THE CALIFORNIA CHESS REPORTER (Vol. VII No. 1) July, 1957
BOBBY FISCHER WINS U.S. JUNIOR TITLE
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Fischer of Brooklyn won the 1957 U.S. junior championship by the convincing score of 8.5-.5. The nation's youngest master gave up only one draw, to runner-up Gil Ramirez of San Francisco. Ramirez, who is simultaneously State Champion and State Open Champion, also lost no games to post a 7.5-1.5 score. Stephen Sholomson of Los Angeles, who lost to Fischer and Ramirez and drew one game, was third, 6.5-2.5. Ronnie Thacker of Richmond was fourth, 6-3, ahead of six players tied for fifth, 5.5-3.5.
SAN FRANCISCO SCENE OF U.S. JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
Thirty-three young hopefuls set their sights on '56 Champ Bobby Fischer's title when Tournament Director George Koltanowski officially opened play in this nine round Swiss tourney, July 8. Bobby's second Junior Championship, at the advanced age of 14, should remain in the record book for a long, long time. Young Fischer lost no games, and only a draw with second place Gil Ramirez marred his perfect record.
Play continued through the July 14th, the auditorium of Spreckles-Russell Dairies providing spacious, light and quiet setting for the matches. The host company provided milk and ice cream for the Juniors. A monumental quantity of each disappeared. Sponsorship of the tournament was shared by Chess Friends of Northern California and the Chess For Youth Committee.
The number of entries was among the highest ever recorded in this event, but fell short of anticipations. Only seven states other than California were represented: Fischer from New York; Andy Schoene from New Jersey; James Bennett of Texas; Tom Heldt Jr. and Warren Miller from New Mexico; Bobbie Killough Jr. of Kansas; Richard Owen of Utah; and Bob Walker from Oregon. As a result, pre-tournament favoritism settled on Fischer, Ramirez, and Los Angeles' favorite son, Stephen Sholomson.
As one might expect, play was spotty. Rich Owen's well-played 1st round draw against Gil Ramirez illustrates one extreme. Our GAME OF THE MONTH, reported on page 8 of this issue represents the other. Inexperience and "tournament jitters" claimed several victims, 10-year-old Fred Wreden among them. A couple of Freddy's games deserved a better fate than his score shows.
In addition to trophies, Bobby Fischer walked off with his second consecutive portable typewriter. Gil took home a radio, and Sholomson now owns a handsome leather bag. Five book prizes also were awarded. Getaway Day featured, besides the prize awards, a blindfold Knights' tour by 11-year-old Bobby Killough.
Wednesday, July 10th, saw the afternoon devoted to the Speed Championship, another Bobby Fischer triumph. Three sectional round robins were played, with Bobby mopping up in the finals. His skill in move-on-move play has been demonstrated against fast company at MICC on several occasions since. Old timers gasp!
U.S. Junior Championship
Return to Index