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US Open 1940, Dallas
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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The 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.

The "New York Times printed results for all rounds in the preliminaries except round 2, so it has been possible to construct complete crosstables and present a summary of the action.

41st US Open
<Dallas, Texas>
<August 19-28, 1940>

Preliminary Section 1

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 Weaver warren Adams * 1 = 1 = 1 1 1 1 7.0 Championship Final 2 Erich Watkinson Marchand 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7.0 Championshp Final 3 William N Kendall = 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 Championship Final 4 Dan E Mayers 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 5.0 Consolati9on 5 George Sturgis = 0 0 0 * 1 1 1 1 4.5 Consolation 6 Walter F Brown 0 0 0 0 0 * = 1 1 2.5 7 C B Cook 0 0 0 0 0 = * 0 1 1.5 Class A 8 Albert Meyer 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 0 1.0 Class A 9 Robert B M Potter 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 1.0 Class A

Round 1 (Monday, August 19): Mayers 0 Kendall; Meyer 0 Potter; marchand 1 Cook; Sturgis 1 Brown; Adams - bye

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20): Adams 1 Marchand; Kendall 1 Sturgis; Cook 0 Mayers; Brown 0 Meyer; Potter - bye

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 20): Sturgis 1 Cook; Mayers 0 Adams; Meyer 0 Kendall; Potter 0 Brown; Marchand - bye

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 21): Kendall 1 Potter; Cook 0 Meyer; Adams 1/2 Sturgis; Marchand 1 Mayers; Brown - bye

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 21): Brown 0 Kendall; Meyer 0 Adams; Potter 0 Cook; Sturgis 0 Marchand; Mayers - bye

Rouind 6 (Thursday, August 22): Cook 1/2 Brown; Adams 1 Potter; Marchand 1 Meyer; Mayers 1 Sturgis; Kendall - bye

Round 7 (Thursday, August 22): Meyer 0 Mayers; Potter 0 Marchand; Brown 0 Adams; kendall 1 Cook; Sturgis - bye

Round 8 (Friday, August 23): Marchand 1 Brown; Mayers 1 Potter; Sturgis 1 Meyer; Adams 1/2 Kendall; Cook - bye

Round 9 (Friday, August 23): Potter 1 Sturgis; Brown 0 Mayers; Kendall 0 Marchand; Cook 0 Adams; meyer - bye

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. He won his first six games and drew with Adams before a last-round loss to Marchand dropped him to third.

Preliminary Section 2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 Reuben Fine * = = = 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 Championship 2 John Charles Thompson = * 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 6.5 Championship 3 Arpad Elo = 1 * 0 = 1 1 1 1 6.0 Championship 4 Albert Roddy = 0 1 * = 0 1 1 1 5.0 Consolation 5 Joseph Lyon Rauch 0 0 = = * = 1 1 1 4.5 Consolation 6 Edgar Hartsfield 0 0 0 1 = * 1 1 1 4.5 Consolation 7 R S Underwood 0 0 0 0 0 0 * = 1 1.5 Class A 8 Kirk D Holland 0 0 0 0 0 0 = * 1 1.5 Class A 9 Robert Durahm Allentharp 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 * 0.0 Class A

Round 1 (Monday, August 19): Rauch 1/2 Elo; Roddy 1 Allentharp; Thompson 1 Hartsfield; Holland 1/2 Underwood; Fine - bye

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20): Fine 1 Rauch; Elo 0 Roddy; Hartsfield 1 Holland; Allentharp 0 Thompson; Underwood - bye

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 20): Roddy 1/2 Fine; Thompson 0 Elo; Holland 1 Allentharp; Underwood 0 Hartsfie;d; Rauch - bye

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 21): Allentharp 0 Underhaill; Elo 1 Holland; Fine 1/2 Thompson; Rauch 1/2 Roddy; Hartsfield - bye

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 21): Holland 0 Fine; Underwood 0 Elo; Hartsfield 1 Allentharp; Thompson 1 Rauch; Roddy - bye

Round 6 (THursday, August 22): Fine 1 Underwood; Elo 1 Hartsfield; Rauch 1 Holland; Roddy 0 Thompson ; Allentharp - bye

Round 7 (THursday, August 22): Holland 0 Roddy; Underwood 0 Rauch; Hartsfield 0 Fine; Allentharp 0 Elo; Thompson - bye

Round 8 (Friday, August 23): Fime 1 Allentharp; Thompson 1 Holland; Roddy 1 Underwood; Rauch 1/2 Hartsfield; Elo - bye

Round 9 (Friday, August 23): Underwood 0 Thompson; Elo 1/2 Fine; Allentharp 0 Rauch; Hartsfield 1 Roddy; Holland - bye

This section settled nicely into three groups. 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. ROddy stayed with the leaders until a last-round loss; his draw with Fine is recommended viewing.

Preliminary Section 3

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 Herman Steiner * = 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 7.0 Championship 2 Harold burdge = * 1 = = 1 = 1 1 6.0 Championship 3 Jesse William Stapp 0 0 * 1 = 1 1 1 1 5.5 4 Howard Ohman 0 = 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 5.5 Championshp 5 Chrles W Hrissikopoulos 0 = = 0 * 1 0 1 1 4.0 Consolation 6 Bela Rozsa = 0 0 0 0 * 1 = 1 3.0 Consolation 7 Ward Mayhew Parker Mitchell 0 = 0 0 1 0 * 1 0 2.5 Consolation 8 Edwin L Sanger 0 0 0 0 0 = 0 * 1 1.5 Class A 9 A D McNabb 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 * 1.0 Class A

Round 1 (Monday, August 19): Burdge 1 Stapp (see below); Ohman 1 Mitchll; Sanger 1 McNabb; Steiner 1/2 Rozsa; Hrissikopoulos - bye

Round 2 (Tuesday, August 20): Hrissikopoulos 1/2 Burdge; Stapp 1 Ohman; McNabb 1 Steiner; Mitche;; 1 Samger; Rozsa - bye

Round 3 (Tuesday, August 20): Ohman 1 Hrissikopoulos; Sanger 0 Stapp; Steiner 1 Mitchell; Rosza 1 McNabb; Brudge - bye

Round 4 (Wednesday, August 21): Mitchell 0 Rozsa; Stapp 0 Steiner; Hrissikopoulos 1 Sanger; Burdge 1/2 Ohman; mcNabb - bye

Round 5 (Wednesday, August 21): Sanger 0 Burdge; Steiner 1 Hrissikopoulos; Rozsa 0 Stapp; McNabb 1 Mitchell; Ohman - bye

Round 6 (Thursday, August 22): Stapp 1 McNabb; Burdge 1/2 Steiner; Ohman 1 Sanger; Hrissikopoulos 1 Rozsa; Mitchess - bye

Round 7 (Thursday, August 22): Rozsa 0 Burdge; McNabb 0 Hrissikopoulos; Mitchell 0 Stapp; Steiner 1 Ohman; Sanger - bye

Round 8 (Friday, August 23): Burdge 1 McNabb; Ohman 1 Rozsa; Sanger 0 Steiner; Hrissikopolous 0 Mitchell; Stapp - bye

Roun d8 (Friday, August 23): Rozsa 1/2 Sanger; McNabb 0 Ohman; Stapp 1/2 Hrissikopoulos; Mitchell 1/2 Burdge; Steiner - bye

This was the preliminary section with the most drama, the tie between Stapp and Ohman for the final qualifying spot coming about in a controversial manner. <Chess Review> reported the gory details:

"A curious situation developed in one of the games in which one player announced a mate in three, forgot to push his clock, his time ran out, and his opponent claimed the game on time forfeiture! Shortly thereafter the players agreed upon a draw. But this agreement was subsequently nullified by the tournament director because the game was of vital consequence to a third player. The final decision of the referee upheld the claim, to time forfeiture in spite of the announced mate in three. Moral: better complete your move in time even though you have mate on the move." (1)

The <New York TImes> mentions this incident as occurring in the round one game between Burdge and Stapp, The game was at first left as drawn, but the referee's decision gave Burdge a win by time forfeit, while Stapp was scheduled to play a tie-breaking game with Ohman for the spot in the Championship Final, (2). There is no record if this play-off game took place, but the eventual result was that Ohman played in the Championship and Stapp did not participate in the second part of the tournament.

And now, on 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. The daily reports in the <New York Times> became more meager as Fine piled up the points, with no summaries printed for round 2, 4, 6, and 7. I have been able to reconstruct the following with the help of Woodger and other information from the NYT, but cannot guarantee its total accuracy, particularly with colors. It was not possible to reconstruct the round-by-round results for the Consolation and Class A sections.

Round 1 (Saturday, August 24): Steiner 0 Adams; Elo 1/2 Marchand; Burdge 0 Fine; Ohman 1/2 Kendall; Thompson - bye

Round 2 (Sunday, August 25): Fine 1 Ohman; Kendall 1 Elo; Thompson 1 Burdge; Steiner 1 Marchand; Adams - bye

Round 3 (Sunday, August 25): Elo 0 Fine; steiner 0 Kendall; Ohman 1/2 Thompson; Adams 0 Marchand; Burdge - bye

Round 4 (Monday, August 26): Fine 1 Steiner; Thompson 1 Elo; Kendall 0 Adams; Burdge 0 Ohman; Marchand - bye

Round 5 (Monday, August 26): Adams 0 Fine; Steiner 1 Thompson; Marchand 1 Kendall; Elo 1 Burdge; Ohman - bye

Round 6 (Tuesday, August 27): Fine 1 Marchand; Ohman 1/2 Elo; Burdge 0 Steiner; Thompson 0 Adams; Kendall - bye

Round 7 (Tuesday, August 27): Kendall 0 Fine; Marchand 1/2 Thompson;Steiner 1 Ohman; Adams 0 Burdge; Elo - bye

Round 8 (Wednesday, August 28): Elo 0 Steiner; Ohman 0 Adams; Burdge 1/2 Marchand; Thompson 1/2 Kendall; Fine - bye

Round 9 (Wednesday, August 28): Fine 1 Thompson; Kendall 1/2 Burdge; Adams 1/2 Elo; Marchand 1/2 Ohman; Steiner - bye

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 most USCF Presidents play.

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 Edwin L 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 Robert Durham 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. McNabb deserves a lot of credit for sweeping the field after scoring 1.0/8 in the Preliminary. This was an all-Texas section, including Kirk D Holland, an important moving force in ACF circles who had relocated to Fort Worth. ("Chess Review" gives Underwood's final score as 4-3; the crosstable in ACB has been used instead.)

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NOTES

(1) Chess Review, October 1940, p. 147

(2) New York Times, August 24, 1940.

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Sources:

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

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 5, 1940. (BDE)

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

Chess Review, October 1940, p. 146-148. (CR)

New York Times, August 20-29, 1940 (NYT)

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

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PREVIOUS: Game Collection: US Open 1939, New York = 40th ACF Congress

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

SEE ALSO: Game Collection: US Open Tournament Index

Prelim 1, Rd.8 (CR 1940:147)
W Adams vs W Kendall, 1940 
(C26) Vienna, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Prelim 2, Rd.2 (NYT, 8/30/1940; Woodger #530)
Fine vs J Rauch, 1940
(A20) English, 40 moves, 1-0

Prelim. 2, Rd.2 (CR 1940:146)
A Elo vs Albert Roddy, 1940
(B58) Sicilian, 41 moves, 0-1

Prelim 2, Rd.3 (NYT, 8/30/1940; CR 1940:148)
Albert Roddy vs Fine, 1940 
(D38) Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary 2, Rd.4 (Woodger #532)
Fine vs J Thompson, 1940
(E10) Queen's Pawn Game, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Preliminary 2, Rd.5 (Woodger #534)
K Holland vs Fine, 1940
(D94) Grunfeld, 26 moves, 0-1

Preliminary 2, R5.6 ((Woodger #533)
Fine vs R Underwood, 1940
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 29 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Rd.7 (Woodger #535)
E Hartsfield vs Fine, 1940
(D80) Grunfeld, 38 moves, 0-1

Preliminary 2, Rd.8 (Woodger #536)
Fine vs R D Allentharp, 1940
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 39 moves, 1-0

Preliminary 2, Rd.9 (Woodger #537)
A Elo vs Fine, 1940
(C27) Vienna Game, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Prelim 3, Rd.1 (CR 1940:148)
H Steiner vs B Rozsa, 1940
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Championship, Rd.1 (Woodger #538)
H Burdge vs Fine, 1940 
(E33) Nimzo-Indian, Classical, 79 moves, 0-1

Championship, Rd.2 (Woodger #539)
Fine vs H Ohman, 1940
(D23) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 35 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.3 (BDE 9/26/1940)
A Elo vs Fine, 1940 
(B20) Sicilian, 35 moves, 0-1

Championship Rd. 3 (BDE 9/5/1940)
W Adams vs E W Marchand, 1940
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 43 moves, 0-1

Championship, Rd.4 (Woodger #540)
Fine vs H Steiner, 1940
(E49) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Botvinnik System, 39 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.4 (CR 1940:183)
J Thompson vs A Elo, 1940
(C86) Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack, 38 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.5 (Woodger #541)
W Adams vs Fine, 1940
(C24) Bishop's Opening, 33 moves, 0-1

Championship, Rd. 5 (CR 1940:183)
H Steiner vs J Thompson, 1940 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 13 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.5 (CR 1940:147)
A Elo vs H Burdge, 1940 
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 23 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.6 (Woodger #542)
Fine vs E W Marchand, 1940
(A06) Reti Opening, 39 moves, 1-0

Championship, Rd.7 (Woodger #543)
W Kendall vs Fine, 1940 
(C11) French, 17 moves, 0-1

Championship, Rd.9 (Woodger #544)
Fine vs J Thompson, 1940 
(C83) Ruy Lopez, Open, 15 moves, 1-0

23 games

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