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🏆 Lone Pine (1971)

  PARTICIPANTS (sorted by highest achieved rating; click on name to see player's games)
Svetozar Gligoric, Walter Browne, James Tarjan, Larry Evans, William Martz, John Grefe, Roy Ervin, Andrew Karklins, Eugene Martinovsky, Julius H Loftsson, Dennis Waterman, Craig Barnes, Ross Stoutenborough, Gary Robert Forman, James McCormick, Robert Avery, Gary Simms, Ron Gross, Ariel Mengarini, Sidney J Rubin, Donald Dean, Erich Marchand, Robert Klein, Robert Anderson, Richard Brent, Paul Shuey, William Abbott, William A Bills, Greg Fulkerson, Robert Newbold, Daniel Fischheimer, C Bill Jones Chess Event Description
Lone Pine (1971)
1st Louis D Statham Tournament
Lone Pine, California
March 14-20, 1971

"I am Louis D Statham, Millionaire. I own a mansion and a yacht. But what I really want is a chess tournament!"

The inaugural Lone Pine tournament was open to all players with a USCF Master (2200+) or Expert (2000-2199) rating. Pre-tournament publicity consisted of Tournament Director Isaac Kashdan announcing at the end of the National Open in Reno, Nevada that all eligible players were invited to show up the next day in Lone Pine for a player's meeting. Thirty-three guys, with an average rating of 2190, did just that, many driven the 250 miles from Reno by volunteers who were paid a bounty of $10 a head.

Mr. Statham was serious. (Oh, of course, there was much more to the tournament preparation and publicity than that. Sometimes a good story is better than history.)

The time limit was 45 moves in 2 1/2 hours, followed by 16 moves per hours. Games were played from 1:00-6:00 in the afternoon, with adjournments following a two-hour break.

From the beginning, Lone Pine was a chance for relatively unknown players, particularly juniors, to make their mark against top-flight competition. And the first notch was carved by Jim McCormick of Washington, who took out GM Larry Evans in the first round.

click for larger view

Evans, with White, has been trying to squeeze something out of this position for some time. Now, to save the queenside pawns, he must head for what turns into a lost ♔+♙ ending.

48.Ka3 Qxc5+ 49.Qxc5 Bf8 50.Qb4 Bxb4+ 51.Kxb4 h5 52.Kc5 g5 53.Kd4 g4?

53...gxh4 wins; Black will follow with 54...a5 paralyzing White's queenside, then raid it with his king before White's can get over to help.

54.Ke4 Kf7 55.b4 Ke6 56.a3 Kd6 57.Kf4 Kc7 58.Ke3 Kb6 59.Kd3 c5 60.Ke4 cxb4 61.axb4 a5 62.bxa5+ Kxa5

click for larger view

Now, in addition to Evans' losing move, 63.Kd4 loses after 63...Kb4 64.Kd3 Kc5. However, either 63.Ke3 or 63.Kd3 draw; White must be able to occupy d4 whenever the Black king is on b4. Also, White must answer ...Kc5 with Kd3; if his king is already there, he loses. Black gets nowhere by sacrificing his g-pawn to draw White's king away because he is left with a useless h-pawn.

63.c5? Ka6 64.Kd4 Kb7 65.Ke4 Kc7 66.Ke3 Kd7 67.Kd3 Kc6 68.Kd4 Kb5 69.Kd5 g3 70.c6 Kb6 71.Kd6 g2 72.c7 g1Q 73.c8Q Qd4+ 74.Ke7 Qxh4+ 75.Kf8 Qf4+ 76.Ke8 Qe5+ 0-1

James Tarjan was the early leader, starting with five straight wins including a thrashing of Walter Browne. Svetozar Gligoric slowed Tarjan with a round-six drawn, but the latter remained a half-point ahead of Browne, Gligoric, and the surging Evans.

Tarjan was paired with Evans in the last round, leaving Gligoric and Browne to their own devices. While the Grandmasters drew, Evans pulled out his sixth win in a row to take the tournament.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 01 Larry Melvyn Evans L19 W16 W10 W21 W20 W06 W03 6.0 02 Walter Shawn Browne W30 W15 W09 L03 W22 W07 D04 5.5 03 James Tarjan W17 W19 W22 W02 W05 D04 L01 5.5 04 Svetozar Gligoric W10 W11 W06 D05 W08 D03 D02 5.5 05 William E Martz W18 W21 W07 D04 L03 W08 W14 5.5 06 John A Grefe W16 W33 L04 W14 W11 L01 W09 5.0 07 Ross Stoutenborough W25 W27 L05 D12 W24 L02 W20 4.5 08 Eugene Martinovsky D20 W26 W19 W13 L04 L05 D11 4.0 09 Andrew Karklins W28 W32 L02 L22 W10 W13 L06 4.0 10 Dennis Waterman L04 W29 L01 W31 L09 W27 W28 4.0 11 Julius H Loftsson W24 L04 W32 D20 L06 W25 D08 4.0 12 Ronald Joseph Gross W29 L22 D24 D07 W19 D20 D18 4.0 13 Ariel Mengarini L22 W28 W33 L08 W16 L09 W24 4.0 14 William A Bills L33 W25 W27 L06 W32 W22 L05 4.0 15 Daniel Fischheimer W31 L02 L20 L25 W23 W32 W22 4.0 16 Roy C Ervin L06 L01 W18 W30 L13 D19 W21 3.5 17 C Bill Jones L03 L20 W29 L32 W31 D18 W25 3.5 18 Robert Newbold L05 D23 L16 W28 W26 D17 D12 3.5 19 James McCormick W01 L03 L08 W33 L12 D16 W29 3.5 20 William Abbott D08 W17 W15 D11 L01 D12 L07 3.5 21 Erich Watkinson Marchand W23 L05 W31 L01 D25 D24 L16 3.0 22 Greg Fulkerson W13 W12 L03 W09 L02 L14 L15 3.0 23 Gary Simms L21 D18 L26 D27 L15 Bye W32 3.0 24 Robert Anderson L11 W30 D12 W26 L07 D21 L13 3.0 25 Craig Barnes L07 L14 Bye W15 D21 L11 L17 2.5 26 Richard Brent D27 L08 W23 L24 L18 L29 W33 2.5 27 Donald Dean D26 L07 L14 D23 D33 L10 W31 2.5 28 Robert Avery L09 L13 D30 L18 Bye W33 L10 2.5 29 Paul Shuey L12 L10 L17 Bye D30 W26 L19 2.5 30 Harry Mayer L02 L24 D28 L16 D29 L31 Bye 2.0 31 Robert Klein L15 Bye L21 L10 L17 W30 L27 2.0 32 Gary Robert Forman Bye L09 L11 W17 L14 L15 L23 2.0 33 Sidney J Rubin W14 L06 L13 L19 D27 L28 L26 1.5

Lone Pine started small. Once you get past the top six who either had or would receive GM/IM titles, the tournament consisted mainly of players in the right place at the right time with the right rating. Many such tournaments intended to become annual events quickly fade away. But Mr. Statham was indeed serious, and the tournament would soon grow.


1st - Evans: $1000 2nd-5th - Gligoric, Browne, Tarjan, Martz: $350 6th - Grefe: $100

Note: Many games from this tournament are missing.

NEXT: Lone Pine (1972).

Source: The best of Lone Pine: the Louis D. Statham chess tournaments, 1971-1980, by Dennis Waterman and John Grefe. R. H. M. Publishing, 1981.

 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 40  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. C B Jones vs Tarjan  0-1411971Lone PineB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
2. R Avery vs A Karklins  0-1201971Lone PineE33 Nimzo-Indian, Classical
3. C Barnes vs R Stoutenborough 0-1391971Lone PineB32 Sicilian
4. W Martz vs R Newbold  1-0621971Lone PineE78 King's Indian, Four Pawns Attack, with Be2 and Nf3
5. A Mengarini vs G Fulkerson  0-1491971Lone PineB02 Alekhine's Defense
6. S Rubin vs W A Bills  1-0511971Lone PineB01 Scandinavian
7. D Waterman vs Gligoric  0-1371971Lone PineA00 Uncommon Opening
8. R Newbold vs G Simms  ½-½401971Lone PineE00 Queen's Pawn Game
9. J Grefe vs S Rubin 1-0281971Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
10. W A Bills vs C Barnes  1-0161971Lone PineB22 Sicilian, Alapin
11. Browne vs D Fischheimer 1-0381971Lone PineC77 Ruy Lopez
12. R Avery vs A Mengarini  0-1281971Lone PineD08 Queen's Gambit Declined, Albin Counter Gambit
13. W Abbott vs C B Jones  1-0381971Lone PineB41 Sicilian, Kan
14. C B Jones vs P Shuey  1-0271971Lone PineB02 Alekhine's Defense
15. R Ervin vs R Newbold  1-0491971Lone PineB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
16. S Rubin vs A Mengarini  0-1351971Lone PineC44 King's Pawn Game
17. C Barnes vs D Fischheimer  1-0711971Lone PineC53 Giuoco Piano
18. G R Forman vs C B Jones 1-0391971Lone PineB28 Sicilian, O'Kelly Variation
19. J McCormick vs S Rubin  1-0311971Lone PineE18 Queen's Indian, Old Main line, 7.Nc3
20. A Mengarini vs E Martinovsky  0-1391971Lone PineB10 Caro-Kann
21. R Newbold vs R Avery  1-0461971Lone PineD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
22. Tarjan vs Browne 1-0461971Lone PineA07 King's Indian Attack
23. C B Jones vs R Klein  1-0321971Lone PineB09 Pirc, Austrian Attack
24. E Marchand vs C Barnes  ½-½541971Lone PineA45 Queen's Pawn Game
25. W Martz vs Tarjan 0-1291971Lone PineA22 English
 page 1 of 2; games 1-25 of 40  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Feb-12-15  zanzibar: By the way, is that an actual quote from Statham? (I'd like to see the source).

Winter has a very nice profile of a frequent Lone Pine guest - Bent Larsen - here:

which features a nice picture of Statham and his wife here:

It would be a shame if <CG> couldn't include it somewhere in the many <Lone Pine> tournaments it has.

Oct-02-17  Howard: That quote about "a mansion and a yacht" sounds strangly familiar...

was it Elmer or his perennial enemy BB who said that ?!

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