chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

 
US Open 1934, Chicago = 35th Western Chess Champ
Compiled by Phony Benoni
--*--

<35th ACF Congress
Chicago, Illinois
July 21-August 1, 1934>

Almost since its inception in 1927, the National Chess Federation of the U.S.A. had been pointing toward one great ambition: a major chess event in 1933 at Chicago as part of the Century of Progress Exhibition. When the time came, they staged a 32-board blindfold simul by Alekhine, some exhibitions of Living Chess, a chess museum, and a small intercollegiate tournament. All very nice, but you have to wonder if it was what people were expecting.

No doubt by sheer coincidence, the Western Chess Association decided to hold their 1934 tournament in Chicago. At some point around the time of tournament, the old Western Chess Association (WCA) was replaced by the new American Chess Federation (ACF). It's very tempting to call this the first event held under ACF auspices, but all sources I've seen say the WCA was still in charge at the time. Certainly the tournament marked a departure the size and format of the event/

If one goal of the new organization was to increase the general popularity of chess among all levels of play, it succeeded: the tournament drew a record total of 32 players. Previously (for example, in 1906 and 1908) the practice with an overly large turnout was to divide the field into preliminary sections, from which the top finishers would advance to a championship final. Ideally, the best players be seeded into different preliminaries so that each section would be approximately equal in strength. This was simple in the Excelsior days, when most of the players were local and their approximate strength well known. But the 1934 event drew players from all over the country, making seeding more difficult due to unfamiliarity with a player's level of skill. In addition, <Arpad Elo> was playing rather than devising a rating system.

So local official <Kirk D. Holland> devised a system of setting up qualification sections which did not involve seeding as such. Here we go. Good luck.

Preliminary Round 1

The players were paired, more or less at random, and played a single game. Here are the results (actual colors are unknown):

Hahlbohm 1 Araiza Munoz; Eastman 1 Jensen; Margolis 1 Freeman; Dake 1 Jefferson; B. Illsley 1 Lew; Hanauer 1 Barnes; Kashdan 1 Palmi; Engholm 1 Nash; Waggoner 1 Holland; Marks 1 Heyn; Reshevsky 1 Grigorieff; Elo* 1/2 Osher; Jackson 1 R. Illsley; Woods 1 <Fine>; MacMurray 1 Belson; Denker 1 Rundell

Elo was counted as a winner following a coin flip. And, yes, Fine lost.

Preliminary Round 2a

The sixteen winners were played, with these results. (Again, in a drawn game a "winner"* was decided by coin flip.

MacMurray 1 B. Illsley; Margolis 1 Engholm; Eastman 1 <Kashdan>; Dake 1 Jackson; Hahlbohm* 1/2 <Reshevsky>; Denker 1 Waggoner; Marks 1 Elo; Hanauer 1 Woods

The eight winners here were assigned to Qualifying Section A, from which four players advanced to the Championship final. The losers, including Kashdan and Reshevsky (after coin flip) were assigned to Qualifying Section B, which had three qualifiers.

Preliminary Round 2b

This paired the sixteen losers from Preliminary Round 1:

Friedman 1 Belson; Araiza Munoz 1 Rundell; Fine 1 Holland; Nash* 1/2 Jensen; Barnes* 1/2 Osher; Lew 1 Heyn; Grigorieff 1 R. Illsley; Jefferson 1 Palmi

The winners advanced to Qualifying Section C, with two qualifiers for the final; the losers to Qualifying Section D, with one qualifier.

Qualifying Section A

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Arthur William Dake X = = 1 1 = 1 1 5.5 2 Arnold Denker = X = = 1 = 1 1 5.0 3 Donald MacMurray = = X 1 = 0 1 1 4.5 4 George Eastman 0 = 0 X 0 1 1 1 3.5 5 Herman H Hahlbohm 0 0 = 1 X 1 0 = 3.0 6 Milton Loeb Hanauer = = 1 0 0 X 0 1 3.0 7 Albert Margolis 0 0 0 0 1 1 X 1 3.0 8 Howard Landis Marks 0 0 0 0 = 0 0 X 0.5

George Eastman was probably a surprise qualifier, ahead of former champions Hahlbohm and Margolis. And now an interesting point arises.

Kashdan, Reshevsky, and Fine did not make it to the top qualifying section. Had they done so, it's likely that only one of the actual qualifiers from this section would have made the Championship Final, which hardly seems fair. Denker and Dake, in particular, were both worthy.

So the preliminary "failures" of Kashdan, Reshevsky and Fine worked well for the top players. They had easier paths to the final, and with a grueling schedule including two rounds on many days this was important. Plus, this way all the best New York players made it to the championship instead of some being relegated to Consolation sections.

Did Kashdan and Fine deliberately lose in the prelims? Was there collusion between the New York players for some to take a fall early to improve the chances of all? There is no proof of this that I know of, but this particular tournament system was not used again.

Qualifying Section B

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Samuel Reshevsky X 1 = 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 2 Isaac Kashdan 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.0 3 Nels G Engholm = 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 5.5 4 Henry M Woods 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 1 4.0 5 Arpad Elo 0 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 3.0 6 W Waggoner 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1 2.0 7 M C Jackson 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1.0 8 B Illsley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0.0

Almost a perfect section, Engholm's draw with Reshevsky being the only break in the pattern.

Qualifying Section C

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Reuben Fine X 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.0 2 Jose Joaquin Araiza Munoz 1 X 1 = 0 1 1 1 5.5 3 Wladimir Grigorieff 0 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 5.0 4 Bradford B Jefferson 0 = 0 X 1 1 1 1 4.5 5 George Samuel Barnes 0 1 0 0 X 0 1 = 2.5 6 Sol R Friedman 0 0 0 0 1 X = 0 1.5 7 Edmund Nash 0 0 0 0 0 = X 1 1.5 8 Harry Lew 0 0 0 0 = 1 0 X 1.5

With Fine a certain qualifier, the race was on for second place with the Mexican champion prevailing. Edmund Nash is a link to myself, since he beat me at Columbus 1977. I'm in good company. He once beat Fischer too.

Qualifying Section D

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 John Harold Belson X = 1 1 1 0 1 1 5.5 2 Bjarne Jensen = X 1 1 = = = 1 5.0 3 Fred J Rundell 0 0 X 1 = 1 = 1 4.0 4 W Heyn 0 0 0 X 1 = 1 1 3.5 5 Andrew Hansen Palmi 0 = = 0 X 1 1 = 3.5 6 R Illsley 1 = 0 = 0 X = = 3.0 7 Seymour Osher 0 = = 0 0 = X 1 2.5 8 Kirk D Holland 0 0 0 0 = = 0 X 1.0

Belson, who would win the Canadian championship later in the year, was a legitimate qualifier for the Final.

Championship Final

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Reuben Fine X = 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.5 2 Samuel Reshevsky = X 1 = 1 = 1 1 1 1 7.5 3 Arthur William Dake 1 0 X = 1 = 1 1 1 = 6.5 4 Arnold Denker 0 = = X 0 1 1 = 1 1 5.5 5 George Eastman 0 0 0 1 X = 1 1 = = 4.5 6 Isaac Kashdan 0 = = 0 = X 1 1 = = 4.5 7 Donald MacMurray 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 3.0 8 Jose Joaquin Araiza Munoz 0 0 0 = 0 0 0 X 1 1 2.5 9 John Harold Belson 0 0 0 0 = = 0 0 X 1 2.0 10 Nels G Engholm 0 0 = 0 = = 0 0 0 X 1.5

Fine tied Edward Lasker's record of three straight championships, though this time Reshevsky was able to share first. And perhaps Eastman wasn't such a surprise qualifier after all.

Thirty-eight of the 45 games have been found, and it is possible to chart the course play. Dates come for Lahde's biography of Fine; I have been unable to verify them from contemporary sources. An asterisk (*) indicates a missing game; colors are uncertain in these, and results have been indicated as "+", "-", or "=".

Round 1 (Friday, July 27):
Belson 0 Dake; Engholm 1/2 Eastman; Fine 1 Araiza Munoz; Denker 1 Kashdan; Reshevsky + MacMurray*

Round 2 (Friday, JUly 27):
Fine 1 Denker; Reshevsky 1 Dake; Engholm 0 Ariaza Munoz; Belson 1/2 Kashdan; Eastman + MacMurray*

Round 3 (Saturday, July 28)
Denker 0 Eastman; Engholm 1/2 Dake; Reshevsky 1 Ariaza Munoz; Kashdan 0 Fine; MacMurray + Belson*

Round 4 (Sunday, July 29)
Araiza Munoz 0 MacMurray; Engholm 0 Denker; Belson 0 Fine; Reshevsky 1 Eastman; Kashdan 1/2 Dake

Round 5 (Monday, July 30)
Araiza Munoz 0 Eastman; Denker 1 MacMurray; Dake 1 Fine; Kashdan = Reshevsky*; Belson + Engholm*

Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Dake 1/2 Denker; MacMurray 1 Engholm; Eastman 0 Fine; Belson 0 Reshevsky; Kashdan 1 Araiza Munoz

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Araiza Munoz 1 Belson; Dake 1 Eastman; MacMurray 0 Kashdan; Fine 1 Engholm; Reshevsky 1/2 Denker

Round 8 (Tuesday, July 31)
Dake 1 Araiza Munoz; Eastman 1/2 Kashdan; Fine 1 MacMurray; Engholm 0 Reshevsky; Denker + Belson*

Round 9 (Wednesday, August 1)
Araiza Munoz 1/2 Denker; MacMurray 0 Dake; Fine 1/2 Reshevsky; Engholm 1/2 Kashdan; Eastman = Belson*

Consolation Tournament

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Milton Loeb Hanauer X = = = = 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 2 Herman H Hahlbohm = X = 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 6.0 3 Bjarne Jensen = = X 1 = 1 = 0 1 1 6.0 4 Fred J Rundell = 1 0 X 0 1 = 1 1 1 6.0 5 Sol R Friedman = 0 = 1 X = = 1 0 1 5.0 6 Arpad Elo 0 0 0 0 = X 1 1 = 1 4.0 7 Harry M Woods 0 1 = = = 0 X 0 = 1 4.0 8 Bradford B Jefferson 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 X 1 0 3.0 9 Andrew Hansen Palmi 0 0 0 0 1 = = 0 X 1 3.0 10 W Waggoner 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 1.0

Interesting that two former Western champions, Hahlbohm and Jefferson, were relegated to the Consolation section--and that neither won it! The new generation had definitely outstripped the old.

Class A:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Seymour Osher X = 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 2 Harry Lew = X = = 1 1 1 1 5.5 3 R Illsley 0 = X 0 1 1 1 1 4.5 4 W Heyn 0 = 1 X 0 1 1 = 4.0 5 B Illsley 0 0 0 1 X 0 1 1 3.0 6 Kirk D Holland 0 0 0 0 1 X 0 1 2.0 7 M C Jackson 0 0 0 0 0 1 X = 1.5 8 Edmund Nash 0 0 0 = 0 0 = X 1.0

Holland's result might have been thought by some as just retribution for coming up with the qualification system. Afterward, the Western would stick to the old system of seeded preliminaries of equal strength with an equal number of qualifying spots in each. Ironically, at least in the United States this old system would later become identified with Kirk D. Holland instead of his 1934 experiment with unseeded preliminaries. Good things happen when you're a chess politician.

-----

Sources:

American Chess Bulletin, September/October 1934, p.p.124-125. (ACB)

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 19, 1934. (BDE)

Chess Results 1931-1935 / Gino di Felice, p.222-224. (CR)

Isaac Kashdan, American Chess Grandmaster : a Career Summary with 757 Games / Peter P. Lahde. Jefferson, NC : McFarland, 2009. (Lahde)

Reuben Fine : a comprehensive record of an American Chess Career, 1929-1951 / Aidan Woodger. Jefferson, NC : McFarland, 2004.(Woodger)

-----
<PREVIOUS>: Game Collection: US Open 1933, Detroit = 34th Western Champ.

NEXT: Game Collection: US Open 1935, Milwaukee = 36th ACF Congress

SEE ALSO: Game Collection: US Open Tournament Index

Preliminary Round 1 (Saturday, July 21): CR: 11:208; BDE 7/26
Denker vs F Rundell, 1934
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 23 moves, 1-0

Prelim 1, Round 1 (Thursday, July 12): CE 1934.09.23
G Eastman vs Bjarne Jensen, 1934 
(B13) Caro-Kann, Exchange, 21 moves, 1-0

Preliminary, Round 1 (Saturday, July 21): Woodger 152
Fine vs H M Woods, 1934
(D55) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 0-1

Preliminary Round 1 (Saturday, July 21): CR, 1934.09:160
A Palmi vs Kashdan, 1934 
(C48) Four Knights, 26 moves, 0-1

Preliminary Round 1 (Saturday, July 21): CR 1934:160
Reshevsky vs W Grigorieff, 1934 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 28 moves, 1-0

Preliminary, Round 2 (Sunday, July 22): Woodger 153
Fine vs K Holland, 1934
(A13) English, 23 moves, 1-0

Qualifier A: Cincinnati Enquirer, October 28, 1934
H L Marks vs G Eastman, 1934 
(A48) King's Indian, 37 moves, 0-1

Qualifier B, date and round unknown: CR 1934:160
Kashdan vs B Illsley, 1934
(C45) Scotch Game, 26 moves, 1-0

Qualifier B, date and round unknown: Lahde 279
Kashdan vs M C Jackson, 1934
(B58) Sicilian, 21 moves, 1-0

Qualifier B, date and round unknown: CR, 1934.09:160
Reshevsky vs Kashdan, 1934
(D48) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 69 moves, 1-0

Qualifer B, date and round unknown: Lahde 278
H M Woods vs Kashdan, 1934
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 38 moves, 0-1

Qualifker C: CR, 1934.09:161; BDE, 1934:08.02
J Araiza Munoz vs W Grigorieff, 1934
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 45 moves, 1-0

Qualifier C, Round 1 (Sunday, July 22): Woodger 154
Fine vs W Grigorieff, 1934
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 44 moves, 1-0

Qualifier C, Round 2 (Monday, July 23): Woodger 155
E Nash vs Fine, 1934
(B80) Sicilian, Scheveningen, 37 moves, 0-1

Qualifier C, Round 3 (Monday, July 23): Woodger 156
Fine vs B Jefferson, 1934
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 23 moves, 1-0

Qualifier C, Round 4 (Tuesday, July 24): Woodger 157
G S Barnes vs Fine, 1934
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 40 moves, 0-1

Qualifier C, Round 5 (Wednesday, July 25)? Woodger 158
Fine vs H Lew, 1934
(B32) Sicilian, 21 moves, 1-0

Qualifier C, Round 6 (Wednesday, July 25): Woodger 159
S R Friedman vs Fine, 1934 
(A81) Dutch, 33 moves, 0-1

Qualifier C, Round 7 (Thursday, July 26): Woodger 160
Fine vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(A18) English, Mikenas-Carls, 36 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 1 (Friday, July 27)
J Belson vs Dake, 1934
(E61) King's Indian, 40 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 1 (Friday, July 27): CR, 1934.09.152
Denker vs Kashdan, 1934 
(D18) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 42 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 1 (Friday, July 27)
N G Engholm vs G Eastman, 1934
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 1 (Friday, July 27): Woodger 161
Fine vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(E24) Nimzo-Indian, Samisch, 43 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 2 (Friday, JUly 27): Lahde 281
J Belson vs Kashdan, 1934
(D52) Queen's Gambit Declined, 73 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 2 (Friday, JUly 27): BDE, 1934:08.02
N G Engholm vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(A04) Reti Opening, 28 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 2 (Friday, July 27)? Woodger 162
Fine vs Denker, 1934 
(B40) Sicilian, 17 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 2 (Friday, July 27): CR, 1934.09:160
Reshevsky vs Dake, 1934
(D62) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack, 32 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 3 (Saturday, July 28)
Denker vs G Eastman, 1934
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 62 moves, 0-1

Final, Roound 3 (Saturday, July 28)
N G Engholm vs Dake, 1934
(A97) Dutch, Ilyin-Genevsky, 69 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 3 (Saturday, July 28): Lahde 282
Kashdan vs Fine, 1934
(A90) Dutch, 57 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 3 (Saturday, July 82)
Reshevsky vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 4 (Sunday,July 29)
J Araiza Munoz vs D MacMurray, 1934
(D30) Queen's Gambit Declined, 48 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 4 (Sunday, July 29)? Woodger 164
J Belson vs Fine, 1934
(E34) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation, 17 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Sunday, July 92)
N G Engholm vs Denker, 1934
(A48) King's Indian, 31 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 4 (Sunday, July 29): Lahde 283
Kashdan vs Dake, 1934
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 4 (Sunday, July 29)
Reshevsky vs G Eastman, 1934
(E17) Queen's Indian, 48 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Monday, July 30)
J Araiza Munoz vs G Eastman, 1934
(E38) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 4...c5, 42 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 5 (Monday, July 30): ACB 1934:174
Dake vs Fine, 1934 
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 66 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Monday, July 30)
Denker vs D MacMurray, 1934
(D37) Queen's Gambit Declined, 31 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
J Belson vs Reshevsky, 1934 
(C46) Three Knights, 23 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
Dake vs Denker, 1934
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 6 (Monday, July 30): Woodger 166
G Eastman vs Fine, 1934
(C13) French, 28 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 6 (Monday, July 30): Lahde 284
Kashdan vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 45 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 6 (Monday, July 30)
D MacMurray vs N G Engholm, 1934
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 50 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
J Araiza Munoz vs J Belson, 1934
(E36) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 51 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Dake vs G Eastman, 1934
(A15) English, 39 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)? Woodger 167
Fine vs N G Engholm, 1934
(A21) English, 30 moves, 1-0

Final, Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31): Lahde 285
D MacMurray vs Kashdan, 1934 
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 41 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 7 (Tuesday, July 31)
Reshevsky vs Denker, 1934 
(E47) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3 O-O 5.Bd3, 55 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Tuesday, July 31)
Dake vs J Araiza Munoz, 1934
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 44 moves, 1-0

Championship Final, Round 8 (Tuesday, July 31): Lahde 286
G Eastman vs Kashdan, 1934
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 70 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 8 (Tuesday, July 31)
N G Engholm vs Reshevsky, 1934
(E14) Queen's Indian, 23 moves, 0-1

Final, Round 8 (Tuesday, July 31): Woodger 168
Fine vs D MacMurray, 1934
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Wednesday, August 1)
J Araiza Munoz vs Denker, 1934
(C47) Four Knights, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 9 (Wednesday, August 1)): Lahde 287
N G Engholm vs Kashdan, 1934 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 44 moves, 1/2-1/2

Final, Round 9 (Wednesday, August 1): Woodger 169
Fine vs Reshevsky, 1934
(E22) Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Wednesday, August 1)
D MacMurray vs Dake, 1934
(C00) French Defense, 38 moves, 0-1

57 games

 » View all game collections by Phony Benoni PGN Download
 » Search entire game collection library
 » Clone this game collection (copy it to your account)
 » FAQ: Help with Game Collections


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2016, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies