contract designates the sale of rights for the IBM PC as well as "any other computer system".
- November?: Commodore User issue 51 (December 1987) is released. Its review of Tetris marks the oldest known mention of the game in an English-language print publication.
- January 6-10: Spectrum HoloByte exhibits Tetris at Winter CES 1988.
- Henk Rogers encounters the game for the first time.
- January 1_: Mirrorsoft exhibits Tetris at Which Computer? Show 1988 (National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham). (This needs a citation)
- January 22: Reuters reports that "The Soviet Union is launching its first commercial computer game in the West - an abstract puzzle called Tetris that software specialists say is "horribly gripping"." This is reprinted in a few newspapers including Newsday (Long Island, New York, USA), The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) and the Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). The Gazette's report is the longest, adding a quote from Victor Biryabrin. (It would report on it again on the 30th, describing it as arriving "this week".) The Los Angeles Times does the same on the 28th.
- January 27: Probable release of the IBM PC version in the UK, the first commercial version.
- The Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) reports on the release of Tetris. Though the material appears to be lifted from the Reuters article it notably claims that the IBM PC version is "already on sale" in Britain.
- January 28: The Guardian reports on the release of Tetris. It describes the release of the IBM PC version in the past tense, and attributes the conversion to Spectrum Holobyte.
- January 29: Release of the IBM PC version in the USA.
- The New York Times reports on the release of Tetris.
- February __: Alexander Alexinko of Elorg makes contact with Stein.
- February 24: Stein and Alexinko agree on a draft contract for the sale of rights for the IBM PC and other computer systems.
- May 10: Stein and Elorg sign the contract agreed on in February.
- _: Nikolai Belikov takes over as head of Elorg.