Alexander AlekhineTen players were in attendance for last Monday's Club meeting and start of our Club Championship.
But we do have at least twelve in the tournament right now. Two players will play between now and the next club meeting and turn in their results as neither could make the last club date. We are a laid back group and our tournaments are for playing and not forfeiting people at all costs!
Mater of fact, you can still enter the tournament, getting a half point bye for the first round! So, if you missed last week, you can still be in the fun by joining the tournament on our next meeting, Monday Sept. 27, 4pm until 10pm. The tournament will start officially at 6:30 pm, but usually the games start when the two players paired decide to start. We are that laid back!
So come on by to play or just to watch real 'tournament' chess. Well, sort of real. There are chess sets and clocks and sometimes the players keep their record of their games.
Hope to see you there! Now for an article. This tournament had ten players in attendance also. But are they as good as the ten assembled at the Brighton Buffalo Wild Wings? You be the judge.
I didn't know that! Did you know Alexander Alekhine's first tournament after winning the World Championship from Jose Capablanca was in Bradley Beach, New Jersey in 1927?
Alekhine was of course the favorite in the tournament which was a field of some USA masters. Frank Marshall, Herman Steiner, Abraham Kupchick, Alexander Kevitz, Isador Turover, Maurice Fox (Canada), Rafael Cintron (Puerto Rico), Lajos Steiner (Hungary), and H. Ransom Bigelow.
Interesting side note that Alekhine, Kupchik and Turover were all born in the same year of 1892.
Indeed, Alekhine gave up but one draw winning 8.5/9. Steiner was second with 7. Kupchik and Turover with 5.5. Alekhine also won the speed tournament that followed the regular tournament.
The games from that tournament were characterized by long endings, with many adjournments, attesting to the fighting spirit of the participants. Only 20% of the games were drawn. Hypermodern openings were beginning to take hold and double fianchetto systems were favored by Alekhine and Kevitz.
Now some history of the players. Most chess players have interesting histories:
Alexander Alekhine - Russian by birth, he was actually a French citizen when he played at Bradley Beach. After defeating Capablanca in Buenos Aires, he toured the the USA and Europe giving simultaneous exhibitions.
Abraham Kupchik - Born in Russia, but arrived in New York at age 11. He tied for first with Frank Marshall at Lake Hopatcong in 1923. He won the New York State Championship and the Manhattan Chess Club Championship many times. It was said that at this time he had no peer at speed chess, although he did finish second by a 1/2 point to Alekhine at Bradley Beach. Read into that what you will.
Isaac Turover - Born in Poland, he became a professional chess player while also building a very successful lumber business. He was Washington DC Champion for eight years. He was a well known philanthropist and he donated much of the money for brilliancy prizes in tournaments he played in. He often fell victim to the prize winner.
Lajos Steiner - a young Hungarian from Budapest, working as a mechanical engineer. He later became a chess professional, winning the Hungarian Championship and the Australian Championship. He also finished tied for second with Nimzovitch just behind Alekhine in Kecskemet in 1927.
Maurice Fox - Born in the Ukraine and arrived in Canada in 1923. He was the reigning Canadian Champion when he arrived in Bradley Beach, and had won that title eight times. Fox had defeated Capablanca in a simul game and drew Alekhine in a blindfold game in 1924.
Frank Marshall - At the time of this tournament, he had been the US Champion for 20 years, but was now on the decline. Still, he finished 3rd in London in 1927 behind Nimzovitch and Tartakower in London and did represent the USA in five Chess Olympiads in the 1930's.
Alexander Kevitz - The new champion of the Manhattan Chess Club. His style was hypermodern and had a fondness for unusual openings with the Black pieces. His style gave mixed results and soon quit chess for ten years, before returning later in life.
Herman Steiner - born in Hungary, he came to the USA at age 16. He became New York State Champion. He later moved to Hollywood and became famous as the chess teacher to the stars. Humphrey Bogart and Billy Wilder were among his pupils. He played on four US Olympiad teams and won the US Championship in 1948. He also wrote a chess column for the LA Times from 1932 until his death in 1955.
Rafael Cintron - Puerto Rico Champion, and he showed some talent, but was in over his head in this tournament.
H. Ransom Bigelow - Chess Editor of the New York Post and past champion of the Manhattan Chess Club but he was clearly out of form in this tournament.