Saturday, April 30, 2016

Marshall Chess Club Annual Meeting and Election June 14th 7 PM

The Marshall Chess Club will hold its Annual Meeting and Elections on Tuesday, June 14 at 7pm. Resident Members will vote on the election of five members to new three-year terms to the Club's Board of Governors.

Refreshments will be served and casual chess will follow the formal proceedings.

I urge all resident members to attend!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Marshall Chess Club Champions

Marshall Chess Club Champions 1917 – 2015

1917 Stanley Stanton
1918 Edward B. Edwards
1919 Howard Morton Hartshorne
1920 Frank E. Parker
1921 Bruno Forsberg
1922 Anthony E. Santasiere
1923 Erling Tholfsen (1904-1966)
1924 Erling Tholfsen
1925 no championship that year
1926 Anthony Santasiere
1927 Alburt Pinkus
1928-1929 Horace R. Bigelow
1929-1930 Rudolph Smirka 
1930-1931 Arthur Dake
1931-1932 Reuben Fine
1932-1933 Reuben Fine
1933-1934 Reuben Fine
1934-1935 Fred Reinfeld
1935-1936 Anthony Santasiere 
1936-1937 Frank Marshall
1937-1938 Frank Marshall and David Polland
1938-1939 Sidney Bernstein and Milton Hanauer
1940 Reuben Fine
1941 Reuben Fine
1942 Herbert Seidman
1943 Anthony Santasiere
1944 Herbert Seidman
1945 Herbert Seidman
1946 Herbert Seidman and Milton Hanauer
1946-1947 Rodrigo Flores
1947-1948 Larry Evans
1949 Larry Evans
1950 Larry Evans
1950-1951 Milton Hanauer
1951-1952 Eliot Hearst
1952-1953 Carl Pilnick
1953-1954 John Collins
1954-1955 William Lombardy and Frank S. Howard
1955-1956 Herbert Seidman
1956-1957 Sidney Bernstein
1957-1958 Sidney Bernstein
1958-1959 Nicholas Bakos
1959-1960 James Sherwin and Raymond Weinstein 
1960-1961 Raymond Weinstein
1961-1962 Raymond Weinstein
1963 Karl Burger 
1963-1964 Shelby Lyman
1965 Herbert Seidman
1966 Paul Robey
1967 Andrew Soltis
1968 Marc Yoffie
1969 Andrew Soltis
1970 Andrew Soltis
1971 Andrew Soltis
1972 George Kane
1973 Sal Matera
1974 Andrew Soltis
1975 Sal Matera
1976 Joseph Tamargo
1977 Andrew Soltis
1978 Brian Hulse
1979 Andrew Soltis
1980 Leslie Braun
1981 Mitchell Saltzberg
1982 Leslie Braun
1983 Jerry Simon
1984 Jay Bonin
1985 Leslie Braun and Charles Weldon
1986 Andrew Soltis
1987 Jay Bonin
1988 Andrew Soltis
1989 Robert Sulman
1990 Michael Rohde
1991 Roman Dzindzichashvili
1992 John Federowicz and Gennadi Sagalchik
1993 Maurice Ashley
1994 Michael Rohde
1995 Josh Waitzkin
1996 Josh Waitzkin
1997 Dean Ippolito
1998 Igor Slipperman
1999 Dmitry Shneider
2000 Yuri Lapshun
2001 Yuri Lapshun
2002 Igor Novikov
2003 Jaan Ehlvist
2004 Jaan Ehlvist
2005 Leonid Yudasin
2006 Jaan Ehlvist
2007 Jaan Ehlvist
2008 Zviad Izoria and Giorgi Kacheishvili
2009 Alex Lenderman
2010 Mark Paragua
2011 Mikhail Kekelidze
2012 Michael Rohde and Justin Sarkar
2013 Alex Lenderman
2014 Gata Kamsky and Mark Paragua 
2015 Gata Kamsky and Zviad Izoria

Sunday, April 10, 2016

US Women's Champ GM Irina Krush on Steve Harvey Show with Hilary Clinton

I was so surprised to see Irina on the Steve Harvey show. He had Hilary Clinton on the show and she had to pick out the Female Trailblazer from 3 possible women (kind of like the old show To Tell the Truth). It was very amusing and Irina looked great.

GM Susan Polgar defends women's chess

Interesting article about Susan Polgar's views.
Marshall Memories, a Female perspective
By Ginny D'Amico Hoffmann

I joined the Marshall at 14 years old, after having become enamored of chess during the Fischer Spassky match, like a lot of people. I had played in several McAlpin tournaments (tournaments were at the McAlpin Hotel on 34th Street in those days. Run by Bill Goichberg) but I knew about the Marshall from Shelby Lyman’s coverage of the match on PBS. My Mom took me there. The first person I met was Bill Slater, who seemed wise and ancient to me. I played him and he beat me. I met his wife, Kathryn too. I joined the club that day and that was the beginning of a love affair with the club that would last my entire childhood into adult years.

I began going to the club almost every day. I played speed chess with the other young people, Jerry Graham, Orman Cisneros, Jay Bonin and many others on a daily basis. At 15 my Mom was letting me travel to the “city” from Brooklyn by myself but many times I had the company of Jay on my way home to Brooklyn as he lived near me. I spent many years this way. On the weekends I played in all of the hotel tournaments and played at the Marshall during the week.

I remember how dismayed some of my male opponents were when I beat them. Some of them were even upset to be paired with a girl! In the beginning I didn’t like this reaction but after awhile I enjoyed beating a man or boy with this attitude. I enjoyed beating anybody I could, actually as my play was aggressive, influenced mostly by Tal. I remember that after I beat an older man, a foreign player I recall, he was so furious that he threatened the club that if they didn’t ban women from playing, he would resign his membership. The club happily accepted his resignation!

The rapids was on Thursdays in those days. It was presided over by Joe Pandolfini (Bruce’s stepdad, I believe), who kept up a running dialog of his adventures from yesteryear. I enjoyed talking with the older people too. There was Johnny Marks, who wrote the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” who always banged down his pieces and called everybody “Mister” in a booming voice. I remember Sol Markoff, Betty Deutchman and other older people who always played in the front room by the Marshall statue on most days. We young ones played in the back room, with the door shut, so we wouldn’t disturb the others.

We used to play bughouse and really fast speed. It was a lot of fun. I was accepted as one of the group though a girl, because I wasn’t a bad player, not great but I could hold my own. I remember Peter Sepulveda, Gary Forman, Joe Lux, Ronnie Goldschlager, Jordon Auerbach, and Jerry Graham (who lived across the street) who were also there every day. And many, many others. Sometimes we used to go to the basement and play diplomacy. We played a lot of casual chess pretty much all day long. You could always get a game pretty much anytime you dropped by the club. It was like our livingroom. I became good friends with Rachel Crotto, who went on to win the US Women’s Championship several times. At 16, I worked at the club as an assistant manager. I used to enjoy going through the historical things that belonged to Frank Marshall that they kept in the office. Everything was so old and I loved and respected the history that the club represented. It must always be preserved.

When I got a bit older I hung out with the “cool” crowd of young masters: Bruce Pandolfini, Brian Hulce, George Kane and Larry Evans. I remember a lot of nights out at the restaurants and bars on McDougal Street. There was also a group of us who would go drinking after most nights at the club, usually to the Cedar Tavern on University Place. I was probably underage to drink but that didn’t seem to matter in those days. Usually Soltis, Forman, Cisneros, Sepuveda and anyone else who was there when the club closed would come out with us. We had a great time. I remember overindulging on several occasions, and once being led by the hand by Peter Sepulveda to Gary Forman’s house who kindly put Orman Cisneros and I up in his place for the night. (People at the club took care of each other). We woke in the morning and didn’t even know where we were! Ah, foolish youth!
In 1976, I formed a metropolitan league team of all women. It was Rachel Crotto, Dolly Teasley, Susan Sterngold and myself. We beat most of the competiton from around the city in the B Group. Andy Soltis choose one my games to publish in the Saturday chess column in the NY Post. We also had the same team for the US Team Championship which we dubbed “The Vera Menchik Brigade”, after the first Woman’s World Champ. We even had T-shirts made up. You should have seen the look on the faces of the poor guys we were paired with. They all looked miserable at the prospect of losing to a woman! I still don’t get that. Chess is a mental sport, and as such, women have the potential to be as least as good as men.

Sometimes after hours we would go back to the club to play speed chess. In those days, everyone had the key and even though you weren’t supposed to, we’d go back and play after midnight. We would put on only the light over the table we were using (there were light fixtures over each table then) and play happily for hours. It was during one of those nights that an eerie thing happened. The bust of Frank Marshall had been stolen and the club was all abuzz with talk of who could do such a thing. So one night myself and I think Ronnie Goldschlager, were playing after hours and we heard a noise downstairs. We kept quiet as we didn’t want to get in trouble for being there. Soon, we decided to leave, and when we went downstairs we found the statue! It was between the outer and inner doors. Astonished, we looked outside up and down the street but no one was there. So we dragged it in for safekeeping and left it by the foot of the stairs! (we didn’t want to be associated with the robbery so we got out of there quick! )

I remember a lecture at the club by Edward Lasker who was very, very old and very kind. Mostly I remember how happy he seemed. Sammy Reshevsky was at the club a lot. Bill Lombardy (Father Bill) and other luminaries were there all the time. Also, Jack Collins, who was a famous chess teacher of Fischer and other prodigies, would come to the club in his wheel chair. I believe his sister lived in one of the apartments upstairs. Sometimes there would be lectures and other events. There was a wedding (George Kane and Tandy). Once I was enlisted to go to the soviet news agency Tass to relay the moves of the world championship match between Karpov and Korchnoi (I believe). I would call the club after each move, from the little station they gave me at their office in Rockefeller Center. The members gathered downstairs at the club to watch each move on a demo board. These were the days before internet and cell phones!

One day, when I was 17, a group of us decided to invade “enemy territory” and go play in the Manhattan Rapids. Each week, we would enter the B section and usually win money. It was at the Manhattan that I first met my husband, the young and colorful Asa Hoffmann (who looked like a young Richard Gere then). I wound up joining the Manhattan for a year or so. But I was always a Marshall member so that made me a “double agent” of sorts! We had a great time there too.
I gave up chess when I started college at night, as I worked all day. I just didn’t have the time. I was about 22 then. I went on to have a long career in accounting but I never forgot chess or the players. I spent the years from 14 through 22 playing chess at the Marshall. It had a great influence on me. I was exposed to a great many intelligent and cultured individuals. It formed my personality and views. And now, I’ve rediscovered my love of chess, and I’m going back to the Marshall again after 33 years! Chess is a wonderful thing.

Manhattan Chess Club History - A sad tale

A Manhattan Chess Club Timeline [Abridged]

by Nicholas W. Conticello

Italicized Supplemental Notes by IM Mark Ginsburg
1901- Frank J. Marshall wins the first of three Manhattan Chess Club (MCC) titles.
1909- MCC organizes match between Marshall and young member Jose Raul Capablanca. The unknown Cuban demolishes the World Championship contender by +8-1=14 and goes on to become the third World Champion.
1915- Capablanca wins NY International ahead of Marshall.
1924- MCC board members arrange legendary New York international featuring most of the leading players of the era. Lasker takes first with 16-4 ahead of Capablanca, Alekhine, Marshall, Reti, etc. Capa’s loss to Reti in the fifth round is the Cuban’s first defeat in 8 years.
1927- MCC board sponsors a six-player event supposedly to select a challenger for Capablanca’s title. Capa wins without loss of a game, while Alekhine confirms his status as challenger with a convincing second. Alekhine’s ensuing victory in their match later in the year by +6-3=25 will shock the chess world and end MCC’s grip on the World Championship.
1936- MCC member Samuel Reshevsky wins first US Championship tournament of the 20th century.
1945- On Sept. 1 Club is site of American half of USA-USSR radio match. Soviets win by 11 points in 20 games and begin their 27 year grip (to the day!) on world chess.
1948- Members Reshevsky and Reuben Fine are invited to play in World Championship tournament to choose a successor to Alekhine. Fine, fearing Soviet collusion, cites his studies in psychology as his reason for not playing. Reshevsky plays anyway and finishes third.
1951- Reshevsky wins MCC’s Wertheim Memorial ahead of Max Euwe and Miguel Najdorf.
1952- Future GM and World Junior Champion William Lombardy joins the Club.
1955- Reshevsky wins the Rosenwald tournament (de facto US Championship) ahead of Arthur Bisguier and Larry M. Evans. 12-year-old Robert J. Fischer joins.
1956- Fischer is invited to the Rosenwald at age 13. He is beaten by eventual winner Reshevsky on time (his only known time forfeit) and runnerup Bisguier ( the latter’s only win against Fischer) but defeats Donald Byrne in what TD and Club Manager Hans Kmoch eulogizes as the “Game of the Century” and scores a respectable 4.5/11.
1957- In the space of one year, Donald Byrne wins the Western Open, Gisela Gresser wins the US Women’s title, Fischer wins the US Open and US Junior, Lombardy wins the World Junior Championship (11-0!), Arthur Bisguier wins the US Closed, and Samuel Reshevsky is crowned “Champion of the Western Hemisphere” by virtue of a match victory over Miguel Najdorf. The year will end with 14-year-old Bobby Fischer taking the first of a record 8 US Championships without the loss of a game.
1962- Larry Evans defeats William Lombardy for the Edgar Trophy.
1963- Fischer wins the US Championship for the sixth time with a perfect 11-0 score. The event is held at the Henry Hudson Hotel, which also was home for the Club.
1964- Benko defeats Bisguier in a match for an Interzonal spot vacated by Fischer, who declined his invitation to the Amsterdam event.
1971- The Club moves from the Henry Hudson to E. 60th St. just off Fifth Avenue. In August, the Club sponsors an invitational Master Rapids. Fischer swamps the field with 21.5-0.5 (the draw going to six-time Club Champion Walter Shipman.) This was the soon-to-be World Champion’s last appearance at the Club.
1973- The peak of the “Fischer Boom” sees the Club’s membership exceed 400.
1974- The “Boom” goes bust, and the Club must move again, to 155 E. 55 St. In February Viktor Korchnoi wins another special Master Rapids.
1976- The Club sponsors the first New York International since 1951. IM Norman Weinstein ties for first with recent emigre GM’s Anatoly Lein and Leonid Shamkovich. 12-year-old Joel Benjamin, making his international debut, wins a game from Canadian IM Bruce Amos.
1977- Anatoly Lein wins the Moses Mitchell Tournament of Champions ahead of Sal Matera, Bernard Zuckerman, and future Club President Neil McKelvie.
1978-14-year-old Joel Benjamin wins the first of six Club titles.
1984- The Club moves to the Carnegie Hall Studios, 155 W. 57 St, for the second time.
News flash 5/17/11 from Mark Pinto“Records are probably lost but I tied with [Walter] Shipman in 1984 and he was given the title on tiebreaks. [… ] Going from memory (not as reliable as it used to be) wins against Asa [Hoffmann] , Eric Cooke, drew with B[ernie] Zuckerman(a Nadjorf where I was white), drew with Shipman not sure who else I played. ”

1988 – IM Mark Ginsburg (Yay!) wins the MCC Championship for the first time, with a field including MCC stalwarts Zuckerman and Shirazi. The 10th floor Carnegie Hall location features an 11th floor bathtub for the grimy combatant.
1989- Gata Kamsky’s American debut after defecting during the New York Open is the Club’s 4 Rated Games Tonight. Kamsky will play frequently at the Club over the next five years.
MG: I play Kamsky in an MCC quad. We have cordial post-game analysis until his father yanks him away mid-sentence, much like a bad vaudeville act gets the cane.
1989- The Club runs a Knockout Qualifier with sixteen of the country’s strongest players vying for the right to meet Kasparov in a two game 25 minute match at the New York Public Library. Gata Kamsky, a last minute substitute, wins the event ahead of many GM’s.
1990 – IM Mark Ginsburg (Yay!) wins the MCC Championship for the second time, granting a draw from a position of strength to FM Danny Shapiro in the last round. Leonid Bass and Mark are just in time to Maxim Dlugy’s wedding.
1991 – Despite having won the event two years previously, the gruff manager Russell Garber omits to invite MG to this year’s championship and MG misses it, not knowing its exact dates.
1992 – The Club and the American Chess Foundation purchase a building at 353 W. 46 St. in the hopes of providing the Club with a permanent home and enabling the Foundation to expand its activities. The site is called the American Chess Center.
1993- By June the Club is unable to maintain its share of the building and cedes its part ownership to ACF. Billy Colias is hired as manager in July, charged with running the Club and the ACF’s bookstore. he dies Nov. 4 from an accidental overdose of an over-the-counter-medication.
1994- Kamsky celebrates his match victory over Anand with a final appearance in the Thursday Night Action. He scores 4-0, defeating Lombardy and IM Danny Edelman en route.
1997- Jay Bonin becomes the first player to win the championships of the Marshall and Manhattan Clubs and the State of New York to become the only triple Crown winner in NY State history.
1999- Maurice Ashley gains his final GM norm in an International held at the Club, beconing the first African-American Grandmaster.
2000- The Club’s lease at 353 W. 46 St. expires. it moves to the New Yorker Hotel on May 1. A few weeks later GM Max Dlugy wins a Master Rapids event held concurrently with the New York Open to celebrate the Club’s reopening. In November Eric Cooke wins atwo-game blitz playoff from Asa Hoffmann to become the Club’s last champion in the 20th century.
2001 – MG visits the almost defunct club in this sad New Yorker Hotel (some non-descript room on a high floor) location.
2002- On Feb. 1, after two years of unstoppable decline, the Club closes its doors for the last time.
Copyright 2008 Nicholas W. Conticello. All rights reserved.

For Further Reading

More MCC trivia and amusement here.

Pathos from the Readers

This I heard on ICC 4/28/08:
jonesey tells you: watched my then 13 yr old son play in the last tourney at the manhattan while they were carrying stuff out. sad

The Fabulous 1980s: The 1989 Manhattan CC Championship

January 14, 2008 In 1989 I played in the Manhattan Chess Club Championship at Carnegie Hall on West 57th Street in Manhattan. Although I won the 1988 and 1990 events, this 1989 version really escapes my memory, even when I look at the game scores.
Reader query: I cannot locate a list of the champions by year! I could only locate this somewhat anemic “history” of the MCC. Does anyone have access to such a list? See the bottom of this post for my highly incomplete reconstruction. Has the venerable club really fallen into such depths of paucity? Note on February 14th: Nick Conticello has risen to the occasion and is locating this list of champs 1883-1997 (originally compiled by Walter Shipman) – see comments.
3/14/08: Here’s Nick’s PDF file converted to an image: (click several times on the image to enlarge). I would like to see LOCATIONS too! (The MCC moves around a lot). Probably the MCC had some more champs after 1997, readers? (This list was compiled in 1997, but I don’t think the club was totally defunct yet).
MCC Champs 1883-1997. List compiled by IM Walter Shipman. Source: Nick Conticello.