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Robert Scrivener vs Norman Tweed Whitaker
"Beaten by the Scrivener" (game of the day May-07-2022)
25th Western Championship (1924), Detroit, MI USA, rd 11, Aug-29
Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense. Botvinnik Variation (D60)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <"In this Detroit game I played Whitaker in the 12th or 13th round. Tensions were mounting, Torre and Reshevsky were much interested, as Whitaker had not lost a game. Numerous behind-the-scenes prizes were being offered by individuals to the first man to beat Whitaker. I hit a nice little jack-pot in winning this game. I am still using in major tournaments the set of men I won that day."> -- Robert Scrivener, Tennessee Chess News, May 1969.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Scrivener also played Whitaker at the 1929 Western tournament at St. Louis and, despite finishing near the bottom, knocked him out of first place with a later round win.

Game Collection: US Open 1929, St. Louis = 30th Western Champ.

(presently under construction)

May-07-22  Brenin: 34 ... Bb1, followed by the exchange of Bs, would have given Black a fairly easy win.
May-07-22  nalinw: The interesting finish redeems a not very exciting game .... no idea about the pun ... scrivener = scribe - so what?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Phony Benoni: I think the pun may be based on "Bartelby the Scrivener", a short story by Herman Melville.

I shall now retreat into my bunker and prepare for the inevitable onslaught of Moby Dick comments.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Have read "Bartleby the Scrivener" a few times, but the only lines that stuck in my craw consisted of "I would prefer not to" and "Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!"

42.Bc6 threatening 43.Ra8+ and 44.Qxc8+ is a nice little finisher, but it seemed like Black should have won this game. Playing Bxf6 and Qxh7+ when it does not lead to mate can leave White with less than nothing, as in Anderssen vs Morphy, 1858. Or Bogoljubov vs Reti, 1923.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Scrivener died in March 1969, meaning that the comment <Phony Benoni> cited was published posthumously (perhaps in a memorial article about Scrivener).
May-07-22  offramp: <An Englishman: Good Evening: Have read "Bartleby the Scrivener" a few times, but the only lines that stuck in my craw consisted of "I would prefer not to" and "Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!">

The pun is a bit of a stretch, but I have always liked that (as <phony Benoni> metioned) '"Bartelby the Scrivener", a short story by Herman Melville.'

The story was filmed starring Paul Schofield, a British film.

Norman Tweed Whitaker is the anti-hero of an episode of <Dragnet> called <The Big Grifter>.

Premium Chessgames Member
  MissScarlett: <OCF> always complains there aren't enough puns referencing American culture, so I'm sure he'll appreciate this one.
May-07-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: "Scrivener Preferred"
May-07-22  Cheapo by the Dozen: That would be even better if he has a brilliancy prize game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Good Game. A Kitchen sink attack (with as Brenin points out that wee bit of luck all attacks of this nature need - and often get.)

I like the two bob idea behind 22.f4 (if 22...Bxf4 23.Nd5 1-0) but after 23...Qxf4

click for larger view

Why not 24.Rf1 which looks like it keeps the squeeze on. If White was worried about 24...Rd7 then 25.Qh8+ take on d7 with check, then on e8 with check and then on f4 = White is a Rook up.

Black's last handful of moves reek of time trouble, (It looks like when Black played 38...Be6 he was expecting Rd8+ not Qd8+)

it's a tough hold, defenders in these positions see ghost threats and that White Bishop is covering a lot of key squares near the Black King.

42.Bc6 nice, I would have played 42.Rc6 which wins the Queen but not as classy.

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from American Chess Bulletin 1924 by Phony Benoni
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