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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oscar Chajes

Oscar Chajes (pronounced "HA-yes") was born on 14 December 1873. Some sources say he was born in the Ukraine while others list his birth place as Austria.

1909, won US Open
1911, 2nd in Chicago
1911, 3rd-4th in New York
1911, 23rd-26th in Karlsbad, but won brilliancy prizes for his victories over Tartakower and Perlis.
1913, 5th-6th in New York
1913, 4th-5th in New York
1913, 4th-5th in Havana
1913, 3rd in New York (Quadrangular)
1913, Lost match to David Janowsky in Havana (+0 −2 =1)
1914, 2nd-3rd in New York
1915, 3rd-4th in New York
1916, 3rd in New York (Rice Memorial
1917, Won New York State Championship
1918, 2nd, Rye Beach, N.Y.
1918, 4th in Manhattan Chess Club Championship
1918, Defeated David Janowsky in a match in New York (+7 −5 =10).
1919, 3rd in Troy, N.Y.
1920, Won New York
1920, 1st-2nd in New York
1923, 17th-18th in Karlovy Vary
1923, 7th-8th in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey (9th American Chess Congress)
1923/24, won Manhattan Chess Club Championship
1926, 11th in Chicago
1926, 4th in New York.

Chajes was the last person to defeat Jose Capablanca, at New York 1916, prior to Capablanca's eight-year undefeated stretch from 1916 to 1924. Chajes died in New York City in 1928.
Here is an exciting game Chajes lost to Abraham Kupchik. In his delightful book, The Bobby Fischer I Knew, Arnold Denker described Kupchik as “The Frightened, Little Rabbit.” Denker wrote of him, Kupchik was a tiny, whisper of a man with the saddest eyes he had ever seen.” Denker wrote that if chess were nothing more than an analytical science then Kupchik would likely have made it into the big time. Described as a gentle man, known to club members as “Kuppele” or “Kup” he was, according to Denker, repulsed at the idea of attacking an opponent. With him, defensive chess was the name of the game. However, he was extremely effective at 10-second per move chess. Still, he tied for first with Frank Marshall at Lake Hopatcong in 1923 and finished second behind Capablanca at Lake Hopatcong in 1926, ahead of Maroczy and Marshall. In 1935 at the Warsaw Chess Olympics, playing 3rd board, Kupchik scored an impressive +6 -0 =8. It’s a little known fact that both players in this game were considered to receive invitations to the famous New York 1924 tournament but it was finally decided that neither of them would have added anything to the tournament except two extra rounds. Not quite true…Kupchik had a superior record to at least two of the participants.

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