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Newell Williams Banks
N Banks 
From Banks' Scientific Checkers (second edition, Detroit, 1929).  
Number of games in database: 35
Years covered: 1916 to 1937
Overall record: +4 -19 =12 (28.6%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
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A46 Queen's Pawn Game (5 games)
C68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange (3 games)
D02 Queen's Pawn Game (3 games)
D15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav (2 games)
B13 Caro-Kann, Exchange (2 games)
B73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical (2 games)
D43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (2 games)

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(born Oct-10-1887, died Feb-17-1977, 89 years old) United States of America

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Newell William Banks was an American checkers and chess player. His career in the game of checkers was astounding: he played his first game of blindfold checkers at age 5 at the Detroit Chess and Checker Club. In 1907, at 20, he won the US Checkers Championship. In 1934, he claimed the checkers World Championship title since Robert Stewart would not play in the competition; however, England still considered Stewart to be the champion. Banks set a new blindfold checkers speed record playing 62 games in four hours, winning 61 and 1 drawn at the Convention Hall, Detroit, Michigan.

Banks also played chess and is considered to be the only player of his era who mastered both games. In the Masters Invitational Chess Tournament in Chicago, 1926, Banks proved his mettle by defeating both Isaac Kashdan and Frank James Marshall.

Wikipedia article: Newell W. Banks and

Last updated: 2017-05-13 17:16:36

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 35  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. N Banks vs F K Perkins  ½-½511916Rice MemorialC42 Petrov Defense
2. N Banks vs Capablanca 0-1551916Rice MemorialC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
3. E Tennenwurzel vs N Banks  1-0261916Rice MemorialD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
4. Janowski vs N Banks  ½-½461916Rice MemorialD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
5. N Banks vs R T Black  0-1591916Rice MemorialB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
6. N Banks vs O Chajes  0-1431916Rice MemorialC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
7. A W Fox vs N Banks 1-0261916Rice MemorialC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
8. N Banks vs Kupchik 0-1271916Rice MemorialC41 Philidor Defense
9. J Bernstein vs N Banks  ½-½851916Rice MemorialC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. N Banks vs A Hodges  0-1571916Rice MemorialB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
11. J C Rosenthal vs N Banks  1-0511916Rice MemorialD05 Queen's Pawn Game
12. N Banks vs A Schroeder  ½-½261916Rice MemorialB01 Scandinavian
13. B Kostic vs N Banks  1-0571916Rice MemorialD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
14. Factor vs N Banks  ½-½55192425th Western ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
15. N Banks vs N Whitaker  ½-½57192425th Western ChampionshipD48 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav, Meran
16. W A Ruth vs N Banks  ½-½58192425th Western ChampionshipA22 English
17. N Banks vs M C Palmer  ½-½30192425th Western ChampionshipD43 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
18. N Banks vs I Spero  1-035192425th Western ChampionshipC68 Ruy Lopez, Exchange
19. Carlos Torre vs N Banks 1-0301924Western op, USAA46 Queen's Pawn Game
20. Factor vs N Banks  ½-½751926ChicagoD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. N Banks vs A J Fink  0-1351926ChicagoD02 Queen's Pawn Game
22. O Chajes vs N Banks ½-½671926ChicagoB12 Caro-Kann Defense
23. N Banks vs Kupchik  0-1591926ChicagoA46 Queen's Pawn Game
24. Carlos Torre vs N Banks 1-0741926ChicagoA46 Queen's Pawn Game
25. N Banks vs Maroczy 0-1611926ChicagoD02 Queen's Pawn Game
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 35  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Banks wins | Banks loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sneaky: This must be the guy from today's quote:

<In answering the question, "Which is the greater game, Chess or Checkers," I must, in all frankness, favor chess.

--- Newell Banks (World Checker Champion)>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: Newell W Banks
Born 10th October 1887 in Detroit Michigan, USA.

He was a child prodigy who learnt to play draughts (checkers) at the age of five. He became a feared competitor and had the ability to analyse original positions accurately. His achievements in blindfold play were extraordinary and he became recognised as American Match Champion. In 1922 he contested a World title match with Robert Stewart but narrowly lost +1 =37 -2. As can be seen from above he also played chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: I forgot to mention earlier that in 1926 in a tournament in Chicago he beat both Kashdan and Marshall. If anybody has access to these games could they load them into the database please. Thanks in advance.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Sorry to re-post... (almost 4 years later...)

<Sneaky: This must be the guy from today's quote: <In answering the question, "Which is the greater game, Chess or Checkers," I must, in all frankness, favor chess.

--- Newell Banks (World Checker Champion)>>

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Picture of Newell Williams Banks:
Oct-10-09  eightsquare: Happy Birthday to Newell Williams Banks!!
Jan-13-11  BobCrisp: In this picture, he looks like a cross between <Capablanca> and <Tony Hancock>:
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: The Battle Creek Enquirer, March 14th 1926, p.18:

<Because Newell Banks nearly went blind when he was 15 years old he did not become an electrical engineer, as he fondly wished, but became champion checker player of the continent, and beat the man who claimed the championship of the world at the game.

"You wouldn't think it, but I have only about one third of the natural vision now, and my left eye has only about 19 percent," he told an Enquirer and News representative who met him when he arrived in town Friday afternoon for his match here Friday night.

He can see well enough at a short distance for ordinary purposes, but is able to read very little, the fine print being too great a strain.

And that is why, finding early he could beat everybody he met at checkers, he was almost forced into the game for a livelihood. His natural ability at chess appears to be equal, but he has not given sufficient time to it to seek the championship, though he has often made better records on his tours than the best of them.


There is no recognized champion of the world in checkers, says Mr. Banks. In 1916 he played Alfred Jordan champion of Great Britain, who claimed the championship of the world. The match was at Los Angeles, where Banks beat Jordan three games to two, with 35 drawn.

Two years ago he lost to Stewart of Scotland two games to one, under conditions particularly trying to him, when the buildings were not heated, though the weather was cold, and he was suffering from a case of chronic rheumatism, contracted in the war, which visits him always in cold, damp weather.

Mr. Banks helped build Camp Custer, being in the office of the superintendent of construction, and afterwards spent a few months in camp before going overseas.

After the armistice he served for a long time in demolition work in France, doing the work of a major, when he superintended the destruction of all the ammunition "dumps" around Verdun and other parts of the war zone.>

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: The following is game number 197 from "The Golden Treasury of Chess" compiled by I. A. Horowitz. The game was supposedly played in January, 1917. The heading of the game: "When Checker Champions play Chess."

White: Alfred Jordan
Black: Newell Banks

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nd4 4 Nxe5 Qg5 5 Nxf7 Qxg2 6 Rf1 Qxe4+ 7 Be2 Nf3# 0-1.

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