chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing
Ronald Joseph Gross vs James Michael Bolton
56th US Open (1955), Long Beach, CA USA, rd 7, Aug-14
Semi-Slav Defense: Stoltz Variation (D45)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

Get this game explained with Decode Chess
explore this opening
find similar games 52 more games of R J Gross
sac: 14...Bxe6 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

TIP: If you do not want to read posts by a certain member, put them on your ignore list.

PGN Viewer:  What is this?
For help with this chess viewer, please see the Olga Chess Viewer Quickstart Guide.
PREMIUM MEMBERS CAN REQUEST COMPUTER ANALYSIS [more info]

Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-18-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: An infamous game.

It doesn't look like much. White gives up too much material to win Black's queen and gets overwhelmed in short order.

However, after the game Bolton was informed by a witness that his opponent had taken back a move while Bolton was away from the board. Furious, Bolton demanded that White be punished by having the game scored as a forfeit rather than a win over the board.

This would not happen today. Bolton would be too concerned about keeping his rating points. But in 1955 he was merely being eccentric, and the tournament officials let him have his way.

Of course, it really didn't matter one way or another. Until they started calculating the tiebreaks between Reshevsky and Rossolimo to decide which one would win the car awarded to the champion.

Bolton had played Reshevsky. When this game was scored as a forfeit, that lowered Bolton's adjusted score (used in calculating tiebreaks) by 1/2-point. And Reshevsky finished 1/2-point behind Rossolimo on tiebreak.

Uh-oh!

Fortunately, even had this game been counted as a full point, Reshevsky still would have lost to Rossolimo by 1/4-point on the third tiebreak. So it didn't matter in the long run. Perhaps the most lasting effect has been that they don't award cars to the winner of the US Open any more.

Dec-18-11  King Death: <Phony Benoni> An interesting story which I'd never heard before. Gross should have been expelled from the tournament.
Dec-18-11  Shams: By definition, a gross breach of etiquette.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <King Death> Why no stronger action was taken against Gross is an interesting question. Unfortunately, I know of no other details; the story is rather legendary, though the basic facts are attested well enough.

It's possible, for instance, that the tournament officials decided the case against Gross wasn't strong enough for punitive action, and adopted the forfeit ruling just to appease Bolton with the appearance of winning his case.

It might be relevant that Gross lived in Compton, just a few miles from the tournament site in Long Beach. He might have been well known to the tournament officials, and given the benefit of the doubt as a generally homorable person.

And now you know why I gave up directing tournaments.

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> The tournament officials were probably used to Gross misconduct from him.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Gross is still an active player at age 75; USCF lists a tournament he played in July, 2011. I like to think he just had a moment of weakness; note that he was 19 at the time of this game.

He's probably as sick of "Gross" puns as I am of "Moody" puns. I'm considering changing my last name to "Rhone" or "Volga" or "Danube" or even "Suwanee". That wouldn't stop the puns, but at least I'd hear some new ones.

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> I remember Evans in one of his books making a remark about Reshevsky being so unpopular that when an organizer screwed him out of a car that he should have gotten for winning a tournament, none of the other strong players complained. I don't know if this was the incident he was referring to. (From your account, it sounds as though the organizers here acted properly, although the result was most unfortunate for Reshevsky.)

I didn't mean to besmirch Gross' reputation, especially given that he's still playing - was just making a silly pun, as usual. Most of us have probably done stupid things at 19 that we wish we hadn't done.

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> I remember Evans in one of his books making a remark about Reshevsky being so unpopular that when an organizer screwed him out of a car that he should have gotten for winning a tournament, none of the other strong players complained. I don't know if this was the incident he was referring to. (From your account, it sounds as though the organizers here acted properly, although the result was most unfortunate for Reshevsky.)

I didn't mean to besmirch Gross' reputation, especially given that he's still playing - was just making a silly pun, as usual. Most of us have probably done stupid things at 19 that we wish we hadn't done.

Or considerably older, for that matter. When, during the Clinton impeachment hearings it was revealed that Congressman Henry Hyde (one of those trying to remove Clinton from office) had had an affair in his mid-40s, which resulted in his mistress and her husband getting divorced, Hyde dismissed it as a "youthful indiscretion."

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  roberts partner: The story current at the time was that Rossolmo and Evans were paired in the final round. Reshevsky finished early, so after move 40 his two rivals just manoeuvred round and round doing nothing in a drawn heavy piece ending (I think this game is in the ChessGames database) while calculating the tiebreaks from the other ongoing games to decide which of them would best benefit by a win. When Bolton v Gross finally ended, Evans promptly blundered and next morning he and Rossolimo were spotted haggling with a used auto dealer.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <roberts partner> Good to "see" you again. Unfortunately our mutual friend is mad at me these days and won't respond to my e-mails.

Thanks for the very interesting account. Larry Evans vs Rossolimo, 1955 looks to be the game you are referring to.

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <roberts partner> A couple of details from that contemporary story are troubling. In the first place, the Gross vs. Bolton game was from round 7, not the last round--and as I noted above, it actually did not decide the tiebreak situation between Rossolimo and Reshevsky.

The big question is why Evans would take the fall, since he would have beaten Reshevsky on tiebreak with a win. Here are their actual scores:

Evans Reshevsky
1 5.0 5.5
2 8.0 7.0
3 6.5 6.5
4 7.5 6.5
5 7.5 7.5
6 6.5 7.0
7 8.5 9.5
8 8.0 9.0
9 10.0 10.0
10 7.5 8.0
11 9.5 8.5
12 9.0 8.5

93.5 93.5

However, the first tiebreak was Median, dropping the top two and bottom two, which gives this resulst:

Evans Reshevsky
1
2 8.0 7.0
3
4 7.5 6.5
5 7.5 7.5
6 6.5 7.0
7 8.5
8 8.0 9.0
9
10 7.5 8.0
11 8.5
12 9.0 8.5

62.5 62.0

So Evans would have finished first with a win over Rossolimo. This doesn't disprove your account, of course, but it does raise some questions.

Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Phony Benoni> I suppose that if they determined that either would win on tiebreak over Reshevsky, they could have flipped a coin or something to decide who would take the fall. Obviously they would have had to figure out a way to do this subtly so that Reshevsky and his allies (if he had any) would not observe it.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Tiebreaks are stupid, especially if they're used to determine who wins a car. Of course, you could equally well say that having a large indivisible prize like a car is stupid.
Dec-19-11
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <FSR> Or, more likely, they simply misfigured the tiebreaks.

I'm just starting on the 1957 US Open, but apparently there was a tiebreak controversy about that one as well. According to Arthur Bisguier, he was told he had won the title but a recalculation gave it to Fischer instead.

Apr-11-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"This would not happen today. Bolton would be too concerned about keeping his rating points.">

What did I tell you?

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.


NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific game only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

This game is type: CLASSICAL. Please report incorrect or missing information by submitting a correction slip to help us improve the quality of our content.

Featured in the Following Game Collections[what is this?]
Round 7 (Sunday, August 14): Tournament book
from US Open 1955, Long Beach by Phony Benoni
Queen sacrifices 1
by obrit

Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | Profile | Preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | New Kibitzing | Chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | Privacy Notice | Contact Us

Copyright 2001-2021, Chessgames Services LLC