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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Also Rans at the 1953 US Open

     In US chess news, in 1953, Mona Karff won the Women's Championship and Bobby Fischer played in his first real tournament, the Brooklyn Chess Club championship; he finished in 5th place. 
     In 1953, the USCF awarded the 1954 Open to Hollywood, but a month later they rescinded the award because of a disagreement between the USCF's tournament committee and the sponsors. The Hollywood sponsors wanted to have the Open in a number of sections in order to guarantee larger cash prizes for the master section while the lower sections would have to settle for just crappy trophies. As a result the USCF awarded the tournament to sponsors in New Orleans and in the process stepped in a little excrement. 

     In 1954, before the Open took place, in the final days of its session the Louisiana State Legislature passed several segregation laws which made it illegal for the tournament to accept entries from minority players. The Legislature's action came too late for the USCF to change venues and so they were faced with either accepting the restrictions or canceling the tournament as a matter of principle. 
     The USCF took the stand that because organizers in New Orleans had acted in good faith and had spent a lot of money, time and energy in promoting the event and they too had been caught off guard by the new laws, it was decided to go ahead with the tournament which was won by Larry Evans. 
     The 1953 Open was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with a record setting 181 entrants and an exciting finish saw Donald Byrne defeat Max Pavey and edge him out by 1/2-point. 
     Before the start of the tournament considerable excitement was generated when one of Europe's most successful players, Nicolas Rossolimo of France, entered. He has just returned to the US and had announced his intention to become a citizen and he was the only entrant higher rated than US Champion Larry Evans who had not been in good form of late. This event was to be Rossolimo's first tournament in the US. Also, Arthur Dake and Isaac Kashdan had submitted their entries. Dake finished with a disappointing 8.5 while Kashdan did not show up.
     There were numerous upsets in the opening rounds. For example, Class A player Walter Grombacher defeated Al Horowitz in a Pawn ending with Bs of opposite color and Curt Brasket upset Arthur Dake. 
     The outcome of the tournament remained in doubt until the end. Going into the last round Byrne was leading with 9.5 points. He was followed by Pavey, James T. Sherwin, Horowitz and Brasket with 9.0. 
     Next were those with 8.5 points: Rossolimo, Frank Anderson, Eliot Hearst, James B. Cross, Miroslav Turiansky, Karl Burger and Joseph Shaffer. 
     In the last round Brrne defeated Pavey, Sherwin and Horowitz drew and Brasket lost to Rossolimo. Anderson defeated Dr. Bella Rosa, Hearst defeated George Krauss, Cross defeated Evans, Turiansky and Burger drew with each other and Shaffer drew with Bisguier. 
Final standings of top finishers
     What happened to Evans and Bisguier? As mentioned, Evans was in bad form, but he won his first four games before drawing with Sherwin and Rossolimo. Then losses in the next two rounds to Hearst and Brasket put him out of contention.
     Bisguier lost to Alex Kevitz in round 4 and Sherwin in round 12, but it was his five draws that kept him from being in the race. 
     An exciting game was played between a couple of lesser players, Rudolf Pitschak of Cleveland, Ohio and Richard McClelland (January 24, 1932 - July 20, 1997, 65 years old) of Omaha, Nebraska. He was Nebraska State Champion in 1957, 1958, 1966 and 1972 and a three-time winner of the Omaha City Championship (1954, 1957, 1958). He was awarded the International Correspondence Master Title in 1996. 
     On the December 1953 rating list Pitschak was provisionally rated at 2265 based only on the US Open. In those days that was an Expert rating as a Master rating was 2300-2499. McClelland was rated 2033 which was Class A (1900-2099). In this event Pitschak tied for places 27-42 (34th on tiebreaks) with 8 points. McLellan tied for places 56-85 (67th on tiebreaks) with 7 points.

Rudolf Pitschak - Richard A. McLellan

Result: 1-0

Site: US Open Milwaukee

Date: 1953.08.21

King's Indian Defense

[...] 1.c4 ♘f6 2.♘c3 g6 3.g3 ♗g7 4.♗g2 O-O 5.e3 Instead of the usual d4 and e4. This move yields surprisingly good results for white. 5...d6 6.d4 e5 7.♘ge2 c6 8.O-O ♘h5 Playing for an immediate K-side attack. More restrained is 8...Re8.
8...♗g4 9.h3 ♗xe2 10.♕xe2 ♖e8 11.♕c2 ♘a6 12.a3 ♘c7 and white is slightly better thanks to his more active position. Cekro,E (2392)-Harff,M (2416)/Belgium 2018
9.d5 is more disruptive to black's plans as after 9...c5
9...cxd5 10.♘xd5 Leaves black with a backward d-Pawn and the N has a nice post on d5.
10.e4 ♘d7 (10...f5 11.f4 is good for white.) 11.♔h1 a6 12.a4 b6 13.♗d2 f5 14.exf5 gxf5 White is somewhat better. Moiseenko,A (2642)-Vypkhaniuk,I (2406)/Chornomorsk UKR 2019
9...f5 10.♔h2 Unnecessary. 10.b4 was better. 10...♔h8 Also unnecessary. Simply 10...a5 was good. 11.b4 g5 This is a small error that should have allowed white to gain the initiative, but both sides missed white's best continuation.. 11...e3 would have equalized. (11...e4 Equalizes after 12.b5 ♗e6 13.bxc6 bxc6) 12.♘g1
12.dxe5 dxe5 13.b5 ♕xd1
is also not quite satisfactory as after 13...cxb5 14.♘xb5 e4 15.♗a3 ♘c6
15...♗xa1 16.♕xa1+ wins material 16...♔g8 17.♗xf8 ♔xf8 18.♕h8+ ♔e7 19.♕xh7+
16.♗xf8 ♕xf8 (16...♗xa1 17.♕xd8 ♘xd8 18.♖xa1 wins a piece.) 17.♖b1 ♘f6 18.♕d6 with an excellent game.
14.♖xd1 ♗e6 15.bxc6 ♘xc6 16.♗a3 with slightly the better of it.
12...♕e8 13.♖e1 Somewhat better was 13.b5 13...♕f7 14.d5 After this black seizes the initiative which would have been in white's hands after 14.b5! (14.b5 ♕xc4 15.♗a3 ♕xc3 16.♗xd6 and both black's R and N are attacked.) 14...e4 15.♗b2 cxd5 16.♕xd5 ♗e6 17.♕xd6 White has managed to win the d-Pawn, but it has come at the cost of giving black good play. 17...♘c6 18.♘a4 ♖fd8
18...♗xc4 is similar to the game after 19.♕c5 ♖ac8 20.♗xg7+ ♘xg7 21.♘b2 ♗d5 22.♖ac1 f4 with a promising attack.
19.♗xg7+ ♘xg7 20.♕c5 ♗xc4 21.b5 ♘e7 22.♖ed1 ♗d3
22...b6 Black could win a P, but it would not do him much good. 23.♕b4 ♖xd1 24.♖xd1 ♗xa2 25.♖d7 and white has equal play. with equal chances.
23.♕b4 Black should now centralize his Ns with ...Ne6 and ...Nd5 23...♘g6 24.♘c5
24.♘b2 was better. Then after 24...♘e5 25.f4 exf3 26.♘xf3 ♘xf3+ 27.♗xf3 ♗e4 28.♗xe4 fxe4 29.♕xe4 ♖xd1 30.♖xd1 ♖e8 is equal
24...♘e5 25.f4 gxf4
25...b6 was better as after 26.♘xe4 fxe4 27.fxe5 ♖ac8 black is slightly better.
26.exf4 ♘g6 This proves to be black's undoing as he ends up with weak Ps. 27.♘xd3 ♖xd3 28.♖xd3 exd3 29.♘f3 Even better was 29.Qd4 picking up the d-Pawn. 29...♖d8 30.♘g5 ♕g8 31.♕a5 ♖d7 32.♕xa7 h6 33.♘f3 ♕c4 34.♕b6 d2 Alas! The d-Pawn is not as dangerous as it looks.
34...♕e6 would have allowed him to play on. 35.♕f2 ♕c4 36.b6 ♕b5 37.♖c1 and while black's defensive moves may be annoying, white can still claim a significant advantage.
35.♖d1 ♔h7 A tactical error, but there was no saving the game.
35...♘e6 36.♖xd2 ♖g7 37.♕e3 ♔h7 38.♖d6 and black loses. For example 38...♘exf4 (38...♘gf8 39.♘h4 wins the P on f5) 39.gxf4 ♕xb5 40.♘d4 ♕c5 41.♕e6 wins easily.
36.♕xg6+ a nifty little tactic that allows a fork on the Q, R and K sp black resigned. (36.♕xg6+ ♔xg6 37.♘e5+ ♔f6 38.♘xc4 leaves white a piece ahead.)
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