WESTERN CHESS CHRONICLE

Vol. I, No. 8, June, 1936

NORTH vs SOUTH TEAM MATCH

At four o'clock on the afternoon of May 30 began the trek of contingents from both camps preparatory to participation in the annual chessic war between Northern and Southern California's picked experts. Already the spacious lobby of the Anderson Hotel at San Luis Obispo had become the common meeting-ground for the fifty warriors who were to test their skill, each against the other, the next morning.

As each group arrived, they were warmly greeted by the genial C. J. Smith who had been appointed by Mayor Louis Sinsheimer to act as host and manager of arrangements for the affair. Mr. Smith, who is engaged at the Security-First National Bank, officiated as representative of the San Luis Obispo chess-players, and is himself one of the town's leading chess experts. He later was to act in the capacity of referee when the next day's play took place.

Though most cordial in his greeting of old friends and former opponents, each member of the gathering wore an air of restraint and conservatism. It was as though each had set himself to warily observe the conduct of the opposition, that he might detect some word or action which would guide him to a pre-war disclosure of "concealed weapons."

Throughout the evening the abstinence from "skittle" play was in graphic evidence. One would suspect that this obtained from choice. There was some play, of course. You simply can't keep the more enterprising from exercising their energies in that all-absorbing hobby, which dominates the addict's every thought.

There in one corner was the veteran, Dr. Sholtz, at combinational grips with the youthful Fisher, both from the Los Angeles Chess Club, and the character of their skittle play can best be described by mention of the fact that a respectful silence was maintained on the part of the dozen or more onlookers.

Then there was a second game going on between two youthful members of the San Francisco team, while in a third quarter of the lobby, a bell-boy had set up a card-table, that six chess players from both armies might engage in a boisterous battle of-will wonders never cease?-"Anagrams!" This to the accompaniment of much and boisterous hilarity, and to the eventual amusement of the entire group.

Conclaves were held by the respective captains of both teams, in which they exhorted their respective players to give the utmost for the cause. Tentative "first lists" were compiled and terms of play were agreed upon. Satisfied that all was in readiness for the next morning's struggle, and early hour retirement ensued.

Promptly at 9:30 Sunday morning this chess-minded assemblage convened in the small dining room of the hotel, with Mr. Smith as chairman.

He formally welcomed the players in behalf of Mayor Sinsheimer and the San Luis Obispo chess-players. He then gave the floor to Team Captain Christensen of San Francisco, who briefly expressed a hope that his team might break the tie that has existed for the past two years.

Team Captain Johnson of Hollywood the arose and , after congratulating Mr. Smith on the latter's tireless efforts and splendid results in arranging the match, expressed a like desire that Southern California would emerge victorious and thus "win three matches in one."

Upon resumption of the chair, Mr. Smith, to the amazed pleasure of all present, displayed a beautiful 14-inch gold trophy cup which, with the names of both teams engraved upon it, and a detachable gold band engraved with the winning team's name, would this year be awarded to the victor. The winner of the trophy will hold it until the other team has defeated it, or until it has won the match three times, when it becomes that team's permanent possession.

A lengthy exposition of the rules of play was given by Referee Smith, during which such items as the ruling on the decision of drawn games was explained. No two players could mutually decide upon a draw until after thirty moves had been made. It was Harry Borochow, California State Champion, who introduced this rule for the first time at last year's session of this match.

Just before sending both teams into play, Mr. Smith gave the terms of play as follows: Forty moves in the first two hours, and twenty moves per hour thereafter. Adjournment for dinner at two o'clock, and resumption of play at two-thirty. All unfinished games being played after the match result had been decided would be adjudicated.

And then the battle was on, with much display of enthusiasm and eagerness to draw first blood. Clarke, of San Francisco, on third board, was first in the twenty-five games to make his move, (White on odd boards had been awarded to San Francisco prior to the match. At this meeting Mr. Elliott, secretary of the Chess and Checker Club of Los Angeles, had introduced a resolution to alternate the color on odd boards between the two teams in future.) But it remained for LeRoy Johnson, Team Captain for the Southern group, to force the first resignation. His opponent, R. C. Guzman, lasted for seventeen moves against Johnson's choice of the Ruy Lopez.

Here is the picture at the finish-line:

 

Los Angeles

San Francisco

1

Dr. Griffith 1

Fink .. 0

2

Borochow .

Tippin ..

3

Patterson

Clarke ..

4

Bazael ..

Barlow .

5

Spero . 1

Prof. Branch ..0

6

Schrader 0

Bergman ... 1

7

Pray ..

Vodensky .

8

Elliott 1

Howland ... 0

9

Travers .

Lt. Matheson

10

Dr. Scholtz 1

Willson . 0

11

Croy .. 1

W. H. Smith .. 0

12

Gibbs

Christensen ..

13

Fisher 1

McClain 0

14

Graham . 1

Sedlack . 0

15

Chern

Belmont ...

16

Hoffpauer .

Hendricks

17

Kendall .

Lewis ..

18

Taylor 0

Capps ... 1

19

Millstein .0

Robinson .. 1

20

Stein .

Smolokov

21

Wolff 1

Wilson .. 0

22

Ryan . 1

Paul .. 0

23

Schirm .. 0

Buchanan . 1

24

Johnson 1

Guzman 0

25

Barbee .

Tomasini .

 

15

9

The following tabulation gives a summary of team scores throughout the history of the match. It is noteworthy that the first match in 1926 was played on twelve boards. Also, the matches of the past two years (1934 and 1935) have resulted in ties:

 

North

South

1926

4

7

1927

6

5

1930

6

5

1931

10

14

1932

9

10

1934

12

12

1935

12

12

1936

9

15

Here's how they did it this year:

Board No. 1
FRENCH DEFENSE
Fink - Griffith
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Be3 de 4.Nd2 f5 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Nh3 Nc6 7.c3 Nd5 8.Nf4 Nf4 9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Qh5+ g6 11.Qh6 Bf4 12.Qf4 Qd6 13.Qh6 Bd7 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.Nb3 Ne7 16.Nc5 Nd5 17.g3 Bc6 18.h4 b6 19.Nb3 Nf6 20.Rhe1 Bd5 21.Ba6+ Bb7 22.Bc4 Kb8 23.Qd2 Ng4 24.Qe2 e3 25.fe Qg3 26.Nd2 e5 27.d5 Bd5 28.Bd5 Rd5 0-1

Board No. 2
RUY LOPEZ
Borochow - Tippin
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bc6 dc 5.d4 ed 6.Qd4 Qd4 7.Nd4 Bd6 8.Be3 Ne7 9.Nd2 f5 10.ef Nf5 11.Nf5 Bf5 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.Nc4 Rad8 14.Bg5 Rd7 15.f3 h6 16.Nd6 cd 17.Bh4 -

Board No. 4
FRENCH DEFENSE
Bazael - Barlow
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 de 5.Bf6 gf 6.Ne4 Be7 7.f4 b6 8.g3 f5 9.Nf2 Bb7 10.Nf3 c5 11.Bb5+ Kf8 12.Rf1 Nc6 13.Bc6 Bc6 14.Ne5 Be8 15.dc Bc5 16.Qd8 Rd8 17.Nfd3 Bd6 18.0-0-0 f6 19.Nc4 Bb5 20.Nd6 Rd6 21.Nb4 Ke7 22.Rd6 Kd6 23.Rd1+ Ke7 24.b3 Rd8 25.Rd8 Kd8 26.c4 Bd7 27.Kd2 Kc7 28.Kc3 Kd6 29.Kd4 e5+ 30.Ke3 Bc6 31.Nc6 Kc6 32.b4 -

Board No. 5
ALEKHINE DEFENSE
Branch - Spero
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.ed ed 6.Nc3 Bf5 7.Qf3 Qc8 8.Nd5 Nd5 9.cd Be7 10.Bf4 0-0 11.Qb3 Bf6 12.Ne2 Re8 13.Kd2 b6 14.f3 Qd8 15.Be3 c5 16.g4 Bg6 17.Rg1 cd 18.Nd4 Bd4 19.Bd4 Nd7 20.Bb5 Re7 21.Rac1 Nc5 22.Qc3 Rc8 23.Bc6 f6 24.g5 fg 25.Rg5 Re2+ 26.Ke2 Qg5 27.Rg1 Qh6 28.Rg2 Qh3 29.Kf1 Rf8 30.Kg1 Rf3 31.Qe1 Ne4 32.Be8 Qf5 33.Bg6 hg6 34.Re2 Qg5+ 35.Rg2 Qd5 36.Bc3 Rd3 0-1

Board No. 6
ALEKHINE DEFENSE
Schrader - Bergman
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.ed Nd5 4.Bc4 Nb6 5.Bb3 c5 6.d3 Nc6 7.Be3 e6 8.Nf3 Be7 9.Ne4 Nd4 10.0-0 0-0 11.c3 Nb3 12.Qb3 Qd3 13.Nc5 Qc4 14.Ne5 Qb3 15.ab f6 16.Ned3 Nd5 17.Bd2 e5 18.c4 Nc7 19.Bb4 Re8 20.Na4 Bd7 21.Be7 Re7 22.Nac5 Bf5 23.Nb4 a5 24.Na2 Ne6 25.Ne6 Be6 26.Nc3 Rd7 27.Rfd1 Kf8 28.Rd7 Bd7 29.b4 Rc8 30.ba Rc4 31.a6 ba6 32.Ra6 Rb4 33.Rd6 Ke8 34.Rd2 Bc6 35.f3 Ke7 36.Kf2 Ke6 37.Ke1 f5 38.Kd1 Rh4 39.g3 Bf3+ 40.Kc2 Rb4 41.b3 Bc6 42.Na2 Rb7 43.Kc3 g5 44.Nb4 Bb5 45.Nc2 f4 46.h4 h6 47.hg5 hg5 48.gf gf 0-1

Board No. 8
ALEKHINE DEFENSE
Elliott - Howland
1.e4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.ed Nd5 4.Bc4 Nb6 5.Bb3 c5 6.Qe2 Nc6 7.Nf3 e6 8.d3 Be7 9.Be3 0-0 10.0-0 Nd5 11.Bd2 Bf6 12.Rae1 b6 13.Qe4 Nce7 14.Ng5 Ng6 15.Nd5 ed 16.Bd5 Bg5 17.Bg5 Qg5 18.Ba8 Bf5 19.Qc6 Nf4 20.Kh1 Be6 21.Qf3 Bg4 22.Qe3 Qf6 23.b3 h5 24.Bf3 Be6 25.Qe5 Qh6 26.g3 Nh3 27.Bh5 Rd8 28.Bf3 Ng5 29.Bg2 Rd4 30.f4 Nh3 31.Qb8+ Kh7 32.Qa7 Rd5 33.f5 Rf5 34.Rf5 Bf5 35.Qf7 Bg6 36.Qf1 Ng5 37.h4 Qh5 38.Re5 1-0

Scores of all the remaining games will be published in our next issue.

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