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Member since Oct-10-04 · Last seen Aug-18-18
I live in Palm Bay, Florida. I have worked at Harris Corporation for over 21 years as an Information Systems Security Engineer (ISSE) and senior scientist, providing computer security for DoD, DOC, NASA, NOAA, and NWS programs. Retired Air Force officer (1970-1995) and chess enthusiast. - Bill Wall's Chess Page (hundreds of chess articles, chess links, resources, chess history, pgn collections, etc)

374 of my games and short bio at Bill Wall

non-chess page:

twitter (chess):

twitter (non-chess):

email: bill_wall(at)

>> Click here to see wwall's game collections. Full Member

   wwall has kibitzed 1208 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Aug-16-18 Smejkal vs I Zaitsev, 1970
wwall: So was Smejkal playing for a draw? Instead of 16.Nc3, it looks like White can win a pawn after 16.Qd5+ Kh8 17.Qxe4 (17.Qxa8 Bb7 18.Qa7 Ra8) 17...Ra7 18.Nc3 and White looks better. In the game, after 16...Rf5, 17.Qe8+ leads to perpetual check. He could have played 17.Qe2 or 17.Qd1. ...
   Aug-16-18 John Alan Grefe (replies)
wwall: In 1974, John Grefe was the first American to participate in an international chess tournament in Bulgaria since 1962 (Varna Chess Olympiad). He played at Sunny Beach (Slantchev Brieg), Bulgaria, scoring 8 out of 15 (won 2, lost 1, the rest drawn) and taking 11th place. The event was ...
   Aug-16-18 L Williams vs J A Grefe, 1969 (replies)
wwall: 15.Ng3?? is the losing move. Perhaps White should play 15.Nbc3 or 15.Qd2. After 15...Nxg4!, if 16.Bxg7 (16.hxg4 Bxb2, winning the rook), then 16...Nxe3 17.Qe1 Nxf1 18.Bxf8 Nxg3 19.Qxg3 Kxf8 or 19...Qxf8 wins for Black. If 16.Qd2, then 16...Qh4 17.hxg4 Qxg3+ 18.Kh1 Qh3+ 19.Kg1 Qxg4+ ...
   Aug-15-18 L Stolzenberg vs Ed. Lasker, 1921 (replies)
wwall: 19.Qf3 looks wrong. White should try 19.Bh5 f5 20.h3 or 19.h3. After 21...e3, if 22.fxe3, then 22...Rxd2! 23.Qxd2 Bxe3+. If 22.Nc4, then 22...Bd3. White played 22.Qf3 and Black played 22...exd2, but could have played 22...exf2 23.Kh1 (23.Bxf2 Ne5 24.Qe2 Bd3; 24.Qd1 Nxg4 25.Qxg4 Rxd2) ...
   Aug-14-18 George Francis Kane (replies)
wwall: George Kane wrote <Chess and Children> and <What's the Next Move> in 1974, published by Scribners. They were the first two chess books employing algebraic notation issued by a major American book publisher. Algebraic notation was a simpler way to teach chess notation to ...
   Jul-28-18 NN vs Greenblatt, 1967
wwall: The Winter 1967 tournament was actually the Massachusetts Winter Amateur Championship played at the Young Menís Christian Union (YMCU) in Boston, played from Jan 21-23, 1967. This game was played by Carl Wagner (2190) in the first round on Jan 21, 1967. (sources: ...
   Jul-28-18 Greenblatt vs B Landey, 1967
wwall: I don't this game came from the Massachusetts State Championship. I believe it came from the Boston Amateur Championship, held April 22-23, 1967. MacHack VI forfeited the first game due to technical difficulties. It then won 2 games, and drew 2 games. (source: <Chess Life>, Aug ...
   Jul-22-18 O Sundstrom vs David Holm, 1912
wwall: Nice fork, but White could have knifed his way to a mate after 13.Qd5 (threatening 14.Qxf7 mate) 13...Ne5 14.Nh7+ Kf5 15.g4+ Kxg4 16.Qe4 mate. Now Black is forked. 11...Kg6 had to be the losing move. Black should be able to hold with 11...Kg8 12.Qh5 Bxg5 13.hxg5 Kf8.
   Jul-22-18 Duras vs Maroczy, 1912
wwall: Maroczy doesn't look like he is in a big bind after 14.Qxd4. He is a pawn down but may be able to hold. After 14.Qxd4 Qxd4 15.exd4 (not 15.Bxc6+ Qd7 16.Bxd7+ Kxd7 and Black is winning) 15...Kd7 and Black may hold.
   Jul-22-18 Schlechter vs Pillsbury, 1903
wwall: <British Chess Magazine>, March 1903, p. 129, says this about Black's last move. "24. Resigns. Completely demoralised, but the game is really hopelessly lost. If, for instance, R-R2 to defend the B, the NxQBP makes Black two Pawns ahead, and leaves White in a hopeless position."
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  OhioChessFan: A chess PhD not listed:

User: Jonathan Sarfati

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  jnpope: In your July 8th, 2007, article on Steinitz: make the statement: <He was awarded the brilliancy prize of the tournament from his win over Augustus Mongredien, a Center Counter game.> Apparently meaning this gem of a game: Steinitz vs Mongredien, 1862

I find no mention of such a prize being offered in any edition of Lowenthal's tournament book, nor in the German tournament book by Suhle. Nor have I found any mention of a brilliancy prize being offered (let alone of Steinitz winning such a prize) in the contemporary accounts found in the Chess Player's Chronicle, Illustrated London News, London Daily News, London Morning Post, London Era, or London Field. Nor is there any mention made of Steinitz winning such a prize in Landsberger's well-researched biography, "William Steinitz, Chess Champion".

A tangential check of "brilliancy prize" in the "Oxford Companion To Chess", 1992 edition, p59, states: <The first brilliancy prize was given by the proprietor of the Cafe International, New York, where a tournament was held in September and October 1876.> Allegedly for the game: Bird vs J Mason, 1876

I've searched the 'net for how this claim about Steinitz v Mongredien being a brilliancy prize game got started and all roads lead back to your article. I do not wish to appear as attacking the veracity of your statement but I would be curious as to the source from which you gleaned this particular "brilliancy prize" piece of information.

Dec-26-16  TheFocus: I would also like to know. I am currently researching <London 1862> and have found no Brilliancy Prize being awarded.
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: The relevant section of Lowenthal's tournament book can be found online here:

There is no mention of any other prizes awards aside from 1st-4th leaderboard prizes.

Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <z> I think you meant 1st-6th, which were planned from the start, see Lowenthal's book, p(xlvi):

And all six were awarded, see p172:

Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <jnpope> right you are.

My mistake for just reading the article quickly and confusing 4-5th tiebreak with last prize place. Thanks.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I'll check my sources again, but so far you are right, no 1862 brilliancy prize. I had to originally see it somewhere and that source had to be wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  jnpope: <<wwall:> I'll check my sources again, but so far you are right, no 1862 brilliancy prize. I had to originally see it somewhere and that source had to be wrong.>

Great. Thanks for looking into this.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: Bill, Birthday Happy!
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: got it, thanks much!
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  zborris8: Some of your earlier tournaments are held in Yuba City, Ca, but I can't find any other tournaments that were held there on Chessgames. Were you once stationed at Beale Air Force Base and did you organize those tournaments yourself? Thanks for your service, btw!
Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Yes, I was stationed at Beale AFB from Jan 1971 to late 1973 (PCS to Thailand after that, but returned in late 1974). I organized dozens of tournaments (rated and non rated) while stationed there at the Jetstar Recreation Center. I had a chess column in the base newspaper. Top players at Beale were Lt col Henry Giertych (high expert who played in several Air Force championships, including the first one) and Captain John Manson (high A player). I also played in Yuba City/Marysville, but mostly on base. From there, lots of TDY trips to Kadena, Okinawa, U Tapao, Thailand, and Guam (I was a KC-135Q crew chief refueling SR-71s).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Bill,

Hopefully you can confirm or correct.

Fischer vs Bisguier, 1957 (kibitz #21)

Was this Fischer's first G.M. scalp?

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Fischer beat GM Bisguier in a speed tournament in Dec 1956 at the Manhattan CC. He also beat Reshevsky, but it was a simul. He beat Bisguier at the 58th US Open in Cleveland on Aug 9, 1957, his 1st GM scalp. He beat Bisguier again on Dec 23, 1957 in the US championship in NY. He beat Lombardy on Jan 2, 1958 in the US championship, but Lombardy was not a GM yet. His next GM scalp was Bent Larsen on Aug 16, 1958 at the Interzonal in Portoroz.
May-25-18  Boomie: Curiously, Bisguier was also Seirawan's first GM scalp.

Game Collection: US Open 1975, Lincoln

The Seattle Exiteers did quite well there. Vic Pupols finished tied for 4th. Yaz was tied for 10th and Jim McCormick and I tied for 48th. I shared the Class B prize. At the award ceremony, Yaz told me to laugh all the way to the bank.

Alas, I have no idea how Yaz got to Lincoln though the rumor is he hitchhiked. I played in the Canadian Open before the US Open but Yaz wasn't there. I got a ride to Denver with John Watson and hitched to Lincoln from there. Those were simpler times.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Thanks Bill for confirming. (Geoff)
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <wwall:

He beat Lombardy on Jan 2, 1958 in the US championship, but Lombardy was not a GM yet.>

Anyone know what the standard was to get a GM title back then?

I know Fischer got his at Portoroz,
but that was somewhat unique.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: The most common standard at that time was a list of possible candidates from each country (based on performance in international tournaments with other GMs), then a vote by a Qualification Committee at a FIDE Congress. You could also get a GM title if you qualified to play in the Interzonal or score at least 33.3 percent in a Candidates Tournament. Here is a list of early grandmasters by year.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: Thanks!
May-26-18  TheFocus: Mr. Wall, you might be interested in this: in the May 11, 2018 issue of the Mechanics Institute Library newsletter, the two tournament games played between Eliot Hearst and Bobby Fischer are presented with Hearst's annotations.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: I read the article and did not know about the Columbia University meetings. I will have to add that to my notes. Hearst was rated 2298 at the time of the two games. Fischer ended up with a 2321 rating in the Rosenwald tourney. Fischer also played Hearst on March 7, 1964 in a blitz event in Washington DC.
May-28-18  TheFocus: I had never read anything about the Columbia University meetings either.

It was a great kindness to me that Dr. Hearst annotated his games. I bought his book on blindfold chess from him so I could get an autographed copy and asked if he had ever annotated his games against Fischer anywhere. He replied in the negative, and very graciously agreed to annotate them for me.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <wwall> I have been compiling game collections and information for US Opens, and am currently working on Columbus 1977. This one is difficult because I have no crosstable available, and have to compile what information I can from the tournament bulletins.

The <cg> database has six of your games from that tournament, and I have three more from other sources. The opponents were:

Mariano Acosta
Jack Gersho
Randall Hough
Tim Kras
(Andy?) Martin
John Milton
Sam Reisinger
E Schroeder
Mark Wintering

Unfortunately none of these games appear in the tournament bulletins, so I have no idea in which round they were played.

I realize it's a long shot to ask about games from forty years ago, but would you happen to have a record of if which rounds these and any other games from the tournament were played>

Thanks for your time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: Mariano Acosta - Rd 1
Jack Gersho - 5
Randall Hough 8
Tim Kras - 6
Andy Martin - 7
John Milton - 3
Sam Reisinger - 4
E Schroeder - 2
Mark Wintering - 9

All me games are in my Bill Wall's games (pgn file) from 1969 to 2017 at It has all the rounds and dates and games.

US Open crosstables were in the 1978 USCF chess yearbook, p. 36. I won the putt putt championship, beating out Ed Edmondson in the final round. The tournament was over on the 19th of August and I got married the 20th back in North Carolina. I was a delegate representing NC. The biggest fight was which zone did each state belong to. Biggest news event was Elvis died on Aug 16 during the tourney. Sneaky Pete wasn't that strong of a computer there. 13-year-old Joel Benjamin got lots of attention there and became the youngest master after the event (now we have 12 year old GMs).

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Thanks for the information. Only those nine games were in the file, but the important the important oint was verifying there were indeed played in the US Open. Quite often, I find that online databases include games from the daytime side events, si I try to be careful.

Unfortunately, I no longer have that yearbook issue.

Columbus was one of my best US Opens results-wise, but I still regret losing a better position in round 1 against Hugh Tobin. At least I wasn't alone.

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