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Friday, June 5, 2020

Weaver Gets Whacked

   Did you know that the United States’ war with Germany did not end until 1951? It’s true that fighting had ended in the spring of 1945, but it wasn’t until October 24. 1951 that President Truman declared the war with Germany was officially over. 
     Most Americans assumed that the war with Germany ended six years earlier, but a treaty with Germany had not been signed. Following the Second World War, the major Western powers (U.S., Britain and France) and the Soviets agreed to divide the country, including the capital city of Berlin, into democratic and communist-controlled sectors. 
     Both East and West Berlin ended up within the Soviet-controlled territory of East Germany and the capital became the epicenter of increasing tensions between the West and Soviet Russia. Each side claimed the other had violated post-war treaties regarding their respective spheres of influence in post-war Europe. 
     The conflict over Berlin came to a head in June 1948 when Stalin ordered a blockade of the city and President Truman ordered an airlift to supply the western sectors with food and fuel. The treaty process was put on hold until the Western powers could agree on what to do about Berlin. 
     In his proclamation on October 24th, President Truman stated that it had always been America’s hope to create a treaty of peace with the government of a united and free Germany, but that Soviet policy had “made it impossible.” Thus, the official end of the war came 10 years after Congress had declared war with Nazi Germany on December 11, 1941. President Truman also famously fired General Douglas MacArthur in 1951. 
     In 1951 Americans were listening to Cry by Johnnie Ray, Too Young by Nat King Cole and Because of You by Tony Bennett and going to the movies to watch Quo Vadis, The African Queen, Strangers on a Train and An American in Paris.
     Alfred "Teen" Blackburn (April 26, 1842 - March 8, 1951) died. He was the last Confederate civil war veteran and a former slave. 
     In baseball Eddie Gaedel (June 8, 1925 – June 18, 1961) made his only appearance in Major League Baseball when St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck, in the first inning of the second game of a double header against the Detroit Tigers, had him appear in the bottom of the first inning as a pinch-hitter for leadoff batter Frank Saucier. 
     The 65 pound, 3 foot 7 inch Gaedel walked on four pitches. Umpire Ed Hurley called for Browns manager Zack Taylor and asked to see Gaedel's contract and a copy of the Browns' active roster, which was duly presented to confirm the legitimacy of Gaedel’s status. Once that issue was cleared up, Gaedel was replaced by a pinch-runner. 
     Gaedel’s contract was voided by the American League president the next day and so Gaedel went into the history books as the only little person to have ever played Major League Baseball. 
     There’s an interesting anecdote about country singer Hank Williams, Sr. He intentionally left his money clip behind at a restaurant. A lady returned it to him and he thanked her, took the money out, pocketed the clip and gave her all the money. 
     On January 17, 1951 the 7-year old Bobby Fischer burst into tears after dropping his Queen within 15 minutes in a simul game against Max Pavey. This anecdote is pretty well known, but less well known was the fact that 14-year old Edmar Mednis was also participating and drew his game. The other draw was against Sylvan Katske. The only reference to Katske I could find was that in 1971 he was from Connecticut and he had a rating of 1572. He likely died in 1994. 
     Speaking of Connecticut, the 1950 winner of the New England championship, 22-year old James Bolton (1928-2004), was arrested on March 2, 1951, as Connecticut’s first draft evader under the new Selective Service Act after the outbreak of the Korean War. He believed the law was unconstitutional; it wasn’t and he was sentenced to one year and one day in jail. Bolton went on to become a prominent Master and won the Connecticut championship in 1953, 1957 and 1966. 
     Milton Hanauer won the Marshall Chess Club championship and Arnold Denker took the Manhattan Chess Club championship. James T. Sherwin, at the age of 17, won the New York state championship. Mary Bain won the US women's championship. Samuel Reshevsky won the Wertheim Memorial in New York. Larry Evans won the US Championship, held in New York. 
     Problemist Alain C. White, Alain (born 1880) died at the age of 71 in Sumerville, South Carolina on April 23rd. 
     The April USCF rating list (as of 12-31-50) listed the following top players. 

Grandmaster: Reuben Fine (2817) and Samuel Reshevsky (2724) 
Senior Master: Arthur Dake (2598) and I.A. Horowitz (2558) 
Master: Isaac Kashdan, Larry Evans, Herbert Seidman, Max Pavey, George Shainswit, Arnold Denker, Albert Pinkus, Arthur Bisguier, George Kramer, Donald Byrne, Weaver Adams, Herman Steiner, Robert Byrne, Hermann Hesse, Atillio DiCamillo, Eliot Hearst. E.S. Jackson, Edward Lasker, George Eastman, Anthony Santasiere, Miroslav Turiansky, A.N. Sandrin, James B. Cross. Jeremiah Donovan, Frfanklin S. Howard, Olaf Ulvestad, Ariel Mengarini, Walter Shipman and Sidney Bernstein. 

     The following game was played in Philadelphia in a match between the Log Cabin Chess Club of West Orange, New Jersey and the North City Chess Club of Philadelphia. Weaver Adams, rated 2383, gets defeated by an unknown opponent who, as far as I could determine was never rated. The game is a real gem and as is sometimes the case, not not simple as you might think.

Weaver Adams (Log Cabin) - H. Morris (North City)

Result: 0-1
Site: Philadelphia
Date: 1951

Caro-Kann: Advance Variation

[...] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 This move is the reason black played the Caro-Kann. Adams almost always played the Advance Variation and so Morris was booked up on it. 3...♗f5 4.♗d3 ♗xd3 5.♕xd3 e6 6.f4 ♘h6 7.h3 In his book, Simple Chess, Adams recommended the solid 7.Be3. Both players are now on there own as there is no book on 7.h3. 7...♘f5 8.g4 ♕h4 9.♔d1 ♘g3 10.♖h2
10.♘f3 is a blunder. 10...♘xh1 11.♘xh4 ♘f2 winning the exchange.
10...♘e4 11.♕e2 c5 12.c3
12.♕b5 This may have been what Adams was planning with his last move, but now realized it's bad after 12...♘d7 13.♕xb7 ♖b8 and white is losing badly. Just one example... 14.♕xa7 ♕g3 15.♖e2 ♕xg1 16.♖e1 ♘f2 17.♔e2 ♕g2 18.♗e3 ♘d3 19.♔xd3 c4 20.♔c3 ♗b4#
12...♘c6 13.♘f3 ♕d8 14.♘bd2 cxd4 15.cxd4 h5 A very nice tactical shot which destroys white's K-side. 16.f5
16.♘xe4 dxe4 17.♕xe4 hxg4 18.hxg4 ♖xh2 19.♘xh2 ♘xd4 and here, too, black is considerably better.
(16.gxh5 ♘g3 17.♕d3 ♕b6 with a considerable advantage.) 16...hxg4 17.hxg4 ♖xh2 18.♕xh2 ♕b6 19.fxe6 fxe6 Black intends to play ...O-O-O 20.♕h5 Black correctly calculated that 20.Qh5+ wasn't dangerous to him, but white didn't really have anything better. 20...♔d7 Now nothing works out for white which at first glance is rather surprising. 21.♘b3
21.♕f7 Looks dangerous for black, but he survives... 21...♗e7 22.♘xe4 dxe4 23.d5 ♘d8 24.dxe6 ♘xe6 25.♗g5 ♘xg5 26.♘xg5 ♕d4 and wins
21.♕g6 doesn't work either... 21...♘xd4 22.♘xe4 dxe4 23.♕xe4 ♘xf3 24.♕xf3 ♔e8 25.♕e4 ♖d8 26.♔c2 ♖c8 27.♔b1 ♖xc1 28.♔xc1 ♕g1 with a won game.
21...♗e7 22.♗e3 ♖f8 23.♘fd2 a5 24.♕h3 This move turns out to be craftier than you might think! It defends the B and Adams is hoping there's something in taking on e5 and playing d5; it's an empty threat if you are Stockfish, but things aren't so simple for a human! The move also defends f1 which is a key square in some variations. Let's make a meaningless move for black to illustrate, say 24...Rf7 24...♕b5 Seeing as the consequences of allowing white to play 25.Nxe5 are near impossible to calculate over the board, black plays a move that seems to nullify the threat because his Q isn't attacked after the advance of the d-Pawn.
24...♖f7 25.♘xe4 dxe4 26.d5 Attacking the Q which can safely move away and black still wins after 26...Qb5 26...♕b5 27.dxc6 bxc6 and even though he is a piece down black is winning after 28.♘d2 Defending against ...Rf1+ 28...♕d3 29.♖c1 ♖f3 30.♖c3 ♖xh3 31.♖xd3 exd3 32.♗f2 ♖h1 33.♗e1 with a won ending.
25.♕g2 This turns out to be a poor choice. Whiter is lost no m atter what he does, but 25.Nxe5 leads to a position that would be difficult for black to win.
25.♘xe4 dxe4 26.♘d2
26.d5 ♖f1 forces white to surrender his Q because any K move is met by 27...Qd3 mate
26...♕d3 it's a long road to victory, but the best line is now 27.♖c1 ♗g5 28.♖c3 ♕b5 29.♖b3 ♕a6 30.♗xg5 ♘xd4 31.♖e3 ♕b5 32.♕h7 ♕xb2 33.♕xg7 ♔c6 34.♕xf8 ♕a1 35.♘b1 ♕xb1 36.♔d2 ♕xa2 37.♔e1 ♘f3 38.♖xf3 exf3 39.♕xf3 ♕d5 and black should win this ending, but it won't be so easy.
25...a4 26.♘xe4 This has lost its sting, but it's white's best shot as things can still get pretty messy if black captures the wrong N. 26...axb3
26...dxe4 This still wins, but it's more complicated. 27.♘d2 ♘b4 28.♖c1 ♘d3 29.♖c2 ♘xb2 30.♖xb2 ♕xb2 31.♕xe4 ♖c8 Technically black is still winning by a big margin, but scoring the point won't be so easy!
27.♘d2 (27.♕e2 is no better. 27...♖f1 28.♔d2 ♕xe2 29.♔xe2 ♖xa1) 27...♕d3 28.♕e2 ♕c2 29.♔e1 ♗h4 Adams resigned. For the record it's mate in 12 moves.
29...♗h4 30.♗f2 ♗xf2 31.♕xf2 ♖xf2 32.♔xf2 ♕xd2 33.♔g3 ♘xd4 34.♖f1 ♘e2 35.♔f2 ♘f4 36.♔g3 ♕e3 37.♖f3 ♘e2 38.♔h3 ♕xf3 39.♔h4 ♕h1 40.♔g5 ♕h6#
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Thursday, June 4, 2020

Bandersnatch and Jabberwocky

     Franklin K. Young (October 21, 1857 – December 19, 1931, 74 years old) was born in Boston and died in Winthrop, Massachusetts. He was an author who tried to apply military battlefield principles and terminology to the chessboard in a number of books that were filled with bandersnatch and jabberwocky and have been ridiculed from the day they were published. 

The normal formative processes of a Logistic Grand Battle consist, first, in Echeloning by RP to QR4 and then in Aligning the Left Major Front Refused en Potence by the development of QKtP to QKt5, followed by Doubly Aligning the Left Major Front Refused and Aligned by developing QRP to QR5. 

A Grand Strategic Front is formed by the extension of a salient two points along that diagonal upon which the minor strategic front already is established. It may properly be aligned and reinforced by the minor crochet, the major crochet, the crochet aligned, or supplemented by the formations, echelon, enceinte and en potence. 

     Young was trying to reduce chess to a mathematically exact system formulated on the principles of military science. He did receive some recognition around the late 1800’s and early 1900’s from world champion Emanuel Lasker, who referred to one of his books as "replete with logic and common sense." 
     One of Young’s postal games against Sidney P. Johnston impressed fellow Bostonian John F. Barry enough that he thoroughly annotated it in The Brooklyn Daily Eagle and in the process paid homage to Young’s theories. 
     Barry was a Boston lawyer and a strong amateur. His best result was a narrow loss to Harry Nelson Pillsbury in a match in 1893 (+4, -5, =1). Barry played in twelve of the thirteen Anglo-American cable matches, missing the 1908 match because his invitation was not delivered. He played on Boards 2-4 over the years, and scored +6 -3 =3, winning games against Henry Atkins, Joseph Blackburne and Horatio Caro, and drawing with James Mason. 
     Barry lost a US championship match to Jackson W. Showalter in 1896 (+2 -7 =4). He also played at Cambridge Springs 1904, and finished toward the bottom. 
     Young’s 19-move win over Johnston, a strong Chicago master and city champion, was viewed as a somewhat astonishing performance and it generated a lot of curiosity among correspondence players all over the country. The score of the game was withheld when the Daily Eagle reported on the match because Barry, an esteemed member of the American cable match team and the recognized champion of Boston, had agreed to annotate it at length. 
     When the game was published in the July 21, 1901 edition of the Daily Eagle, it was with the promise that readers “are today enabled to enjoy an exceptional treat in perusing a splendidly played game between players of the first rank with the popular Ruy Lopez opening, and scientifically annotated.” 
     The paper marvelled that a player of Johnston's ability, who had all the known analysis of the Ruy Lopez at his disposal, should have been so "out-generaled in the opening" that half of his pieces went undeveloped. Additionally, it was claimed that the game demonstrated the superiority of Young's "synthetic method of chess play" over the "old analytical method" which had been rendered useless. 
     Barry stated that the game "must clearly show the student the truth of Mr. Young's theory and convince the expert of (its) superiority." Barry called the game a fine illustration ot the synthetic method and stated that the lines of attack adopted by Young would not be found in any analytlcal treatise and the superiority of the attack over Johnston's defense could be directly traced to "the strict observance of the strategic principles of the first player and the entire disregard of these principles by his opponent." 
     Concerning the Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Opening as he called it), it was in Barry's opinion not only the most powerful of all the openings, but also the “only correct method of deployment possible for white.” 
     Barry wrote that as far back as the 15th century when this opening was introduced by the Archbishop of Syracuse, “vast labor had been expended to bring ts analysis to perfection.” At the same time, he didn’t know of any “analytical writer” (as opposed to synthetic method writer) whose work on the Ruy Lopez was reliable or “of any value whatever in actual play.” 
     Barry stated that as he understood it, the strength of the Ruy Lopez (or “this debut” as he called it) lies in the fact that it compels black to “deploy his men into an interior primary base.” Clearly, Barry had read Young’s work! I think he meant the Ruy Lopez forces black into a cramped position, but I can’t be sure.
     Anyway, this resulted in black having “an inferior strategic front.” Barry claimed this inferior strategic front is directly due to white’s third move which prevents the development of black’s B to c5. Actually, the Classical Defense or Cordel Defense, 3...Bc5, is possibly the oldest defense to the Ruy Lopez and was played occasionally by Boris Spassky and Boris Gulko. 
     Barry added that theoretically black should lose the game if he was compelled to develop his B at e7. Something he does all the time in the Morphy Defense. 
     In the days before ratings it’s hard to say how strong Barry was, but Chessmetrics gives his highest rating as 2555 in 1904 placing him in the top 25 in the world. Some better known players in that group were Julius Perlis, Curt von Bardeleben, Jean Taubenhaus and James Mason.

Franklin K. Young (Boston) - Sydney Johnston (Chicago)
Result: 1-0

Site: Postal
Date: 1901

Ruy Lopez: Berlin Defense

[...] 1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.♗b5 ♘f6 Barry pointed out that 3...a6 was invariably played by Morphy and that was a fact that should be noted by students the game, adding that 3...a6 is an essential element of the defense in many variations particularly when white plays 4.d4 instead of 4.O-O. Of course nowadays it's known that the Berlin Defense is a perfectly good defense although it fell out of favor as being too passive around the time of Steinitz. 4.d4 Today white occasionally plays 4.Nc3 or 4.d3 but 4.O-O is almost always played. Barry called 4.O-O weak and the other moves even worse. The reason why was because Morphy played 4.d4 with brill- lant success and the reason why analytical players failed was because Morphy knew and followed the synthetic method and they did not. I think Morphy's success was more likely due to his being a far better player than his contemporaries, not because he followed the synthetic method. 4...♘xe4 Barry comments that the correct move is 4...exd4 while 4...Nxe4 is only less inaccurate than 4...Nxd4 which is suicidal. He's basically correct. 5.d5 Barry says that with this move white seizes the topographical key and gains such advantageous position that it is doubtful (with best plny on both sides) that Black can save the game. Nobody agrees with him and in my opening database 5...O-O is favored over 5.d5 by over 1000 to 1. Also, Stockfish agrees that 5...O-O is the best move here. 5...♘b8 Barry correctly states that this is probably as bad a move as could be found because it "abandons the salient offensive to the control of white and results in a loss of time to black which stratigically is equivalent to the tactical loss represented by the elimination (as it turns out) of three pieces from his game." Right! I think.
5...♘e7 6.♘xe5 ♘g6 7.♘xg6 hxg6 8.♕e2 ♕e7 9.O-O a6 and white is slightly better as in Czebe,A (2325)-Sinkovics,P (2405) /Balatonbereny open 1996
5...♘d6 is correct after which white has tried 6. Nc3 and 6.Ba4 6.♘c3 a6 The right move was first 6...Nxb5 and then 7...a6 7.♗d3 ♘b4 8.♗e2 a5 9.♘xe5 ♗e7 10.O-O O-O and white is a little better. Corrales Jimenez,F (2586)-Djuric,S (2461)/Bergamo 2009.
6.♕e2 The position is no more than equal, but according to Barry this the only correct move as white gains the initiative. i.e. the power to dictate the opponent's moves, and he continues to dominate the processes of black either strategically or tactically until the end of the game.
6.♘xe5 ♕e7 7.♕d4
7.♕e2 is also playable but after 7...♕xe5 8.f3 c6 9.♗d3 ♕xd5 10.fxe4 ♕e5 and black is slightly better.
7...♕b4 8.♕xb4 ♗xb4 9.c3 is equal.
6...♘d6 According to Barry this is bad and evidently played in obedience to the "analytical books" and that the N should have retreated to f6, "the only correct post for this N in the opening." He is correct that 6...Nf6 was best because the move played keeps black's Q-side piece out of play. Barry adds that white "now properly plays to crush black's K before the Q-side pieces can be released." Actually, while white does have much better chances, black's defensive resources should be adequate. 7.♘xe5 Forcing the exchange of Qs with 7.Qxe5+ would also have been satisfactory, but note that the threat is to win the Q with 8.Nc6+ 7...♗e7 (7...♕e7 8.♗d3 f6 9.♘f3 ♕xe2 10.♗xe2 leaves white a little better.) 8.♗d3 Barry says this piece which was useless and menaced retires to its proper post and white now properly establishes the major front on the right. Blah, blah, blah. Where else is it going to go?! 8...O-O Stockfish wants to play moves like O-O, Bf4 and Re1 which would leave white better. As it is, Barry's belief notwithstanding, the position is only equal after 9.f4. 9.f4 f6 Here is where black really goes astray by creating a near fatal weakness in his K-side.
9...♘e8 The idea of this move is to repostion the to f6 and also make some room to get his Q-side pieces out. There can be little doubt that black's cramped position and lack of counterplay makes defense very difficult.
10.♕h5 f5 Forced because 10...h6 leaves a nastly hole on g6 and 10...g6 invites the winning sacrifice 11.Nxg6. 11.♘c3 ♗f6 It would have been better to offer a trade of Qs with 11...Qe8 12.O-O g6 13.♕h3 ♘e8 Oddly, in his notes Barry makes no comment on this move which is really where black lands in serious trouble.
13...♘a6 14.♗xa6 bxa6 15.♗e3 ♗b7 followed by ...Q-e7-g7 would leave white better, but black would have reasonable chances of defending himself.
14.d6 Interesting. This gets a ? from Stockfish and its evaluation changes from slightly in white's favor to 0.00. Barry praises the move and explains the purpose of this sacrifice is to maintain the congested state of black's general position. He states that in this position d6 is the "topographical key." By the Ps sacrifice for a time at least, and as it turns out, permanently, white prevents the deployment of black Q-side pieces. Barry then adds that while this concept is simple and would occur to any player, "the fact that it involves the sacrifice of material would deter from the hazard anyone not possessed of understanding and confidence in the theory of the game. Moreover, the analysis of the move is difficult and for that reason is not the assurance of its validity." Whatever that means.
14.♗e3 is the Stockfish way. 14...b6 15.a3 ♗a6 16.♗d4 ♗xd3 17.♕xd3 d6 18.♘f3 ♘d7 19.♖ae1 with a slight advantage.
14...♘xd6 15.♘d5 c6 No argument with Barry when he called this "about the worst move on the board."
15...♗g7 16.♗d2 c6 17.♗a5 b6 18.♗b4 cxd5 19.♗xd6 ♖f6 And black has beaten back white's pieces and at the same time managed to defend his K. Now all that remains is to get his Q-side pieces developed and he should be OK.
16.♘xf6 Barry now gave some faulty analysis as to the result of 16...Rf6 17.g4. Barry's 17.g4 is OK, but not the best. White should fianchetto his B after which he is winning. He wrote of 16.. .Rxf6 that after this "unscientific" move black's position is "so bad that his defeat is readily forecasted." 16...♕xf6
16...♖xf6 17.b3
17.g4 ♘a6 18.♗e3 ♘b4 19.gxf5 ♘xf5 20.♗xf5 ♖xf5 21.♘g4 and black is holding hsi own.
17...♘a6 18.♗b2 ♘c5 19.♘f3 with a winning attack.
17.♗d2 ♘e8 Barry observed one third of black's moves have been made by this "mismanaged piece, whose unscientific waddlings have stopped the development of all black's Queen's wing. There seems to be nothing better at this point." That there is nothing better is correct. 18.♗c3 d6 18...d5 seems to be the only move here worthy of notice. Black is unable to save the exchange and this, together with his very inferior position, makes his game lost by its nature." Barry. He is correct. 19.♘xc6 Barry notes that white plays to annihilate the black army and does not bother to win the exchange with 19.Nd7. Johnston resigned.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Yanofsky Wins At Ventnor City 1942

     In politics, based on real, but unreasonable fear, by Executive Order of President Roosevelt the year 1942 saw more than 120,000 Japanese and persons of Japanese ancestry living in western US moved to "relocation centers," some for the duration of the war. 
     A curious bit of trivia: from 1942 through the end of the war, Hawaii had its own unique US banknotes. In case of Japanese invasion, the US government would have declared the notes worthless to prevent use by Japanese troops. 
     More trivia: In the original cut of the film To Be or Not To Be, actress Carole Lombard's character spoke the line, "What can happen on a plane?" The line was removed before the movie was released, because in the interim Carole Lombard (October 6, 1908 - January 16, 1942) died in a plane crash. 
     At the end of 1941, Lombard had traveled to her home state of Indiana for a war bond rally with her mother, Bess Peters, and Clark Gable's press agent, Otto Winkler. Her party had initially been scheduled to return to Los Angeles by train, but Lombard was anxious to reach home more quickly and wanted to fly by a scheduled airline. Her mother and Winkler were both afraid of flying and insisted they follow their original travel plans. Lombard suggested they flip a coin; they agreed and Lombard won the toss. In the early morning hours of January 16, 1942, the three of them boarded a Transcontinental and Western Air flight to return to California. 
     After refueling in Las Vegas, the plane took off at 7:07 p.m. and crashed into "Double Up Peak" near the 8,300-foot level of Potosi Mountain, 32 miles SW of the Las Vegas airport. All 22 aboard, including 15 soldiers, were killed instantly. The cause of the crash was determined to be linked to the pilot and crew's inability to properly navigate over the mountains surrounding Las Vegas. 
     As a precaution against the possibility of enemy Japanese bomber aircraft coming into American airspace from the Pacific, safety beacons used to direct night flights were turned off, leaving the pilot and crew of the flight without visual warnings of the mountains in their flight path. 
    In an even more curious bit of trivia, the BBC banned the song Deep In the Heart of Texas during work hours. Why? They did it on the grounds that its infectious melody might cause wartime factory workers to neglect their tools while they clapped in time with the song. Amazing! 

     In another tragic event the Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston killed 492. The Coconut Grove was a premier nightclub during the post-Prohibition 1930s and 1940s. On November 28, 1942, it was the scene of the deadliest nightclub fire in history, claiming a total of 492 lives (which was 32 more than the building's authorized capacity) and injuring hundreds more. The scale of the tragedy shocked the nation and briefly replaced the events of World War II in newspaper headlines. It led to a reform of safety standards and codes across America, and to major changes in the treatment and rehabilitation of burn victims internationally. 
     Official reports stated that the fire started at about 10:15 pm in the dark, intimate Melody Lounge downstairs. Goody Goodelle, a young pianist and singer, was performing on a revolving stage surrounded by artificial palm trees. The lounge was lit by low-powered light bulbs in coconut-styled sconces beneath the fronds. 
     A young man, possibly a soldier, had unscrewed a light bulb in order to give himself and his date privacy. Stanley Tomaszewski, a 16-year-old busboy, was instructed to put the light back on by tightening the bulb. He stepped up onto a chair to reach the light in the darkened corner. Unable to see the bulb, he lit a match to illuminate the area, tightened the bulb, and extinguished the match. Witnesses first saw flames in the fronds, which were just below the ceiling, immediately afterward. Though the lit match had been close to the same fronds where the fire started, the official report determined that Tomaszewski's actions weren’t responsible and so the cause of the fire was listed as being of unknown origin. 
     Even with a World War going on, life went on...unless you were one of the unfortunate chessplayers who didn’t make it that year. 
     Russian master Samuil Vainshtein (1894-1942) died of starvation during the siege of Leningrad as did problem composer Karl Leonid Kubbel (1891-1942). Another Russian master, Ilya Rabinovich (1891-1942) died from malnutrition after the siege of Leningrad. He was evacuated from Leningrad, but died of malnutrition in a hospital in Perm. Alexey Troitzky (1866-1942), the founder of the modern study composition who is considered to have been one of the greatest composers of chess endgame studies also died of starvation during the siege of Leningrad. 
     The famous Russian master Peter Romanovsky survived the siege of Leningrad, but his wife, their three daughters and their housekeeper all died of hunger and sickness. The promising Russian master Sergey Belavenets (1910-1942) died in combat at Staraya, Russia at the age of 31. Russian master Sergey Lebedev (1868-1942) died in Russia at the end of the year. The Russians also lost Nikolai Ryumin (1908-1942) who died of tuberculosis in Omsk, Siberia at the age of 34. 
     Other famous players who perished in 1942 were: The Polish master Henryk Friedman (1903-1942) who died in a Nazi concentration camp as did Austrian mater Simon Rubinstein (1910-1942). Czech master Emil Zinner (1909-1942) died in the Majdanek, Poland concentration camp at the age of 32. Polish-Frenchmaster Leon Schwartzmann (1887-1942) died in Auschwitz. 
     1942 also saw the deaths of Alexander Wagner (1868-1942), a Polish correspondence master and theoretician who died in Eastern Galicia. The German master Reinhold Bluemich (1886-1942) died in Falkenberg, Germany and Russian-Finnish master Anatol Tschepurnoff (1871-1942) died in Helsinki at the age of 70. Hungarian master Istvan Abonyi (1886-1942) died in Budapest, Hungary at the age of 55. Uruguayan master Julio Balparda (1900-1942) died in Montevideo. 
     In late December 1942, Alekhine fell ill and nearly died from scarlet fever in Prague. He was treated at the same hospital that Richard Reti died in 1929 from scarlet fever. Alekhine claimed that as soon as he was out of the hospital, he was obliged to take part in various German exhibitions and tournaments otherwise his ration cards would be withdrawn.  
     Two other famous players did die for real in 1942. On March 8, 1942, Capablanca died in Manhattan at the age of 53 after he collapsed at the Manhattan Chess Club the day before. He never regained consciousness after collapsing and he was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital, where he died the next morning from "a cerebral hemorrhage provoked by hypertension". 
     Then on August 20, 1942, Rudolf Spielmann (1883-1942) died in Stockholm at the age of 59. One source says he starved to death and another says he died in a hospital suffering from Parkinson’s disease. 
     The US lost three well known players. On February 17, 1942, attorney Walter Penn Shipley (1860-1942) died in Philadelphia at the age of 81. He was a well-known organizer and chess patron who wrote a chess column in the Philadelphia Inquirer. 
     On August 16, master Leon Rosen (1869-1942) died in New York and a few days later, on August 21, Russian-American master Vladimir Sournin (1875-1942) died in Baltimore at the age of 67. He was the Washington D.C. champion in 1932 and 1933, and 1938. 
     In chess action in 1942, Mona Karff won the US Women's championship. The first U.S. Speed Championship was held in New York and it was won by Reuben Fine. 
     The 1942 US championship which was held September-October that year will forever be remembered because Arnold Denker lost the championship when Reshevsky overstepped the time limit and the tournament director, L. Walter Stephens, walked up behind the clock and flipped it around, looked at it backwards and declared that Denker’s flag had fallen. He refused to acknowledge his mistake and change his decision, and so Reshevsky eventually won the title. 
     In 1942 Canada's young champion, 18-year old Abe Yanofsky, outplayed some of America's leading masters and captured first prize at Ventnor City's 4th annual Invitational Tournament, held at the new Municipal Pier, Ventnor City, N. J., from June 20th to 28th. A couple of months later, in August, Yanofsky tied for first with Herman Steiner in the US Open, held in Dallas. 
     Yanofsky had just concluded a Canadian tour during which he gave 25 simultaneous exhibitions and piled up the spectacular score of 106 wins, 8 losses and 26 draws. 

     Yanofsky scored easy wins in the first two rounds, but was soundly trounced by Jacob Levin and Louis Levy in Rounds 3 and 4. After that he settled down and went undefeated in the remaining rounds, clinching first and $106 in prize money by defeating Walter Suesman in the last round. 
     Philadelphia's Jacob Levin, who won the Ventnor tournament the previous year, took the second prize as the result of his defeat of Sidney Bernstein in an adjourned game from the final round. 
     Ex- champion of the Manhattan Club, Jacob Moscowitz surprised everybody by losing his first two round games on time. Moscowitz was famous as a lightning player who won scores of rapid transit events and he had never been known to have lost on time before. 
     In the first game he was a Rook up against Jeremiah Donovan and had an easy win. Donovan was also in time trouble and in the scramble, Moscowitz actually started to offer condolences to Donovan for having lost on time, but then realized it was himself who had overstepped the time limit! 
     According to Moscowitz, his time forfeits could be attributed to a young ragamuffin known locally as "Donald Duck" who had attached himself to Moscowitz as he was walking to the venue on the first day of the tournament. Moscowitz tried to shake off the kid by telling the kid that he was on his way to keep an appointment with the “Bogeyman." After Moscowitz’ loss, as he was leaving the site, Donald Duck was waiting for him and wanted to know if the "bogeyman had beaten him up." The answer was yes. 
     The same routine was repeated the second day when Moscowitz lost to Levin on time. Thereafter. he took a different route to avoid meeting Donald Duck. His strategy was successful because he lost no more games. 
     Albert Pinkus, another ex-champion of the Manhattan Chess Club, was brilliant but erratic. At Ventnor the previous year he won the brilliancy prize and did so again this year for his win against George Shainswit. 
     Shainswit was capable or playing interesting. even brilliant chess. but he seldom really let his imagination have full reign. Jeremiah Donovan was out of practice and Louis Levy was a disappointment. The general feeling was he needed more experience. 
     Southern Champion L. Russell Chauvenet, of Esmont, Virginia and Walter B. Suesman, or Providence. Rhode Island were just outclassed in this tournament. 


[Event "Ventnor City"] [Site "?"] [Date "1942.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Albert S. Pinkus"] [Black "George Shainswit"] [Result "1-0"] [Annotator "Stockfish 11 64 (12s)"] [ECO "D26"] [EventDate "1942.??.??"] [PlyCount "55"] {Queen's Gambit Accepted} 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 {Nowadays attention has shifted to the old move 4.Bd3 as a good way to meet the Caro-Kann.} 4... Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 dxc4 7. Bxc4 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bf4 Nc6 10. Re1 a6 (10... Na5 11. Bd3 b6 12. Qe2 Bb7 13. Rad1 Rc8 14. Bb1 Nd5 15. Qd3 g6 16. Bh6 Re8 {with equality as in Tregubov,P (2575)-Vallejo Pons,F (2707)/Riyadh 2017.}) 11. Rc1 Bd7 (11... b5 {leads to equality after} 12. d5 {Always be alert for this move in these kinds of positions!} 12... Nxd5 13. Nxd5 bxc4 (13... exd5 {loses} 14. Bxd5 Bb7 15. Bxc6 {winning a piece})14. Nxe7+ Nxe7 15. Rxc4 Qxd1 16. Rxd1) 12. Ne5 Rc8 13. Bb3 {Here black has several good coices that keep the position even: 13...b5, 13...Bb4 and 13...Na5.} 13... Nxe5 {The problem with this is almost immediately apparent.} 14. dxe5 {Now he loses a P after 14. ..Nd5, so there is only one square available.} 14... Ne8 15. Qg4 {This is advantageous to white, but it wasn't the most forceful continuation.} (15. Re3 {leads to a tremendously strong attack.} 15... Bc6 16. Qh5 {and the threat of Rh3 and Bc2 can't be met in any satisfactory way.}) 15... Bc6 16. Red1 Qa5 {This looks reasonable, but 16...Qc7 was a better defense.} (16... Qc7 {and now white must continue his attack with moves like 17.h4 or possibly repositioning his N with Ne2-d4 or maybe even 17.Ne4, but he must avoid 17.Nd5 that he can play after 16...Qa5.} 17. Nd5 exd5 18. Bxd5 Rd8 19. e6 Qa5 20. exf7+ Rxf7 21. Bxf7+ Kxf7 {and black has the advantage.}) 17. Nd5 {White has already established a winning position, but this is the beginning of the fireworks. Black has to take the N.} 17... exd5 {White has a superior position and this is the beginning of the fireworks. The N must be taken.} 18. Qxc8 Nc7 19. Bd2 { Eliminating Qs woudl do black no good as white would have a won ending.} 19... Qb6 20. Be3 Qa5 21. Qg4 Ne6 22. f4 {Beginning a decisive attack on the K.} 22... d4 23. Bd2 Qd8 24. f5 {Threatening Bh6.} 24... h5 {Deflecting the Q.} 25. Qxh5 Nc5 26. f6 gxf6 27. exf6 Nxb3 28. Qg5+ {It's mate next move so Shainswit resigned.} 1-0