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Albert Charles Chow
A C Chow 
Copyright: Chicago Sun-Times  
Number of games in database: 66
Years covered: 1979 to 2006
Last FIDE rating: 2161 (2109 blitz)
Highest rating achieved in database: 2263
Overall record: +17 -34 =15 (37.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

Repertoire Explorer
Most played openings
A34 English, Symmetrical (6 games)
C34 King's Gambit Accepted (3 games)
B32 Sicilian (3 games)
B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack (2 games)
D44 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav (2 games)
D39 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin, Vienna Variation (2 games)
D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted (2 games)
B44 Sicilian (2 games)

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FIDE player card for Albert Charles Chow

(born Jan-26-1964, died Oct-30-2021, 57 years old) United States of America

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Albert Charles Chow of Chicago was a FIDE Master, Life Master, and former Senior Master. He was the co-winner of the 1994 U.S. Open. Game Collection: US Open 1994, Chicago. He won the Illinois Open outright in 1982, 1984, and 1995, and tied for the title in 1985, 1996, 2002, and 2008. For several years, he was the chess columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.

Last updated: 2021-11-03 23:00:00

 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. A C Chow vs E Karklins 0-17197980th US OpenA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
2. Tom MacCormack vs A C Chow  0-143197980th US OpenA10 English
3. Tim Kras vs A C Chow  ½-½321980Palmer House OpenA15 English
4. D Sprenkle vs A C Chow  1-0241982Chicago FuturityC44 King's Pawn Game
5. E Karklins vs A C Chow 1-03019821st Midwest Masters InvitationalC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
6. A C Chow vs T Q Miller 1-0371983U of Chicago InternationalB00 Uncommon King's Pawn Opening
7. Gheorghiu vs A C Chow  1-0201984New York International OpenA34 English, Symmetrical
8. A C Chow vs Ljubojevic 0-1271984New York International OpenE15 Queen's Indian
9. A C Chow vs Shamkovich 1-0381984New York OpenA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
10. K G Shirazi vs A C Chow 0-1771984New York InternationalC26 Vienna
11. A C Chow vs D Sprenkle  ½-½631985Midwest MastersA52 Budapest Gambit
12. Keene vs A C Chow 1-0191985Windy City InternationalA65 Benoni, 6.e4
13. E Schiller vs A C Chow  0-1401986International TournamentC11 French
14. E Schiller vs A C Chow  1-0401986Local TournamentB01 Scandinavian
15. A C Chow vs M Giles 1-0351986Illinois OpenE84 King's Indian, Samisch, Panno Main line
16. I Ivanov vs A C Chow  1-02519864th Midwest Masters InvitationalA34 English, Symmetrical
17. E Schiller vs A C Chow  0-1381987Tuley ParkA07 King's Indian Attack
18. L Day vs A C Chow 1-0361988Oakham HouseC34 King's Gambit Accepted
19. D Gurevich vs A C Chow  ½-½281988Illinois ClassA34 English, Symmetrical
20. E Schiller vs A C Chow  0-1851988Illinois ChampionshipB44 Sicilian
21. A C Chow vs D Gurevich  ½-½3419886th Midwest Masters InvitationalE10 Queen's Pawn Game
22. E Schiller vs A C Chow 1-0161989ChicagoC15 French, Winawer
23. D Gurevich vs A C Chow  1-0311989Chicago Chess CenterA32 English, Symmetrical Variation
24. A C Chow vs Dlugy 0-15919897th Midwest Masters InvitationalD20 Queen's Gambit Accepted
25. Kudrin vs A C Chow 1-027198990th US OpenC07 French, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 3; games 1-25 of 66  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Chow wins | Chow loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Apr-20-09  patzer2: At is a nice article mentioning how Albert Chow recently provided a strong and instructive simultaneous exhibition for Illinois High School chess players.

An excerpt: <Master Albert Chow came again this year to challenge all comers to a simul. Master Chow's simuls are more than the simple try to beat the master challenge. He uses the opportunity to instruct his challengers as well. The thirty-three challengers didn't fair too well. Only Ben Chan of Hinsdale Central HS played a game worthy of being offered a draw for his effort. He received the prize for the Best Game against the Master.>

Apr-20-09  Dredge Rivers: Chow time! Come and get it!
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Regarding long thinks in chess:
Premium Chessgames Member
  andrewjsacks: <FSR> Thanks for the link. Very interesting indeed.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: I personally knew Albert Chow in the 1990s--I said as much in a post in 2004. I'd wondered if Albert Chow was still playing chess.

There's evidence that his most recent rated game is from 2017.

Below is one of his games not in this database. Afterwards is analysis by Stockfish showing a petit combination missed by Chow.

The game:

Meduri, Aakaash (2042) vs Chow, Albert (2152)
Date: 2017-04-15
Event: Clark Street Capital GM, Chicago USA
Round: 7
Result: 0-1
Opening: Trompowsky Attack, Classical Defense (A45)

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 cxd4 5. exd4 Be7 6. Nf3 b6 7. Nbd2 Bb7 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O d6 10. Qe2 Nbd7 11. Rfe1 Re8 12. h3 a6 13. Bc2 Qc7 14. Qd3 b5 15. Nh2 Qc6 16. f3 Nf8 17. a4 Nd5 18. Bxe7 Rxe7 19. axb5 axb5 20. Ng4 Ree8 21. Qf1 Qb6 22. Qf2 Rxa1 23. Rxa1 Nd7 24. Qh4 Nf8 25. Kh1 Ng6 26. Qf2 Ra8 27. Rxa8+ Bxa8 28. Nb3 Bc6 29. Qd2 Qa7 30. h4 Qe7 31. g3 Nf8 32. Kg1 Nb6 33. Qe2 Nc4 34. Bd3 d5 35. Nc5 Nd7 36. Nxd7 Qxd7 37. b3 Nd6 38. Qc2 h6 39. Ne5 Qc7 40. Kf2 Be8 41. Qb2 f6 42. Ng4 Bf7 43. Bb1 Qb6 44. Kg2 b4 45. Qd2 Nb5 46. Qa2 Qa7 47. Qxa7 Nxa7 48. cxb4 Nb5 49. Bd3 Nxd4 50. b5 Kf8 51. b6 Ke7 52. Bb5 Kd8 53. Ba4 Kc8 54. Nf2 Kb7 55. g4 Bg6 56. f4 Bc2 57. g5 hxg5 58. hxg5 fxg5 59. fxg5 Kxb6 60. Ng4 Kc7 61. Ne3 Bxb3 62. Be8 Kd6 63. Kh3 Nc2 64. Ng2 d4 65. Bg6 Nb4 66. Ne1 Bd1 67. Kg3 e5 68. Be4 Bb3 69. Kg4 Be6+ 70. Kh5 Bf7+ 71. Kg4 Nd5 72. Nd3 Ne3+ 73. Kg3 Bd5 74. Bg6 Bc4 75. Nf2 Bd5 76. Bd3 Ke6 77. Kh4 Ng2+ 78. Kg4 Nf4 79. Bb1 Bc4 80. Bf5+ Ke7 81. Kf3 Be2+ 82. Ke4 Kd6 83. Bh7 Bh5 84. Bg8 Bg6+ 85. Kf3 Ne6

Now go back to the position after White's 31st move:

click for larger view

One of the types of moves I look at is attacking a piece with a pawn. Is f5 worthwhile here? Stockfish 12 says its the best move. Play could go: 31. ... f5 32. Nh2 f4 33. Bxg6 fxg3 34. Qg5 Qxg5 35. hxg5 hxg6 36. Nf1 Nf4 37. Nxg3 Bxf3+ 38. Kh2

Black wins a pawn and Stockfish 12 says: - (2.61) Depth=39/68 0:01:21 94 MN

Oct-18-20  login:

In 1988 a young Albert Chow privides an interesting broad overview of how to tackle chess, life and several obstackles both have had in store for this talented chess master

Addicted to Chess

'.. "I think the way people play tells you a little bit about their personalities," says Chow (although not all masters agree with him). "Dr. Eugene Martinovsky" (2451)--a perennial rival of Chow's at the pinnacle of Chicagoland chess, and a professional psychiatrist--"you can see from his play that he's refined, not rash, in control. Also, he's super-dangerous to play against because of his knowledge of human beings." On the other hand, Benjamin Finegold (2457), a 19-year-old player Chow encountered in a recent tournament, "is very hyper, always talking. He comes up and asks me lots of questions and leaves me no time to answer. His game is also like that--he throws a lot of stuff at you, and you wonder what he means, but you can't take it for granted." On the other hand, Chow's own shoulder-length black hair and all-black clothing, while unusual for a chess player, is not reflected in any particularly outlandish play over the board.

"I consider chess one of the international languages," says Jules Stein, 72-year-old graphic artist and proprietor of the Chicago Chess Center, the only place in town where you can be sure of finding a game any evening and a tournament almost every weekend. "I've had guys come in here who spoke German, Hebrew, French, Spanish. The one language they all speak is chess." Chess-as-communication is Chow's rationale for refusing to play against computers (except for practice). He doesn't think there's anyone there to communicate with. "I enjoy playing a human being--the exchange of ideas. But a computer is like a streetlight turning from red to yellow. I don't think it's fair to enter them in tournaments. It's like entering a calculator in a math contest. ..'

by Harold Henderson, Chicago Reader

Anybody that is interested in the game of chess in the city of Chicago contact

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Albert Chow died shortly after 5 p.m. today. He had been diagnosed with metastatic squamous cell carcinoma last month. Very sad.
Oct-31-21  Granny O Doul: I don't normally go in for "faithful servant of Ca├»ssa"-type malarkey but if I did, I'd describe Chow as such.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Granny O Doul> Albert indeed devoted his life to the game. He even dropped out of high school, in part because Fischer had done so. I basically begged him not to, but to no avail. Decades later, he acknowledged that his dropping out had been a mistake.

We were best friends in the late 70s/early 80s. I had long hair at the time, which inspired Chow to wear his hair long, which he did for the rest of his life (except for that one time he shocked us by shaving it all off). He denounced me as a "chess traitor" in 1983 when I left Chicago to attend Columbia Law School. He wasn't kidding. We didn't speak for years after that. We eventually reconciled, but our relationship was never the same.

He was a very strong player at his peak. By 1985, he was a FIDE Master, a Senior Master, and a Life Master. I thought he would become a GM, or IM at least, but he never went beyond that. He eventually ended up around his rating floor of 2200.

In 2018-20, we both played for the "Rogue Squadron" team in the Chicago Industrial Chess League. Because of COVID, there have been no league games since early 2020. I played first board and Chow only third board, since my league rating was about 80 points above his. His understanding of the game was much greater than mine, of course.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Thanks for the anecdotes, FSR. RIP Albert Chow.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Chow's thoughts on Finegold match my own recollections of Ben from that year, the only time we met, at or away from the board.

As to Albert himself: we also had only one encounter, in a last-round game in a rapid event at Philadelphia 1994. I was Black in a KID and it was a must-win game, with us both having 4/5 till then.

In a complex middlegame, I set a trap with both of us short of time. Once I played the move, I watched Albert visibly brighten as he went in for the win of material, only to face a forced mate. Believe that result was the second and last time my name was ever mentioned in Chess Life, in an account of the tournament.

Oct-31-21  Z truth 000000001: <FSR> Is there any chance you might have a photograph of Albert which you could place in PD for his profile here on <CG>?

It would make a nice touch for his profile page.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Z truth 000000001> No, I don't. I've been agitating for years to have a photo of Albert here, but it's never happened for some reason. I was told recently that chessgames hasn't added any new photos for years.

I just sent an e-mail to Rob Eaman, our team captain, asking if he has any pictures of Chow. I suspect he does.

Nov-01-21  Z truth 000000001: <FSR> thanks for the reply, and yes, let's hope that your captain does release a few pictures into PD.

As far as <CG> goes, the lack of any new photos is mostly due to Daniel's death as he personally handled the additions (and he alone?).

I know many of my submissions to him were added - though even he was often remiss and needed plodding on more than one occasion.


Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Z truth 000000001> Rob sent me a couple of pictures, but they were team pictures where Albert is one of many players you see. Not very good.

Google Images has some good pictures: The FIDE one strikes me as the best. chessgames could ask FIDE for permission to use it. chessdrum has a couple of pictures. I'm a friend of Daaim Shabazz, its proprietor, and I'm sure he'd consent to using it. Chicago Chess Blog, to which I used to be a contributor, has a photo of Chow playing Bill Smythe. This was probably taken by Maret Thorpe, another friend of mine. I'm sure she'd consent to chessgames using it. Which do you like best?

Nov-01-21  Z truth 000000001: The FIDE picture is good, of course - but I'm always a bit unsure if their pictures are PD (Public Domain) or not.

I think SCID is using them as such, but I'm hesitant to do the same, least til I know the true status.

I've always wished <CG> had a photo gallery for each player - especially for players whose careers we follow from childhood into adulthood. Or for other players, like Chow and John Watson, whose career also spanned distinct periods of different fashions.

But if I had to pick one photo for Chow, the FIDE photo would definitely be a contender:

(What year is this from?)

Another, much earlier photo I like is this one from the now deceased Jerry Bibuld:

Again, not sure the location or year, but it's definitely a different look for Chow (who's on the far left). USCF ran this photo for Schiller's obit.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: My recollection of the one time I met Chow is of a look somewhere between the Bibuld image and that provided in Albert's FIDE profile, which is very clearly from later in life.
Nov-01-21  Granny O Doul: The Bibuld picture is New York 1990, from the press room at the Macklowe Hotel during the first half of Kasparov-Karpov IV. Widdershins from lower left it's Chow, Schiller, Billy Colias, Vince McCambridge, Adam Black.
Nov-01-21  Granny O Doul: K-K V, not IV. I must have lost count somewhere.
Nov-01-21  Z truth 000000001: <Granny O Doul> is it widdershins, or deosil?

(Or is it deasil, deiseal, deisal, deisul)??

They're all new to me, to tell the truth.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: 31 years later, and Colias, Schiller, and Chow are no longer with us.
Nov-02-21  Z truth 000000001: To be a bit droll, one might admonish to not sit in the front row.

On a more serious note, Colias was very young to have gotten cancer. Does anyone know what kind he had?

Premium Chessgames Member
Nov-03-21  Z truth 000000001: Chessdrum generally does a good job bringing out the human side of chess, as it did the article <FSR> linked to.
Premium Chessgames Member
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