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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Rothman - Denker...a Real Rip-snorter

Rothman playing Denker
     I posted on Denker's sensational win of the 1944 U.S. Championship a few years ago and featured his win over Reuben Fine, but here's a game from the same tournament that is really exciting. 
     After Fine’s loss to Denker there were still ten rounds to go and several moderately strong players for Denker to face.  In the next round he faced Weaver Adams and got a very bad position and offered a draw several times. Adams was unable to find a win and ended up blundering away the game. After that close call Denker reeled off nine straight wins before drawing with George Shainswit. 
     Denker had a close call in the 12th round against one of the lucky qualifiers from The Bronx, New York, an amateur named Aron Rothman. Rothman had been massacred in an earlier game by Fine in 15 moves. It was so bad Rothman said the game reminded him of a recent gangland assassination of a mob boss that had taken place in the same hotel.
     Rothman got a great game against Denker, but had one of those positions with so many good moves he ended up playing none of them and lost.  Rothman tied for places 12-14 in this tournament, scoring +5 -9 =3.  Around the middle 1950s, Mary Bain opened a Chess Studio on 145 West 42th Street in New York City that was sometimes used for tournaments and she eventually sold it to Larry Evans and Rothman. Rothman claimed to know all of Modern Chess Openings by heart. 

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