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US Open 1931, Tulsa = 32nd Western Champ.
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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<32nd Western Championship
Tulsa, Oklahoma
October 5-12, 1931>

The National Chess Federation continued to be relatively inactive this year, doing little but picking the team that won the Olympiad at Prague. That might have been enough, except for the mess that arose thanks to Norman T. Whitaker.

John Hilbert recounts the incident in this online article, expanding on his biography of Whitaker: http://www.chessarch.com/library/00... . Briefly, Whitaker had been at odds with NCF founder and President Maurice Kuhns, who did not care for the former jailbird. Whitaker had won the 1st NCF Congress at Kalamazoo, 1927, but was not invited to play at the 2nd NCF Congress (Bradley Beach 1928) and was also passed over for the Olympiad teams selected by the NSF for 1928, 1930, and 1931. Whitaker took this personally and threatened to propose the Western Chess Association as a second United States affiliate with FIDE.

All this soon became moot with Whitaker's arrest during the Lindbergh kidnapping scheme and his disappearance from the chess scene for around 15 years. However, judging from what happened later, others may also have been discontented with the NCF, which seemed to be doing little to promote the game outside of purely FIDE-connected duties.

Fortunately, the Western had an exciting event this year, won by a familiar old face in a nineteen-year-old body.

"Western Chess Title Won by Reshevsky", by Hermann Helms.

"As a result of the annual tournament of the Western Chess Association, concluded at Tulsa, Okla., on Tuesday October 13, Samuel Reshevsky, one-time child prodigy, but now a student at the University of Chicago, holds the championship of that organization. There were ten entries and Reshevsky, by winning six games and drawing three, finished with a score of 7 1/2--1 1/2.

"This was not the first time that the famous Polish lad participated in the Western meetings, but on his earlier attempts he was not so successful.

"As a child Reshevsky did remarkable things, but not all the impossibilities ascribed to him by his press agent. That worthy or an equally irresponsible successor induced the Associated Press, in a dispatch from Tulsa, to refer to him as 'the 20-year-old youth wh a decade ago won international honors when he defeated the world's best chess players.'

"Reshevsky did enough to entitle him to a unique place in chess fame without resort to publicity which on the face of it is absurd.

"Second and third prizes at Tulsa were divided by S. D. Factor of Chicago and N. T. Whitaker of Washington. J. A. Anderson of St. Louis was placed fourth by winning from Stasch Mlotkowski in the final round. Mlotkowski, who had won a set match from Anderson in St. Louis, played much below his form. Harry Borochow of Los Angeles of whom much was expected, also fared poorly."

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 Samuel Reshevsky X = 1 1 = 1 1 1 = 1 7.5 2 Samuel D Factor = X = 1 1 = = 1 1 1 7.0 3 Norman Tweed Whitaker 0 = X = 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 4 James Allan Anderson 0 0 = X = 1 = 1 1 1 5.5 5 G E Rundell = 0 0 = X = 1 1 = 1 5.0 6 Stasch Mlotkowski 0 = 0 0 = X 1 = 1 1 4.5 7 Harry Borochow 0 = 0 = 0 0 X 1 1 1 4.0 8 Arnold Davis 0 0 0 0 0 = 0 X 1 1 2.5 9 George Samuel Barnes = 0 0 0 = 0 0 0 X 1 2.0 10 Wilber 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0.0

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<MILESTONES>

10: Norman Tweed Whitaker

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<Sources>:

American Chess Bulletin, November 1931, p. 170-171.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 15, 1931, p.30

Chess Results 1931-1935 / Gino di Felice, p.53 (corrected).

http://www.chessarch.com/library/00... article by John Hilbert on the animosity between Norman T. Whitaker and NCF President Maurice Kuhns

Thanks to <crawfb5> for tracking down and submitting several games by Reshevsky.

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PREVIOUS: Game Collection: US Open 1930, Chicago = 31st Western Champ.

NEXT: Game Collection: US Open 1932, Minneapolis = 33rd Western Champ.

SEE ALSO: Game Collection: US Open Tournament Index

Round 1 (Monday, October 5)
Reshevsky vs Wilber, 1931 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 19 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Tuesday, October 6)
Reshevsky vs S Mlotkowski, 1931 
(A06) Reti Opening, 68 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Wednesday, October 7)
Reshevsky vs H Borochow, 1931
(A15) English, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Tuesday, October 8)
J A Anderson vs Reshevsky, 1931
(A47) Queen's Indian, 20 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Saturday, October 10)
G S Barnes vs Reshevsky, 1931
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Sunday, October 11)
N Whitaker vs Reshevsky, 1931
(C22) Center Game, 69 moves, 0-1

H Borochow vs Factor, 1931
(C29) Vienna Gambit, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

S Mlotkowski vs J A Anderson, 1931
(B12) Caro-Kann Defense, 72 moves, 0-1

N Whitaker vs S Mlotkowski, 1931
(C68) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, 68 moves, 1-0

H Borochow vs N Whitaker, 1931
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 45 moves, 0-1

N Whitaker vs G E Rundell, 1931
(B07) Pirc, 14 moves, 1-0

11 games

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