An Exchange Of Letters

May 28, 1938

Dear Mr. Howland:

We, the undersigned players in the recent Championship Tournament, believing we can speak for all the participants, wish co express our thanks and appreciation to the members of the Tournament Committee for their manifold labors in the cause of chess. We realize fully the difficulties to be surmounted in planning, staging and bringing to a successful conclusion an event so momentous as a National Chess Tournament. A prize fund must be raised, an arduous undertaking in itself, a site must be found, publicity arrangements made, and the comfort of spectators and players must be considered.

These things we feel you have carried out in impeccable fashion. The fact that it was carried out during the pressure of business activities is a further tribute to your interest and enthusiasm, your evident devotion to the game.

As a Tournament Committee, you naturally feel yourselves the conduit between the players and the public which showed its increased interest in the Tournament. Never before have so many people attended an event of this kind in this country; never has there been such a large reading public nor so much space given to chess games in the papers. That was a tribute to not only the fine arrangements made by yourselves, but also to the importance of the field—which with very few exceptions was composed of -the very best talent in this, the leading chess country of the world.

Yet despite these facts, the players were not so well recompensed as those of the previous Tournament in New York. There were fewer special prizes, and the entry fees disappeared into the general prize fund. From the division of the remaining funds two years previously, it was the general expectation that the entry-fees of the Finalists would be returned to them, especially since there was a surplus more than enough to cover the amount. The players believe that their feeling in the matter should be brought to the notice of the Committee, and urge that the repayment of these fees be again considered by them.

Many of the masters who participated in the Tournament are dependent upon chess in whole or in part for their very existence. To them a matter of twenty dollars has great significance as far as food and lodging are concerned. We know your desire to assist the players as much as you can, and we feel that funds contributed to the running of this Tournament should be used for that purpose. That a situation has arisen where this must be asked after a discussion of the question has been had, is due to the fact that the players had no representative on the Tournament Committee. We therefore urge that such a meeting be held, and that the vital question outlined above be the subject of discussion.

In awaiting your reply, we wish to express again our thanks for all your efforts.


Sidney N. Bernstein, S. S. Cohen, Reuben Fine, Mii.ton Hanauer, i. a. Horowitz, i. Kasiidan, Fred Reinfeld, a. h. Santasiere, George Shainswit.

June 2, 1938

Mr. Sidney N. Bernstein, 4620 Beach 46th Street, Seagate, New York.

My dear Mr. Bernstein:

Since your name is first among the signatures on the letter from the players in the recent Championship Tournament, I am replying to you.

I appreciate greatly, and I know the other members of the Committee will appreciate equally the kind things which the players say about the provision for and the conduct of the tournament. We were all gratified by the cooperation which we had from the players and it was you, rather than the Committee, who made the tournament a success.

In the latter part of the letter you request that I bring to the notice of the Committee the desire of the players to have the entrance fees returned to them. This I shall be glad to do.

The Committee, at a meeting held shortly after the conclusion of the tournament, voted to contribute $125.00 toward the fund being raised in Boston for the Tournament of the American Chess Federation to be held there this summer, and this contribution has been forwarded to Mr. Sturgis, of Boston. That leaves a surplus of $250.00, which -the Committee at the same time voted should be held to form the nucleus of the next fund required to be raised under the auspices of the National Chess Federation, and this action of the Committee regarding the $250.00 surplus has been approved by the National Chess Federation.

Naturally, the Committee, with the approval of the National Chess Federation, could reconsider its decision insofar as this $250.00 is concerned. I am doubtful, however, whether they will be disposed to do this, but I will send to each member of the Committee a copy of the letter from the players and will ask them to give me their views in writing.

Please express to your associates my appreciation of their kind words and of their cooperation in the recent tournament.


SWH:AA S. W. Howland

June 20, 1938

Mr. Sidney Bernstein, 4620 Beach 46th Street, Seagate, New York.

Dear Mr. Bernstein,

On my return from a two weeks' trip to Canada 1 have before me the views of the members of the Committee and of the National Chess Federation as to the suggestion of some of the players that the balance remaining in the hands of the Committee be returned to the players.

The majority opinion is unfavorable to doing this, and I therefore think that we shall have to regard as final the earlier decision of the Committee, approved by the National Chess Federation, to retain this balance as a nest egg for the next chess fund which has to be raised under the auspices of the National Chess Federation.

I shall count on your communicating this conclusion to the other signatories of the letter which you wrote me.

W.ith personal regards, 1 am


Sincerely, Silas W. Howland

The; Port of Lost Men

Should you some day miss your old man And should you want him back, I am glad to give a helping hand, I am sure to find his track.

There is a place in town, A quiet smoky spot, Where men are often found, Where they forget their lot.

They sic and smoke and frown, They scratch their heads in thought, They figure and they clown, And, if they win, they gloat.

A finer combination Great masters could not make, The foe's queen is captured, And king himself in take.

So battle ever rages, And kings arise and fall. While chess fiends of all ages, In heaven's joy enthrall.

(Dr. Scboltz quite properly calls this a sketch oj every married chess player!)

Jazz Chess and a Prodigy

A fascinating insight into the progress of chess in Milwaukee is afforded'by the following unusually interesting letter from Mr. Bruno Es-bjorn, a chess instructor in the Municipal Recreation Department of Milwaukee. Enclosing a clipping which describes how Robert Durkin, a 14-year-old Milwaukee youngster, recently played three games blindfold, Mr. Esbjorn writes:

"I thought it might be of interest to you and your readers to know that we have a real chess genius born and living in Milwaukee.

" The boy is a product of the playground and social center system organized and run by Dorothy Hnderis and Donald Dyer; .he was discovered three years ago by one of the Municipal Recreation chess teachers . . . For the last two years I have been guiding him to the best of my ability.

"Coming in contact with so many people and classes (I teach in five high schools and five social centers), I have lots of fun. The other day, for example, I was urging a high school class to try a Rapid Transit Tournament. One boy of 16 got so excited about the idea that he exclaimed, 'When do we start that Interurban Tournament?'!

"One evening at a Social Center, a few girls of giggling age decided to modernize chess. When I asked them how they would go about it, I was given the following answer:

Name for all pieces : " " King " " Queen : Rook : Bishop : Knight : Pawns : Board : First Move: Checkmate : Players :

"Doesn't that show an acquaintance with

mugs Dopey molí Drippy




The underworld first drilling Corpse gangsters, big shots a sense of humor—and certain movies?!"

Play your CHESS at

Room 204, Strand Theater Office Building, 1585 B'dway at 47th St. N. Y. City.

Best, Cleanest, Most Central Location in City. You Are Wclcome.

Terms Reasonable F. M. Chapman, Mgr.

The Keres-Stahlberg Match

The chief aspects of this match have been authoritatively summarized by Dr. Euwe in the following words:

"Stahlberg's successes have been achieved mainly in match play; he defeated Nimzovich and Spielmann by 5-3-although he was compelled to recognize Fine's superiority by precisely the same score.

"Kercs' successes are well-known; he has won quite a few strong tourneys and is one of the leading contenders for the world title.

"Although Kercs' prospects were therefore more favorable, it was logical to expect a hard fight, as Stahlbcrg's style is more suited to match play, while Keres' style is more suited to tournament play. The progress of the match verified this prognostication, the final result being a 4-4 tie. Each player won two games, the balance being drawn. A most peculiar feature was, however, that all four wins were scored by Black! This indicates a too optimistic attitude on the part of both players, for the attempt to force matters violently is more characteristic of the player with the White pieces."

(The best game of the match.) Match: 6th Game Gothenburg—April, 1938 INDIAN DEFENSE

(Notes by F. Reinfeld)

G. Stahlberg


2 P-QB4 B-Kt5ch

P. Keres


4 Kt-KB3 Kt-KB3

5 P-KKt3 BxBch

6 QKtxB

On general principles it is better to retake with the Q, as the QKt is more effective at QB3; but here White evidently fears (after 6 QxB) 6 . . . Kt-K5 followed by . . . Q-Kt5ch.

Black is well on the way to achieving a perfectly satisfactory development. This explains Stahlberg's headlong rush into complications.

12 P-B5 QPxP 14 KtxKt QxKt

Better than 15 . . . Kt-Q2; 16 Kt-B4, Q-K2; 17 KR-Q1 with a lasting pressure. White should now play 1(5 QxBP with a view to a "minority" attack by P-QKt4.

16 Kt-Kt3 P-QKt3! ? An astonishing reply.

(See diagram next page)

17 BxP B-Kt2

The idea of Black's combination is: 18 BxR, Q-K5; 19 P-B3, QxPch; 20 K-Kt2, RxB and Black's command of the diagonal should decide (if 21 QR-K1, BxPch or 21 R-KB2, Kt-Kt5 or 21 R-QB2, Q-Q6 threatening the QR as well as . . . R-K7ch or ... Kt-Kt5); the fact that White has two important pieces out of play, prevents him from organizing an effective defense. However, the possibility of 19 BxPch! would upset Black's plans.

18 BxB QxB

Tournament Keres




White is badly off anyway, as the weakness of his white squares on the K side will bear watching. • But first he must get the Q and Kt into the game.

It is important to command the only open file—which White vainly tries to dispute.

With the powerful threat of . . . Kt-Kt4. As White would weaken his K side still more with P-R4>, he plays the Kt back to guard his KB3.

21 Kt.Q2 Kt-Kt4

22 Q-KKt4 RxKtl

This assures Black command of the Q file.

23 QxKt Q-Q21

If now 24 Q-R5, R-Ql! and Black wins the QKtP—although this is unavoidable in any event. Stahlberg therefore trie® a desperate K side sally, but his pieces are soon cut off from the all-important Q side.

24 RxR


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