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Walter Thomas Mayfield vs William Robert Trinks
60th US Open (1959), Omaha, NE USA, rd 12, Aug-01
Borg Defense: General (B00)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
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Oct-22-12  wildrookie: William Trinks? I believe that William drinks... and heavily too :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: There are shorter games. See below (a section, almost entirely written by me, of a Wikipedia article):

<In terms of number of moves, the quickest mate possible in chess is known as Fool's mate (1.g4 e5 2.f3?? Qh4# and variants thereof). This has been known to occur in amateur play. gives a game L. Darling-R. Wood, 1983 (1.g4 e6 2.f4?? Qh4#).[4] Bill Wall lists, in addition to Darling-Wood, three other games that ended with Black checkmating on the second move.[5] In a tournament game at odds of pawn and move, White delivered checkmate on move 2: W. Cooke-"R____g", Cape Town Chess Club handicap tournament 1908 (remove Black's f-pawn) 1.e4 g5?? 2.Qh5#.[6] The same game had previously been played in Leeky-Mason, Dublin 1867.[7]

The shortest decisive game ever played in master play that was decided because of the position on the board (i.e. not because of a forfeit or protest) is Z. Đorđević – M. Kovačević, Bela Crkva 1984. It lasted only three moves (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 c6 3.e3?? Qa5+ winning the bishop), and White resigned.[2][8][9] This was repeated in Vassallo-Gamundi, Salamanca 1998.[2] (In a number of other games, White has played on after 3...Qa5+, occasionally even drawing the game.)[10]

There have been many forfeited games (which could technically be regarded as losses in zero moves), the most notable examples being Game 2 of the 1972 world championship match between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fischer, which Fischer defaulted,[11] and Game 5 of the 2006 world championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov, which Kramnik defaulted.[12] A game between Fischer and Oscar Panno, played at the Palma de Mallorca Interzonal 1970, went 1. c4 resigns. Panno refused to play to protest the organizers' rescheduling of the game to accommodate Fischer's desire not to play on his religion's Sabbath. Panno was not present when the game was to begin. Fischer waited ten minutes before making his move and went to get Panno to convince him to play. Fifty-two minutes had elapsed on Panno's clock before he came to the board and resigned.[13][14] (At the time, an absence of sixty minutes resulted in a forfeit.)[15]

Under recently instituted FIDE rules, a player who is late for the beginning of a round loses the game, as does a player whose cellphone makes any sound in the tournament hall. The former rule was used at the 2009 Chinese Championship to forfeit Hou Yifan for arriving five seconds late for the beginning of a round.[16] The latter rule was used to forfeit Aleksander Delchev against Stuart Conquest after the move 1.d4 in the 2009 European Team Championship.[17]

The German grandmaster Robert Hübner also lost a game without playing any moves. In a World Student Team Championship game played in Graz in 1972, Hübner played one move and offered a draw to Kenneth Rogoff, who accepted. However, the arbiters insisted that some moves be played, so the players played the following ridiculous game: 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Ng1 Bg7 4. Qa4 0-0 5. Qxd7 Qxd7 6. g4 Qxd2+ 7. Kxd2 Nxg4 8. b4 a5 9. a4 Bxa1 10. Bb2 Nc6 11. Bh8 Bg7 12. h4 axb4 draw agreed). The arbiters ruled that both players must apologize and play an actual game at 7 p.m. Rogoff appeared and apologized; Hübner did neither. Hübner's clock was started, and after an hour Rogoff was declared the winner.[18] The young star players Wang Chen and Lu Shanglei both lost a game in which they had played no moves. They agreed to a draw without play at the 2009 Zhejiang Lishui Xingqiu Cup International Open Chess Tournament held in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, China. The chief arbiter declared both players to have lost the game.[19]

A game may be drawn in any number of moves, or even no moves, if the tournament officials (unlike those at Graz and Lishui) do not object. According to, in the 1968 Skopje–Ohrid tournament Dragoljub Janosevic and Efim Geller agreed to a draw without playing any moves.[20] Tony Miles and Stewart Reuben did the same thing in the last round of the Luton 1975 tournament, "with the blessing of the controller", in order to assure themselves of first and second places respectively.[21][22]>

Nov-03-13  DoctorD: <Phony Benoni> said:

"Their ratings coming into the tournament were 1640 and 1658 respectively, but the rating system was quite different in 1959. Those would probably be equivalent to 1200-1300 today."

It always hard to compare and contrast ratings from earlier times, but this reminds me of a statement a friend of mine made in the 1970s, when I first learned the game. He was rated 1900-2000 in the 50s and when I asked him why his rating had dropped to the low 1600s, he said, "Back in those days, you could count on "C" players losing a piece in the opening."

Nov-04-13  SoUnwiseTheKnight B4: Anyone who attempts a Borg at a US Open is probably in for some trouble.
Nov-04-13  Robed.Bishop: When I saw the Star Trek episodes involving the Borg, I had the impression they were pretty smart. I guess I was wrong.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Georges Koltanowski in San Antonio Light (San Antonio, Texas), 22 Nov 1959, p. 12-D:

<The following game played in the twelfth round at the U. S. Open in Omaha will make the event famous: White: Walter Mayfield, Texas; Black: William Trinks, Indiana. 1.P-K4 P-KN4 2.N-QB3 P-KB4 3.Q-R5 Mate. The game was actually played! You'd think that by now everyone would know his "A. B. C.">

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Tabanus> That would appear to confirm the story, insofar as we can trust Koltanowski. But we do know from the crosstable that Mayfield defeated Trinks in the last round. And, if Koltanowski did invent the whole thing, surely he would have had the good sense not to mention the players' names.

I do have a citation for the crosstable on the collection page, but just to make it clear:

"Chess Life", October 5, 1959, p.9. Mayfield is player #114, Trinks #127.

Nov-12-15  zanzibar: Edward Winter talks about this game here:



<CG> munches link above. Add a trailing "-" to the url, or copy this

Ah that doesn't work either, due to <CG> line truncating. OK, as they say in Maine "You can't get there from here!"


and also here:


Nov-12-15  zanzibar: Also CN-4994

and this link:

which has a nice copy of the Chess Life report.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: (from Chess Life, 20 Oct 1959) says Koltanowski directed the tournament, using this game in one of his newspaper columns. I found K.'s mention of it (with the same wording) in two Texas newspapers. No mystery.
Nov-13-15  zanzibar:

which has the Oct 20 1959 CL article, makes mention of a 1936 US Open game involving a master that took only 5 moves.

Anybody know which game from Omaha this was?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: From Philadelphia. Must be W C Arnold vs M L Hanauer, 1936
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <Tabanus> Yes, that is the game. By the way, Arnold's full name is uncertain.

W C Arnold (kibitz #1)

As for Mayfield - Trinks, Spence does not include it in his tournament book.

We do know this:

1) Mayfield and Trinks were paired round 12 of the US Open at Omaha, 1959;

2) Mayfield is credited with winning the game;

3) Koltanowski reported that the result was a three-move win for Mayfield.

The question remains where Koltanowski got the information, since it was most unlikely he actually witnessed the game. It may be on the up-and-up, but it's not impossible that the players were having a little joke.

Nov-13-15  zanzibar: <Tab>, and <Phony>, thanks for the info on <Arnold--Hanauer (1936)>.

RE: Question about Koltanowski...

Well, who was the TD at Omaha?

The Italian site has the CL report, which clearly says Koltanowski was. Weren't scoresheets collected even back then?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <zanzibar> Yes, Koltanowski was definitely the tournament director. If nothing else, the crosstable ("Chess Life", October 5, 1959, page 9) states this explicitly.

I do not know the the exact method used in 1959 to report results, but in a large Swiss System tournament such as the US Open it probably involved one or both players notifying the tournament direction staff by handing in a copy of the score at a designated location. We know of such collections of scoresheets because Spence often speaks of having been given access to them..

Normally, there is no question about the scores. But this in not a normal game, and should set off some red flags.

Trinks was not a very good player, but he was experienced and no idiot. It seems very unlikely he would fall for this unawares.

This was the final of a 12-round tournament. Unless you've played in one, you don't know how grueling that is. Players are known to get goofy in the last round. I know. I've been there.

Since the directing staff in all likelihood did not observe the game, there was nothing to stop the players from handing in this score as a joke. Or for Mayfield alone to do so when Trinks didn't show up, having left the tournament early without telling anybody. I've been in that situation too, and it is very tempting to hand in the score of Morphy vs. Duke or something.

There is no evidence of chicanery, and there are indications that the game was actually played as we have it here. That is usually enought, but in this extraordinary situatio, I'd feel better with more confirmation.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Forgot to mention -- the game in <not> in Spence's tournament book.
Nov-16-15  zanzibar: A couple of thoughts in reply.

At this point the game, incredible though it might appear, seems to be legit. If only because of Koltanowski (and the lack of any contravening evidence).

On the other hand, it could easily be as <phony> says, turned in as a scoresheet but not actually played on the board.

Or Trinks could have deliberately played it out, just wanting to have a day off.

One can speculate as we often do, but it's a legitimate part of the historical record.

Mar-02-16  whiteshark: He got tight on a couple of trinks.
Dec-22-16  Kamagong42: talk about making a move first before Trinking!
Jan-05-18  cormier: 1) +1.16 (35 ply) 2.Nc3 h6 3.d4 d6 4.h4 gxh4 5.Qd3 e5 6.dxe5 dxe5 7.Qxd8+ Kxd8 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Rxh4 Be6 10.Be3 Be7 11.Ng5 Kc8 12.Rh1 Nb4 13.Kd2 Bxg5 14.Bxg5 a6 15.Be2 b6 16.a3 Nc6 17.Rad1 Kb7 18.Kc1 Nge7 19.Bf6 Rhg8 20.g3

2) +1.11 (35 ply) 2.d4 h6

3) +1.03 (34 ply) 2.h4 gxh4 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qd3 Nc6 6.Bg5 h3 7.gxh3 f5 8.Nc3 Qd7 9.Rg1 fxe4 10.Qxe4 Qf5 11.Qxf5 Bxf5 12.O-O-O Bf6 13.Bxf6 Nxf6 14.d5 Ne5 15.Nxe5 dxe5 16.Rg5 Bg6 17.Bb5+ Nd7 18.Rxe5 a6 19.Bxd7+ Kxd7 20.a3 Raf8 21.Rde1

2.5 hour analysis by Stockfish 8

Jan-22-19  Spassfish: Never, in the history of chess, has so much been said about so little! Nuff said.
Premium Chessgames Member
  AylerKupp: <zanzibar> I Googled "Edward Winter Unsolved Chess Mysteries 6" and I got this link to the original article:

And <Spassfish> is clearly not familiar with my posting history, otherwise he would not have indicated <Nuff said>

Jan-22-19  jith1207: This game has more number of pages kibitzed than the actual moved.

And, it's not because the number of kibitzed pages are high.

Dec-26-21  JimmyVermeer: Only on will players spend 2.5 hours using Stockfish to analyze a game that was obviously thrown.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Trinks was not a great player, but his other three games in the database, although all losses (two of them to Robert Steinmeyer, who was a very strong player), were much better than this atrocity. So either he didn't play this game or he deliberately threw it.
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