(Volume 8, Number 23, August 5, 1954)
U. S. Junior Championship Tournament
From the first round to the close of the last, the tournament was stimulating and exciting.
The last round pairings were the most interesting. It brought together the 1953 U.S. Junior Chess Champion, Saul Yarmak, and the Canadian Junior Chess Champion, Ross Siemms. It also brought together the two candidates I consider the outstanding ones of the tournament, because of their talent and youth, Larry Remlinger, 1953 winner of the Dittman Trophy, of Long Beach, California, and Charles Kalme of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 12 and 14 years of age respectively.
At the end of the next to last round of play, the score was:
Ross Siemms 7.5
Private Yarmak got off to a bad start. He was unable to get to Long Beach until Wednesday, June 30th, so failed to score a point the first round. He lost to Shaeffer of San Bernardino in the second round. From this point on Yarmak played like a true champion. Entering the last round with a7 point score, Yarmak had the United States Junior Championship between his sights and his finger on the trigger.
Yarmak started his final game with confidence, choosing his favorite opening, Fianchetto of the King's Bishop, once the pride of the late Grandmaster Nimzovich. Yarmak staked his fortune on a fierce Kingside attack. Siemms, however, was unperturbed with its violence. His careful and sound defense proved more than adequate to withstand it. After a long struggle, the game swung definitely to Siemms' side. For more than an hour the end was settled; it was only a question of whether Yarmak would resign or hang on until mated.
The struggle between Kalme and Remlinger was no less intense.
Charles Kalme proved himself a courageous fighter and a sportsman. Early in his game he learned that Yarmak was in difficulties. Realizing that if Yarmak drew and he defeated Remlinger, he had a tie for the U. S. Junior Championship, Kalme scorned playing for a draw and second place. He slammed on an attack that, for a time, looked as though it would carry everything before it. And it might have done so, had Kalme been playing a less determined and talented player. Remlinger, playing with skill and determination, handled Kalme's assault in a masterful style. During the third hour Kalme's attack wavered and came to a dead stop. Within a very brief time, it became evident that the favorable balance had moved over to Remlinger. Remlinger, steadily increasing his advantage, until Kalme resigned.
Larry Remlinger's achievement is more significant because he did not start the tournament well. His first four games were not above average. By winning his last five games, particularly the skill he displayed in handling the end games, he certainly gives promise of becoming a great player.
Other players of note were the following: Ronald Gross of Compton, California; Martin Harrow of New York; Thomas Fries of Fresno, California; and Shelby Lyman of Dorchester, Massachusetts.
The tournament was very well run. I attribute its success to the indefatigable work of John P. Looney and the executive committee.
Mr. Orlo M. Rolo, the tournament director, was superb.
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