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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Just A Master Game

     I have posted on the 1950 US Open and one of the players in this game, the colorful Albert Pinkus, before. 
     The other player, John Ragan (October 29, 1930 – December 12, 1991) of St. Louis, Missouri, was a Master who won the Missouri State Championship a record 12 times: 1948, 1953, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1977. 
     On the 1950 USCF rating list Pinkus was listed as a Master with a rating of 2422 which put him number 11 on the list and Ragan was an Expert at 2195.
     The rating classification in those early days were a little different than they are today:
Grandmaster 2700+ 
Senior Master 2500-2699 
Master 2300+2499 
Expert 2100-2299 
Class A 1900-2099 
Class B 1700-1899 
Class C 1500-1699 
Class D Below 1500 

     There were only two GMs, Reuben Fine (2817) and Samuel Reshevsky (2734) and two SMs, Arthur Dake (2598) and I.A. Horowitz (2558). 
     The Master list was made up of 29 players and included Isaac Kashdan, Larry Evans, Herbert Seidman, Max Pavey, George Shainswit, Arnold Denker, Albert Pinkus, Arthur Bisguier, George Kramer, Donald Byrne, Weaver Adams, Herman Steiner and Robert Byrne. Most of the remaining players were lesser known with the exception of Edward Lasker who was rated 2336. 

     Among the Experts were many names who would later be prominent Masters at the State level. 
     Larry Evans ran an ad in Chess Life advertising a couple of his books. James R. Schroeder was later given permission to sell a typed version of the book. According to Schroeder, Evans recognized that Bronstein was a great player and Bronstein later was the best player in the world for many years. He said Evans was not yet a master (he was) and added the analysis is enthusiastic but not always correct and that he was an atrocious writer. Schroeder was selling the booklet for $20. 

Americans’ Lack Of A Proper Education 
     Appearing in the June 5th, 1951 edition of Chess Life was an editorial by Montgomery Major about whom I have previously posted. Major was replying to a supposedly anonymous letter that was critical of a previous Major editorial comment. 
     In criticizing his critic Major asked the question, “...does it indicate the failure of our educational system in not teaching modern youth how to think?” He went on to add that “so many Americans have been misdirected by the lack of proper education. They believe the preposterous because they have never been taught how to distinguish between the false and the true syllogism, and they become ready prey to the attractive glitter of pseudo-ideas that would not withstand the test of logical analysis.” Of his critic, Major wrote, “Those who failed to train him in how to think clearly and logically are the veritable culprits!” 

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