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Adams, Weaver

Weaver Warren Adams (1901-1963) was born on April 28, 1901 in Dedham, Massachusetts.  His parents were Frank H. Adams (salesman for Bellantine Breweries and Ceresota Flour) and Ethel Weaver Adams.  His mother’s side has been traced back to the founding fathers of America (Henry Adams, who landed in Braintree in 1644).


Weaver Adams started playing chess around 1913 at the age of 12.  He was taught by an older brother of a friend next door.


From 1919 through 1923, Weaver Adams attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be an engineer, but later dropped out to play chess.  He was the top player on the MIT chess team.  He played on board 1 for MIT when MIT won the intercollegiate championship in 1919.


In 1922, Adams won the Boston Chess Club championship.


In 1924, Adams played a match with Harold Morton, who had won the championship of the Providence, Rhode Island Chess Club.  The match was for the championship of New England.  Weaver Adams won the match and the New England Championship, which he held until 1929.


In 1936, Adams played in the first tournament (not match) for the U.S. Championship, due to the retirement of U.S. champion Frank Marshall.  The tournament was won by Samuel Reshevsky.  Adams tied for last place with Harold Morton.


In 1939, Weaver Adams wrote White to Play and Win, published by McKay.  In his book, he advocated 1.e4 e5 2.Bc4, the Bishop’s Opening.  He later gave up on the Bishop’s Opening and advocated 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3, the Vienna opening.


In 1940, he played in the U.S. Open Chess Championship, held in Dallas.  Even though he advocated that White should win in his book, in the finals, he did not win a single game as White (3 losses and 1 draw), but won all 4 of his games as Black.


In 1941, Adams played in the 42nd U.S. Open in St. Louis and took 3rd place, behind Reuben Fine, who won the event, and Herman Steiner.  Adams lost to Fine but beat Steiner.   Adams lost to former Canadian champion Blumin and Anderson to finish 3rd with a 6-3 score.


In 1944, Adams won a master tournament in Ventnor City.


In 1945, Adams played in the Hollywood Pan-American Tournament in Los Angeles.  He was called in as a last minute replacement when Edward Lasker (1885-1981) and Albert Pinkus (1903-1984) were unable to play.  Adams showed up three days late due to transportation problems.


In 1946, he wrote Simple Chess and How to Play Chess.  He advertised that the game of chess was solved and tried to show over a hundred winning variations for White against all standard Black defenses. 


In 1948, Weaver Adams won the 49th U.S. Open Chess Championship, held in Baltimore, Maryland.  He appeared on the August 1948 issue of Chess Review magazine, which dubbed him the “apostle of aggression.”


In 1950, the United States Chess Federation published their first rating list.  Weaver Adams was rated 2383.  In 1951, his rating was 2390 (ranked number 15 in the USA).


In 1950-51, he played in the Hastings Chess Congress, finishing 9th out of 10 (2 wins, 1 draw, 6 losses).


In 1959, he wrote Absolute Chess.


In the 1950s, Weaver Adams was a member of the Log Cabin Chess Club in West Orange, New Jersey. 


Weaver Adams played top board in the Boston Metropolitan chess league from 1919 to 1936 without losing a game.


Adams won the New England Open five times in a row (1925 through 1929).


Weaver Adams won the Massachusetts State Championship four times (1937, 1938, 1941 and 1945)


Weaver Adams played in the U.S. championship five times (1936, 1940, 1944, 1946 and 1948).


Weaver Adams died on January 6, 1963 in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, age 61.


Weaver Adams inherited a chicken farm and raised chickens.  He seemed to have been a sodium bicarbonate addict.   He was a beer salesman for a Massachusetts brewery.


Weaver Adams is credited with the Adams Variation in the Vienna Opening, 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nxe4 4.Qh5 Nd6 5.Bb3 Nc6 6.d4.  He is also credited with the Adams Attack in the Sicilian, Najdorf variation, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3.


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