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US Championship 1973
Compiled by Phony Benoni
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With the reverberations of the Fischer Boom still resounding in their ears, the Powers That Were in USCF-Land decided it might be time to move the US Closed Championship out of New York where it had been played exclusively since 1936 (except for the small blip of South Fallsburg, 1948). As always, the issue was funding, but the El Paso Chess Club (with the help of the local Jaycees and the Hotel Paso del Norte) got everything together and brought together the following group from September 9-26, 1973, for a little chess and a trip or two across the border to Juarez for the dog races:

Pal Benko Arthur Bisguier Walter Shawn Browne Donald Byrne Larry Melvyn Evans Lawrence C Gilden John Alan Grefe George Francis Kane Andrew Karklins Lubomir Kavalek William E Martz Edmar J Mednis James Tarjan

A good bunch of players, but lousy handicappers. Tournament Director Georges Koltanowski recorded that a dog named <Check> won the sixth race, but nobody thought to bet on him. By the way, you might notice only thirteen names. Lombardy was compelled to withdraw at the last minute and was not replaced. As a punishment, he was stuck with writing the tournament book.

He had a great story. A new site brought new players to the fore, as the recently-eligible Lubomir Kavalek and little-regarded John Grefe sprinted out in front, Grefe winning six games in a row at one point. When they met in round 10 Grefe actually had a 1.5 point lead, but Kavalek had an extra game to play due to the bye. Kavalek vs J A Grefe, 1973 went Kavalek's way, but he was only able to draw in round 11 when Grefe had the bye, leaving the two players tied going into the last two rounds.

Both took quick draws with White in round 12. The last round saw them both playing Black, Kavalek against Karklins and Grefe against Benko. Kavalek seemed to have the easier task, but when the games were adjourned his position was drawn (though difficult) while Grefe had an easy win against Benko.

After adjournment Grefe duly converted his point. and didn't have long to wait. Almost immediately afterward, with a perpetual check in hand, Karklins miscalculated a line he thought was winning for him and handed the game to Kavalek, resulting in co-champions.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 01 Kavalek * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.5 02 Grefe 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 9.5 03 Browne 0 * 1 1 1 1 1 1 8.5 04 Tarjan * 1 1 0 1 1 7.5 05 Evans 0 * 0 1 1 1 6.5 06 Benko 0 * 1 1 6.5 07 Karklins 0 0 0 1 * 0 1 1 1 6.0 08 Mednis 0 0 0 1 * 0 1 1 5.5 09 Bisguier 0 0 0 0 * 1 1 5.0 10 Gilden 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 * 0 4.0 11 Martz 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 3.5 12 Byrne 0 0 0 0 0 * 0 3.0 13 Kane 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 * 3.0

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
Browne vs Mednis, 1973 
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 48 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
D Byrne vs Bisguier, 1973
(A22) English, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
Tarjan vs L C Gilden, 1973 
(B93) Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4, 35 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
Kavalek vs G F Kane, 1973
(A04) Reti Opening, 45 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
J A Grefe vs A Karklins, 1973 
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 30 moves, 1-0

Round 1 (Sunday, September 9)
Larry Evans vs Benko, 1973
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
A Karklins vs Larry Evans, 1973
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 27 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
G F Kane vs J A Grefe, 1973
(A56) Benoni Defense, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
L C Gilden vs Kavalek, 1973
(B45) Sicilian, Taimanov, 71 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
Bisguier vs Tarjan, 1973
(A48) King's Indian, 59 moves, 0-1

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
Mednis vs D Byrne, 1973
(B39) Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 2 (Monday, September 10)
W Martz vs Browne, 1973
(E60) King's Indian Defense, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (September 11)
D Byrne vs W Martz, 1973
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Tuesday, September 11)
Tarjan vs Mednis, 1973
(B50) Sicilian, 40 moves, 0-1

Round 3 (Tuesday, September 11)
Kavalek vs Bisguier, 1973
(A06) Reti Opening, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 3 (Tuesday, September 11)
J A Grefe vs L C Gilden, 1973
(B97) Sicilian, Najdorf, 25 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Tuesday, September 11)
Larry Evans vs G F Kane, 1973
(A79) Benoni, Classical, 11.f3, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 3 (Tuesday, September 11)
Benko vs A Karklins, 1973
(A54) Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
G F Kane vs Benko, 1973
(D86) Grunfeld, Exchange, 26 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
L C Gilden vs Larry Evans, 1973
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 69 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
Bisguier vs J A Grefe, 1973
(A42) Modern Defense, Averbakh System, 36 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
Mednis vs Kavalek, 1973
(B52) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 41 moves, 0-1

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
W Martz vs Tarjan, 1973
(A31) English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation, 60 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 4 (Thursday, September 13)
Browne vs D Byrne, 1973 
(B77) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 42 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
Tarjan vs Browne, 1973
(B98) Sicilian, Najdorf, 30 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
Kavalek vs W Martz, 1973
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
J A Grefe vs Mednis, 1973 
(C18) French, Winawer, 89 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
Larry Evans vs Bisguier, 1973
(A20) English, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
Benko vs L C Gilden, 1973
(B27) Sicilian, 39 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 5 (Friday, September 14)
A Karklins vs G F Kane, 1973
(C93) Ruy Lopez, Closed, Smyslov Defense, 71 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
L C Gilden vs A Karklins, 1973
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 34 moves, 1-0

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
Bisguier vs Benko, 1973
(B51) Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack, 21 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
Mednis vs Larry Evans, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
W Martz vs J A Grefe, 1973
(A46) Queen's Pawn Game, 55 moves, 0-1

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
Browne vs Kavalek, 1973
(C63) Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense, 18 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 6 (Saturday, September 15)
D Byrne vs Tarjan, 1973
(A36) English, 72 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
Kavalek vs D Byrne, 1973 
(B41) Sicilian, Kan, 100 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
J A Grefe vs Browne, 1973 
(B98) Sicilian, Najdorf, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
Larry Evans vs W Martz, 1973
(B05) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 41 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
Benko vs Mednis, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 22 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
A Karklins vs Bisguier, 1973
(C02) French, Advance, 29 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 7 (Monday, September 17)
G F Kane vs L C Gilden, 1973
(E81) King's Indian, Samisch, 23 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
Bisguier vs G F Kane, 1973 
(B21) Sicilian, 2.f4 and 2.d4, 21 moves, 1-0

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
Mednis vs A Karklins, 1973
(C91) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 58 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
W Martz vs Benko, 1973 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 48 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
Browne vs Larry Evans, 1973
(B08) Pirc, Classical, 70 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
D Byrne vs J A Grefe, 1973 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 33 moves, 0-1

Round 8 (Tuesday, September 18)
Tarjan vs Kavalek, 1973
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 40 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1973 
(B77) Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
Larry Evans vs D Byrne, 1973
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 46 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
Benko vs Browne, 1973
(A15) English, 86 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
A Karklins vs W Martz, 1973
(B33) Sicilian, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
G F Kane vs Mednis, 1973
(B67) Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer Attack, 7...a6 Defense, 8...Bd7, 48 moves, 0-1

Round 9 (Wednesday, September 19)
L C Gilden vs Bisguier, 1973
(A06) Reti Opening, 43 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
Mednis vs L C Gilden, 1973
(B42) Sicilian, Kan, 57 moves, 0-1

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
W Martz vs G F Kane, 1973
(D60) Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
Browne vs A Karklins, 1973
(C69) Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 33 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
D Byrne vs Benko, 1973 
(A00) Uncommon Opening, 13 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
Tarjan vs Larry Evans, 1973 
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 64 moves, 1-0

Round 10 (Friday, September 21)
Kavalek vs J A Grefe, 1973 
(D42) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 7.Bd3, 40 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
Larry Evans vs Kavalek, 1973
(D92) Grunfeld, 5.Bf4, 20 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
Benko vs Tarjan, 1973
(B27) Sicilian, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
A Karklins vs D Byrne, 1973 
(B43) Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3, 36 moves, 1-0

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
G F Kane vs Browne, 1973
(A59) Benko Gambit, 53 moves, 0-1

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
Bisguier vs Mednis, 1973
(A02) Bird's Opening, 56 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 11 (Saturday, September 22)
L C Gilden vs W Martz, 1973
(B04) Alekhine's Defense, Modern, 75 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
W Martz vs Bisguier, 1973 
(D41) Queen's Gambit Declined, Semi-Tarrasch, 42 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
Browne vs L C Gilden, 1973
(C89) Ruy Lopez, Marshall, 68 moves, 1-0

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
D Byrne vs G F Kane, 1973 
(A36) English, 39 moves, 0-1

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
Tarjan vs A Karklins, 1973
(C96) Ruy Lopez, Closed, 41 moves, 1-0

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
Kavalek vs Benko, 1973
(B06) Robatsch, 12 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 12 (Sunday, September 23)
J A Grefe vs Larry Evans, 1973
(B81) Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
Benko vs J A Grefe, 1973 
(A15) English, 58 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
A Karklins vs Kavalek, 1973 
(B83) Sicilian, 56 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
G F Kane vs Tarjan, 1973 
(A57) Benko Gambit, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
L C Gilden vs D Byrne, 1973
(B50) Sicilian, 42 moves, 1/2-1/2

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
Bisguier vs Browne, 1973
(B40) Sicilian, 55 moves, 0-1

Round 13 (Wednesday, September 26)
Mednis vs W Martz, 1973
(B32) Sicilian, 54 moves, 1/2-1/2

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