Author: Jack Lee Spence (1926-1978)
Publisher: The Nebraska Chess Association
vi+31+[1 ad] typescript, stenciled on rectos only with tables. Folio (11" x 8 3/4") issued in quarter cloth and wrappers. Round by round account compiled from newspaper reports and annotations by several of America's leading masters. Spence limited editions number 5. (Betts: 25-205) First edition limited to 200 copies of which this is number 54.
Wertheim Memorial held 3-17 Jun 1951 at the Manhattan Chess Club to honor former Manhattan Chess Club president Maurice Wertheim, who had died the previous year. There were problems; a number of masters were unavailable for one reason or another, Carlos Guimard's plane was held over a day in Puerto Rico, Max Euwe had to leave on the 18th, Reuben Fine, Al Horowitz, George Shainswit, and George Kramer (who commuted in daily from Philadelphia!) could only play at night, and Samuel Reshevsky had to have several games rescheduled.
To cut down on the number of adjournments, the time control was 50 moves in 2½ hours, giving some time to play off adjournments for players that finished early in the 5 hour session. This appears to have been successful; only five games were adjourned in the tournament. Reshevsky played well despite blundering in his game against Euwe. Euwe did finish equal second, but his play was too uneven to capture first. Najdorf started slow by drawing his first four games. Had he beaten Reshevsky in the last round, Najdorf would have tied for first, but the game ended in a draw. The remaining grandmaster in the field, Fine, was one of the group carrying on with daily responsibilities in addition to playing in the tournament. Hans Kmoch wrote in Chess Review, "Fine's result is more of a miracle than a failure, for he played the entire tournament in a state of exhaustion." This was Fine's last professional tournament. At the closing ceremonies Al Bisno, new president of the Manhattan Chess Club, announced negotiations had been concluded for a match between Reshevsky and Najdorf, with games to be held in both the US and Argentina. The match, called at the time the championship of the west or of the free (non-Communist) world, was eventually held the next year, but in New York, Mexico City, and San Salvador. Larry Evans fifth with 6.5/11, Robert Byrne and Al Horowitz tied for sixth with 6/11. In descending order Guimard, Alberic O'Kelly de Galway, Arthur Bisguier, George Mortimer Kramer and George Shainswit.
Corners bumped and chipped, some sunning to wrappers, closed tear at head edge else about very good.