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Friday, August 17, 2012

From the 1949 US Open

Here’s a knock down drag out fight between a couple of masters from the 1949 US Open played in Omaha, Nebraska which was won by Albert Sandrin ahead of Anthony Santasiere and Larry Evans. Giles A. Koelsche withdrew after 6 rounds with a score of +3 -2 =1 while Schaffer withdrew after 9 rounds with a +4 -2 =3 result.  I have been unable to verify the spelling of the last name of “Schaffer” and it seems I remember having seen it spelled a couple different ways.  In any case he used to play in the early years in tournaments in Pennsylvania as well as Ohio.  In the mid-1960s when I lived in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Joseph I. Schaffer was a very popular master associated with the University of Toledo.


  1. Al Sandrin, who won the event was already losing his sight at the time and later became completely blind. Despite this handicap, he remained a powerful force in Chicago area chess for another 20 years or so. He was a regular contender in tournaments throughout the Midwest and retained a master rating while playing on a standard board. All he needed was someone to tell him the opponent's move and to keep track of the clock.

  2. Now that I think about it he is a good candidate for a Blog post. The fourth USCF rating list in December 1951 shows Sandrin #16 at 2353 ahead of such players as Donald Byrne 2359, Donald H. Mugridge 2359, Sidney Bernstein 2358, Edward Schwartz 2358, Milton Hanauer 2352, Albert C. Simonson 2352, Edward Lasker 2342, Anthony E. Santasiere 2342 and Albert S. Pinkus 2341.

    He had a brother, Angelo, who was one of the mainstays of Chicago chess for decades. His rating hovered in the high Expert range although he did eventually reach the Master level. Angelo died on Christmas Eve, 2001.