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Friday, June 1, 2018

Applause for the loser!

     Trenton Falls, New York is a very small place in Central New York 20 miles north of Utica. It's a geologist's playground which has been inspiring generations of scientists since the early 1800's; its popularity with non-geologists has been equally astounding. 
     During the mid to late portion of the 19th century, the grand chasm of Kuyahoora valley was a favorite on the agenda of any traveler in New York. In fact, the popularity of the gorge and the fine accommodations at Moore's Hotel, was in its day greater than that of Niagara Falls. 
Trilobites at Trenton Falls

     For nearly 80 years, from 1822 to the end of the 1800's, Trenton Falls was a major tourist attraction and summer retreat for many well-known and influential politicians, writers, and artists. William H. Seward, Governor of New York State and Secretary of State to Abraham Lincoln, often chose Trenton Falls as a vacation site. In 1863 he chose Trenton Falls as the site to host a diplomacy meeting in support of the United States (as opposed to the Confederacy) during the Civil War. 
     Given the immense numbers of fossil specimens and the occurrence of unique species of trilobites, diverse echinoderms, and wide varieties of brachiopods the area became famous for its fossils. 
     Raise you hand if you knew that Emanuel Lasker, the reigning World Champion, finished first in a small tournament in Trenton Falls during the week of July 23-28, 1906? 
     The event was held during the year’s mid-summer meeting of the New York State Association. The other players were hardly in Lasker's class, so it was no great accomplishment, but he was held to two draws out of six games. 
     Second place finisher Charles Curt of the Brooklyn Chess Club played consistently good throughout the tournament, losing two well fought games to Lasker. Curt was born in Leipzig, Germany and died in New York City, but the dates are unknown as are other details of his life. 
     Albert W. Fox, of the Manhattan and Brooklyn chess clubs was born in Bosron on April 29, 1881 and spent a few years in Germany studying mathematics. During his stay there he won several brilliant games in 1900 and 1901 at the Cafe de la Régence in Paris, Antwerp and Heidelberg. 
     Fox returned home in 1901. He tied for 10th–11th at Cambridge Springs 1904, won Manhattan Chess Club Championship in 1905/06, tied for 2nd–3rd with Marshall at New York 1906 and tied for 7th–8th at New York 1916 (a Rice tournament won by Capablanca). 
     He played for the Manhattan Chess Club in cable matches against Franklin Chess Club of Philadelphia, and Chicago Chess Club in 1904–1906, and twice in the Anglo-American cable chess matches between Britain and the United States in 1907 and 1911. Fox died in Washington, DC at the age of 83 on April 29, 1964. 
     Very little is known about Rudolf Raubitschek except that he was born in 1873 or 1874 and that he was prominent in the New York State. State Association and the Manhattan Chess Club. Even notable chess historian/writer John Hilbert was unable to find out much about him. See Hilbert's inquiry on Edward Winter's site, post number 7139, HERE. He also had a chess-playing brother, Robert. 

1) Lasker         XX 11 1= 1=    5.0-1.0 
2) Curt            00 XX 11 =1    3.5-2.5 
3) Fox             0= 00 XX 11    2.5-3.5 
4) Raubitschek  0= =0 00 XX   1.0-6.0 

     The following game is interesting from the psychological point of view as to what you should do when facing a much strong opponent. Go for broke, complicate and attack; they will likely out-calculate you. Or, play it solid and safe and let them squeeze the life out of you? GM Greg Serper discusses the question on Chess.com HERE

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