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US Open 1940, Dallas
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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<41st US Open
Dallas, Texas
August 19-28, 1940>

The first USCF Open didn't get off to a great start, with only 27 participants. Dallas proved a bit too far out of the way for most of the regulars, something which became a recurrent problem as the national scope of the event often moved it away from familiar areas. The war in Europe was probably distracting as well, and may have discouraged extensive travel. Also, the dates conflicted with the New York State Chess Association championship, further weakening the contingent from that state.

And then there's this little news filler from the <Brooklyn Daily Eagle> on Saturday, August 24, 1940:

"This modern mania for speed even has hit chess. Rules of the United States Chess Federation tournament require each player to complete 40 moves in two hours."

And with <no> increments! Horrors!! (In reality, 40/2 had been the tournament time limit for some time.)

The field was split into three preliminary sections, with pre-tournament favorites Fine, Steiner, and Adams seeded into different groups. The top three from each preliminary qualified for the championship final.

Preliminary Section 1

1 Weaver Warren Adams 7.0 Championship 2 Erich Watkinson Marchand 7.0 Championship 3 William N Kendall 6.5 Championship 4 Dan E Mayers 5.0 Consolation 5 George Sturgis 4.5 Consolation 6 Walter F Brown 2.5 7 C B Cook 1.5 Class A 8 Albert Meyer 1.0 Class A 9 Robert B M Potter 1.0 Class A

Adams and Marchand have been here before; Kendall was part of the new blood from Texas that hadn't had a chance to play in previous tournaments.

Preliminary Section 2

1 Reuben Fine 6.5 Championship 2 John Charles Thompson 6.5 Championship 3 Arpad Elo 6.0 Championship 4 Albert Roddy 5.0 Consolation 5 Joseph Lyon Rauch 4.5 Consolation 6 Edgar Hartsfield 4.5 Consolation 7 Kirk D Holland 1.5 Class A 8 R S Underwood 1.5 Class A 9 R D Allentharp 0.0 Class A

Fine took it easy, as was his practice in preliminary sections, drawing with the next three players in the crosstable. Thompson was another top Texas player of the time, and also helped organized the tournament. Elo rated to make it as well.

Preliminary Section 3

1 Herman Steiner 7.0 Championship 2 Harold Burdge 6.0 Championship 3 Howard Ohman 5.5 Championship 4 J W Stapp 5.5 5 Charles Hrissikopoulos 4.0 Consolation 6 Bela Rozsa 3.0 Consolation 7 Ward Mayhew Parker Mitchell 2.5 Consolation 8 Edwin L Sanger 1.5 Class A 9 A D McNabb 1.0 Class A

Burdge was from Ventnor City, New Jersey, while Ohman was a veteran player from Nebraska. No idea how the tie between Ohman and Stapp was broken, but the latter didn't play in the second part of the tournament.

So now, we cut to the chase.

Championship

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 Reuben Fine X 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8.0 2 Herman Steiner 0 X 0 1 0 1 1 1 1 5.0 3 Weaver Warren Adams 0 1 X 0 1 1 1 0 4.5 4 Erich Watkinson Marchand 0 0 1 X 1 1 4.5 5 William N Kendall 0 1 0 0 X 1 3.5 6 John Charles Thompson 0 0 0 X 1 1 3.5 7 Arpad Elo 0 0 0 0 X 1 2.5 8 Howard Ohman 0 0 0 0 X 1 2.5 9 Harold Burdge 0 0 1 0 0 0 X 2.0

Some chase. Probably the most interesting event of the session was Steiner's second place finish after losing three of his first four games. Also fascinating was the performance of Weaver Adams, who had recently written the book "White to Play and Win". He scored 4/4 with Black, 0.5/4 with White!

Consolation Tournament

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 Joseph Lyon Rauch X 1 1 0 1 1 5.0 2 Edgar Hartsfield 0 X 0 1 1 1 1 4.5 3 Charles W Hrissikopoulos 1 X 0 1 4.0 4 Dan E Mayers 1 X 0 1 4.0 5 Albert Roddy 0 0 X 1 1 1 4.0 6 Bela Rozsa 1 0 0 X 0 1 3.0 7 George Sturgis 0 0 0 1 0 1 X 1 3.0 8 Ward Mayhew Parker Mitchell 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0.5

Rauch, from Montreal, surely won the Longest Distance Travelled prize. Hrissikopoulos was a local player from Corpus Christi. If you're into classical music trivia, you might recognize the name of Bela Rozsa, a pianist and college professor who had settled in Waco (later Tulsa, Oklahoma) and would be a force in Southwestern chess for many years. Sturgis played about the way the USCF President generally plays.

Class A

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 A D McNabb X 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 2 Kirk D Holland 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.0 3 R S Underwood 0 0 X 1 1 1 1 1 5.0 4 Robert B M Potter 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 1 4.0 5 E Sanger 0 0 0 0 X 1 1 1 3.0 6 C B Cook 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1 2.0 7 R N Allentharp 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 1 1.0 8 Albert Meyer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 X 0.0

A crosstable that was very easy to draw up. This was an all-Texas section, including Kirk D Holland, an important moving force in ACF circles who had relocated to Fort Worth.

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Sources:

American Chess Bulletin, September/October 1940, p. 86-87.

Chess Results 1936-1940 / Gino di Felice. p. 295-296.

Chess Review, October 1940, p. 146-148.

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

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NEXT: Game Collection: US Open 1941, St. Louis

SEE ALSO: Game Collection: US Open Index Collection

J Thompson vs A Elo, 1940
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 38 moves, 1-0

W Adams vs E W Marchand, 1940
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 43 moves, 0-1

Championship, Round 3 (Sunday, August 25)
A Elo vs Fine, 1940 
(B20) Sicilian, 35 moves, 0-1

A Elo vs Albert Roddy, 1940
(B58) Sicilian, 41 moves, 0-1

W Adams vs W Kendall, 1940
(C26) Vienna, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

A Elo vs H Burdge, 1940 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20)
Albert Roddy vs Fine, 1940 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

H Steiner vs B Rozsa, 1940
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary 2, Round 1 (Monday, August 19)
Fine vs J Rauch, 1940
(A20) English, 40 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Round 3 (Tuesday, August 20)
Fine vs J Thompson, 1940
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary 2, Round 4 (Wednesday, August 21)
Fine vs R Underwood, 1940
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Round 5 (Wednesday, August 21)
K Holland vs Fine, 1940
(D94) Grunfeld, 26 moves, 0-1

Preliminary 2, Round 6 (Thursday, August 22)
E Hartsfield vs Fine, 1940
(D80) Grunfeld, 38 moves, 0-1

Preliminary 2, Round 7 (Thursday, August 22)
Fine vs R D Allentharp, 1940
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 39 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Round 8 (Friday, August 23)
A Elo vs Fine, 1940
(C27) Vienna Game, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Championship, Round 1 (Saturday, August 24)
H Burdge vs Fine, 1940 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 79 moves, 0-1

Championship, Round 2 (Saturday, August 24)
Fine vs H Ohman, 1940
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 35 moves, 1-0

Championship, Round 4 (Sunday, August 25)
Fine vs H Steiner, 1940
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 39 moves, 1-0

Championship, Round 5 (Monday, August 26)
W Adams vs Fine, 1940
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 33 moves, 0-1

Championship, Round 6 (Monday, August 26)
Fine vs E W Marchand, 1940
(A06) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1-0

Championship, Round 7 (Tuesday, August 27)
W Kendall vs Fine, 1940 
(C11) French, 17 moves, 0-1

Championship, Round 9 (Wednesday, August 28)
Fine vs J Thompson, 1940 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 15 moves, 1-0

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