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Member since May-25-21 · Last seen Nov-22-22
I, along with others, was saddened to hear of the unexpected passing of User: Phony Benoni. He had a hand in many projects and game collections (e.g., Soviet championships, Game of the Day, Puzzle of the Day), but his signature project was the US Open (Game Collection: US Open Tournament Index). Beginning as the Western (really midwestern) Championship in 1900, it eventually morphed into the American Chess Federation championship, and eventually into the US Open championship of the US Chess Federation. Held in late summer every year since (with the exception of 2021), David played in many, and collected tournament bulletins, crosstables, and games for as many events as he could. He was always happy to get any additional material on one of the Opens, even if he could not immediately use it (Game Collection: US Open - Help!). He often said it was probably too big a project for any one person, but none of us expected to lose him quite so soon.

At some point a few years back, the US federation made searchable PDFs of back issues of Chess Life/Chess Review/Chess Life & Review available online to the general public for the years 1933-2020 ( I am unsure how much David was able to dip into this relatively new resource. I decided to look at <PB's> US Open collections to see if I could add anything useful. The collections up to around 1970 appear to be in reasonably good shape and probably reflect what material he could obtain on them. After that, some collections had many games and some hardly any. Even some with a healthy sample of games had little to no additional information in the collection, reflecting the work-in-progress nature of the whole massive project.

Early events had full crosstables published in the magazine. As the event grew in size and to save on printed space, it became common to publish partial crosstables, with full pairing for the top 50-60 players and only final scores for everyone else. There were even some years when apparently no crosstable of any kind was published (PB called Boston 1964 the Holy Grail in this regard). The US chess federation began making full US Open crosstables available online in 1992 ( Rebel's Millionbase 2.5 database ( has some games up to 2015. The Week in Chess began game coverage around 2000. The event is too big to try to submit all available games for years when there were hundreds of players. I am unsure what criteria David used for submission, but for the 1998 Open in Kailua-Kona, I decided on all the GM games along with games by the three IMs that finished in the top 11. While I was working on that collection, it was added to the tournament index with more than double the games I had in my collection (99th US Open (1998)).

All of that leads to the obvious question of where do I(we?) go from here? With a few notable exceptions, David's collections for the last 20 years of US Opens have very few games and often only mention the site and start/end dates. Obviously he hadn't had time to work on those. With magazine coverage, crosstable, and database games, those collections could certainly be improved. Whatever additional materials David might have amassed (tournament bulletins, etc.) may be lost unless he made some sort of prior arrangement. In a perfect world it would be nice to be able to somehow integrate David's work with anything new that gets done, but in the meantime, I linked to his meta index as well as his original collection in each of the collections I did.

I am unsure how many more of these or even which years I might attempt. I'm no <Phony Benoni>. I'm now only a few years younger than he was when he passed, so it's not like I could dedicate unlimited time to the project, even if I wanted. At some point I will decide I did my small part and go inactive again. Until then, I have decided to open up the forum for comments, suggestions, additions, corrections, and so forth.

>> Click here to see ghost5's game collections. Full Member

   ghost5 has kibitzed 28 times to chessgames   [more...]
   Oct-11-22 New York Open (1992)
ghost5: Yes, rapid transit has been around for some time (e.g. ). Reuben Fine was fearsome at 10 second/move rapid transit, which was the preferred format for early US Speed Championships, IIRC. I'd have to dig through the old Chess Life/Chess Review ...
   Oct-04-22 Biographer Bistro (replies)
ghost5: <MissS> I think this is it: Game started on 11 Aug 1898 and adjournment resumed on 12 Aug 1898.
   Sep-11-22 stevemcd87 chessforum (replies)
ghost5: <Miss S>Here's the game from Wayback: It was an old correspondence game. I don't know why it was deleted.
   Aug-25-22 chessforum (replies)
ghost5: Daniel had the patience of a saint, but even a saint's patience has limits.
   Aug-11-22 ghost5 chessforum (replies)
ghost5: Thanks. According to Calbase ( ), a database of California games, it was round 11. It has quite a few games from that event, so I should spend some time looking for any worth submitting.
   Aug-09-22 99th US Open (1998)
ghost5: Gulko and Judit Polgar were shared first (one of Polgar's games is apparently unavailable). Full crosstable:
   Jul-27-22 W Stanley Davis
ghost5: Davis listed his rating as 1621 in his annotation of his first-round game against Fedorowicz for <Chess Life>. The Dec 1980 issue describes Davis as "local," so presumably Georgia, if not Atlanta. Of course Fedorowicz recovered to share first with Gheorghiu, so I'm sure that ...
   Jul-14-22 suenteus po 147 chessforum (replies)
ghost5: For your consideration: <Hence> by Brad Leithauser <The Chess Machine> by Robert Lohr -- a finctionalized story of theTurk <The 64-Square Looking Glass> edited by Burt Hochberg, former long-term editor of <Chess Life> -- a collection of short stories and ...
   Jul-11-22 David Moody (replies)
ghost5: Reminiscent of some of Futurama's take on Santa's elves:
   Jun-28-22 Vivek Rao
ghost5: A 14-year old Vivek drew against Spassky at the 1985 US Open. Spassky scored 10/12 and shared 1-3 with Seirawan and Benjamin. I'll submit the game in the next day or two after transcribing it from Chess Life.
(replies) indicates a reply to the comment.

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A game I forgot to mention:

J Meyer vs Soltis, 1981

I focus more on 19th century British chess but I'll chip in occasionally.

Premium Chessgames Member
  ghost5: Thanks. According to Calbase (, a database of California games, it was round 11. It has quite a few games from that event, so I should spend some time looking for any worth submitting.
Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: A notable aspect of <PB>'s collections is that he strove to include sources for all the game, albeit his shorthand is sometimes difficult to decipher. That was the librarian in him. I suggest you follow suit.

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