|US Championship (1973)|
With the reverberations of the Fischer Boom still resounding in their ears, the Powers That Were in USCF-Land decided it might be time to move the US Closed Championship out of New York where it had been played exclusively since 1936 (except for the small blip of South Fallsburg, 1948). As always, the issue was funding, but the El Paso Chess Club (with the help of the local Jaycees and the Hotel Paso del Norte) got everything together and brought together the following group from September 9-26, 1973, for a little chess and a trip or two across the border to Juarez for the dog races:|
Pal Benko; Arthur Bisguier; Walter Shawn Browne; Donald Byrne; Larry Melvyn Evans; Lawrence C Gilden; John A Grefe; George Francis Kane; Andrew Karklins; Lubomir Kavalek; William E Martz; Edmar J Mednis; James Tarjan.
A good bunch of players, but lousy handicappers. Tournament Director Georges Koltanowski recorded that a dog named <Check> won the sixth race, but nobody thought to bet on him. By the way, you might notice only thirteen names. William James Lombardy was compelled to withdraw at the last minute and was not replaced. As a punishment, he was stuck with writing the tournament book.
He had a great story. A new site brought new players to the fore, as the recently-eligible Lubomir Kavalek and little-regarded John Grefe sprinted out in front, Grefe winning six games in a row at one point. When they met in round 10 Grefe actually had a 1.5 point lead, but Kavalek had an extra game to play due to the bye. Kavalek vs J Grefe, 1973 went Kavalek's way, but he was only able to draw in round 11 when Grefe had the bye, leaving the two players tied going into the last two rounds.
Both took quick draws with White in round 12. The last round saw them both playing Black, Kavalek against Karklins and Grefe against Benko. Kavalek seemed to have the easier task, but when the games were adjourned his position was drawn (though difficult) while Grefe had an easy win against Benko.
After adjournment Grefe duly converted his point, and didn't have long to wait. Almost immediately afterward, with a perpetual check in hand, Karklins miscalculated a line he thought was winning for him and handed the game to Kavalek, resulting in co-champions.
SOURCE: U.S. championship chess, with the games of the 1973 tournament by William Lombardy and David Daniels. With a special report by George Koltanowski. New York: McKay, 1975. (Despite the above jest, this is an excellent work.)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 Pts
01 Kavalek * 1 = = = = 1 1 = 1 1 1 1 9.5
02 Grefe 0 * 1 = = 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 = 9.5
03 Browne = 0 * = = = = 1 1 1 1 1 1 8.5
04 Tarjan = = = * 1 = 1 0 1 1 = = = 7.5
05 Evans = = = 0 * = 0 = 1 1 = = 1 6.5
06 Benko = 0 = = = * = = = = 1 = 1 6.5
07 Karklins 0 0 = 0 1 = * = = 0 1 1 1 6.0
08 Mednis 0 0 0 1 = = = * = 0 = 1 1 5.5
09 Bisguier = 0 0 0 0 = = = * = 1 = 1 5.0
10 Gilden 0 0 0 0 0 = 1 1 = * 0 = = 4.0
11 Martz 0 0 0 = = 0 0 = 0 1 * = = 3.5
12 Byrne 0 0 0 = = = 0 0 = = = * 0 3.0
13 Kane 0 = 0 = 0 0 0 0 0 = = 1 * 3.0
PREVIOUS: US Championship (1972).
NEXT: US Championship (1974).
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 78
|1. Evans vs Benko
|| ||½-½||23||1973||US Championship||B81 Sicilian, Scheveningen, Keres Attack|
|2. Browne vs Mednis
||1-0||48||1973||US Championship||B08 Pirc, Classical|
|3. D Byrne vs Bisguier
|| ||½-½||22||1973||US Championship||A22 English|
|4. Kavalek vs G F Kane
|| ||1-0||45||1973||US Championship||A04 Reti Opening|
|5. J Grefe vs A Karklins
||1-0||30||1973||US Championship||C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation|
|6. Tarjan vs L Gilden
||1-0||35||1973||US Championship||B93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4|
|7. Mednis vs D Byrne
|| ||1-0||41||1973||US Championship||B39 Sicilian, Accelerated Fianchetto, Breyer Variation|
|8. A Karklins vs Evans
|| ||1-0||27||1973||US Championship||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|9. G F Kane vs J Grefe
|| ||½-½||40||1973||US Championship||A56 Benoni Defense|
|10. L Gilden vs Kavalek
|| ||0-1||71||1973||US Championship||B45 Sicilian, Taimanov|
|11. W Martz vs Browne
|| ||0-1||58||1973||US Championship||E60 King's Indian Defense|
|12. Bisguier vs Tarjan
|| ||0-1||59||1973||US Championship||A48 King's Indian|
|13. D Byrne vs W Martz
|| ||½-½||41||1973||US Championship||A00 Uncommon Opening|
|14. Tarjan vs Mednis
|| ||0-1||40||1973||US Championship||B50 Sicilian|
|15. Kavalek vs Bisguier
|| ||½-½||60||1973||US Championship||A06 Reti Opening|
|16. Evans vs G F Kane
|| ||1-0||40||1973||US Championship||A79 Benoni, Classical, 11.f3|
|17. J Grefe vs L Gilden
|| ||1-0||25||1973||US Championship||B97 Sicilian, Najdorf|
|18. Benko vs A Karklins
|| ||½-½||42||1973||US Championship||A54 Old Indian, Ukrainian Variation, 4.Nf3|
|19. Bisguier vs J Grefe
|| ||0-1||36||1973||US Championship||A42 Modern Defense, Averbakh System|
|20. G F Kane vs Benko
|| ||0-1||26||1973||US Championship||D86 Grunfeld, Exchange|
|21. L Gilden vs Evans
|| ||0-1||69||1973||US Championship||B43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3|
|22. Mednis vs Kavalek
||0-1||41||1973||US Championship||B52 Sicilian, Canal-Sokolsky (Rossolimo) Attack|
|23. Browne vs D Byrne
||1-0||42||1973||US Championship||B77 Sicilian, Dragon, Yugoslav Attack|
|24. W Martz vs Tarjan
|| ||½-½||60||1973||US Championship||A31 English, Symmetrical, Benoni Formation|
|25. Tarjan vs Browne
|| ||½-½||30||1973||US Championship||B98 Sicilian, Najdorf|
| page 1 of 4; games 1-25 of 78
|Jan-06-14|| ||guenther42: I went to see John on Friday evening 12/20/2013 at the VA hospital. He was on life support. He died on Sunday. I put my hand on his forehead and thanked him for being an empathetic pal & neighbor in'79 when I first got here from MD to attend UCB, living on Channing Way, my first real place to live after living in my car for half a semester. He was tough on some people, but a real sweetie to me. RIP my brother John.|
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