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Georges Koltanowski vs Joe Firestone
Simul (1946) (exhibition), Pittsburgh, PA USA, Oct-21
King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation. Normal Defense (E81)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
May-24-05  soberknight: Joe was Firestone but not Bridgestone.
Nov-14-05  RonB52734: And it seems 1946 was not a Goodyear for Joe.
Nov-14-05  notsodeepthought: Was 32 ... Nge6 not worth a try? Or was Firestone simply too "tire"d to see it?
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheAlchemist: A flat tire, or to put in musical terms, Tire in A-flat :-)
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I hate to spoil the fun, but according to the tournament book there was no player at Pittsburgh 1946 named Joe Firestone. The only game Koltanowski won with White in the tournament was against M.M. Schaffer; however, the game was not published in the book. I have no idea if this was the Schaffer game, or from some other event or simul.
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  Eric Schiller: <Phony> nowhere was it claimed this is from s specific event. George gave simuls wherever he went, this was likely one of them. Black's poor play would suggest he wasn't highly ranked,
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  Phony Benoni: <Eric Schiller> Yes, I made an assumption about the event. But I've often seen "op USA" used in the database for games actually played at an U.S. Open; see for instance Koltanowski vs H Steiner, 1946.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <phony> op USA is common for US Open, because op is abbreviation for Open. Most games were traditionally identifird only by city or country, and databases are a mess. Attempts to standardize have never caught on, and standard database abbreviations are gibberish because the programmers foolishly limited the number of characters in the site field. Bad database design has caused tremendous problems for us.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Eric Schiller> AMEN!
Dec-17-06  RonB52734: Well, it's quite obvious this game *purports* to be from the 1946 US Open based on the notation "op USA 1946" which appears (correctly, unlike here) on many of the games that were in fact played in that tournament. But it's equally clear that this game was *not* played in the Open, because the Tournament Book lists all of the entrants and there isn't a Firestone. However, it does seem quite clear that Koltanowski played a simul in Pittsburgh, as indicated by this game: Koltanowski vs Bisguier, 1946, which is listed in the database as a "simul" game. Interestingly, the Koltanowski vs Bisguier, 1946 game occurred when Bisguier was 16 years old, several years before he became an IM.

I'm going to suggest a correction on this game to take it out of the "op USA" category.

May-06-07  RonB52734: Finally some answers about Joe Firestone. The unofficial librarian of the Pittsburgh Chess Club found this for me in "Adventures of a Chess Master," by George Koltanowski, "International Wizard of Blindfold Chess" (the Pittsburgh Chess Club has an autographed copy):

...Joe Firestone, one of America's biggest chess players, rotund and happy, is always there [at the Pittsburgh Downtown "Y" Chess Club - precursor of the Pittsburgh Chess Club] behind a big cigar. ... I have played against Joe Firestone on several occasions. In his youth, Joe was one of Hungary's finest players, and to this day remains one of Pittsburgh's most dangerous experts. Our last encounter [this game -RB], in an 8-board exhibition on October 21, 1946, saw him improvising an adequate defense to a premature attack and then allowing White's pieces to invade his K side." He provided the following annotations to the game:

after 8.Bh6: White's plan is simplicity itself-the inauguration of an immediate attack against the Black K position. Black, on the other hand, will only have to defend himself, for such early attacks rarely succeed against cool-headed play.

after 12...e5: Well played. Counter-attack in the center is the ideal riposte to premature lunges on the K side.

after 17...Qe7: White's attack has petered out, and Black threatens to counter on the Q side. Thus, White must try to complicate matters.

After 18...d5: Better than 18...dxc5; 19.Bc4, after which White's pieces would rapidly come into play.

After 24.Nc2!: White has fortified his exposed position, and can now proceed to another attempt at the K position of his opponent. After 31...Ng7: If 31...Kg7 32.Ree8 Ne6 33 Rg8#

and after 32.Nd5: Black resigns. If 32...Ne6 33.Rxe6 fxe6 34. Nxc7; If 32...Rd7 33. Rxd7 Nxd7 34. Ne7+ and 35 Nxf5.

Aug-28-07  wolfmaster: Please everybody, quit punishing me!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: <In his youth, Joe was one of Hungary's finest players>

Same guy as J Feuerstein?

Jan-26-17  LeonS: Neat for me to find this site. For anyone interested, there definitely was a Joseph Firestone, because he was one of my distant relatives. I've heard about him through my family, who is Hungarian, and we are from Pittsburgh. The description forwarded from the Pittsburgh Chess Club librarian matches to a tee the stories that I have heard. Cousin 'Joshka' died in 1949, so I never met him, but by odd coincidence, I came to know another prominent player at from that time, Joseph Shaffer, who has a number of games in your database. He played Firestone and remembered him clearly from the 40s. Firestone is buried in Pittsburgh along with many of my other relatives and I have visited his grave.
Jan-26-17  dhotts: 23...Rc5 seems to be a lost opportunity for Black, had Black moved 23...Qe1+ 24.Rd1 Rxc3+ 25.bxc3 followed by 25...Qxc3+ leaves white's king exposed and in real danger.

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