Volume 16, Number 9, September 1948

Steiner Wins U. S. Title

Only when his last game had been completed did Herman Steiner of Los Angeles emerge as victor in the U. S. Chess Championship.

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According to rumor when Herman Steiner returned to California after winning the U. S. title, he was greeted at the station by a brass band. The truth of this report is immaterial for the breezy, irrepressible chessmaster is his own best publicity agent. Easy to spot thanks to an unruly lock of hair which hangs over his forehead, Steiner is a hard man to ignore whether his topic is chess, California or his violin virtuoso son. He is an active promoter of chess through his column in The Los Angeles Times and his own organization, the Hollywood Chess Group. In 1945, Steiner's infectious enthusiasm subdued even case-hardened movie money-men. The result: the lavish Pan-American tournament which had the aura of an M-G.M musical.

Born in Austria-Hungary on April 15th, 1905, Steiner came to this country at an early age. He learned chess at sixteen and at once developed a love for the game which has never waned. One of his early successes was capturing the New York State title in 1929. there followed tournaments both here and abroad with Steiner usually among the contenders.

After his marriage, Steiner settled in California. His chess play was confined to U. S. Open and U. S. Championship events. Runner-up on several occasions, he tied with Yanofsky at Dallas in 1942 and won the title outright at Pittsburgh in 1946. In previous U. S. Championships, his best result was a tie for third with Horowitz in 1944.

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