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Walter Shipman
W Shipman 
Photograph copyright © 2004,
Number of games in database: 170
Years covered: 1945 to 2007
Last FIDE rating: 2118
Highest rating achieved in database: 2380

Overall record: +66 -52 =50 (54.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 2 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (22) 
    A45 D02 A40 A46 D01
 Ruy Lopez (10) 
    C77 C78 C71 C82 C66
 Sicilian (10) 
    B29 B32 B35 B71 B58
 Grunfeld (5) 
    D79 D78 D91 D95
 Robatsch (4) 
 Queen's Gambit Accepted (4) 
    D23 D21
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (17) 
    C60 C75 C92 C80 C89
 King's Gambit Accepted (7) 
    C37 C39
 Queen's Pawn Game (7) 
    D02 D04 E00 D00
 Semi-Slav (6) 
    D46 D43 D45
 Giuoco Piano (5) 
    C53 C50 C54
 English (5) 
    A13 A11 A18 A12
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   W Shipman vs A Elo, 1946 1-0
   W Shipman vs Dzindzichashvili, 1993 1-0
   J Wygrecki vs W Shipman, 1986 1/2-1/2
   P Dietz vs W Shipman, 1946 0-1
   E E Stearns vs W Shipman, 1957 0-1
   A Sandrin vs W Shipman, 1946 0-1
   Fischer vs W Shipman, 1957 1/2-1/2
   Larry Evans vs W Shipman, 1955 1/2-1/2
   J Lakdawala vs W Shipman, 1984 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   United States Championship (1948)
   58th US Open (1957)
   70th US Open (1969)
   47th US Open (1946)
   49th US Open (1948)

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Walter Shipman
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(born Apr-18-1929, died Feb-28-2017, 87 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

Walter Shipman was born in New York on April 18, 1929. He first competed in the U.S. Championship in 1948, and was one of the country's top dozen players for most of the 1950s. He won the New Jersey State Championship in 1960. He won the Manhattan Chess Club Championship in 1972, 1984, 1985, and 1995, and tied for the title in 1974 and 1994. He achieved the International Master title in 1982 at the unusually advanced age of 53. He achieved his peak USCF rating of 2491 at age 66 after tying for second at the 1995 US Open. He was also one of the United States' most prominent chess historians. He moved to San Francisco in the mid-1990s.

References: (1) (obituary), (2)

Last updated: 2022-02-02 17:36:39

 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 177  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W Shipman vs Denker  1-0601944Manhattan CC-ch 1944/45B73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
2. Kashdan vs W Shipman  1-0221944Manhattan CC-ch 1944/45B74 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
3. W Shipman vs Fine 0-1521945Blindfold rapid transition exhibitionE43 Nimzo-Indian, Fischer Variation
4. W Shipman vs A Elo  1-027194647th US OpenC39 King's Gambit Accepted
5. P Dietz vs W Shipman  0-125194647th US OpenC54 Giuoco Piano
6. W Shipman vs Santasiere  ½-½37194647th US OpenC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
7. A Sandrin vs W Shipman 0-149194647th US OpenC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
8. W Shipman vs Kupchik  ½-½21194647th US OpenD95 Grunfeld
9. K Forster vs W Shipman  ½-½19194647th US OpenD55 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. W Shipman vs H Fajans  ½-½27194647th US OpenB53 Sicilian
11. M Aleman Dovo vs W Shipman  ½-½22194647th US OpenC83 Ruy Lopez, Open
12. H Fajans vs W Shipman  ½-½41194647th US OpenC50 Giuoco Piano
13. W Shipman vs F Yerhoff  0-173194647th US OpenC78 Ruy Lopez
14. W Shipman vs Kupchik  ½-½22194647th US OpenA22 English
15. Bisguier vs W Shipman  ½-½21194647th US OpenA18 English, Mikenas-Carls
16. W Shipman vs G Katz  ½-½23194647th US OpenC89 Ruy Lopez, Marshall
17. H Seidman vs W Shipman 1-040194647th US OpenC86 Ruy Lopez, Worrall Attack
18. O Ulvestad vs W Shipman  ½-½29194647th US OpenA51 Budapest Gambit
19. W Shipman vs H Steiner  0-136194647th US OpenC30 King's Gambit Declined
20. D Byrne vs W Shipman  ½-½61194647th US OpenD57 Queen's Gambit Declined, Lasker Defense
21. W Shipman vs Larry Friedman 0-1321947US Junior ChC36 King's Gambit Accepted, Abbazia Defense
22. W Shipman vs M Pavey  0-130194849th US OpenC82 Ruy Lopez, Open
23. W Shipman vs Woody Young  1-034194849th US OpenC43 Petrov, Modern Attack
24. W Shipman vs R Fiala  1-037194849th US OpenC12 French, McCutcheon
25. W Shipman vs R Kujoth  1-033194849th US OpenB29 Sicilian, Nimzovich-Rubinstein
 page 1 of 8; games 1-25 of 177  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Shipman wins | Shipman loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <short biography>

tpstar plays chess.

Mar-08-05  iron maiden: Ah well, I guess we'll have to settle for that.
Mar-09-05  yoozum: <I dunno, he used to be number one, but he just hasn't been killing as well as he used to has he? > LOL.
Mar-09-05  Resignation Trap: <iron maiden> I could tell you more about tpstar, not only do I know him, I have even played him. If tpstar doesn't want me to reveal his identity or to show his loss to me, I accept bribes in all currencies except Turkish Lira.
Premium Chessgames Member
  cu8sfan: <Resignation Trap> The cat's already out the bag... Check out the biography I wrote for Tony Palmer.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: If my recollection doesn't fail me, Walter's IM title was awarded him in 1984, making him the oldest player to achieve that honour. The final norm was made in that year's NY Open, where I believe he had the redoubtable Bent Larsen on the verge of defeat before drawing the game.
Mar-12-05  Minor Piece Activity: Now there WMD, be modest. =)
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: <cu8sfan: <LOL>>
Apr-18-08  brankat: Happy Birthday Mr.Shipman!
Apr-18-08  Strongest Force: Walter use to live in NYC but retired to the west-coast with his wife. I think he was a lawyer and his wife had something to to do with the medical industry. I knew his 2 children Judit and Joe; they both played chess. Joe was a graduate of MIT ...many of NYC's chess youth went to the best universities. Walter gave me the unofficial title of: "Park Master". :)
Apr-18-08  Riverbeast: Happy Birthday, Mr. Shipman.

I also remember him from the NYC tournaments. He is a true gentleman. His kids were also very nice.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Shipman was responsible for introducing the "Extended Bishop Swap" variation of the French Defence into US chess competition, eg 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 ♗d7, with the idea of ....♗b5 exchanging the White squared Bishops.

Source: "Unorthodox Openings", Eric Schiller and Joel Benjamin, Batsford, 1987

Premium Chessgames Member
  jemptymethod: @StrongestForce: I knew the Shipmans from when I lived in NY in the 70s/80s as well. I played Joe in a tourney on Long Island in 75 or 76 and even remember the opening to this day (Birds/Froms). Judith and I were friends in the early 80s and hung out together at some of the tournaments in NYC at the Chess Center or the ones run by Jose Cuchi
Premium Chessgames Member
  jemptymethod: By the way, watching Walter Shipman play the Budapest vs. the Grandmasters at tournaments at the Chess Center convinced me to drop the Gruenfeld and take it up, and I've never looked back
Apr-18-09  wordfunph: Happy 80th Birthday Master Shipman! May you enjoy the royal game to the fullest..
Jul-23-09  myschkin: . . .

".. Walter got his IM title in 1982 at age 53 making him one of the oldest players ever to receive the title. He was IM strength for several decades but work, family and lack of opportunities delayed his becoming an IM. He made his debut in the US Championship at South Fallsberg, New York, in 1948, where at age 19 he tied for 8-10th places with 11.5 points in the 20 player round robin. He is a noted chess historian. IM John Walter Donaldson notes that "Walter is one of the great gentleman of American chess." ..."


Apr-18-10  wordfunph: "It began to feel as though you were playing against chess itself." Walter Shipman (on playing against Bobby Fischer)

happy 81st birthday IM Shipman!

Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: Andy Soltis (about playing against Fischer) "Even when you're winning, you know you're going to lose".
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Quote of the Day

<It began to feel as though you were playing against chess itself.> -- Walter Shipman (on Fischer)

<Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. <>> -- Samuel Beckett

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Quote of the Day

< "It began to feel as though you were playing against chess itself." >

--- Walter Shipman (on Fischer)

Feb-05-16  TheFocus: From the <Mechanics Institute Newsletter #725>: Philidor C41
Sammy Reshevsky–Walter Shipman
New York (Training Game) December 1947

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.dxe5

<This move is the reason why modern players try to enter the Philidor by the move-order 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5, but of course this gives White the extra option of heading for a queenless middlegame with 4.dxe5.>

4...Nxe4 5.Bc4

<5.Qd5 Nc5 6.Bg5 Be7 (the less commonly played 6...Qd7 still leaves White in charge after 7.exd6 Bxd6 8.Nc3 0–0 9.0–0–0) 7.exd6 Qxd6 8.Nc3 is the “official” reason why this move-order favors White, who has a small but annoying pull.>

5...c6 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.0–0 0–0 8.Nbd2 Nxd2

<8...Nf6 was a reasonable alternative.>

9.Bxd2 Bg4 10.h3 Bh5

<10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nd7 12.Bb3 Qf6 13.Qxf6 Nxf6 14.Rad1 gives White the two-bishop edge in the ending.>

11.Bc3 Bc5

<White’s threatened Qd4 forces the bishop to move again.>

12.b4 Bb6 13.g4 Bg6 14.Ne5 Qh4?!

<14...Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Bxc2 16.Rd2 Bg6 (16...Be4 17.Nxf7) 17.Re1 offers White a strong initiative for the sacrificed pawn. The tricky 14...Qf6, intending ...Qf4, was best here. The text is skating on thin ice.>


<15.Kg2 is more precise, meeting 15...a5 with 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1, and Black is in serious trouble.>


<This meets with a drastic refutation. 15...a5! was correct, with the point that on 16.Nxg6 hxg6 17.Rb1 Black has 17...Bc7+.>

16.Qf3 Bb6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 18.Qxf7+! Rxf7 19.Rxf7 Na6 20.Raf1 1–0

Source: <Christian Science Monitor>, February 15, 1965.

Apr-18-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, Walter Shipman.
Premium Chessgames Member
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: RIP to one of the unfailingly decent men I knew in my playing days.

Excerpts from the link provided by <FSR>:

<....Walter Shipman will be remembered as more than a player. His intelligence, wit, friendliness and sense of fair play will not be forgotten....>

From my contact with him, I can vouch for these qualities, though I did not know him well.

<....This was not the only piece of unwritten American chess history that Shipman had tucked away. Everyone remembers the U.S. team did not attend Buenos Aires 1939 after winning the previous four Olympiads, but why not? The answer is not to be found in the pages of Chess Review or the American Chess Bulletin.

Walter explained that George Emlen Roosevelt (yes, one of those Roosevelts), was willing to pay the travel for the U.S. team, but balked when the players asked for a modest honoraria (sic) to cover a month’s lost wages attending the event. Roosevelt, a banker and philanthropist who was one of the most prominent railroad financiers of his day, felt the players should be honored to play for the flag. The players, who had already demonstrated their patriotism countless times that decade, but had families to feed during the Depression, felt otherwise. Sadly, with Walter’s passing, much insider knowledge has been lost.>

This is most interesting; I had wondered why the American side did not travel to Buenos Aires.

Those were particularly tough times for top American players; one can only imagine how hard.

Nov-20-20  JustAnotherMaster: We traveled to Buenas Aires....but the accommodations were not to the likens of ALL of us ;)
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