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US Championship Tournament

Samuel Reshevsky11.5/15(+10 -2 =3)[games]
Albert Simonson11/15(+9 -2 =4)[games]
Reuben Fine10.5/15(+7 -1 =7)[games]
George Nelson Treysman10.5/15(+9 -3 =3)[games]
Isaac Kashdan10/15(+9 -4 =2)[games]
Arthur William Dake9/15(+6 -3 =6)[games]
Abraham Kupchik9/15(+5 -2 =8)[games]
Alexander Kevitz7.5/15(+5 -5 =5)[games]
Israel Albert Horowitz7/15(+4 -5 =6)[games]
Samuel Factor6.5/15(+5 -7 =3)[games]
Herman Steiner6/15(+5 -8 =2)[games]
Arnold Denker6/15(+4 -7 =4)[games]
Sidney Bernstein5/15(+2 -7 =6)[games]
Milton Loeb Hanauer4.5/15(+2 -8 =5)[games]
Weaver Adams3/15(+3 -12 =0)[games]
Harold Morton3/15(+1 -10 =4)[games]
* Chess Event Description
US Championship (1936)

These games are missing, presumably forever:

Round 8 -- Denker-Treysman 0-1 Round 10 -- Horowitz-Kupchik draw Round 13 -- Morton-Hanauer draw Round 13 -- Bernstein-Horowitz draw

This was the first USCF-sponsored tournament for the US championship. Frank James Marshall finally bowed to the inevitability of a transition from match play for the US championship to an invitational tournament. After he won the title from Showalter in 1909 (Marshall - Showalter US Championship (1909)), Marshall defended it only once, in 1923 (Marshall - Ed Lasker US Championship (1923)). This lack of activity, due in part to the inability of potential challengers to raise sufficient funds to meet Marshall's conditions, fueled the demand for a championship tournament held on a regular basis. At first, Marshall said he would play, but as the tournament became less of an idea and more of a reality, Marshall formally resigned his title and announced he would not play in the tournament. The Marshall Chess Club donated a trophy for the US championship named the Frank J. Marshall trophy.

Dake, Fine, Horowitz, Kashdan, Kevitz, Kupchik, Reshevsky, and H. Steiner were all seeded directly into the tournament. Edward Lasker was to be seeded as well, but he did not play. The remaining players had to earn a spot by finishing in one of the top two places in a 12-player qualifying section. Factor and Simonson qualified out of Section A, Adams and Denker qualified out of Section B, Bernstein and Treysman qualified out of Section C, and Hanauer and Morton qualified out of Section D. The finals were held at the Hotel Astor in New York 25 Apr - 16 May 1936. Marshall, Hermann Helms, and Fritz Brieger served as tournament directors.

Winter's Chess Notes has this photo of the players from Chess Review:

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 (

Albert Charles Simonson -- Simonson was the reserve on the gold-medal US team at the 1933 Folkstone Olympiad (

Reuben Fine -- Fine was a world-class player who never won the US championship. His best international result would be equal first with Paul Keres at AVRO 1938. He was invited to the world championship tournament organized in 1948 to crown a successor to Alexander Alekhine, who died while holding the title. Fine decided not to play. He was involved in his graduate work in psychology and only played competitive chess for a few more years after earning his degree. Fine played on three US Olympiad teams, winning three team and one individual gold medal and one individual silver medal (

George Nelson Treysman -- Treysman was known more for being a strong chess hustler in New York City than a tournament player, although he also played in the 1938 US championship.

Isaac Kashdan -- Despite being a world-class player in his day, Kashdan was never able to negotiate a championship match with Marshall and once the tournament began he would never win the US championship. He was robbed of the title in 1942 by an incorrect ruling in a critical game between Reshevsky and Denker, which meant Reshevsky tied Kashdan for first instead of Kashdan winning the tournament outright. Kashdan lost the playoff match to Reshevsky, and that was as close as he would ever come to being US champion. Kashdan took over as chess editor for the Los Angeles Times after Steiner's death. Kashdan became an International Arbiter after his active playing days and directed both First Piatigorsky Cup (1963) and Second Piatigorsky Cup (1966). Kashdan played on five US Olympiad teams, winning three team and two individual gold medals, one team and one individual silver medal, and two individual bronze medals (

Arthur William Dake -- Dake was on three gold-medal US Olympiad teams, winning one individual gold and one individual silver medal (

Abraham Kupchik -- Two of Kupchik's best results were at Lake Hopatcong; 1923, where he tied with Marshall for first, and 1926, where he finished second behind Capablanca. He also drew a match (+1 -1 =4) with Carlos Torre Repetto in New York in 1924. Kupchik played on one US Olympiad team, winning a team gold and an individual bronze medal ( A brief summary of Kupchik's career along with a photo of him playing Capablanca at Lake Hopatcong is at:

Alexander Kevitz -- Kevitz was Manhattan Chess Club champion numerous times and played on several US teams in international (non-Olympiad) matches.

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 (

Samuel D Factor -- Factor was active in Chicago-area chess and active in organizing precursors to the USCF. Factor was the nephew of cosmetics businessman <Max Factor>. Factor played on one US Olympiad team, winning a team silver medal (

Herman Steiner -- Steiner was long-time chess editor for the Los Angeles Times. He founded a chess club attended by various celebrity chessplayers. Steiner was the only US player to have a plus score in the USSR - USA Radio Match (1945). Steiner won the 1948 US championship ahead of Kashdan. Steiner played on four US Olympiad teams, winning one team gold medal, and one team and one individual silver medals (

Arnold Denker -- Denker would win the 1944 US championship ahead of Fine, Horowitz and Steiner. He successfully defended his title in 1946 in a match with Herman Steiner. Later in life he became very active in chess organization in the US and the Denker Tournament of High School Champions is named in his honor.

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

Milton Loeb Hanauer -- Hanauer played on one US Olympiad team, winning a team silver medal (

Weaver Warren Adams -- Although a strong US master of his day, Adams is most remembered for his controversial ideas about White's opening advantage. He won the 1948 US Open and played in five US championships.

Harold Morton -- Morton was New England champion several times and was also Horowitz's business partner at Chess Review at the time of his death. The two were on an exhibition and promotional tour in the midwest in 1940 when they were involved in an automobile accident in Iowa. Morton was killed and Horowitz seriously injured.

Reshevsky would dominate this early period of US championship tournaments, but he had a difficult time of it in this first one, losing two games and drawing three, winning by a half point with a strong finish. Even then, he needed a bit of last minute help from a couple of opponents. At various points in the tournament, Kashdan, Fine, Dake, Treysman, and Simonson were either in the lead or close enough to be a threat. Everyone lost at least one game and everyone but Fine lost at least two. Kashdan lost <four> games and finished only a game and a half behind Reshevsky.

In the final round, Reshevsky's fate depended on Simonson and Treysman. Treysman lost to Fine and Simonson tried too hard to force the issue against Factor and lost. With losses by both of his closest competitors in the final round, Reshevsky was able to take a draw in a better position and won the first USCF-sponsored tournament for the US championship. Even so, Soltis and McCormick quote Reshevsky that, for him, "the tournament will long remain something of a nightmare."

Hotel Astor, New York, 25 April - 16 May 1936

R S F T K D K K H F S D B H A M Reshevsky X = = 1 1 1 = 1 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 11.5 Simonson = X 1 1 0 0 = = = 0 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 Fine = 0 X 1 1 = = = = = 1 = 1 1 1 1 10.5 Treysman 0 0 0 X 1 1 = 1 = 1 1 1 = 1 1 1 10.5 Kashdan 0 1 0 0 X = 1 = 1 1 1 1 1 0 1 1 10 Dake 0 = = 0 = X 1 = = 1 0 1 = 1 1 1 9 Kupchik = = = = 0 0 X 1 = 1 = 1 = = 1 1 9 Kevitz 0 = = 0 = = 0 X 1 0 0 1 1 = 1 1 7.5 Horowitz 1 0 = = 0 = = 0 X 1 1 0 = 1 0 = 7 Factor 0 1 = 0 0 0 0 1 0 X 1 = 0 1 1 = 6.5 Steiner 0 0 0 0 0 1 = 1 0 0 X 0 1 = 1 1 6 Denker 0 0 = 0 0 0 0 0 1 = 1 X = 1 1 = 6 Bernstein 1 0 0 = 0 = = 0 = 1 0 = X = 0 0 5 Hanauer 0 0 0 0 1 0 = = 0 0 = 0 = X 1 = 4.5 Adams 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 X 1 3 Morton 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 = = 0 = 1 = 0 X 3

Original collection: Game Collection: 1936 US Championship, by User: crawfb5.

 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 116  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Denker vs Fine ½-½451936US ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
2. Dake vs Kupchik 1-0541936US ChampionshipE08 Catalan, Closed
3. S Factor vs S Bernstein 0-1521936US ChampionshipE34 Nimzo-Indian, Classical, Noa Variation
4. M L Hanauer vs I A Horowitz 0-1301936US ChampionshipA52 Budapest Gambit
5. Kashdan vs A Simonson 1-0231936US ChampionshipC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
6. Reshevsky vs H Morton 1-0491936US ChampionshipD95 Grunfeld
7. H Steiner vs A Kevitz 1-0411936US ChampionshipA46 Queen's Pawn Game
8. G N Treysman vs W Adams 1-0431936US ChampionshipD09 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit, 5.g3
9. Fine vs W Adams 1-0341936US ChampionshipA28 English
10. S Bernstein vs Kashdan 0-1671936US ChampionshipD21 Queen's Gambit Accepted
11. Denker vs M L Hanauer 1-0421936US ChampionshipD64 Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox, Rubinstein Attack
12. I A Horowitz vs S Factor 1-0691936US ChampionshipC42 Petrov Defense
13. A Kevitz vs G N Treysman 0-1371936US ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Kupchik vs H Steiner  ½-½381936US ChampionshipD12 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
15. A Simonson vs Reshevsky ½-½661936US ChampionshipA14 English
16. H Morton vs Dake 0-1281936US ChampionshipA45 Queen's Pawn Game
17. M L Hanauer vs Fine 0-1571936US ChampionshipA34 English, Symmetrical
18. W Adams vs A Kevitz  0-1391936US ChampionshipB83 Sicilian
19. Dake vs A Simonson  ½-½161936US ChampionshipA41 Queen's Pawn Game (with ...d6)
20. S Factor vs Denker  ½-½411936US ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
21. Kashdan vs I A Horowitz  1-0281936US ChampionshipD44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
22. Reshevsky vs S Bernstein 0-1411936US ChampionshipE22 Nimzo-Indian, Spielmann Variation
23. H Steiner vs H Morton 1-01121936US ChampionshipA48 King's Indian
24. G N Treysman vs Kupchik  ½-½451936US ChampionshipD51 Queen's Gambit Declined
25. Fine vs A Kevitz ½-½551936US ChampionshipA52 Budapest Gambit
 page 1 of 5; games 1-25 of 116  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-20-14  jrofrano: I have done a recap of this tournament on my blog available here:
Jul-23-14  jerseybob: Simonson's line in the crosstable is all bolloxed up: he's listed as beating Kashdan and losing to Denker when the opposite is true, and further down as beating Factor and losing to Steiner, when again the opposite is true. But the lines of Kashdan,Denker,Factor and Steiner all have the correct results vs. Simonson.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <jerseybob> It is probably better to post such errata at Biographer Bistro, as all of us with administrative privileges drop by that page and will make corrections, as I have done in this instance.
Jul-23-14  JimNorCal: The names at the top of the chart are all pretty familiar, even Treysman is someone an avid American chess player will have come across.

But Simonson is more of an enigma, interesting guy.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: "The remaining players had to earn a spot by finishing in one of the top two places in a 12-player qualifying section."

Is there a list available of the players in qualifying groups A, B, C & D?

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Treysman gets a nice pen-portrait (and a photo) in Lessing and Saidy's <The World of Chess>. A very talented natural player. Lessing wrote that Treysman never cracked a chess book nor, Lessing suspected, many books of any description.
Dec-07-20  andrewjsacks: Great result for Sammie. Everyone was there.

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