The United States Chess Championship: New York, 1940

The United States Chess Championship: New York, 1940

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Author: Hilbert, John S

Year: 2002

Publisher: Caissa Editions

Place: Yorklin, Delaware


iii+209+[2]pp with diagrams, table and index. Royal octavo (9 1/4" x6 1/4") issued in red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and cover. First edition.

The third biennial chess championship of the United States, New York 1940, was the first such championship to be held under the auspices of the fledgling United States Chess Federation. New York 1940 was also the last national championship held under pre-war conditions. The country was still torn between coming to the aide of the Al­lies and remaining in its isolation. Yet the coming conflict could not be ignored, and before the second championship conducted under the USCF took place the nation would be inextricably involved in the terror spanning the globe.

This work places New York 1940 in its broader context, not only in terms of chess but in terms of world events. Even seen in isolation, New York 1940 involved much more than merely the championship tour­nament leaving Reshevsky once more, for the third time, in possession of the national title. New York 1940 included the woman's championship. It included competitors who had to fight their way through preliminary round robin tournaments. And it included an exhibition match between two giants of an earlier generation, Frank Marshall and Emanuel Lasker. Each of these aspects of what today is recalled as New York 1940 is covered in detail in this work, in addition to extensive coverage of the players themselves, as well as additional games they have left us. Crosstables for the preliminary events appear in the text. The crosstable for the Men's Final appears following Chapter 6, while an Appendix gives in full an article on the tournament originally appearing in the New Yorker for June 15, 1940. This last piece, written by Robert Lewis Taylor, provides an interesting insight into how the non-chess playing public viewed some of the events considered here.


Corners bumped. Near Fine issued without jacket