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1951 US Championship
Compiled by crawfb5
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For links to other post-Marshall and pre-Fischer US championship collections, see Game Collection: US championship tournaments (meta).

missing Round 8 Hanauer-Shainswit draw

Held at the Hotel Empire in New York 5-19 Aug 1951 and directed by Hans Kmoch. No players were seeded directly into the finals, but competed in four six-player preliminary sections. Mengarini, Horowitz, and Shainswit qualified out of Group A, while in Group B, Bernstein and Reshevsky qualified and Santasiere advanced over Shipman by way of a coin toss tie breaker. Evans, Seidman, and Simonson qualified out of Group C, and Pinkus, Pavey, and Hanauer qualified out of Group D.

This would be the only US championship prior to the emergence of Robert James Fischer in which Reshevsky would play but not place first.

THE PLAYERS

Larry Melvyn Evans -- Evans may have only been 19 when he won the 1951 US championship, but by that time he had accomplished quite a bit. He won the Marshall Chess Club championship at 15, had tied for second in the US Junior championship one year and tied for first the following year. Evans had just won the 1951 US Open right before the 1951 US championship. He had also won a gold medal as second reserve board at the 1950 Olympiad in Dubrovnik. Evans would play in eight Olympiads, winning three individual medals (gold, silver, bronze) and two team medals (gold, silver) over the years 1950-1976 (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/a4...).

Samuel Reshevsky -- Reshevsky was a famous child prodigy who gave up competitive play for several years to focus on his education. After returning to active play in the 1930s, Reshevsky dominated the US championship until the ascendence of Robert James Fischer in the late 1950s. Reshevsky had an unusually long playing career. Reshevsky played on eight US Olympiad teams, winning one team gold, one team bronze, and one individual bronze medal (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/mg...).

Max Pavey -- Pavey played in two USA v USSR matches (third board in 1954 and sixth board in 1955). He was NY state champion once and Manhattan Chess Club champion once. He finished high in several US Opens, but did not win one. 1951 would be his highest finish (3rd) in a US championship. Pavey is known for a couple of early wins against Fischer, a simul win and Fischer vs M Pavey, 1956.

Herbert Seidman -- Seidman played in several US championships. He was NY state champion twice and played in the 1945 USA v USSR radio match (board 8).

Israel Albert Horowitz -- Horowitz was long-time editor of <Chess Review>, chess editor of the <New York Times> for many years, author of a number of chess books, and a fixture in US tournaments, particularly those in the northeast. He won the US Open in 1936, 1938, and 1943. Horowitz played on four US Olympiad teams, winning three team and two individual gold medals (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/sw...).

Sidney Norman Bernstein -- Bernstein was active in and around New York City and played in eight US championship tournaments.

Anthony Santasiere -- Santasiere would win the NY state championship several times and the 1945 US Open.

Ariel Mengarini -- Mengarini won the 1943 US Amateur championship with a perfect 11-0 score.

George Shainswit -- Shainswit played in five US championships and was a member of the 1950 US Olympiad team (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/b7...).

Milton Loeb Hanauer -- Hanauer played on one US Olympiad team, winning a team silver medal (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/7x...).

Albert Pinkus -- Pinkus was Manhattan Chess club champion twice, and NY state champion once. Pinkus played in the 1945 USA v USSR radio match. He played in five US championships.

Albert Charles Simonson -- Simonson was the reserve on the gold-medal US team at the 1933 Folkstone Olympiad (http://www.olimpbase.org/players/ks...). Simonson also finished second in the 1936 US championship, a half point behind Reshevsky and a half point ahead of Fine.

THE CROSSTABLE

E R P S H B S M S H P S Evans X = = 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 9.5 Reshevsky = X = 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 = 1 8.5 Pavey = = X = = = 1 1 1 = 0 1 7 Seidman 0 0 = X 1 0 = 1 = 1 1 1 6.5 Horowitz 0 0 = 0 X 0 = 1 = 1 1 1 5.5 Bernstein 0 0 = 1 1 X = 1 = 0 = 0 5 Santasiere 0 0 0 = = = X = = 1 1 = 5 Mengarini 0 1 0 0 0 0 = X 1 = = 1 4.5 Shainswit 0 0 0 = = = = 0 X = = 1 4 Hanauer 0 0 = 0 0 1 0 = = X = = 3.5 Pinkus 0 = 1 0 0 = 0 = = = X 0 3.5 Simonson = 0 0 0 0 1 = 0 0 = 1 X 3.5

THE RACE

ROUND 1

The tournament started off with excitement, with all six games being decisive. Evans sacrificed a Rook against Santasiere (Larry Evans vs Santasiere, 1951) for an attack. In annotating the game later, Kmoch thought 24. Nh6+ was the wiser course, primarily because after 26. f6? Black missed the resource 26...Qa4! which leads to complications in a roughly equal game. However, according to Houdini, 26. Bh6! maintains a winning advantage. Reshevsky won a nice game from Horowitz (I A Horowitz vs Reshevsky, 1951) by trading his Queen for three minor pieces in the opening. Seidman, Shainswit, and Bernstein also won. Pinkus eventually beat Pavey, but it would take some time to complete the longest game of the tournament at 101 moves.

ROUND 2

Evans beat Shainswit, Reshevsky won against Simonson, and Seidman beat Horowitz, so these three were now leading with 2-0. The three remaining games were drawn.

ROUND 3

Evans and Reshevsky had a quick, quiet draw, but Seidman won against Simonson, putting Seidman alone in the lead with 3-0. Bernstein drew with Shainswit, keeping him a point behind Seidman, and a half point behind Evans and Reshevsky.

ROUND 4

Evans beat Seidman and Reshevsky won against Bernstein, establishing Evans and Reshevsky as the front runners, with Seidman a half point behind. Pavey won against Santasiere, improving on the slow start Pavey had, with a loss and a draw in the first two rounds. He was now one point behind the leaders. Mengarini and Hanauer drew, their second in four rounds. Neither had yet won a game, although Simonson with four straight losses was having an even worse start.

ROUND 5

Evans threw away a winning advantage against Horowitz with 35. b7? but Horowitz returned the favor with 40...Rg3??, allowing a nice finish (Larry Evans vs I A Horowitz, 1951). Reshevsky was lucky to escape with a draw against Pinkus (Pinkus vs Reshevsky, 1951). Houdini evaluates 25. hxg5 (instead of 25. exf6) hxg5 26. Qh3 as winning. This double stroke of good luck for Evans left him in sole possession of first place with 4.5-0.5. Pavey won against Shainswit, keeping him a point behind Evans. Bernstein won against Seidman, leaving both at 3-2. Simonson finally avoided a loss by drawing with Hanauer.

ROUND 6

Evans had to fight for a draw against the tailender Simonson in the surprise game of the round (A Simonson vs Larry Evans, 1951). Reshevsky's game was postponed several days, but he only drew against Pavey, so Evans remained in the lead by a half point and Pavey remained a half point behind Reshevsky. Bernstein beat Horowitz, and Seidman won against Pinkus, so both joined Pavey at 4-2, a point off the pace.

ROUND 7

Evans won against Hanauer, but in the surprise game of the tournament, Mengarini beat Reshevsky (A Mengarini vs Reshevsky, 1951)! This was the only game from the event published in the NY Times coverage (13 Aug 1951). Reshevsky's last loss in a US championship was in 1936 (although Reshevsky did lose two games to Kashdan in their 1942 playoff match Game Collection: 1942 US championship playoff match). More importantly, it game Evans a point and a half lead over Reshevsky with only four rounds remaining. Pavey and Seidman drew, which pulled them even with Reshevsky in second place with 4.5-1.5. Simonson won his first game, against Bernstein, which dropped Bernstein to fifth at 4-2.

ROUND 8

Evans won against Bernstein and Reshevsky beat Santasiere to maintain a point and a half gap with only three rounds remaining. Bernstein's loss to Evans put him further behind, as Seidman won against Mengarini to remain tied with Reshevsky in second place. Pavey slipped against Horowitz in the tragi-comic game of the tournament (I A Horowitz vs M Pavey, 1951) by playing 79...Qxf3+?? in a winning position, allowing Horowitz a neat stalemate trick.

ROUND 9

Evan won against Pinkus and Reshevsky beat Shainswit, so Evans maintained a point and a half lead with only two rounds to play. Seidman could only draw against Santasiere, so Pavey's win against Simonson pulled him even with Seidman at 6-3, tied for third place. Hanauer won against Bernstein, which ended any hopes Bernstein might have had for third place.

ROUND 10

Evans drew against Pavey while Reshevsky closed the gap by beating Hanauer, but with only one remaining round, it was too little too late. Reshevsky would have to win in the last round and Evans would have to lose for Reshevsky to share first place. Seidman drew against Shainswit, so Seidman and Pavey remained tied for third place.

ROUND 11

Reshevsky achieved the first half of his goal by winning against Seidman, but Evans won against Mengarini, so Evans took first by a full point with Reshevsky clear second. Pavey's draw with Bernstein pulled him ahead of Seidman, who had lost to Reshevsky, so Pavey finished as clear third. This was a good result given that Pavey was only 0.5-1.5 after the first two rounds.

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs Santasiere, 1951
(E44) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 5.Ne2, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs Reshevsky, 1951 
(B72) Sicilian, Dragon, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
Seidman vs M L Hanauer, 1951
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs Shainswit, 1951
(A13) English, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs A Mengarini, 1951
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 1 -- 5 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs M Pavey, 1951 
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 102 moves, 1-0

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
Shainswit vs Larry Evans, 1951
(D97) Grunfeld, Russian, 38 moves, 0-1

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
Reshevsky vs A Simonson, 1951 
(D35) Queen's Gambit Declined, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
Seidman vs I A Horowitz, 1951
(B74) Sicilian, Dragon, Classical, 44 moves, 1-0

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
Santasiere vs S Bernstein, 1951
(C32) King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
A Mengarini vs Pinkus, 1951
(D18) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Dutch, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 -- 6 Aug 1951
M L Hanauer vs M Pavey, 1951
(A22) English, 35 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs Reshevsky, 1951 
(E46) Nimzo-Indian, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs Seidman, 1951
(A15) English, 59 moves, 0-1

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs M L Hanauer, 1951
(B14) Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack, 44 moves, 1-0

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs Shainswit, 1951
(C45) Scotch Game, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs Santasiere, 1951
(E43) Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation, 30 moves, 0-1

Round 3 -- 7 Aug 1951
M Pavey vs A Mengarini, 1951
(D51) Queen's Gambit Declined, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
Seidman vs Larry Evans, 1951
(B91) Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation, 43 moves, 0-1

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
Reshevsky vs S Bernstein, 1951
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs A Simonson, 1951
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
Shainswit vs Pinkus, 1951
(A13) English, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
Santasiere vs M Pavey, 1951
(A16) English, 28 moves, 0-1

Round 4 -- 8 Aug 1951
M L Hanauer vs A Mengarini, 1951
(A20) English, 48 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs I A Horowitz, 1951 
(E72) King's Indian, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs Reshevsky, 1951
(B72) Sicilian, Dragon, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs Seidman, 1951
(D85) Grunfeld, 64 moves, 1-0

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs M L Hanauer, 1951
(A04) Reti Opening, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
M Pavey vs Shainswit, 1951
(D22) Queen's Gambit Accepted, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 5 -- 9 Aug 1951
A Mengarini vs Santasiere, 1951
(D77) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O, 45 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 -- 11 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs Larry Evans, 1951 
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 -- postponed -- played 14 Aug 1951
Reshevsky vs M Pavey, 1951
(D43) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 -- 11 Aug 1951
Seidman vs Pinkus, 1951
(C59) Two Knights, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 6 -- 11 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs S Bernstein, 1951
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 6 -- 11 Aug 1951
Shainswit vs A Mengarini, 1951
(A53) Old Indian, 51 moves, 0-1

Round 6 -- 11 Aug 1951
M L Hanauer vs Santasiere, 1951
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs M L Hanauer, 1951 
(D50) Queen's Gambit Declined, 43 moves, 1-0

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
A Mengarini vs Reshevsky, 1951 
(B71) Sicilian, Dragon, Levenfish Variation, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
M Pavey vs Seidman, 1951
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs I A Horowitz, 1951
(B01) Scandinavian, 53 moves, 0-1

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs A Simonson, 1951
(C18) French, Winawer, 45 moves, 0-1

Round 7 -- 12 Aug 1951
Santasiere vs Shainswit, 1951
(B56) Sicilian, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 -- 13 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs S Bernstein, 1951
(D49) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 8 -- 13 Aug 1951
Reshevsky vs Santasiere, 1951
(E45) Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Bronstein (Byrne) Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 8 -- 13 Aug 1951
Seidman vs A Mengarini, 1951
(C51) Evans Gambit, 26 moves, 1-0

Round 8 -- 13 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs M Pavey, 1951 
(E17) Queen's Indian, 78 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 -- postponed -- played 14 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs Pinkus, 1951
(D46) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 24 moves, 1-0

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs Larry Evans, 1951
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 61 moves, 0-1

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
Shainswit vs Reshevsky, 1951
(E02) Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4, 31 moves, 0-1

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
Santasiere vs Seidman, 1951
(A12) English with b3, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
A Mengarini vs I A Horowitz, 1951
(A02) Bird's Opening, 25 moves, 0-1

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
M Pavey vs A Simonson, 1951
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 9 -- 15 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs M L Hanauer, 1951
(B01) Scandinavian, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
Larry Evans vs M Pavey, 1951
(E72) King's Indian, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
M L Hanauer vs Reshevsky, 1951
(E67) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 29 moves, 0-1

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
Seidman vs Shainswit, 1951
(C10) French, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
I A Horowitz vs Santasiere, 1951
(E17) Queen's Indian, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
A Simonson vs A Mengarini, 1951
(D02) Queen's Pawn Game, 36 moves, 0-1

Round 10 -- 16 Aug 1951
S Bernstein vs Pinkus, 1951
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 36 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
A Mengarini vs Larry Evans, 1951 
(D45) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 60 moves, 0-1

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
Reshevsky vs Seidman, 1951 
(A52) Budapest Gambit, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
Shainswit vs I A Horowitz, 1951
(E94) King's Indian, Orthodox, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
Santasiere vs A Simonson, 1951
(A15) English, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
M Pavey vs S Bernstein, 1951
(D32) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 -- 19 Aug 1951
Pinkus vs M L Hanauer, 1951
(B18) Caro-Kann, Classical, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

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