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Monday, November 27, 2017

1910 Ohio Chess Championship

    In a match requiring 8 wins, draws not counting, Murray Goldsmith of Cincinnati, Ohio defeated Dr. P. G. Keeney of Bellvue, Kentucky by the decisive score of 8-3 to become the 1910 Ohio Champion. For several years Dr. Keeney had been champion of the Tri-State Chess Association which was defunct when the match was played.
     The match was played in the Mercantile Library in Cincinnati between May 31 and June 11. The match was not, however, as lop-sided a victory for Goldsmith as the score might indicate. For example, game 1 lasted 80 moves and game 3 went 123 moves. And, except for the last game, an 18-mover, all the other games went over 48 moves. There was only a single draw, a Four Knights Game, in the 9-game match and it went 61 moves. The openings all began with 1.e4 and there were two Petrovs, one King's Gambit Declined, one King's Gambit Accepted, two Four Knights Game, a Center Gambit and two Ruy Lopez's. 
    In addition to being an OTB champion, Murray Goldsmith was also involved in postal play. Goldsmith was born on June 15, 1886. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1908 where he was college champion. Goldsmith was also an accomplished problem composer and solver whose compositions often appeared in local newspapers. He was especially fond of problems of a type known as self-mates. For many years he suffered from an acute case of rheumatism and on January 25th, 1912 he committed suicide in his home.    
     Goldsmith participated in the 12th Western Championship in Excelsior, Minnesota, held from August 21-28, 1911. It was a 14-player round robin and Goldsmith finished in 5th place, scoring +7 -4 =2.
     This tournament also featured the 14-year old Dare D. Barkuloo who finished tied for 11-12th, scoring +4 -9 =0. Barkuloo was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on February 11, 1897 and moved to sister city Minneapolis in 1907. He learned the moves at the age of 12, but it wasn't until later when Capablanca visited the city in 1910 that his interest was aroused. In 1912 he challenged and defeated the reigning state champion in a match and so won the state championship. He seems to have given up chess around 1915, but in 1921 managed to draw Reshevsky in a simul. Barkalo passed away at the age of 68 on July 1, 1965.
     Dr. Palmer G. Keeney (March 25, 1877 - October 14, 1959, 82 years old) followed in his father's footsteps as a composer and physician. He was a chess prodigy who composed his first problem at the age of 13. He is not well-known today, but was a very successful chess editor and player (two-time Ohio state champion) who ran many columns during his career, one of which was the column for the Cincinnati Enquirer, widely regarded as one of the world's best at the time and his editorial career lasted into the 1950s, when he was the first problem editor for Chess Life.
     Keeney liked to illustrate his problems with stories and his most famous problem was illustrated with a fabricated story by another author, Emil Ramin. Ramin, in Im Wunderland des Schachproblems, wrote of a crazy problem tourney that never existed and was supposedly won by Keeney. In reality, the problem was a Christmas original in Keeney's column in the Cincinnati Times-Star, and had a different story there; in the Times-Star the story was about the potential re-birth of man. Read more:
Sherlock Holmes at Chess History
A Keeney story (in German)

     Originally I had looked at a couple games from their 1910 match, but in playing over some of Goldsmith's games, I discovered this very interesting one featuring R, B and N vs. Q that was played against Louis Uedemann (January 10, 1854 - November 2, 1912) in the 1909 Western Championship. 
     Uedemann was an active player in Chicago around the turn of the 20th century. He won the Western Chess Association championship (predecessor to the US Open) in 1900 and 1902. In the 1903 championship he lost the play-off coming third Max Judd (champion) and Sydney P Johnston.
     Uedemann was born in Saerbeck, Germany and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He was described as always cool, calm, methodical, somewhat slow in his movements, never excited about anything. His "German thoroughness" is seen in his chess library, where he classified and indexed thousands of newspaper clippings. For over 30 years he was one of the strongest players in the country. Uedemann was the chess editor for the Chicago Tribune and created a notation code for telegraphs for cable matches which was first used in the telegraphic match between London and St. Petersburg in November 1886.

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