In the Summer of 1942 the U.S. Lightning Championship was created and was won by Dr. Reuben Fine ahead of Reshevsky. Before the introduction of chess clocks in the mid-1950s chess club "rapid transit" tournaments had a referee who every ten seconds called out “Move!” or in some cases a bell or gong was rung.
Just about all famous players have played rapid chess, but what to a lot of them really think about it?
"Playing rapid chess, one can lose the habit of concentrating for several hours in serious chess. That is why, if a player has big aims, he should limit his rapid play in favor of serious chess." – Vladimir Kramnik
"Yes, I have played a blitz game once. It was on a train, in 1929." – Mikhail Botvinnik
"He who analyzes blitz is stupid." – Rashid Nezhmetdinov
"Blitz chess kills your ideas." – Bobby Fischer
"To be honest, I consider [bullet chess] a bit moronic, and therefore I never play it." – Vladimir Kramnik
"I play way too much blitz chess. It rots the brain just as surely as alcohol." – Nigel Short
"Blitz is simply a waste of time." – Vladimir Malakhov
Even so, almost all top players indulge; as Kramnik also said, "Blitz – it's just a pleasure."
The title in the first U.S. Rapid Championship was decided in the semi-final round when Fine and Reshevsky met. Fine faced an uphill battle when he lost the exchange early, but Reshevsky, who needed a win to finish ahead of Fine, could only reach a drawn position, so he forced the issue and ended up losing. The final standings were:
1- Reuben Fine 10-1
2- Samuel Reshevsky 9-2
3- George Shainswit 7.5-3.5
4- I.A. Horowitz 7-4
5- Isaac Kashdan 6-5
6-7- Matthew Green 5.5-5.5 (born Dec-28-1915, died Dec-16-2006, 90 years old)
6-7- Herbert Seidman
8- Albert Pinkus 5-6
9-10- Arnold Denker 3.5-7.5
9-10- Abe Yanofsky (Not sure why the 17 year old Canadian was playing)
11. H. Nadell 2-9 (another unknown player)
12. Herman Helms 1.5-9.5 (at 75 Helms was simply too old to compete successfully)
In the following game Fine should have lost. While analyzing the game the following position was reached and Stockfish was showing a clear win for white, but I just couldn't believe it. But, it's there; white won all five Shootouts!
|White to move|