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The First U.S. Women Champion - Mona May Karff

  • batgirl
  • | Feb 16, 2014
  • | 5623 views
  • | 38 comments

     If you look on Wikipedia, or for that matter on almost any website that mentions it, including the official USCF website and the site of the US Chess Trust,  You will notice that all these places honor Adele Rivero as the first official U.S. Women's Chess Champion for having won the first tournament organized for that purpose in 1937.

     Inconceivably, perhaps, all these places are flat out wrong.

     The first official U.S. Women's Chess Champion was Mona May Karff who won the first tournament designed to establish such a title in 1938.  Adele Rivero would not become an official U.S. Women's Champion until 1940.

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Adele Rivero - 1936

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Mona May Karff


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Adele Rivero playing Mona May Karff (a.k.a. N. May Karff) in 1942



     In 1904 and Carrie Kraus received an unexpected Christmas present. She met the man of her dreams. The New Year brought her a new name - Mrs. Frank James Marshall when, on January 5th, she married the man who a year later would be the premier chess player of the United States. It was perfect union. Caroline or Carrie as she was usually called, was pragmatic; Frank was a dreamer.  In 1915 Frank Marshall founded the Marshall Chess Divan which seven years later would be incorporated as the Marshall Chess Club. The Club found itself in various sites over the years but in 1931 it reached its permanent home in a magnificent old brownstone located at 23 West 10th Street, N.Y. By this time, Marshall had retired from international chess and was close to hanging up his U. S. chess champion crown which he had worn since 1909.

     The American chess scene itself was in a state of flux and confusion. FIDE had established itself tenuously as the worldwide governing body of chess in 1924. Unlike the Soviet Union, the United States recognized FIDE, but America itself had no single, unified chess federation. Both the American Chess Federation (ACF), which could trace its roots back to 1900, and the National Chess Federation (NCF), established in 1927, claimed to speak for the American chess players. While much of the problem would be solved when they unified as the United States Chess Federation (USCF) in 1939, the intervening years would be marked by the contention between these two bodies.  
         
     The Western Chess Association had held tournaments, called the Western  Championships, each year since 1900. Then in 1934, it changed its name to the ACF. The Western Championships evolved into what today is called the U. S. Open. The "Chess Review" magazine, founded by Israel Albert (Al) Horowitz and Isaac Kashdan in 1933, was the "Official Organ of the American Chess Federation."  When Frank Marshall retired from U.S. chess competition in 1936, he organized an invitational tournament specifically to determine the next U. S. chess champion. This tournament was sponsored by the NCF with the Marshall Club providing the trophy.

     The Marshall Club, whose members were the wealthy, the influential and the elite, was, like most chess venues, a Men's Club. But fortunately Caroline Marshall took an active interest in the club. One of her agendas was the establishment, not just of organized women's chess, but of a women's championship.  Starting in 1934 with the first women's tournament of this period held in the Marshall Club, the goal of a U. S. Women's championship was reached in 1938.

    The first tournament, held in 1934, was won by Marjorie Seaman who breezed through with a perfect 11-0 score. Adele Rivero came in second with a 9-2 score. The 1935 tournament planned in the Fall had to be  postponed until Spring of the following year.   Adele Rivero won that 1936 tournament with a 5-0 score.

     The first two tournaments were sponsored solely by the Marshall Chess Club, but the 1937 tournament was to be held under the auspices of the National Chess Federation itself with the intention of legitimizing it as a national championship.


     In 1936 the plans for the 1937 Marshall Club women's tournament included hopes that the winner would be the officially recognized leading woman player in the U. S. and that, as such, would be sent to participate as America's representative  to the International Ladies Tournament in Stockholm, basically the women's world championship, that summer.  Those dreams were only partially realized.


     According to the preeminent women's chess chronicler of that time, Edith Weart, after Adele won the 1937 tournament,  "As the tournament this year was sponsored by the National Chess Federation, Mrs. Rivero now holds the title of woman champion of that organization." You may notice there is absolutely no mention of "U.S.  Women's Chess Champion."   In fact, the following year, Edith Weart wrote:  "Feminine chess takes a step forward with the announcement by the National Chess Federation that a tournament will be held in connection with the regular U. S. Championship tournament to determine the U. S. Woman Chess Champion." This clearly indicated that the 1938 tournament, which was eventually won by Mona May Karff, was the first "title tournament."

     Also, Adele Rivero, the winner of the 1937 tournament didn't go to Stockholm.  Mary Bain, who came in second, went in her place. The event was, of course, won by Vera Menchik.


     The preliminaries for the 1938 tournament were to be held in March. In the February 1938 issue of "Chess Review", Ms. Weart wrote: "Added interest is attached to the preliminaries, because they serve as a qualifying tourney not only for the Marshall C. C. Tournament, but, as well  for the U. S. Women's Championship." Again, this makes obvious the fact that 1938 was to be the first year the tournament would be played for the national title.


     The question remains about what happened to the plan to make the winner of the 1937 tournament the U.S. Women's Chess Champion.  It seems that the right of the National Chess Federation's right to determine the U.S. Women's Chess Champion wasn't fully accepted and, for that reason, the winner of the 1937 ACF title was invited to participate.


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     The winner of the 1937 ACF tournament was Jean Moore Grau of Muscatine, Ohio. Mrs. Grau had the unusual distinction of having drawn against Alekhine in a blindfold simul when she was 17.   Grau proved unable or unwilling to make the arduous journey east  but proposed that she would like to meet the NCF winner someplace midway for a match to determine the best female player in the U.S.  This was agreeable especially since then the title would be the result of a consolidated effort. This match, however, never materialized and the invitation, even unaccepted, to participate in the 1938 tournament seemed to satisfy both organizations enough to declare that the winner of that tournament would be the U.S. Women's Chess Champion.

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Comments


  • 8 months ago

    cookie3

    sorry, of course, i understand.  i agree, that with the response given, looks like you might get better results if you went to nearest wall and explained your position to it. 

  • 8 months ago

    batgirl

    " have you considered reaching out to titled american women, esp current and past US champions, who i would be willing bet would be interested in this subject.  i believe each one of them is proud of their sport, and love this game in such a way as they would like to have the history accuratly portrayed.  if any of the past champions, contenders, or even current champion were to approach the USCF about clarifying this issue, maybe someone could be motivated to officially investigate the subject.  just a thought. "

    Cookie3, I'm not a crusader. I'm just a person who methodically researches chess and writes about what I find.   I really don't care what the USCF does or doesn't do (and from what I've seen of the representive of the USCF who commented here, it seems unlikely they would want to backpedal anyway).  Outside of Jenny Shahade, I don't know of any past US women's champions with a passion for history.

  • 8 months ago

    jmcchess

    Greetings!

    This article is an attempt, through Batgirl's research and documentation, to make a case for a specific interpretation fo facts to answer an historical question:  Who was the first United States Women's Chess Champion?  No more, no less.  This is the type of work that you will find in all types of historical journals.  Batgirl is making the case that the answer to the question is Mona Karff.

    At this point, it should be pretty simple and straighforward: 

    A) You accept Batgirl's research and documentation, making the article a valid piece of historical work; OR

    B) You do not accept Batgirl's research and documentation, making the article historically incorrect.

    I can think of many situations where it would be important to know who a person works for, who backs their research, etc., when reading an article.  Here, it does not seem to be important in any way, shape, or form.  The fact that Batgirl chooses to use a pseudonym rather than her real name should also be irrelevant. 

    The only thing that matters is whether one believes the research and documentation makes the article historically valid or historically incorrect.  If one believes the article is historically incorrect, do your own research, prepare your documentation, then make your counter case.

    This should be plenty simple and does not require all of this other mumbo-jumbo being brought up about Batgirl.

  • 8 months ago

    batgirl

    I haven't attacked anyone or any organization and have absolutely no interest in USCF or in FIDE politics nor do I have a hidden agenda of any sort.  

    Chess.com does not compensate me in any manner to publish here.  Were they to offer me compensation dependent upon my writing, I'd refuse.

    In fact I'd stated the entire argument concerning the first US Women's Chess Championship in another form on my chess website  7 years ago.

  • 8 months ago

    Barefoot_Player

    "I'm not recanting my position, because batgirl didn't do her research, and presented it to USCF for a correction, and then once corrected presented [Sic - but at least you aren't claiming to be the Chairman of Publications] it here.

     

    She singled out two possible competing organization of chess.com, pointed out their alleged "mistake," and published here her result."

     

    Batgirl did her research. She even took the time to post here images here that back up that research.

     

    But I don't see you putting any research, just attacking her character and insinuating that someone is paying for her time in researching.

     

    Yet, you make no demand for Mr. Ray Hernandez, instead you seem to accept his conclusions without any hesitation. You haven't question ANY of his conclusions. Wouldn't you want know how much he gets from the USCF for his work? We know the USCF IS paying him or at least providing some compensation. He admits he has access to various magazines and files of the USCF that we don't have. Don't you want a letter from him? Why or why not? He seems a better candidate for being biased.

     

    Secondly, why would "batgirl" have to submit her research to the USCF? They are not abritators of the history nor are they infallible. And she already knows what the USCF's position is on this matter.

     

    She is interested in correcting an error she sees on her part. And so do I - I think she has made the best presentation for her conclusion no one else here has done ANY independent research or have presented any new information.

     

    Why can't "batgirl" do her own independent research and present it as such?

     

    You said you wanted transparency. So please provide all documentation that may influence your decisions. Since everything, including doctors, can influence a decision, please all include all doctors visits, both medical and psychological, and what you were treated for. 

     

    You said want transparency. How much, and why? And why can't we make the same demands as you? Silly, and stupid, I know. But you started this line, I am just taking this to the absurd conclusions. Next time I'll ask for your Social Security Number.

     

    "By the way, your last statements also seems [Sic – again!] to contradict each other. First you claim: "I wouldn't follow chess.com agenda if I don't agree with it..." then you say "money talks..." notice you didn't write: I must agree with it and be paid.

     

    So if for you is ok to be corrupted by "money" that is your ethical and moral way of dealing in life, but then don't question someone else sanity, if they want to know which type of person you are. In this case if it is enough to pay you a huge amount of money to do something."

     

    I think you are missing Silman's sarcasm here. He does have a sense of humor. Try some humor in your writing - Silman's sarcasm can be delightful.

     

    Now you've posted at least three times on this subject. Not once have you ever posted anything evidence that suggests she might be wrong or that you have a more informed viewpoint. So again, do your homework!

     

    A quote just occured to me.

     

     

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

     

    Emerson

     

     

     

    Right now I am thinking this might be true.

     

     

     

    Barefoot_player

     

     

     
       
  • 8 months ago

    isauro2013

    At Mr. Silman,

    Well, let's agree to disagree. Thank you for letting me know your opinions, and once more, forgive me if my words caused you any grief, it wasn't intended.

    BTW, I really like your articles, and books.

  • 8 months ago

    IM Silman

    @ isauro:

    Should I laugh or groan or cry? I attack FIDE and the USCF all the time. Where is my letter? I want a crazy letter too!

    BTW, batgirl has never attacked FIDE or the USCF, while I have. I think you sent your letter to the wrong person!

  • 8 months ago

    isauro2013

    At Mr. Silman,

    I'm not recanting my position, because batgirl didn't do her research, and presented it to USCF for a correction, and then once corrected presented it here.

    She singled out two possible competing organization of chess.com, pointed out their alleged "mistake," and published here her result.

    If you, or any other employee by chess.com attack FIDE or USCF, I will also ask you the same thing I asked bargirl.

    I don't see that as insanity. As well as I would ask a politician who vote a certain law, if a lobby paid his campaign.

    By the way, your last statements also seems to contradict each other. First you claim: "I wouldn't follow chess.com agenda if I don't agree with it..." then you say "money talks..." notice you didn't write: I must agree with it and be paid.

    So if for you is ok to be corrupted by "money" that is your ethical and moral way of dealing in life, but then don't question someone else sanity, if they want to know which type of person you are. In this case if it is enough to pay you a huge amount of money to do something.

    Honestly I don't see a big difference between someone who is a thief for 1000 dollars and someone else who is a thief for 1 million dollars, they both crossed a line.

    By the way, I don't need to force you to see the world as I see it, as long as you don't force your vision of the world on me. Again, I don't have any reason to offend you, chess.com or batgirl, but I want to know if there are some possible financial interests at play.

  • 8 months ago

    IM Silman

    Isauro said: “Again, if you get paid by chess.com, then maybe you have some vested financial interests in pursuing their agenda, but I’m not asking ‘how much...’ I don’t care. And I’m not against you or chess.com.”

    Does chess.com have some hidden agenda? Could I be working for Dr. Evil or Mini-Me without knowing it? Isauro, trust me when I tell you that even if chess.com had an agenda (which they don’t), I wouldn’t follow it if I didn’t agree with it. If chess.com pulled me aside and said, “We intend to take over the world, force everyone on Earth to play chess, insist that all structures are designed with chess themes, and we’ll give our writers a $20,000,000 a year wage (that’s twice as much as I get now!) if they help us turn this plan into a reality!” Would I join such evil??? Hell yes! Money talks, and $20,000,000 has a loud but lovely voice.

    Seriously, I’m not offended by your letter, I just think it’s really crazy (I was hoping you would realize your mistake, take it down, and we’ll all pretend this never happened – we’ll chalk it up to temporary insanity.). Your stance has no substance and is (without you realizing it) rude. Have you sent a similar demand to all the other chess.com employees? It’s not fair to single out just one person, so I insist you do so right away. I’m sure the reaction will be positive and, perhaps, even loving.

  • 8 months ago

    Barefoot_Player

    Hi all!

    Did anyone notice that Wikipedia's webpage on the first US women's Champion is based on directly on the USCF website?

    If the USCF is wrong about the first women's champion, the Wikipedia is also wrong.

    Now that is what I call borderline plagarism.

     

    barefoot_player

  • 8 months ago

    cookie3

    what i find truly amazing about this whole situation, is, batgirl spent her own time researching this subject, put all her facts in order, came up with an educated conclusion, then submitted her findings into a public forum in a well constructed and visually pleasing article.  After that, she has not only thoughtfully defended her position, she has to now defend her character!  I feel sick to my stomach, this is not a polite nor honorable way to treat another person.  I love the idea of being able to debate a subject, when done in a civilized forum; it has the ability to raise understanding of a subject.  I believe this is what batgirl was and is attempting to accomplish.  What does it matter who she would be "employed" by? in no way does that affect the facts. 

    @ batgirl--- a comment and a question

    1. thank you again for your time!  it is much appreciated!

    2. have you considered reaching out to titled american women, esp current and past US champions, who i would be willing bet would be interested in this subject.  i believe each one of them is proud of their sport, and love this game in such a way as they would like to have the history accuratly portrayed.  if any of the past champions, contenders, or even current champion were to approach the USCF about clarifying this issue, maybe someone could be motivated to officially investigate the subject.  just a thought.  

    thanks again!

  • 8 months ago

    isauro2013

    At Mr. Silman:

    I believe in US everyone has the right to have a "political opinion."

    If you are paid by Chess.com, and don't disclose it, and attack the USCF, or FIDE. I do believe it is not insanity to know if you are pursuing the agenda of a commercial organization.

    Do you have the right to criticize the USCF or FIDE? Yes, you do. But at least be clear if you are doing so serving your master (chess.com) or on personal basis.

    I don't believe I'm asking something insane. I'm sorry if this request for clarity and "transparency" offended you.

    I didn't ask batgirl income, I didn't ask your income. I asked if she gets a free membership by chess.com for writing here. Then it is up to the other readers to reach their conclusions.

    Again, if you get paid by chess.com, then maybe you have some vested financial interests in pursuing their agenda, but I'm not asking "how much..." I don't care. And I'm not against you or chess.com

    Maybe chess.com has some plans to curb the online market which could go entirely to FIDE or USCF, if those organizations enter the online business seriously.

    Maybe chess.com could substitute them. For me such thing is not bad, maybe chess.com will do a better service to chess, than FIDE or USCF, but as person, I do believe I have the right to ask if you or other are pursuing chess.com agenda.

    Again, if I offended you, I'm sorry, it wasn't my intention.

  • 8 months ago

    IM Silman

    @ isauro2013

    You must be kidding, right? Have you demanded pay stubs from all the other writers? LOL... your letter must be the most insane I’ve ever seen on chess.com (and that says a LOT, cause I’ve seen some really, really crazy, confused stuff here).

    As for bias, batgirl is a historian, and just gives the facts without any bias whatsoever (while the demented USCF dude that raved earlier swims in a sea of ignorance and bias).

    BUT everyone else that writes for this site (or reads stuff on the site) DOES have some degree of bias... it’s very human to do so.

    The USCF doesn’t need defending, in fact, I’ve long been one of their most ardent critics. I’ve made peace with them in recent years, but if that pompous imbecile empirecityray (who can’t open his mouth without being wrong) is an example of the kind of people they hire, I might have to get back on my war wagon.

    Isauro, I expect you to post your earnings for the last 10 years (cause you might have been getting checks from FIDE), list all the biases you have (or might develop in the years to come), and swear on Baphomet’s chest (video proof, please) that you’re not a member of Ilyumzhinov’s family (we’ll need more copious documentation for you to prove that).

    Finally, it’s time for Ilyumzhinov and his reprehensible crew to step down and let the Kasparov team clean up their mess. How’s that for bias?

  • 8 months ago

    Barefoot_Player

    "With all due respect for those writing here. I've noticed that chess.com, recently through some articles (On bribes for the FIDE president election), is trying to attack some national federations (like the USCF, for example with this article) through some writers, and FIDE.

     

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I do believe that in order to be fair to all the parts, Batgirl should disclose if chess.com pays her, through a FREE diamond membership, or if she pays to be on this site.

     

    This is important, because researchers, and historians, need to declare their possible bias, if they are part of a commercial company.

    Obviously there is nothing wrong if chess.com pays some people. It is just more honest to be transparent about it."

    ====================================

    How is pointing out a mistake, real or precieved, an attack on a national organization?

    As for Ray, who disappeared, I was questioning his judgement, his lack of reseach and logic in his presentation, and his lack of spell checking despite being the Chairman of the USCF Publishing Committee. Not to mention he was rude to myself, Batgirl, and anyone else who who were at least intrigued, if not convinced, by her presentation.

    I do not see any attack on the USCF, nor FIDE, nor chess.com

    You ask to be "transparent". Since I an not invisible person, I am assuming you want disclosures of sorts.

    Please be "transparent" with us first. Disclose any membership you have with the USCF, any state chess organization, and any other chess playing websites you might belong.

    Please create a PDF and post it a website of your choosing. Include your name, home address, email address, and all the financial agreements you might have with the above organizations and any goverment agencies (US and any others), and university and banking institutions. Do not forget to sign the PDF before posting.

     

    barefoot_player

  • 8 months ago

    isauro2013

    With all due respect for those writing here. I've noticed that chess.com, recently through some articles (On bribes for the FIDE president election), is trying to attack some national federations (like the USCF, for example with this article) through some writers, and FIDE.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I do believe that in order to be fair to all the parts, Batgirl should disclose if chess.com pays her, through a FREE diamond membership, or if she pays to be on this site.

    This is important, because researchers, and historians, need to declare their possible bias, if they are part of a commercial company.

    Obviously there is nothing wrong if chess.com pays some people. It is just more honest to be transparent about it. I also saw that USCF and FIDE are trying to enter the "online" chess business, and that could be the agenda behind this smearing campaign.

    Again, with all due respect, I'm just trying to understand who is behind, and why.

  • 8 months ago

    chemicalcalvin

    Batgirl, wonderful piece. Well written and succinct. You make very compelling arguments to change our historical perspective for the official US WOMEN'S CHAMP! The research depth turned my opinion and I'm inclined to agree with you. What impressed me more than anything else is the skill of these women playing in the early 1900's! Drawing Alekhine at or near his prime (even if he was blindfolded) was no nothing less than superhuman. I personally know no individual that would be up to the task today. TY again!

  • 8 months ago

    batgirl

    Mr. Hernandez (Ray),

    Thanks for your comments.  However I have to respectfully disagree with their content and methodology.  My article wasn't written on a whim, but came as a result of reading hundreds of newspaper and periodical articles from that time.  It contains enough documentation to support my claim that the 1937 tournament was never designed as (although it had been "hoped" to be designed as) a title tournament.  The 1938 tournament, in contrast, was expressly designed for that purpose.

    The 1937 tournament, as opposed to the two Marshall Club women tournaments prior (1934 and 1936) was, indeed, held under the auspices of the NCF.  That was because it was hoped to be a women's title tournament.  When the champion of the AFC, Jean Grau, who had expressed intentions of making the tournament, proved unable to attend, the title tournament was apparently put on hold since, as such, could not be contrued as consolidation between the two governing entities.  The motivation is a surmisal on my part, but a reasonable one that follows precisely the facts that unfolded on the pages of the ACF's "Official Organ."

    Much later, there might have been some retroactive consideration that elevated Adele Rivero (who, btw, is possibly my favorite female player of all time - I've researched and written extensively about her) to the position of US Women's champ since she was undoubtedly the strongest US woman player at that point in time, but at the time she had no title.  Karff, however, would have that title in 1938.

    Even a retroactive "official" title seems unlikely. If there were no title and if the tournament wasn't played expressly for that purpose, then the same argument would make Paul Morphy an offcial world champion.  Arguments have to be true across the board (so to speak).

    The idea that just because the USCF says it, it must be true, isn't much of an argument.  As Tal said about Fischer offering any female opponent odds of a Knight, "Fischer is Fischer, but a Knight is a Knight." 

    The linked article on US chess history was fine, but hardly compelling. Personally, I think for someone to write "Paul Morphy quit chess soon after returning from Europe, and attempted to start a law practice. He was unsuccessful, and later went mad, believing that friends and family were out to kill him,"  he must have a limited understanding of Morphy or else a purposeful need for sensationalism. Honestly, that should be edited.

    I think, rather to assume that the folks who made the little list of champions were infallible, it might be more profitable and beneficial to allow for the possibility that they simply didn't research carefully.  Some proof or documentation would be far more plausible than because-I-say-so.

  • 8 months ago

    Barefoot_Player

    Ray,

    It seems like to you like to provide many misleading quotes, hoping no one will notice their errors. Makes my job a lot easier!

    Here are your latest.

    “You don't know a) what agreement was brokered between ACF and NCF prior to agreeing to merge.  As if to suggest the governing body that held that tournament in '37 might have held strong to having that winner recognized as the nation's top female chess player.  b)  There could have been some original board members who voted to recognize those pre-USCF major tournament winners from either organization as the top male or female chess player for the years that preceded the formation of the USCF.  I'm pretty sure this wasn't something an executive director decided as that title became part of the staff in the '50's.  In additio [sic], awarding that winner is not something an executive diror [sic] of the USCF could and would do.”

    Do you know what agreement was brokered between the ACF and the NCF? Care to share with us?

    So you still don’t have anything to back up what you posted. I would think being chairman would bring additional responsibilities to the job - like making sure what is posted or written, by anyone on the staff – including the chairman himself, would have some evidence to support a controversial position. Maybe I’m wrong here.

    “Yes you are correct I do have access to delve into the records (publications) and corroborate what was posted in https://www.uschess.org/content/view/7498/522/ but at present I'm not taking it into action.”

    Ok, so it sounds like you are a man who likes to talk (or type) but not to take any action? I thought that was a responsibility of a chairman?

    Batgirl did an excellent job in her research. She did a better job than you did in presenting her viewpoint. I am surprised with so much experience and publications available to you, that  you couldn’t do better on this subject.

    “I actually replied initially because I'm certain on a history like that list no one within the USCF staff would have botched up that page.  If you want a solid, competent and bright staff you'd have the USCF staff!”

    What makes you so sure than no one on the USCF can botch up a page? Bigger companies than the USCF have made errors on their webpage. To think that the USCF is incapable of errors on their web site is arrogant. So let me ask you this question, “What does it say under the image on the webpage you cited?” Is it true or not?

     “...Anything else feel free to pm me, as with most threads I'm done with tracking this one.”

    You seem angry with my words. Why don’t you feel free to continue to use this thread? So other people can read your words?

    “On a personal note, thanks for the lengthy post, less cursing via the sics and better grammar would help.  I hope you don't kiss your significant other with that mouth."

    Where did I curse you via the sics? [Sic] is standard used publications indicating we know the speaker or writer made a error in grammar, spelling, or in something else. But we are printing it to be complete in the quote.

    The [!] marks were for wow! – and this guy is the Chairman of Publications?  How can he make such blatant errors? Even in my humble editorships and writing jobs, I would have never made an error like that!

    On semi-personal note, as a long as you are bringing it up, my significant other and I do kiss, and we do use the exclamation mark, as “Again!”, “I Love you!”, “Be quiet and Kiss me!”, and even the occasional , ... well, we’ll skip that!

    Now, do you have any evidence to back up what you are saying? Will you please share it? If you do not, then I will assume you cannot and then your position is dead in the water.

    Shall we see your homework or do you want to bail?

    It’s up to you!

    barefoot_player

  • 8 months ago

    EmpireCityRay

    Barefoot I will not slice your diatribe up into pieces but I will respond to one of your comments, "Yet, you offer no proof or evidence that your assertion is true or at least provide more evidence that to back up your claim."  You don't know a) what agreement was brokered between ACF and NCF prior to agreeing to merge.  As if to suggest the governing body that held that tournament in '37 might have held strong to having that winner recognized as the nation's top female chess player.  b)  There could have been some original board members who voted to recognize those pre-USCF major tournament winners from either organization as the top male or female chess player for the years that preceded the formation of the USCF.  I'm pretty sure this wasn't something an executive director decided as that title became part of the staff in the '50's.  In additio, awarding that winner is not something an executive diror of the USCF could and would do.

    Yes you are correct I do have access to delve into the records (publications) and corroborate what was posted in https://www.uschess.org/content/view/7498/522/ but at present I'm not taking it into action.  I actually replied initially because I'm certain on a history like that list no one within the USCF staff would have botched up that page.  If you want a solid, competent and bright staff you'd have the USCF staff!  In addition, no past committee in their right mind (be it past members of my committee or of the USCF Hall of Records) would stand to let a list of who were the U.S. Women's Champ continue to be published without bringing it to the attention of either committee.


    On a personal note, thanks for the lengthy post, less cursing via the sics and better grammar would help.  I hope you don't kiss your significant other with that mouth. Anything else feel free to pm me, as with most threads I'm done with tracking this one.

  • 8 months ago

    Barefoot_Player

    To Ray, (et al, but esp. to Ray)

    I did check the webpage you suggested. It is absurd to think this page is flawless. The caption at under the first image says, “Bobby Fischer, America's only World Champion so far ..."

    The writer makes the same mistake as many people. Fischer was not the first American World Champion.

    We are skipping over Morphy since even if he was the best player in the world at during the middle part of the 19th century, there was no World Championship title at stake. See below for more information about how being the best does equate to being a title holder.

    Steinitz was still World Champion when he was granted US citizenship in 1888. That makes him the first US World Champion.

    In 1957, Lombardy became the first American to win the World Junior Chess Championship, winning with a perfect score.

    Berliner was the World Correspondence Chess Champion from 1965–68. He was also an American.

    These facts do not take away anything from Fischer. He popularized the game and perhaps more so, himself.

    But he was not the first US OTB champion. He was the first US-born OTB World Champion.

    Why this error exists in the USCF page, despite most chess players knowing otherwise, I don’t know. Perhaps this statement is there just to make things simple for most people.

    But simplicity brings other problems. Including using critical thinking skills. For the purpose of this reply, that includes ignoring other, perhaps even more valid, interpretations of the available data, because it requires to one to think without prejudiced views.

    Let’s look at some of your quotes.

    "They did not not [sic! -  I would assume anyone involved with publications would be able to edit better – never mind – let’s get back to the quote] call it the U.S. Women's Championship but there MUST have been a mutual understanding on how the winner would be viewedmainly as the top women chess plauer [sic! - again!] in the nation."

     

    By what right does the Publications Committee determine what constitutes the US Championships? Surely that definition would fall under the jurisdiction of the various tournament committees or of USCF Hall of Records Committee, which is the organization you suggested.

     

    But let’s get back to your quotes.

     

    WHY MUST have been a mutual understanding on how the winner would be viewed, mainly as the top women chess player in the nation?

     

    Why can't another interpretations be true? Why not just assume that there was no title at stake rather than just seeing who was the best female player in the nation? Why do insist, or assert, that tournament MUST be regarded as a tournament for an actual title?

     

    Surely Ray, as a Chairman of the USCF Publications Committee, you would have access to more publications of the USCF, and other publications from the various national organization that preceded the USCF than anyone else here.  

     

    Yet, you offer no proof or evidence that your assertion is true or at least provide more evidence that to back up your claim. Where is it? Logical Positivism is still alive and well here!

    Are we supposed to believe and accept what you say without any evidence? Is this now the position of the Publications Committee when it comes to questions about our national championship?

     

    "So they didn't call it the U.S. Women's Champs ..."

     

    It could very well be that if they didn't call it the US Women's Championship because it wasn't one. Being the best player in chess, like any other sporting competition, does not automatically make you the champion or even a title holder.

     

    I’m a baseball fan just like you. There have been instances where the best team, defined as having the best winning percentage in the MLB, did not win the World Series and did not earn the right to be called the World Champions. It is a sad fact (esp. when your team REALLY DOES have the best winning percentage) but that’s a fact of life.

     

    There was, in fact, no such title at stake, was there?

     

    “If you still feel strongly and are a USCF member, email the USCF Hall of Records Committee and argue your point with them in hopes of changing history.”

     

    I am not here to change history. How arrogant you are to think that! I am simply seeking to correct what I see as an error in the definition of the first US Women’s Championship.

     

    I am a lifetime (LT) member of the USCF. And I have been since the mid 1980s. I could go ahead and email the USCF Hall of Records Committee. But why should I? Why can’t I correspond with you? Why can’t you stand on your own two feet and stand by your words? Don’t pass the buck!

     

    You came across as an authority on the history of US national chess championships and it now appears you are not.

     

    But even if you are an authority on this subject you I would have thought you would have at least corresponded with the History Committee before making your posts here, just to check your facts, or at least gotten their guidance on this subject.

     

     

    You didn’t. Instead you want people with less authority, power, and connections than yourself to do all the work for you.

     

    Why can’t you? You are making an statement here and telling I/batgirl and other people that we are wrong.

     

    I would expect you to do at least some of the homework yourself, and not just relying on a misguided quote on a website.

     

    So do the work – do the research and go get some evidence of your claims.

     

    Batgirl did. Why can’t you? 

     

     

    barefoot_player

     

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