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Friday, July 17, 2015

Weinstein vs. Reshevsky

The United States Chess Championship 13th U.S. Championship 
New York, Dec. 15-Jan. 5, 1960-61
Top: Bisguier, Reshevsky, Sherwin, Kalme, Benko  Bottom: Berliner, Byrne, Saidy, Seidman, Fischer

1. Fischer 9.0-2.0
2. Lombardy 7.0-4.0
3. R. Weinstein 6.5-4.5
4-6. Bisguier 6.0-5.0
4-6. Reshevsky 6.0-5.0
4-6. Sherwin 6.0-5.0
7. Kalme 5.0-6.0
8-11. Benko 4.5-6.5
8-11. Berliner 4.5-6.5
8-11. R. Byrne 4.5-6.5
8-11. Saidy 4.5-6.5
12. Seidman 2.5-8.5

   The 1960-61 U.S. championship was destined to unique because it was the last year for a decade in which there was a crop of young talent. This tournament featured new talent: William Lombardy, Raymomd Weinstein and, of course, Bobby Fischer. Out of these three, Lombardy, at 23, was the oldest. In 1957 Lombardy became the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship. He won the tournament in Toronto with a perfect score of 11-0 and at Leningrad in the summer of 1960, he led the U.S. Student team to a surprise victory over the highly favored Soviet students headed by Boris Spassky.

     Raymond Weinstein, had finished in last place two championships before, then in the 1959-60 he had a plus score. In this tournament he finished in third place, nearly qualified for the 1962 Interzonal.

     Fischer was maturing and in this, his fourth championship, and he surprised everyone when he discarded his sweaters and wore a suit! Fischer may have scored two more than his nearest rival and defeated the second, third and fourth place finishers in the process, but he was in trouble more than once. At one point he was lost against Dr. Anthony Saidy, who was appearing in his first championship tournament, And Fischer was even taking a few grandmaster draws including a 12-mover with the White pieces against Pal Benko.

     Bisguier was having his best championship since 1954 and needed only a draw in the last round to tie for third, but he was playing Fischer and he just could not pull it off. Reshevsky, in his fifties, was retired from accounting and selling insurance and mutual funds and this tournament was his worst result to date, but, as it turned out, his career wasn't over yet. The following game was his only loss in the event.

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