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Lone Pine Tournament

Vladimir Liberzon7.5/10(+5 -0 =5)[games]
Larry Evans7/10(+5 -1 =4)[games]
Miguel Quinteros6.5/10(+4 -1 =5)[games]
Norman Weinstein6.5/10(+3 -0 =7)[games]
Walter Browne6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Svetozar Gligoric6.5/10(+4 -1 =5)[games]
Oscar Panno6.5/10(+5 -2 =3)[games]
Florin Gheorghiu6.5/10(+3 -0 =7)[games]
Eugenio Torre6/10(+2 -0 =8)[games]
Leonid Shamkovich6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Peter Biyiasas6/10(+5 -3 =2)[games]
Pal Benko6/10(+3 -1 =6)[games]
Gudmundur Sigurjonsson6/10(+4 -2 =4)[games]
Arnold Denker5.5/10(+4 -3 =3)[games]
Duncan Suttles5.5/10(+5 -4 =1)[games]
James Tarjan5.5/10(+2 -1 =7)[games]
Gyozo Forintos5.5/10(+4 -3 =3)[games]
Istvan Csom5/10(+3 -3 =4)[games]
Kim Commons5/10(+3 -3 =4)[games]
Daniel Abraham Yanofsky5/10(+1 -1 =8)[games]
Herman Pilnik5/10(+4 -4 =2)[games]
William Martz5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Karl Robatsch5/10(+1 -1 =8)[games]
Alla Kushnir5/10(+3 -3 =4)[games]
Mato Damjanovic5/10(+4 -4 =2)[games]
Istvan Bilek5/10(+2 -2 =6)[games]
Jonathan Tisdall5/10(+4 -4 =2)[games]
Samuel Reshevsky5/10(+1 -1 =8)[games]
Hector Rossetto4.5/10(+4 -5 =1)[games]
Craig Barnes4.5/10(+4 -5 =1)[games]
Dumitru Ghizdavu4.5/10(+2 -3 =5)[games]
Lothar Schmid4.5/10(+3 -4 =3)[games]
(44 players total; 12 players not shown. Click here for longer list.) Chess Event Description
Lone Pine (1975)

The Fifth Louis D. Statham Masters-Plus Tournament was held at Lone Pine, California from April 13-24, 1975. Everybody was grateful for this, since that provided an excuse to call it simply "Lone Pine" instead of the official name.

The first four events had been mostly American affairs, but when six GMs showed up in 1974 Statham got curious as to how many the tournament could draw if he really tried. After due consideration, he doubled the prize fund and offered any GM in the world free travel and lodging.

That did the trick. Even with the non-response of the Soviet Union, 22 Grandmasters and eleven IMs showed up among the 44 players for what was the strongest Swiss-System tournament held up to that time.

Surprises began early when Larry Evans was beaten in the first round by the #2 woman in the world, Alla Kushnir. At least, if stories floating around can be believed, it was a surprise to Bobby Fischer, who supposedly called Pal Benko to ask how Evans explained what happened. Of course, Lone Pine veterans could remember back to 1971 when Evans won the initial tournament with six straight wins after a first round loss, and talk of the "Evans Swiss Gambit" resurfaced.

Be that as it may, Evans promptly reeled off four wins in a row, and by the two-day break following round five he was tied for first place with Miguel Quinteros and Gudmundur Sigurjonsson, with Walter Browne and Vladimir Liberzon a half-point behind. A huge group of eighteen players followed at 3-2, and would have something to say about matters before the finish.

Round six saw Quinteros drop back with a loss to Liberzon, who joined Evans, Sigurjonsson, and Browne in the top group at 4.5. Moving up to join Quinteros at 4.0 were Biyiasas, Gheorghiu, Panno, and Shamkovich.

Browne took the sole lead after round 7, defeating Sigurjonsson while Evans and Liberzon drew. Round 8 saw Evans defeat Browne to go past him to 6.5, where he was joined by Liberzon after a defeat of the fading Sigurjonsson. A half-point behind were Browne, Quinteros and Shamkovich.

Since Evans and Liberzon had already played each other as well as Browne, they were paired against Quinteros and Shamkovich. Evans had to resort to a perpetual for a draw, but Liberzon slowly outplayed Shamkovich to take the sole lead with a round to go. That proved to be a good time to do so; when Evans couldn't get anything going with Black against Gheorghiu in the last round (after a bitter dispute about the pairings), Liberzon was happy to take a draw with White against Gligoric to clinch first place.

This version of the crosstable allows a player's color in a game to be determined. If the result (W, L, D) comes first, the player had White. If the result follows the opponent's number, the player had Black. For example, Liberzon's first three results are draw with White vs. #36, win with Black vs. #38, win with White vs. #34.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 01 Liberzon D36 38W W34 7 D 3 D W 6 2 D W10 11W D 8 7.5 02 Evans 21L W37 W23 16W W 9 10D D 1 W 3 6 D 4 D 7.0 03 Browne W23 13W D 9 6 D D 1 14W W10 2 L L 4 17W 6.5 04 Gheorghiu W22 19D D 5 18D D14 20W D11 9 D 3 W D 2 6.5 05 Weinstein W11 D 6 4 D D25 12D D26 22D 13W W18 9 D 6.5 06 Quinteros W42 5 D W41 D 3 29W 1 L D 7 24W D 2 11D 6.5 07 Panno 40W D18 25W D 1 10L W16 6 D L11 W20 15W 6.5 08 Gligoric 20W D14 10L W41 18D D 9 D23 19W W16 1 D 6.5 09 Benko 37W W21 3 D D29 2 L 8 D W13 D 4 12D D 5 6.0 10 Sigurjonsson D39 36W W 8 13D W 7 D 2 3 L 1 L W24 D12 6.0 11 Shamkovich 5 L W42 30D W34 19D W22 4 D 7 W L 1 D 6 6.0 12 Torre D30 15W D13 20D D 5 19D D18 23W D 9 10D 6.0 13 Biyiasas 32W L 3 12D D10 21W W29 9 L L 5 33W W25 6.0 14 Tarjan 44W 8 D D18 D19 4 D L 3 15D D22 34W D16 5.5 15 Denker 27D L12 D35 17L 34W W25 D14 31W W23 L 7 5.5 16 Suttles 35W L29 44W L 2 W30 7 L W41 W26 8 L 14D 5.5 17 Forintos D38 41L 39D W15 L22 30W W37 20D W21 L 3 5.5 18 Robatsch W33 7 D 14D D 4 D 8 24D 12D D21 5 L D19 5.0 19 Yanofsky W24 D 4 29D 14D D11 D12 26D L 8 27D 18D 5.0 20 Commons L 8 33W W31 D12 26D L 4 29W D17 7 L 24D 5.0 21 Kushnir W 2 9 L D26 24D L13 35W W27 18D 17L D22 5.0 22 Martz 4 L 24D D28 W39 17W 11L D 5 14D D26 21D 5.0 23 Pilnik 3 L W32 2 L D44 36W W28 8 D L12 15L W35 5.0 24 Csom 19L D22 38W D21 25W D18 31W L 6 10L D20 5.0 25 Damjanovic D34 28W L 7 5 D L24 15L 39W 38W W29 13L 5.0 26 Reshevsky 41D D30 21D W40 D20 5 D D19 16L 22D D27 5.0 27 Bilek D15 34L W36 30D D31 41D 21L W28 D19 26D 5.0 28 Tisdall W43 L25 22D L37 40W 23L D34 27L W41 32W 5.0 29 Schmid W31 16W D19 9 D L 6 13L L20 36W 25L D33 4.5 30 Ghizdavu 12D 26D D11 D27 16L L17 35L 43D W40 W36 4.5 31 Rossetto 29L W39 20L W35 27D 37W L24 L15 32L W34 4.5 32 Barnes L13 23L 42D W38 41L 34L W44 37W W31 L28 4.5 33 Berry 18L L20 37L 43D W42 W44 D36 41W L13 29D 4.5 34 Ervin 25D W27 1 L 11L L15 W32 28D W35 L14 31L 4.0 35 Silman L16 D40 15D 31L 39W L21 W30 34L W37 23L 4.0 36 Dake 1 D L10 27L 42W L23 W40 33D L29 D43 30L 3.5 37 Day L 9 2 L W33 28W 44W L31 17L L32 35L 43D 3.5 38 Karklins 17D L 1 L24 32L D43 42W 40D L25 44L W41 3.5 39 Levy 10D 31L D17 22L L35 43W L25 L40 42D W44 3.5 40 Vranesic L 7 35D W43 26L L28 36L D38 39W 30L D42 3.5 41 Parr D26 W17 6 L 8 L W32 D27 16L L33 28L 38L 3.0 42 Waterman 6 L 11L D32 L36 33L L38 D43 44W D39 40D 3.0 43 Grefe 28L L44 40L D33 38D L39 42D D30 36D D37 3.0 44 Rohde L14 43W L16 23D L37 33L 32L L42 W38 39L 2.5

GM norm: Norman Weinstein. IM Norms: Kim Commons, Alla Kushnir.


1st - Liberzon: $4000 2nd - Evans: $2500 3rd-8th - Browne, Gheorghiu, Weinstein, Quinteros, Panno, Gligoric: $650 9th-13th - Benko, Sigurjonsson, Shamkovich, Torre, Biyiasas: $120

In addition, brilliancy prizes were awarded in each round:

Round 1: A Kushnir vs Evans, 1975 Round 2: J Grefe vs Rohde, 1975 Round 3: I Bilek vs Dake, 1975 Round 4: Shamkovich vs R Ervin, 1975 Round 5: D Berry vs D Waterman, 1975 Round 6: Shamkovich vs W Martz, 1975 Round 7: A Kushnir vs I Bilek, 1975 Round 8: Csom vs Quinteros, 1975 Round 9: D Berry vs P Biyiasas, 1975 Round 10: P Biyiasas vs Damjanovic, 1975

Source: Grandmaster chess: the book of the Louis D. Statham Lone Pine Masters Plus Tournament, 1975 / by Grandmaster Isaac Kashdan and the staff of the California Chess Reporter (Jude Acers, Alan Benson, Robert Burger, Dennis Fritzinger, William Guthrie McClain). San Francisco, CA: The California State Chess Federation, 1975.

PREVIOUS: Lone Pine (1974).

NEXT: Lone Pine (1976).

Original collection: Game Collection: Lone Pine 1975, by User: Phony Benoni.

 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 220  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. I Bilek vs Denker ½-½221975Lone PineA20 English
2. Browne vs Pilnik  1-0551975Lone PineC42 Petrov Defense
3. L Day vs Benko 0-1581975Lone PineB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
4. E Torre vs D Ghizdavu ½-½441975Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
5. Quinteros vs D Waterman  1-0561975Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
6. Robatsch vs D Berry 1-0391975Lone PineD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
7. M Rohde vs Tarjan 0-1281975Lone PineB25 Sicilian, Closed
8. N Weinstein vs Shamkovich  1-0331975Lone PineB56 Sicilian
9. Silman vs Suttles 0-1341975Lone PineB06 Robatsch
10. K Commons vs Gligoric  0-1281975Lone PineE97 King's Indian
11. L Schmid vs H Rossetto  1-0301975Lone PineA29 English, Four Knights, Kingside Fianchetto
12. C Barnes vs P Biyiasas  0-1431975Lone PineB06 Robatsch
13. M Damjanovic vs R Ervin  ½-½531975Lone PineB08 Pirc, Classical
14. Forintos vs A Karklins  ½-½261975Lone PineE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
15. Gheorghiu vs W Martz  1-0291975Lone PineA16 English
16. A Kushnir vs Evans 1-0361975Lone PineA61 Benoni
17. V Liberzon vs Dake  ½-½631975Lone PineC84 Ruy Lopez, Closed
18. D Parr vs Reshevsky ½-½301975Lone PineC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation
19. G Sigurjonsson vs D Levy  ½-½291975Lone PineB70 Sicilian, Dragon Variation
20. J Tisdall vs J Grefe 1-0551975Lone PineB81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack
21. Z Vranesic vs Panno  0-1661975Lone PineA56 Benoni Defense
22. Yanofsky vs Csom  1-0721975Lone PineB62 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer
23. R Ervin vs I Bilek 1-0461975Lone PineB27 Sicilian
24. P Biyiasas vs Browne  0-1651975Lone PineE67 King's Indian, Fianchetto
25. Evans vs L Day 1-0511975Lone PineE68 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Classical Variation, 8.e4
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 220  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-14-15  zanzibar: <Phony> has done the <Lone Pine (1975)> tournament here:

Lone Pine (1975)

which presumably was promoted to here.

This tournament is also discussed elsewhere:

<"The 1975 Lone Pine Tournament had several small incidents - and one large one when grandmaster Larry Evans bitterly protested an unusual pairing given him in the last round by director Kashdan. Using his syndicated column (and) his regular feature in the national chess magazine, a pungent style and a capacity for enduring enmity, Evans has pounded the drum furiously and ceaselessly for eight months about Kashdan's iniquity. Joining Evans in this controversy has been Jude Acers, who writes the chess column for the new City of San Francisco magazine Acers reports that he and Evans will sue the editors of the book for having omitted the letter of protest that Evans wrote about that last-round pairing. They claim than [sic] Evans had furnished notes for the book without charge in exchange for the promise by the editors to include his steaming letter." - Don Thackrey, The Ann Arbor News.>

Sounds a bit juicy, but I must have missed any reference to it in the writeup above.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> I did the Lone Pine collections in a hurry, and for this one pretty much stuck to the tournament book. I didn't have that source at the time. By the way, I knew Don Thackrey and can vouch for his reliability..

Last round pairing disputes generally prove little besides that there's a reason why Grandmasters rarely direct Swiss System tournaments. Still, this does seemed to have become enough of an incident to at least mention.

First, I'd like to get the basic facts together and see what was going on. Here are the top players going into the final round:

Liberzon 7.0 W (color due for)
Evans 6.5 B
Gligoric 6.0 B
Gheorghiu 6.0 W
Quinteros 6.0 B
Weinstein 6.0 B

[I think the 6.0s are in correct rating order.]

Liberzon and Evans have played, so both must meet 6.0s. As I understand the pairing rules (on which I am admittedly rusty, and I sure for heck don't know what they were in 1975), they get the highest-ranked players they have not yet met. Gigoric--Liberzon is fine. Cheoghiu--Evans works. That leaves Quinteros against Weinstein--oops, they have already played.

Now, I'll need to see Evans' side of the story, but I imagine this is where the conflict came in. Kashdan chose to drop Quinteros and Weinstein down to opponents in the 5.5 group. Evans probably argued that a different pairing should have been made within the 6.0 group to keep it together. Since he had already played Quinteros, that would leave Weinstein--Evans and Gheorghiu--Quinteros, all legal.

I think Kashdan was justified by the rules as I remember them, but it's certainly arguable. Though it would seem Evans had a bit of self-interest in mind--certainly he would prefer playing Weinstein instead of Gheorghiu.

Jan-15-15  Caissanist: <Phony Benoni> Yes, that was it exactly, there was a long back-and-forth in Chess Life & Review about it. Evans never played at Lone Pine again.
Jan-15-15  zanzibar: Thanks both <phony> and <caissanist> for the info.

<Evans never played at Lone Pine again.>

That fact alone means the controversy merits mention.

Jan-21-15  Howard: Oh, yes, the ol' 1975 Lone Pine last-round pairing dispute...

Didn't Kashdan himself write an article in Chess Life & Review, defending his pairing decision ? I'm fairly sure that he did.

For the record, I still remember the magazine making the comment that the evening before the last round "Weinstein was practically the most popular person in town--everyone wanted to play him (in the last round)."

Translated, that meant that Weinstein was the lowest rated player among the leaders. That meant whoever was paired against him in the last round would probably have good winning chances. As it turned out, Weinstein drew with Evans.

Jan-21-15  Howard: Oops !!! Weinstein drew with BENKO, in the last round---not Evans.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Evans' protest and Kashdan's reply can be found in "Chess Life & Review", September 1975, p.607-608. (Yes, the page numbers are correct. That year of the magazine had 900 pages. Those were the days.) This is a brief summary.

Again, here is the situation:

1 Liberzon 7.0 (due for W; has played Evans, Quinteros)

2 Evans 6.5 (B; Liberzon, Quinteros)

8 Gligoric 6.0 (B)

4 Gheorghiu 6.0 (W; Weinstein)

6 Quinteros 6.0 (B; Liberzon, Evans, Weinstein)

5 weinstein 6.0 (B; Gheorghiu, Quinteros)

Melding the two accounts, the fun began the previous evening during the adjournment session when Evans asked Kashdan if the pairings were ready for the last round. When Kashdan replied that they would be posted the next morning at 10:00 AM as usual, Evans pressed him for just the top boards. Kashdan replied that it looked like:

<A) Liberzon-Weinstein, Gheorghiu-Evens, Quinteros-Gligoic>

Evans exploded, insisting that the only other possible pairing::

<B) Liberzon-Gligoric, Evans-Weinstein, Gheorghiu-Quinteros>

was "...clearly preferable since Liberzon, dropping a full point, should be required to meet the strongest rated player in that group. Every authority on the scene agreed." (quoted from Evans)

Evans' protest continued for some time. Eventually when all the adjourned games were finished, Kashdan returned to h is room and got to work.

First of all, he noted that two other sets of pairings were possible:

<C) Gheorghiu-Liberzon, Evans-Weinstein, Quinteros-Gligoric>

<D) Liberzon-Weinstein, Evans-Gligoric, Gheroghiu-Quinteros>

An important quote from Kashdan: "Since the top two had already played, <my normal system is to drop both to the next group, and then that as a six-player group.>" This produced Pairing C), which however Kashdan disliked because all three games were forced to have wrong colors. Since four players were due for Black and only two for White it was impossible to equalize colors in more than two of the games, and the pairing that does this and best keeps the players in natural order is Kashdan's original thought, pairing A).

Now, here is where Kashdan showed a sense of fairness, or perhaps a sense of humor: "<had Evans no objected I might have stopped here, and perhaps that is what I should have done. However, he did have a point. This was a very unusual situation. The leader was a full point ahead of any possible opponent. Perhaps he should play the stro9ngest man available.">

So Kashdan went back to work, and tried pairing Liberzon with the strongest opponent available, Gligoric. Then, since Evans was also dropping down to the next score group, it seemed only logical to also pair him with the strongest opponent available, Gheorghiu. That left a group of two (Quinteros and Weinstein) who had already played, so they too were dropped to the next highest group and the same procedure followed.

Now, reading everything, it looks like the pairings may not have been strictly correct at the time, but Kashdan felt they were the fairest available. And I do like the way he threw Evans in his face.

Jan-21-15  PhilFeeley: I'm sure I should know this, but what ever happened to Lone Pine? Did the sponsor run out of money? Why hasn't it continued to today?
Jan-21-15  Olavi: It's explained on the last page: Lone Pine (1981)
Jan-26-15  Caissanist: It turns out I was wrong about Evans never playing at Lone Pine again; he did play in 1978, tying for sixth.
Feb-28-20  Howard: Regarding the Kashdan-Evans controversy, Arpold Elo commented in Larry Evans' column back in October, 1975, that he player who came in 27th at Lone Pine (He didn't identify the player by name, but he was probably referring to Yanofsky actually had the toughest opposition of anyone there !

He added that such a thing would have been impossible if the pairings had been done properly---and he was probably quite right. Elo added that he'd heard rumors that some of the pairings may have been manipulated so as to give certain players a crack at an IM or GM norm.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phil.....what ever happened to Lone Pine? Did the sponsor run out of money?>

The sponsor ran out of life.

I played in several round-robin events in Antrim, New Hampshire from 1982-86, on which we bestowed the soubriquet 'Clone Pine' to honour the memory of this fine event.

Feb-28-20  Howard: Yes, Louis Statham died in 1982. Indeed, he "ran out of life" !
Jun-06-22  thegoodanarchist: Wow. This tournament was a veritable "Who's Who" of non-Soviet chess players in the mid 1970s (with the exception of Fischer).
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <Phony Benoni> Quite interesting. Thank you for posting the story in detail.

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