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US Open 1928, South Bend = 29th Western Champ.
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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<29th Western Championship South Bend, Indiana
August 20-28, 1928>

The National Chess Federation of the U.S.A. was beginning to stand on its own. It had affiliated with FIDE, become involved in sanctioning and supporting trips to oversea tournaments by U.S. masters, and organized its own championship at Bradley Beach in September. The Western Chess Association slipped back into a regional role, and its championship became a relatively weak event for several years.

The tournament was held at the Chamber of Commerce Building in South Bend, Indiana, and provided the answer to the trivia question, "Who was the only player to make a perfect score in the US Open?" Reuben Fine once swept the final championship section, but he conceded a couple of draws in preliminary play. No, it was 1926 champion <Leon Stolzenberg> who pulled off the feat, but with all due respect to him this was possibly the weakest field ever to show up for the Western Championship.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Leon Stolzenberg X 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 2 John Winter 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 5.5 3 Eugene J Roesch 0 X 1 0 1 1 4.0 4 Bertram Claude Jenkines 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 3.5 5 Robert Scrivener 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 3.5 6 Reuben Merritt Ballenger 0 0 1 0 X 1 3.0 7 Andrew Hansen Palmi 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1.5 8 Culver Carpenter 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0.0

1st: Stolzenberg $150
2nd: Winter $100
3rd: Roesch $75

A minor tournament was also held, all the players being from South Bend:

1-2 Stevenson 7.0 1-2 Slick 7.0 3 Turner 6.0 4 Johnson 4.0 5 DeVries 3.5 6-7 Verin 3.0 6-7 Ball 3.0 8 Ridenour 2.5 9 Harmon 0.0

First place was a gold knife, second place a year's subscription to the "American Chess Bulletin". How the tie was broken is not specified, but personally I would have tried to lose it.

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The Lion of Detroit http://www.michess.org/interim/maga...

An obiturary of Leon Stolzenberg, with photos, begins on p.3. Any two-time winner of the Western deserves a little respect.

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<Sources>:

American Chess Bulletin, September/October 1928, p.145-146.

<Chess Results 1921-1930. / Gino di Felice, p.216.

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NEXT: Game Collection: US Open 1929, St. Louis = 30th Western Champ.

SEE ALSO: Game Collection: US Open Tournament Index

Filler game for indexing purposes
B South vs T Neshan, 1980 
(B20) Sicilian, 10 moves, 1-0

Filler game for indexing purposes
E Bhend vs H Kramer, 1952
(B58) Sicilian, 55 moves, 1-0

Filler game for indexing purposes
J Westman vs H Westerinen, 1961 
(C13) French, 38 moves, 0-1

3 games

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