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US Championship 1972
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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1972 US Championship
New York, NY
April 23-May 14, 1972

The 1972 US Championship was attractive on two counts. With Fischer busy getting ready for that Spassky thing, everybody else had a better chance to win. More importantly this was a Zonal year, so the top two finishers would qualify for the Interzonals beginning in 1973. These fellows took advantage of the opportunity:

Pal Benko Arthur Bisguier Robert Eugene Byrne Gregory S DeFotis Larry Melvyn Evans Arthur Feuerstein Israel Albert Horowitz Larry Kaufman Lubomir Kavalek William James Lombardy William E Martz Edmar J Mednis Orest Popovych Samuel Reshevsky

Featured were former champions in Reshevsky, Evans, and Bisguier; plus perpetual contenders like Benko, Lombardy, and Robert Byrne who had always fallen just a bit short. There was also the usual mixture of also-rans and young contenders, plus a sentimental choice in Al Horowitz, a near-champion back in the 30s and 40s who was actually older than Reshevsky.

Finally, there was GM Lubomir Kavalek, recently arrived from Czechoslovakia and playing in his first US Championship. He had a little something to say about the proceedings.

Reshevsky took the early lead with 5.5/6, but a round 7 loss to Kavalek left them tied, a point ahead of Byrne, Kaufman, and Lombardy. Reshevsky snuck out in front again, but a round 9 loss to Byrne left them tied for second place a half-point behind Kavalek. Lombardy continued to shadow the leaders, while Kaufman sank without a trace after meeting Reshevsky, Kavalek and Byrne in successive rounds.

By the end of round 12 Byrne, Kavalek and Reshesky sat at the top, a full point ahead of Benko, Evans, and Lombardy. Lombardy should have been only a half-point behind, but had thrown away a beginner-level perpetual check against Evans in round 11 due to time pressure which he later blamed on not being told his clock was running while he was away from the board.

The three leaders all had Black in the last round, and all drew with neither danger nor serious chances to win.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 1 Byrne * = 1 = = = = 1 = = 1 1 1 = 9.0 2 Kavalek = * 1 = = = = 1 = = 1 = 1 1 9.0 3 Reshevsky 0 0 * = = = 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 9.0 4 Evans = = = * = = 1 = 0 1 = 1 1 1 8.5 5 Benko = = = = * = = = = = 1 = 1 1 8.0 6 DeFotis = = = = = * = 0 1 = 1 = 1 = 7.5 7 Lombardy = = 0 0 = = * = 1 1 1 1 0 1 7.5 8 Mednis 0 0 0 = = 1 = * = 1 = 1 = 1 7.0 9 Bisguier = = 0 1 = 0 0 = * = = 1 1 = 6.5 10 Martz = = = 0 = = 0 0 = * = 1 1 1 6.5 11 Kaufman 0 0 0 = 0 0 0 = = = * 1 1 1 5.0 12 Feuerstein 0 = 0 0 = = 0 0 0 0 0 * 1 = 3.0 13 Horowitz 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 = 0 0 0 0 * 1 2.5 14 Popovych = 0 0 0 0 = 0 0 = 0 0 = 0 * 2.0

The playoff for the two Interzonal spots was not held until early 1973. Kavalek was eliminated, sending Byrne to Leningrad Interzonal (1973) (from which he qualified for the Candidates) and Reshevesky to Petropolis Interzonal (1973) (where he gave Vladimir Savon the surprise of his life).

Prizes

1st-3rd: Byrne, Kavalek, Reshevsky $1316.67 4th: Evans $ 650.00 5th: Benko $ 500.00 6th-7th: DeFotis, Lombardy $ 350.00 8th: Mednis $ 200.00 9th-10th: Bisguier, Martz $ 142.50 11th: Kaufman $ 115.00 12th: Feuerstein $ 100.00 13th: Horowitz $ 100.00 14th: Popovych $ 100.00

<SOURCE>: "Title Chess: an account of the 1972 United States Chess Championship and Zonal Qualifer", by Burt Hochberg.


Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
I A Horowitz vs Kavalek, 1972 
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 24 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Popovych vs Lombardy, 1972
(B46) Sicilian, Taimanov Variation, 52 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Feuerstein vs Larry Evans, 1972 
(A49) King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Reshevsky vs Bisguier, 1972
(A06) Reti Opening, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Kaufman vs W Martz, 1972
(B36) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Robert E Byrne vs Mednis, 1972
(B68) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 9...Be7, 60 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, April 23)
Benko vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(A57) Benko Gambit, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
Kavalek vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(A10) English, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
Mednis vs Benko, 1972
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
W Martz vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(E77) King's Indian, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
Bisguier vs Kaufman, 1972
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
Larry Evans vs Reshevsky, 1972 
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
Lombardy vs Feuerstein, 1972
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Monday, April 24)
I A Horowitz vs Popovych, 1972
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 37 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Popovych vs Kavalek, 1972
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 40 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Feuerstein vs I A Horowitz, 1972 
(D36) Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Reshevsky vs Lombardy, 1972 
(A14) English, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Kaufman vs Larry Evans, 1972
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Robert E Byrne vs Bisguier, 1972
(C42) Petrov Defense, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
Benko vs W Martz, 1972
(B02) Alekhine's Defense, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Wednesday, April 26)
G S DeFotis vs Mednis, 1972
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
Kavalek vs Mednis, 1972 
(B09) Pirc, Austrian Attack, 39 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
W Martz vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(A10) English, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
Bisguier vs Benko, 1972
(B50) Sicilian, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
Larry Evans vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(E80) King's Indian, Samisch Variation, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
Lombardy vs Kaufman, 1972
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
I A Horowitz vs Reshevsky, 1972 
(B58) Sicilian, 35 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, April 27)
Popovych vs Feuerstein, 1972
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 24 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Feuerstein vs Kavalek, 1972
(A67) Benoni, Taimanov Variation, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Reshevsky vs Popovych, 1972
(E62) King's Indian, Fianchetto, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Kaufman vs I A Horowitz, 1972
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 73 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Robert E Byrne vs Lombardy, 1972
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Benko vs Larry Evans, 1972
(A04) Reti Opening, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
G S DeFotis vs Bisguier, 1972 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 31 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Sunday, April 30)
Mednis vs W Martz, 1972 
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Kavalek vs W Martz, 1972
(B03) Alekhine's Defense, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Bisguier vs Mednis, 1972
(B50) Sicilian, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Larry Evans vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(A58) Benko Gambit, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Lombardy vs Benko, 1972
(B50) Sicilian, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
I A Horowitz vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(E63) King's Indian, Fianchetto, Panno Variation, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Popovych vs Kaufman, 1972
(C35) King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham, 64 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Monday, May 1)
Feuerstein vs Reshevsky, 1972 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
Reshevsky vs Kavalek, 1972 
(D76) Neo-Grunfeld, 6.cd Nxd5, 7.O-O Nb6, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
Kaufman vs Feuerstein, 1972 
(E97) King's Indian, 54 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
Robert E Byrne vs Popovych, 1972 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
Benko vs I A Horowitz, 1972
(A08) King's Indian Attack, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
G S DeFotis vs Lombardy, 1972 
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
Mednis vs Larry Evans, 1972
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Wednesday, May 3)
W Martz vs Bisguier, 1972
(D06) Queen's Gambit Declined, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Kavalek vs Bisguier, 1972
(C42) Petrov Defense, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Larry Evans vs W Martz, 1972
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Lombardy vs Mednis, 1972
(D11) Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
I A Horowitz vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(B91) Sicilian, Najdorf, Zagreb (Fianchetto) Variation, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Popovych vs Benko, 1972
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Feuerstein vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(B62) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, 19 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Thursday, May 4)
Reshevsky vs Kaufman, 1972
(A05) Reti Opening, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
Kaufman vs Kavalek, 1972
(A21) English, 23 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
Robert E Byrne vs Reshevsky, 1972
(C42) Petrov Defense, 32 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
Benko vs Feuerstein, 1972
(C41) Philidor Defense, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
G S DeFotis vs Popovych, 1972
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
Mednis vs I A Horowitz, 1972 
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
W Martz vs Lombardy, 1972
(A84) Dutch, 40 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Sunday, May 7)
Bisguier vs Larry Evans, 1972 
(E70) King's Indian, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Kavalek vs Larry Evans, 1972
(A30) English, Symmetrical, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Lombardy vs Bisguier, 1972
(A28) English, 56 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
I A Horowitz vs W Martz, 1972
(A12) English with b3, 76 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Popovych vs Mednis, 1972
(C17) French, Winawer, Advance, 50 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Feuerstein vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(A80) Dutch, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Reshevsky vs Benko, 1972
(A17) English, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Monday, May 8)
Kaufman vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(C09) French, Tarrasch, Open Variation, Main line, 52 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Robert E Byrne vs Kavalek, 1972 
(B90) Sicilian, Najdorf, 78 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Benko vs Kaufman, 1972
(D47) Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, 39 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
G S DeFotis vs Reshevsky, 1972
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Mednis vs Feuerstein, 1972
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 28 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
W Martz vs Popovych, 1972
(E78) King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, with Be2 and Nf3, 67 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Bisguier vs I A Horowitz, 1972 
(D33) Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Larry Evans vs Lombardy, 1972  
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 60 moves, 1-0

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
Kavalek vs Lombardy, 1972
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
I A Horowitz vs Larry Evans, 1972
(A04) Reti Opening, 30 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
Popovych vs Bisguier, 1972
(C35) King's Gambit Accepted, Cunningham, 63 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
Feuerstein vs W Martz, 1972 
(A47) Queen's Indian, 75 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
Reshevsky vs Mednis, 1972
(A15) English, 47 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Wednesday, May 10)
Kaufman vs G S DeFotis, 1972
(B53) Sicilian, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Thursday, May 11)
Robert E Byrne vs Benko, 1972
(C41) Philidor Defense, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
Benko vs Kavalek, 1972
(B06) Robatsch, 26 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
G S DeFotis vs Robert E Byrne, 1972
(A45) Queen's Pawn Game, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
Mednis vs Kaufman, 1972
(B92) Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
W Martz vs Reshevsky, 1972
(E79) King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, Main line, 47 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
Bisguier vs Feuerstein, 1972
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 47 moves, 1-0

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
Larry Evans vs Popovych, 1972
(E91) King's Indian, 57 moves, 1-0

Round 13 (Sunday, May 14)
Lombardy vs I A Horowitz, 1972 
(A28) English, 40 moves, 0-1

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