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Friday, April 21, 2017

Maurice Fox

     Maurice Fox of Canada was born in the Ukraine on January 14, 1898 and died at the age of 90 years old on June 25, 1988. At the end of 1898 his family moved from Russia to London, England where he graduated from the University of London in 1921 with a degree in electrical engineering and emigrated to Montreal, Canada in 1923. He later moved to Peterborough, Ontario.
     The year 1924 saw him finishing second in the Canadian Championship, the first of many yet to come. He won the Canadian Championship eight times, tying him with Abe Yanofsky for the most Canadian titles. He was runner up three times. He was also a frequent competitor in several United States Opens. Fox won the Montreal City championship every year from 1927 through 1933, but did not play in it again until 1948. 
     Fox learned to play chess at the relatively late age of 13 while living in London and at the age of 15 he joined his school's chess club and won its championship and captained its team. Fox served in the British Army during World War I and after his discharge entered college.
     During his college years he played top board for the Leyton Chess Club and league matches scored wins over the likes of Sir George Thomas and several other of the leagues top players. During his time in England Fox played in a few tournaments, finishing second in the Major Open at Hastings in 1922. He also participated in an impromptu blitz tournament where he finished second behind Rubinstein. 
     After arriving in Canada is 1923 his engineering work and other interests curtailed his devoting much time to chess. His lack of study left him handicapped with a limited knowledge of opening theory. 
     In 1928 he played in an international tournament at Bradley Beach, New Jersey where he scored +4 -3 =2 and finished in fifth place. The tournament was won by Alekhine. At age 58, Fox beat 13-year-old Bobby Fischer in the 1956 Canadian Open Championship at Montreal.
     His opponent in this game was Reverend Howard Ohman (July 17, 1899 – February 25, 1968, 68 years old) of Omaha, Nebraska. Ohman was the state's leading player for several decades and won the Nebraska State Championship twenty five times!
 

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