Samuel Factor 1931-33

May 10, 2009, 12:22 PM |

Western meeting at Tulsa, Oklahoma, October 1931

Samuel Reshevsky, who will go down in history as the child chess prodigy of the 20^th century, was now the acknowledged champion of the Western Chess Association, the annual tournament of which, under the auspices of the Tulsa Chess Club of Tulsa, Oklahoma, from October 5 to 12, 1931, was won by him from a field of ten. It was a close finish and the decision was not reached until the final round. Reshevsky, who was a student at the Univercity of Chicago, won six games and drew three, for a total of 7.5-1.5.

The second and third prizes were divided between S.Factor of Chicago and N.T.Whitaker of Washington, D.C. J.A.Anderson of St.Louis finished in fourth place and G.E.Rundell of Kansas City in fifth. Neither Stasch Mlotkowski of Camden, N.J., nor Harry Borochow of Los Angeles came up to expectations on this occasion.

In 1932 Samuel Factor wins the Chicago Championship ahead of Hahlbohm(2nd) Michelson & Reshevsky (=3rd).

Western meeting at Minneapolis 1932

 "The championship of the Western Chess Association won by Samuel Reshevsky

of Chicago, at Tulsa, a year ago, passed into the keeping of Reuben Fine,
champion of the Marshall Chess Club of New York, at the annual meeting held
at the Hotel West in Minneapolis, Minn., from July 30 to August 7. The latter went through with a score of eight wins, three draws and nary a loss for a total of 9.5 points out of a possible 11.  Reshesky, but half a point behind won the second prize.

 Two other New Yorkers, Fred Reinfeld and Herman Steiner, made off with the third and fourth prizes, respectively.  The home talent was well represented by George S. Barnes of Minneapolis, who was mainly responsible for bringing  the meeting to his city. He finished fifth.
Other contestants were Jacob Harris of Minneapolis, Marvin Palmer of
Detroit, Samuel D. Factor, Seymour Osher, and Charles Elison of Chicago,
Arne Hermann of St Louis, and Fred S. Hazard of Minneapolis.  At the
conclusion of the meeting, five of the players-- Fine, Reshevsky, Reinfeld,
Steiner and Factor -- departed for Pasadena to participate in the California Congress."  
Source: "American Chess Bulletin"; July/Aug 1932; pg 124

Reuben Fine remembers:
 "One bright spot in 1932 was the Western Chess Association, which held an
annual tournament that attracted many of the top players. This casme as close
as a tournament could be at that time to a United States championship, but
without the name. In 1931, the winner was the famous ex-boy wonder
Sammy Reshevsky, who had just returned to chess after a period of exile in
various educational institutions. It was reported that the managers of the
Tulsa affair had failed to pay out the promised prizes, which added to our
trials and tribulations; would Minneapolis do the same? Fortunately they
did not.

  The tournament in 1932, held at Minneapolis, was quite strong, including
Reshevsky, Herman Steiner, Reinfeld and Factor. I nosed Reshevsky out by
half a point and became the proud possessor of a national title for the
first time: Western champion. My best effort in that contest was against
Factor of Chicago, who at that time was ranked among the best in the country."

(Source: "A Passion for Chess", Reuben Fine; David McKay, 1958, pg 7-8)

The results:
1. Fine, R.      NY   9.5
2. Reshevsky, S. IL   9
3. Reinfeld, F.  NY   8.5
4. Steiner, H.   NY   7.5
5. Barnes, G.    MN   5.5
6. Harris, J.    MN   5
7. Palmer, M.    MI   4.5
8. Osher, S.     IL   4.5
9. Factor, S.    IL   4.5
10. Elison, C.    IL   3
11. Hermann, A.   MO   3
12. Hazard, F.    MN   1.5

Samuel Factor won against M.Palmer, C.Elison and A.Hermann, drew with H.Steiner , G.Barnes and F.Hazard.

In August, 1932, a major chess tournament was held in Pasadena, California. Its designation as an International Chess Congress was justified by the participation of Dr. Alexander Alekhine, World Champion from Paris, France, and the Captain Jose Araizo of Mexico City, champion of Mexico. The remaining players were Americans, with ten of the top players in the Unites States present.

Of the contestants, Alekhine was most renowned. He came to Pasadena from Berne, Switzerland where he had played in and won a recent tournament. The trip of over 8000 miles took 15 days by ship and rail.

Isaac Kashdan was the best known of the American players. He was the winner of the Manhattan Chess Club championship, and played first board on the victorious American team at the Olympiad held in Prague in 1931.

Reuben Fine was the youngest of the competitors, having his eighteenth birthday during the event. He was the Marshall Chess Club champion, and winner of the Western Open recently concluded in Minneapolis, a precursor of the U. S. Open.

Samuel Reshevsky, a student at the University of Chicago, had taken second prize in the Minneapolis event.

Herman Steiner of New York had played three times on the American team in the Olympiads.

Arthur Dake of Portland, Oregon was the Pacific Coast Champion. He had won the Marshall Chess Club championship and also was on the winning team at Prague in 1931.

Captain Jose Araiza was a member of the Mexican army. He was champion of Mexico for many years.

Jacob Bernstein of New York had won the New York state championship four times.

Fred Reinfeld was a student at the City College of New York. He was the current New York state titleholder and also had won the Intercollegiate Chess League individual title.

Samuel D. Factor was champion of Chicago for many years, and also was a recent winner of the Western Open.

Adolph J. Fink was one of the strongest players in San Francisco, and had held the state title until 1929.

Harry Borochow of Los Angeles was the current California state champion.

The event was held under the auspices of the California Chess League. Alexander Taylor of the Pasadena Chess Club was the director. Play was at the Hotel Maryland in downtown Pasadena. On the opening day Kashdan and Dake played an exhibition game overhead in the blimp "Volunteer" and the moves were transmitted by radio to the opening luncheon meeting. The game was a French Defense, and was declared drawn by repetition after 19 moves.

In the play, Alekhine rapidly established his superiority, winning his first five games. In the sixth round he allowed a draw with Factor. In the seventh round he defeated Steiner in a game, which he included in his collection of "Best Games." He drew with Reinfeld in the eighth round. In the ninth round he was paired with Kashdan who was his only close competitor. In a Queen's Gambit Declined, Alekhine playing White won the exchange on the 19th move. Against stubborn resistance, he succeeded in turning this advantage into a full point after a 60-move marathon. Alekhine's lead was now 2.5 points with only two rounds to play. His intensity may have decreased somewhat as in the last two rounds he lost to Dake and drew with Fine.

Final scores were: Alekhine 8.5-2.5, Kashdan 7.5-3.5, Dake, Steiner and Reshevsky 6-5, Borochow 5.5-5.5, Reinfeld, Bernstein, Fine and Factor 5-6, Araiza 3.5-7.5, and Fink 3-8.


Sources: ACB 1931-32, ChessReview 1933