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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Roy T. Black

    Judge Roy T. Black (February 14, 1888 - July 27, 1962, 74 years old) was born in Brooklyn New York. He won the championship of Brooklyn seven times (1909, 1910, 1911, 1914, 1915, 1917 and 1918), the New York State Championship in 1914 and participated in two cable matches of the series of thirteen between the US and Great Britain, winning both of his games; in 1910 he defeated Joseph Blake and in 1911 a player named George Richmond.
     As an oddity, Black once won a match without winning a single game. In 1909, in a match against Charles Nugent, Black lost the only game played. Nugent then forfeited the rest of the games and so Black won by a score of 5-1. Not much is known of Nugent. In the early 1900s along with William Napier and Magnus Smith he was the editor of a small chess magazine in New York called The Chess Weekly. He also enjoyed problem solving and won a few solving contests.
     In 1909 Hermann Helms was hyping Capablanca as a new Morphy and Nugent, in The Chess Weekly, argued that such praise of Capa was not merited. He acknowledged that Capa was possibly destined to take Lasker's title, he added that Capa had never faced a recognized mater in a match nor had he won a major tournament. A Chess Weekly article claimed that, “To imbue a young player with the idea that he is an exception to the general rule is to cause him to abstain from that hard work and study which alone can enable him to reach the rank of a chess master.”
     At the 1911 New York tournament he scored 5-7 (no draws!) and tied for places 7-8 with Magnus Magnusson Smith. Smith was born on September 10, 1869 in Iceland, was a one time a resident of the Winnipeg, Manitoba area, won the Canadian Championship in 1899, 1904 and 1906. He edited a chess column for the Winnipeg Free Press between 1905 and 1908. In 1910, The Gazette Times (Pittsburgh, Pa.) reported that he had moved to Brooklyn. He won the Brooklyn Chess Club championship in 1907 and the Manhattan Chess Club championship in 1912 and 1913). He passed away in Titusville, Pennsylvania in 1934. At the New York tournament Black was the only one to win a game from Capablanca, thus depriving Capa of first place and relegating him to second, a half point behind Marshall.
     Black's best performance was his winning of the third prize in the Rice Chess Club's masters' tournament in 1913, when he made a score of 10-3, his two defeats being at the hands of Capablanca and Duras, who both finished ahead of him.
     Black tied with Oscar Chajes for second and third prizes in the Metropolitan League masters' tournament in 1915, finishing with a score of 11.5-3.5. In 1920-1921, he tied for 1st at the Manhattan Chess Club championship, but lost the playoff to David Janowski. Cessmetrics puts his best rating at around 2300 in the years 1918 and 1919.
     The following game is a snappy win from his 1918 match against Alfred Schroeder. Black won the match +5 -3 =2. Almost nothing is known of Schroeder except that he was active in several chess clubs in New York and was the Brooklyn Chess Club Champion in 1922. He also participated in a number of the Rice Gambit Tournaments during that era.

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