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Anthony Santasiere
Number of games in database: 367
Years covered: 1922 to 1969

Overall record: +174 -93 =99 (61.1%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 1 exhibition game, blitz/rapid, odds game, etc. is excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Reti System (36) 
    A04 A06 A05
 Queen's Pawn Game (19) 
    D00 A45 D02 A46 D04
 King's Gambit Accepted (16) 
    C34 C35 C36 C38
 English, 1 c4 e5 (14) 
    A22 A28 A21 A27 A20
 King's Gambit Declined (13) 
    C32 C30
 Sicilian (12) 
    B56 B32 B23 B70 B20
With the Black pieces:
 Grunfeld (32) 
    D95 D87 D96 D75 D81
 Caro-Kann (28) 
    B14 B18 B12 B10 B13
 Nimzo Indian (18) 
    E33 E43 E44 E22 E45
 Sicilian (13) 
    B29 B74 B84 B20 B50
 Ruy Lopez (12) 
    C86 C99 C62 C91 C84
 Alekhine's Defense (10) 
    B03 B05 B02
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Santasiere vs E B Adams, 1926 1-0
   Santasiere vs B Blumin, 1939 1-0
   Santasiere vs F Reinfeld, 1937 1-0
   Santasiere vs R Draxl, 1960 1-0
   Santasiere vs Robert E Byrne, 1946 1-0
   Santasiere vs W Adams, 1946 1-0
   Larry Evans vs Santasiere, 1946 0-1
   Santasiere vs J Fliegel, 1938 1-0
   Santasiere vs S E Almgren, 1942 1-0
   Santasiere vs Fischer, 1957 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   50th US Open (1949)
   58th US Open (1957)
   55th US Open (1954)
   47th US Open (1946)
   49th US Open (1948)
   Syracuse (1934)
   57th US Open (1956)
   56th US Open (1955)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Santasiere's Follies by Resignation Trap
   6th USA Championship Tournament, New York 1946 by Resignation Trap
   US Open 1945, Peoria by Phony Benoni

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(born Dec-09-1904, died Jan-13-1977, 72 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]
Anthony Edward Santasiere was born in New York City. He was US Open Champion in 1945 and was three times New York State Champion. He contested two games in the 1945 US versus USSR radio match on 10th board against David Bronstein but lost both games.

He is well remembered for the Opening Santasiere's Folly 1.Nf3 and 2.b4, first essayed when Anthony accidentally touched his b-pawn instead of the intended c-pawn.

Wikipedia article: Anthony Santasiere

 page 1 of 15; games 1-25 of 367  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Diamond vs Santasiere 0-1311922Metropolitan Chess League tB20 Sicilian
2. Santasiere vs E Michelsen  1-0661922New York Metropolitan ttD00 Queen's Pawn Game
3. M Levine vs Santasiere  0-1211922New York Metropolitan ttB12 Caro-Kann Defense
4. Capablanca vs Santasiere 1-0331922Simul, 25bA33 English, Symmetrical
5. Marshall vs Santasiere ½-½2319239th American Chess CongressD14 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav, Exchange Variation
6. Santasiere vs O Chajes  0-13819239th American Chess CongressA45 Queen's Pawn Game
7. Santasiere vs R T Black  0-15019239th American Chess CongressA45 Queen's Pawn Game
8. J S Morrison vs Santasiere  1-05819239th American Chess CongressB15 Caro-Kann
9. Santasiere vs O Tenner  0-13019239th American Chess CongressA45 Queen's Pawn Game
10. Ed. Lasker vs Santasiere  ½-½5019239th American Chess CongressC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
11. Santasiere vs Kupchik 0-18219239th American Chess CongressC41 Philidor Defense
12. Santasiere vs M A Schapiro  0-14019239th American Chess CongressC66 Ruy Lopez
13. Santasiere vs Marshall  0-1571924Dimock themeC55 Two Knights Defense
14. Santasiere vs Carlos Torre  ½-½481924Dimock ThemeC24 Bishop's Opening
15. Santasiere vs E Tholfsen 0-1461924Dimock Theme 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4C56 Two Knights
16. R Smirka vs Santasiere 0-1431924Dimock Theme Tournament, 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4C24 Bishop's Opening
17. Carlos Torre vs Santasiere 1-0491924New York Dimock theme, USAC24 Bishop's Opening
18. Santasiere vs H Kabatsky  ½-½461925New York Intercollegiate ChampA45 Queen's Pawn Game
19. Santasiere vs Pinkus 0-1241925Dimock Theme TournamentC54 Giuoco Piano
20. Pinkus vs Santasiere 1-0301926Dimock themeB20 Sicilian
21. Santasiere vs E B Adams 1-0191926?D00 Queen's Pawn Game
22. Santasiere vs Marshall ½-½231926Dimock themeC51 Evans Gambit
23. Kupchik vs Santasiere 0-1421926Metropolitan Chess LeagueB84 Sicilian, Scheveningen
24. Santasiere vs Kupchik  ½-½441928Metropolitan Chess LeagueD00 Queen's Pawn Game
25. F Reinfeld vs Santasiere 1-0301930Marshall CC ChampionshipD45 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
 page 1 of 15; games 1-25 of 367  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Santasiere wins | Santasiere loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Is this Raquel playing chess?


It looks phony. The board is set up wrong, she isn't facing the pieces, and black's King is nowhere near his pawns.

Nonetheless, we DO want Raquel facing the camera, don't we?

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Wait a minute. A picture of Raquel Welch and you're studying the chess board?

Hopeless case, hopeless case.

But of course it's a staged photo. Quite possibly the majority of photos with actual chess players are staged.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <jerseybob> Perhaps "ironic" was not a good word. It just struck me as a unusual pairing between two players with diametircially opposed personal and political views.

ANd perhaps says something good about chess.

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Wait... there was a chessboard in that Raquel Welch photo?
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: The important thing is that EVERYTHING in the Raquel photo^^ is real, except the chess position. One can't have everything...
Aug-20-13  KlingonBorgTatar: Wow, she ain't no dumb blond after all !! :-)))
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Moving along to our next thread, Raquel gets patriotic:


This is a girl you can take home, to meet Mom.

Aug-20-13  JoergWalter: <Phony Benoni: Wait a minute. A picture of Raquel Welch and you're studying the chess board? Hopeless case, hopeless case.

But of course it's a staged photo. Quite possibly the majority of photos with actual chess players are staged.>

actual chess player? the guy looks like tom jones.(the young one!)

Aug-21-13  jerseybob: JoergWalter: Of course it's Tom Jones. God, I feel old having to point that out!
Mar-10-14  iscu two: Boo... what's that pawn doing still on b2 in his profile pic???
Jan-09-15  jerseybob: iscu two: Yes, that's funny! Obviously a body switch; that's NOT A.E.S.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: Once when Blackburne was giving a simultaneous exhibition, his opponent had ordered and just been served a glass of whisky. Instead of making his move, Blackburne drank the whiskey and went on to the next board. How I would have loved to have known him personally! - Tony Santasiere

(Follow up on the quote on Blackburne page.)

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Anthony Santasiere's Essay on Chess..

<In the U.S. Open (Rochester, Minn., 1957) the excellent playing room was in the I.B.M. establishment; but for the players there was one difficulty - the men's room was a very long distance from the playing area; and with all the clocks ticking, I saw a many player (including myself) in a trot between first base and home plate; but first prize in this race went without a doubt to the Spanish champion - a charming gentleman by the name of Bilbe - who exploded in a fifty yard dash, and ran the distance both ways like a thoroughbred horse - is chess worth it?>


Aug-28-15  epistle: Kay Lotis na lang kayo magpa-greet. Napaka-showbiz nyo a. Gusto nyo pang magkalat ng kabaduyan sa Sinquefeld. Gusto nyong lalong maging katatawanan dun ang idol nyo. Hawahan nyo pa ng kakengkoyan ng kokote nyo. Anong dating sa inyo, por example, kung si Magnus biglang mag-greet ng mga Norwegians? Sus ginoo. Ano akala nyo sa confessional na yun, radio booth sa DZRH?
Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Anthony Santasiere's Essay on Chess..

<Two young friends of mine (chess lovers) recently married. Settled down to their housekeeping, they always had two games in progress at the same time - one, real slow, deep, would take days to finish; the other, a very fast one after dinner, so that the loser would have to wash the dishes. But sometimes this game ended in stalemate (they had an allergy for stalemates), so the dirty dishes suffered neglect from day to day.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Phony Benoni: I recommend the following game for lovers of the ironic: Santasiere vs R Welch, 1943

Welch later went on to form the John Birch Society.>

Thanks, I had no idea. Welch wasn't terrible.

John Birch is himself portrayed in Langdon Gilkey's remarkable <Shantung Compound>, as is (much more favorably) Eric Liddell, the Scotsman who wouldn't run on Sunday in <Chariots of Fire>. Liddell seems to have been one of the rare types who was better looking than the man who played him in the movie.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: As I get older I start to think that there is no such thing as a bad opening move.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diceman: <offramp: As I get older I start to think that there is no such thing as a bad opening move.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: Rest in peace, Anthony Santasiere.
May-02-16  Caissanist: Batgirl (aka User: SBC ) has a fine article on Santasiere on, with many photographs I hadn't seen before: .
Feb-05-17  zanzibar: OK, what's the ref for the opening being the result of a touched piece?

And what is the exact opening moves?

If 1.Nf3 d5 2.b4, then <CG>'s opening explorer gives this game as the debut:

Alekhine vs J Drewitt, 1923

None other than Alekhine is the originator.

On the other hand, if the opening is 1.b4 d5 here's that debut:

Schlechter vs Tarrasch, 1896


And if 1.b4 d5 2.Nf3 then it's this game:

Alekhine vs J Drewitt, 1923

Oh wait, that's <CG> doing the transpose...

Here's the first 1.b4 d5 2.Nf3 game (had to go game-by-game, ugh!)

Opocensky vs E Richter, 1929


* * * * *

The first game by Santasiere is this one:

Santasiere vs Kashdan, 1938

via 1.Nf3 d5 2.b4. Well, the first on <CG> anyways.

Feb-05-17  zanzibar: OK, <batgirl>'s article has this quote from the man himself about the opening:

< The history of this curious opening must almost entirely revolve around my many years' experience with it. Alekhin[e] once opened a game with it. Tartakower at New York 1924 played 1. b4 vs. Maroczy and jocularly referred to it as the Orang-Outan Opening." The joke may be good, but the title is poor, for chess, like love, is serious. However 1. b4, which allows the immediate 1 . . .e5, is not really "my" opening, since I prefer to force Black [to] exert some effort to attain 1 . . .e5.>

So, yes, 1.Nf3 is clearly the starting move (to prevent 1...e5). And credit to Alekhine, as is proper.

Feb-05-17  zanzibar: Oh, Santasiere himself, like his wiki article, doesn't mention the opening having originated by accident - at least not yet (I didn't read all of batgirl's article yet, but seems a safe bet).

Our <CG> intro seems a bit apocryphal, which might not be the first time.

(Should I complain about fake quotes again? Yeah, in passing...)

Feb-05-17  zanzibar: <We are informed by reliable sources that Mr. Santaserie ha requested the government to copyright this move... > -- Fine
Dec-09-19  Nosnibor: Santasiere tied first equal with Primavera in a short international tournament held in Milan in April 1953.They both scored 5.5 points each followed by Engalicew and Kottnauer 5,Paoli 2.5,Ulvestad 2, Giorgieri 1.5 and Ferrantes 1.
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