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Whitaker, Norman Tweed

Norman Tweed Whitaker (1890-1975) was a lawyer with three law degrees and FIDE International Master (1965).  He was Intercollegiate Champion of the U.S.  He was American Chess Association U.S. Open Champion (formerly Southern Chess Association) in 1912, 1913, 1950, and 1961) From 1915 to 1931 he was quite active (President and Champion) in the USCF (formerly Western Chess Association, being U.S. Open Champion in 1923, 1924, and 1930. He became American Chess Association U.S. match champion in 1918 upon his defeat of Showalter, for which he was awarded the American Chess Association Grand Master title. In 1920 he played the first shortwave radio match in the U.S. in a match against Ed Lasker.  In 1921, he was the top American in the 8th American Chess Congress.  He was USCF (formerly National Chess Federation) Champion in 1927.  In 1928 he was on his way to the World Amateur Championship in The Hague to play the champions of 15 other nations (won by Euwe).  He was also on his honeymoon.  He was involved in a train wreck that killed 9 persons in his car and his wife’s skull was fractured.  Whitaker still played, and took 4th place.  In 1950 he won the Southern Championship.  He learned chess at the age of 14 from his father.  He was a member of the Log Cabin Chess Club, playing Board 1 (Bobby Fischer played Board 2).  He won over 200 tournaments in his lifetime and very seldom did he accept any cash prizes.

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