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United States Championship 1957/58 Tournament

Robert James Fischer10.5/13(+8 -0 =5)[games]
Samuel Reshevsky9.5/13(+8 -2 =3)[games]
James Sherwin9/13(+7 -2 =4)[games]
William Lombardy7.5/13(+5 -3 =5)[games]
Hans Berliner7/13(+4 -3 =6)[games]
Arthur Feuerstein6.5/13(+4 -4 =5)[games]
Arnold Denker6.5/13(+5 -5 =3)[games]
Edmar Mednis6.5/13(+3 -3 =7)[games]
Herbert Seidman6/13(+4 -5 =4)[games]
Sidney Bernstein5/13(+4 -7 =2)[games]
Arthur Bisguier5/13(+4 -7 =2)[games]
Abe Turner4.5/13(+2 -6 =5)[games]
Attilio Di Camillo4.5/13(+3 -7 =3)[games]
George Kramer3/13(+2 -9 =2)[games]
* Chess Event Description
United States Championship 1957/58

The 10th United States Chess Championship tournament was held in New York City at the end of the year 1957. Fourteen of the US' strongest masters and grandmasters were invited to compete. Among the participants was a veritable who's who of former American champions, including Samuel Reshevsky, Arthur Bisguier, and Arnold Denker. Filling out the rest of the field was a number of players from the prestigious Third Rosenwald Trophy (1956), including a fourteen year old prodigy named Bobby Fischer. Fischer was already gaining recognition from several brilliant wins as the next generation of American chess grandmastery. However, the next generation had already arrived as Fischer dominated this, his inaugural championship, scoring wins against over half the field and finishing with 10½/13, a full point over seven-time former American champion Reshevsky. He became the youngest person ever to win the US crown, and the following year would become the youngest person to become a grandmaster. It was the beginning of a career that would culminate in Fischer becoming world champion and earning a place as one of the greatest players in history.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 1st Fischer * ½ 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 10½ 2nd Reshevsky ½ * 0 0 1 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 9½ 3rd Sherwin 0 1 * ½ ½ 0 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 1 1 9 4th Lombardy 0 1 ½ * ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 1 0 1 1 1 7½ 5th Berliner ½ 0 ½ ½ * 0 0 ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 7 =6th Feuerstein 0 0 1 ½ 1 * 1 ½ 1 0 0 ½ ½ ½ 6½ =6th Denker ½ 0 0 ½ 1 0 * 1 ½ 0 1 1 0 1 6½ =6th Mednis 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 0 * 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 6½ 9th Seidman ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 1 * 0 1 1 0 0 6 =10th Bernstein 0 ½ 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 * 0 ½ 1 0 5 =10th Bisguier 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 ½ 0 1 * 0 ½ 1 5 =12th Turner ½ 0 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 0 ½ 1 * 1 ½ 4½ =12th Di Camillo 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 0 * 1 4½ 14th Kramer 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 0 ½ 0 * 3

The US Championship (1958/59) was the 11th United States Chess Championship tournament for this crown.

Original collection: Game Collection: US Championship 1957/58, by User: suenteus po 147.

 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 91  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. G Kramer vs H Berliner 0-1361957United States Championship 1957/58B33 Sicilian
2. Lombardy vs S Bernstein 1-0351957United States Championship 1957/58A56 Benoni Defense
3. A Di Camillo vs Reshevsky 0-1401957United States Championship 1957/58B70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
4. Fischer vs A Feuerstein 1-0441957United States Championship 1957/58A07 King's Indian Attack
5. J Sherwin vs A Turner 1-0411957United States Championship 1957/58C97 Ruy Lopez, Closed, Chigorin
6. Denker vs H Seidman ½-½441957United States Championship 1957/58E46 Nimzo-Indian
7. E Mednis vs A Bisguier ½-½401957United States Championship 1957/58C59 Two Knights
8. A Turner vs A Feuerstein ½-½531957United States Championship 1957/58A15 English
9. A Bisguier vs Lombardy 1-0211957United States Championship 1957/58A46 Queen's Pawn Game
10. H Seidman vs Fischer ½-½281957United States Championship 1957/58B98 Sicilian, Najdorf
11. H Berliner vs E Mednis ½-½201957United States Championship 1957/58E81 King's Indian, Samisch
12. Reshevsky vs Denker 1-0431957United States Championship 1957/58A04 Reti Opening
13. S Bernstein vs A Di Camillo 1-0561957United States Championship 1957/58C47 Four Knights
14. J Sherwin vs G Kramer 1-0611957United States Championship 1957/58C79 Ruy Lopez, Steinitz Defense Deferred
15. Fischer vs Reshevsky ½-½571957United States Championship 1957/58B41 Sicilian, Kan
16. Denker vs S Bernstein 0-1221957United States Championship 1957/58A15 English
17. A Feuerstein vs H Seidman 1-0281957United States Championship 1957/58A07 King's Indian Attack
18. Lombardy vs H Berliner  ½-½271957United States Championship 1957/58E70 King's Indian
19. A Di Camillo vs A Bisguier  ½-½201957United States Championship 1957/58B39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation
20. G Kramer vs A Turner  ½-½261957United States Championship 1957/58C30 King's Gambit Declined
21. E Mednis vs J Sherwin  ½-½171957United States Championship 1957/58B65 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...Be7 Defense, 9...Nxd4
22. G Kramer vs E Mednis 0-1221957United States Championship 1957/58C04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
23. Reshevsky vs A Feuerstein 1-0261957United States Championship 1957/58A05 Reti Opening
24. H Berliner vs A Di Camillo  1-0611957United States Championship 1957/58E94 King's Indian, Orthodox
25. J Sherwin vs Lombardy  ½-½401957United States Championship 1957/58C53 Giuoco Piano
 page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 91  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-14-16  chessgamer2000: just noticed something.Fischer's. game with Feuerstein (a sicilian) with Bobby playing white took 44 moves.his game with Bernstein (a sicilian)with Bobby as black took 44 moves.they were different variations though
Jan-14-16  TheFocus: Wow! I once played a Sicilian and it drew in 44 moves.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <TheFocus> That's how it is with Sicilians. 44 moves - no more, no less.
Sep-22-18  thegoodanarchist: Note that Fischer was NOT a GM when he won this tournament.

Can you imagine a non-GM winning a US Championship today?

Of course, the GM title is more common nowadays. In this tournament, maybe Samuel Reshevsky was the only GM? Let's see...

According to, here are the players' titles:

James T Sherwin unknown (IM in 1958)
William James Lombardy IM 1957
Hans Berliner unknown (IM in 1968)
Arthur Feuerstein none
Arnold Denker IM 1950
Edmar J Mednis unknown (GM in 1980)
Herbert Seidman U.S. Senior Master
Sidney Norman Bernstein none
Arthur Bisguier GM 1957
Abe Turner none
Attilio Di Camillo none
George Mortimer Kramer none

So, two GMs, two future GMs, two IMs, and two future IMs, and one SM

Not bad, but weak by today's standard.

Sep-22-18  TheFocus: <tga> <So, two GMs, two future GMs, two IMs, and two future IMs, and one SM>

And not to be overlooked, but William Lombardy was the Junior World Champion at the time.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: After this event Bobby was asked if he now considered himself as the best player in America.

He replied "No, One tournament does not mean a lot...(pause)....maybe Reshevsky is better."

CHESS 309-310 1958 page 137.

Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Comparing the GM title today to the GM title in the 50s is not meaningful - the GM title in the 50s was a lot harder to achieve.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: You are correct there Plang.

Before FIDE introduced the 'norm' system the only way to get one was to qualify for the candidates. (going on that criteria there have only been just about 120 genuine GM's, At the moment there are over 1,700)

Once the GM title became easier to get the chance to play in more GM norm tournaments appeared and so up went the number of GM's increasing again the chances of playing in GM norm tournaments so more GM's appeared and up again go the chances of playing in GM norm tournaments. It's GM inflation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, do not believe that is quite correct; under the FIDE rules of those bad old days, there were possibilities of obtaining GM and IM norms via winning/placing high in an event with sufficient titled players, though those rules were rather more amorphous than the qualifications introduced by the 1960s/early seventies.
Feb-13-22  Z free or die: There's the occasional study of average mistakes/game, as determined by engine analysis.

I'd like to see a scatterplot of mistakes/game vs. year for players rated <x +- delta> vs other players rated <x +- delta>.

And then compare various such plots for various ratings.

If there really is rating inflation it should show up there.

One should allow for the possibility that the population of chess players evolutionarily improves over time, right?

Any other ideas how to quantitatively study this?


Feb-13-22  RookFile: What plang said should be taken as a self evident truth.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

I am going back a bit. pre 1970. The norm system came in round about the same time the Elo rating was adopted.

Almost immediately ways of fiddling and exploiting holes in the norm system came into being.

Good luck to these post 1970 GM's and well done and all that but qualifying from an Interzonal into the candidates was a good method and it ensured only the great and the good were GM's. It's how Fischer got his GM title.

And because Interzonals were made up of a mixture of nationalities, money changing hands to get to the candidates was rare (only one unproven case I know of).

Also back then you could not cherry pick your opponents and board colour like one can for getting a norm in a team event nor could federations openly 'arrange' come and get a norm tournaments by filling it up with wide-eyed GM's and pre-arranged draws.

Apparently FIDE are seriously considering making it harder to become a GM.

This article by Peter Doggers makes interesting reading, though wheeling and dealing to buy GM norms is hardly new and in some circles viewed as the done thing, it does mention some proposed changes for June 2022.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff.....Apparently FIDE are seriously considering making it harder to become a GM....>

In the 1970s, norms were only good for three years; sometime along, this was modified so that norms counted for good and all.

I recall reading in the BCM ca 1978 that one attempt at toughening up norms was to boost the average TPR to 2500 for IM norms and 2600 to make GM--might have been at the suggestion of Nunn.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

It was around 1980 one started to here the term 'weak G.M.' for the first time. A title I can quite agree with as they must be good players but maybe not grandmaster or in the same class as the GM's of 50's and 60's.

Maybe the term 'Super GM' or 'Gold GM' could be tagged to only those who have qualified for the candidates (I'd include John Nunn and others like him who never played in a candidates did take part in play off after an Interzonal.)

Budapest Interzonal Playoff (1987)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, I recall Black in Bisguier vs S Taulbut, 1978 writing of his experiences at Lone Pine in BCM and styling his opponent as 'not a very strong GM' or some such words. First time I ever saw a grandmaster referred to in such disparaging terms.

For my money, the qualifier you mention seems slippery; after all, Nunn and Andersson, both of whom never were candidates, were top ten players and played in a number of elite events, while Adorjan, van der Sterren and Torre never attained those august heights, though each qualifying.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi perfidious,

I know some great players will fall outside the Golden GM title. But these are my rules, they should have tried harder.

This is the huge disappointment of the norm system. Once a player got the GM title a lot just gave up trying to be better. They let themselves go all fat, flabby and sloppy, hence the 'Weak GM' tag.

If it was harder to achieve (candidates only) these players would have had to train and study harder and the GM title would be an achievement, not given away for being in the right place at the right time or being connected to a federation that was adapt and exploiting the norm rules.

Today I woke up and decided there were/are only 20 players worthy to be called a chess grandmaster. Tomorrow after a good nights sleep I might up it to 25 or maybe even 30 but that is it. (if anybody wants their pet player to be part of the chosen 30 then I am open to bribes.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, what do you accept as baksheesh?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Dollars, Pounds, Euros, Rupees, Krona, Dinars, Shekels...chess books, clothes, family pets...

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