California Chess in the 1940's
by Bill Wall
In 1940, Harold Simon won the Mechanics Institute Championship. Vladimir Pafnutieff took 2nd. Peter Lapiken (1905-1983) took 3rd.
In 1940, the California School for the Blind defeated the California School for the Deaf.
In 1940, Northern California defeated Southern California by the score of 18.5 to 6.5. The event was held at San Luis Obispo.
In 1940, Herman Steiner of Los Angeles took 2nd place, behind Reshevsky, in the American Chess Federation Championship.
In 1940, Reuben Fine gave several simultaneous exhibitions in California. In Sacramento, he won 13 and drew 1. In San Francisco, he won 18 and drew 3. In Carmel, he won 23 and drew 1. In Los Angeles, he won 29 and drew 3. In Hollywood, he won 14 and drew 4. In Santa Barbara, he won 15, drew 1, and lost 1.
In 1941, the Russian Chess Club (founded by Peter Prokoodin in 1931) of San Francisco won the Championship of the Northern California Chess League.
In 1941, Herman Steiner played against 400 players on 100 boards in Hollywood. He won 83, drew 11, and lots 6 in 9 hours and 20 minutes. The event helped raise money for the British War Relief.
On September 6, 1941, Larry Remlinger was born in Pasadena.
In August, 1942, Herman Steiner of Los Angeles tied for 1st with Abe Yanofsky at the 43rd US Open in Dallas.
In 1943, Humphrey Bogart played several postal games with members of the military. He was later visited by the FBI who prevented him from playing any more correspondence chess. The FBI was reading his mail and thought that the chess notation he was sending to Europe were secret codes.
In 1943, George Croy won the Los Angeles City Championship.
In 1943, Herman Steiner won the California Open State Championship with the score of 17-0. Dr. Salo Finkelstein took 2nd place.
In 1943, Harry Borochow won the Hollywood Open.
In 1943, Milton O. Meyer won the Sacramento Championship. J.B. Gee took 2nd place.
In 1943, Robert Trenberth won the Alameda County Championship.
In 1943, Army Private Arthur Dake, member of the military police, won the championship of Camp Roberts in San Luis Obispo and Monterey counties.
On October 17, 1943, Walter Cunningham was born on Los Angeles.
On April 6, 1944, Jude Acers was born in Long Beach.
In November, 1944, Herman Steiner gave a large simultaneous exhibition in Los Angeles for the Russian War Relief.
In January, 1945, Adolf Fink and Herman Steiner tied for 1st in the California State Championship, held at the Mechanics' Institute in San Francisco. Charles Howland took 3rd place and James Hurt took 4th place. There were 10 players.
In 1945, Humphrey Bogart was a director in the U.S. Chess Federation.
The June-July 1945 cover of CHESS REVIEW had Charles Boyer playing Humphrey Bogart, while Herman Steiner and Lauren Bacall looked on.
On July 29, 1945, Carmen Miranda opened the Hollywood Pan-American Tournament in Los Angeles. The event was won by Sammy Reshevsky who won $1,000. Reuben Fine took 2nd place. Herman Pilnik took 3rd. I.A. Horowitz took 4th. Isaac Kashdan took 5th. Eugene Levin won the Interscholastic Tournament. The event was organized by Herman Steiner and sponsored by the Los Angeles Times.
In September, 1945, only Herman Steiner of Hollywood managed a plus score against the USSR team in a radio match. He won one game and drew the other with Isaac Boleslavsky.
In September, 1945, Nancy Roos won the speed championship of Hollywood. She won the Belgium Women's Championship in the 1930s and, in 1942, participated in the U.S. Women's Chess Championship.
In 1945, Pete Velliotes won the championship of the Santa Barbara Chess Club.
In 1945, the Modesto Chess Club was formed. It was soon having simultaneous exhibitions by George Koltanowski, Herman Steiner, Al Horowitz, and Weaver Adams.
On December 21, 1945, Duncan Suttles was born in San Francisco.
In 1946, Herman Steiner won the International Masters' Tournament in London.
In 1946, the Santa Rosa Chess Club was formed.
In 1946, Arnold Denker successfully defended his U.S. Championship title be defeating Herman Steiner by the score of 6-4. The match was played in Los Angeles.
In 1946, Isaac Kashdan settled in Los Angeles.
In May, 1946, Northern California defeated Southern California by the score of 15-12 at San Luis Obispo.
In July, 1946, Herman Steiner of Los Angeles won the US Open in Pittsburgh.
In 1946, Carroll Capps won the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club Championship in San Francisco. Vladimir Pafnutieff took 2nd and Adolf Fink took 3rd.
In 1946, Morris Gordon won the Los Angeles City Championship. George Croy took 2nd.
In 1946, Adolf Fink won the California State Championship. Vladimir Pafnutieff took 2nd. Neil Falconer took 3rd.
In 1946, G. Steven won the Santa Monica Championship. Carl Budd took 2nd.
In 1946, John Sperley won the Long Beach city championship.
In 1947, George Koltanowski established his residence in California.
In 1947, the Hollywood Lasker team won the Los Angeles Metropolitan League championship.
In 1947, M. Meyer won the Sacramento city championship.
In 1947, R. Banner won the Los Angeles Rapid Transit championship.
In 1947, Eugene Levin won the California State Junior championship.
In 1947, Salo Finkelstein won the Los Feliz Chess Club championship in Los Angeles.
In May, 1947, Northern California defeated Southern California by the score of 17-5.
In 1947, Jim Cross of Glendale took 2nd-3rd in the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Cleveland.
In 1947, E. Bersbach won the championship of the Los Angeles Bay Area, held in Santa Monica.
In 1947, Hyman Gordon won the Los Angeles City championship. His twin brother, Maurice, won the 1946 Los Angeles City championship.
In 1947, Dr. Sidney Weinbaum won the San Gabriel Valley tournament.
In 1947, Reuben Fine defeated Herman Steiner 5-1 in a match held in Los Angeles.
In 1947, the Coronado Chess Club was organized in San Diego.
In May, 1947, Weaver Adams, New England Champion, gave a 16-board simul in San Jose, winning all his games.
In November, 1947, George Koltanowski began editing the CALIFORNIA CHESS NEWS (later to become CHESS DIGEST). He was a chess columnist for The Press Democrat.
In 1948, chess and checker Newell Banks gave a 25 board simul in San Francisco. In chess, he won 13, drew 2, and lost 1. In checkers, he won 7 and drew 2. Baseball great Ty Cobb played one of the checker games and got a draw.
In 1948, Carl Budd won the Santa Monica Beaches tournament. Robert Greene took 2nd.
In 1948, Sidney Sirelson won the Las Feliz Chess Club Championship in Los Angeles.
In 1948, James Cross of Glendale took 3rd in the U.S. Junior Championship at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In 1948, J. B. Gee won the Sacramento City Championship. M. Meyer took 2nd,
In 1948, Robert Wyller of Hillsboro played 1,001 postal chess games at once.
In April, 1948, Sven Almgren won the U.S. Championship Preliminary tournament, held in Los Angeles. Herman Steiner took 2nd.
In April, 1948, Olaf Ulvestad gave an 18-board simul at the Mechanics' Institute. He won 14, lost 2 (to Earl Pruner and John Pesak), and drew 2. He then gave a 20-board simul in Palo Alto. He won 16, lost 2 (to Gordon Mills and John O'Boyle), and drew 2. He then played a 16-board simul in San Jose, winning 15 and losing 1, to Bert Mueller.
In May, 1948, Northern California tied with Southern California by the score of 28.5 to 28.5.
In 1948, Herman Steiner won the California State Speed Championship.
In 1948, Herman Steiner won the U.S. Chess Championship, held in South Fallsburg, New York, ahead of Isaac Kashdan.
On August 11, 1948, George Kane was born in Palo Alto.
In September, 1948, James Cross of Glendale, age 18, won the California State Championship, held at Atascadero. Adolf Fink of San Francisco took 2nd. Neil Falconer of Berkeley took 3rd. The event was a 36-man Swiss tournament, open to all players.
In 1948, S. Kendrashoff won the Russian Chess Club Championship in San Francisco. O. Schirovsky took 2nd.
In 1948, Ray Martin won the Santa Monica Open Chess Tournament. Paul Quillen took 2nd. Emil Bersbach took 3rd.
In 1948, Herman Steiner won the Los Angeles County speed championship. Harry Borochow took 2nd.
In 1948, Paul Quillen won the Los Angeles County Championship. Adolph Weiss took 2nd.
In 1948, Herman Steiner and Jim Cross tied for 1st in the Hollywood Open.
In 1948, Ray Martin won the Los Angeles Chess Club championship.
In 1948, J.E. Garnet won the San Diego City-County Open Chess Championship.
In 1948, Herb Paul won the Modesto Chess Club Championship.
On December 16, 1948, Ernest J. Clarke, of San Francisco died. He was 71. He was considered the Dean of Pacific Coast Chess.
In 1949, Max Euwe played a 52-board simul in Los Angeles, winning 28, losing 6, and drawing 18. A few days later, he played a 22-board simul at the Mechanics' Institute, winning 16, losing 3, and drawing 3.
In 1949, Phillips Wyman won the Salinas City Championship. George Oakes took 2nd.
In 1949, the Castle Chess Club (formed in 1929) in Berkeley won the San Francisco Bay Area Chess League.
In 1949, Wallace Smith of San Francisco died. He had been a member of the Mechanics' Institute since 1910. He was 62.
In 1949, J. B. Gee won the Sacramento City Championship.
In 1949, Klasse won the Long Beach Chess Club Championship.
In 1949, George Croy won the Las Feliz Chess Club Championship in Los Angeles.
In 1949, Charles Bagby won the Northern California Championship.
In 1949, the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club won the annual Los Angeles County team championship.
In May, 1949, Southern California defeated Northern California by the score of 26.5 to 24.5. The event was held in Atascadero.
In 1949, the Santa Monica Bay Chess Club won the California Interclub Championship after defeating the Castle Chess Club.
In 1949, Herman Steiner won the California State Speed Championship. Jim Cross took 2nd. Randolph Banner took 3rd.
In 1949, Ray Martin won the Los Angeles Open Chess Championship. R. P. Smith took 2nd. George Croy took 3rd.
In 1949, Jim Cross of Glendale tied with Arthur Bisguier and Larry Evans in the 4th annual U.S. Junior Championship, held in Fort Worth, Texas. Earl Pruner of San Francisco took 4th place.
In 1949, MSgt Russell Donnelly won the Fort Ord Chess Club Championship. PFC Wilfred Ingalls took 2nd.
On September 3, 1949, the California Chess Federation was officially formed.
In September, 1949, George Croy won the California State Championship. Irving Rivise took 2nd. The Open Minor Tournament was won by Phil Smith of Bakersfield. The event has held in Atascadero.
In 1949, Arthur Stamer won the Oakland Chess Club Championship.
In 1949, Phillip Waterman won the Beverly Hills Chess Club Championship.
In 1949, Robert Konkel won the Northern California Championship. Earl Pruner took 2nd.
In 1949, Nancy Roos won the Los Angeles County Women's Championship with a score of 14-0.
In 1949, Alan Bourke won the Palo Alto Chess Club Championship.
In December, 1949, George Koltanowski played 271 games in 12 hours, winning 251, losing 3 (to Les Talcott, Andy Buschine, and Robert Willson), and drawing 17. He faced 37 players at a time. The event was sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle (The Chronicle Chess Festival). There were over 2,000 spectators.
In 1949, Larry Ledgerwood won the Oakland Chess Championship.
In 1949, Ray Martin won the Los Angeles County Championship. Irving Rivise took 2nd. Morris Gordon took 3rd.
In 1949, Carroll Capps won the Mechanics' Institute Championship.
In 1949, Charles Bagby and Leslie Boyette tied for 1st in the Northern California Championship.