Hello everyone, after witnessing GM Gata Kamsky win yet another US Championship. I thought it would be prudent to look back at some previous US Champions and their games. In this post, I will be focusing on what I consider the first “modern” US Championship played in 1936.
I’d like to compile enough material for a “My Great Predecessors” style book one day but I know that day is a long way off. Unfortunately, we’ve lost some games since some of these early tournaments took place. I did my best to compile all the available information here and paint as clear a picture as possible. I used information from Wikipedia, chessgames.com as well as other sites.
Any replication of this work without my express written consent and any attempts to monetize this work without my knowledge is strictly verboten (forbidden).
Here is a list of US Champions who have won more than two championships in order of the amount of times they won:
|Bobby Fischer||8||1957/8, 1958/9, 1959/0, 1960/1, 1962/3, 1963/4, 1965/6, 1966/7|
|Samuel Reshevsky||8||1936, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1946, 1957, 1969|
|Walter Browne||6||1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1983|
|Jackson Showalter||6||1890, 1891-2, 1894, 1895, 1896, 1896|
|Gata Kamsky||5||1991, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014|
|Larry Evans||5||1951, 1952, 1961/2, 1968, 1980|
|Yasser Seirawan||4||1981, 1986, 1989, 2000|
|Alexander Shabalov||4||1993, 2000, 2003, 2007|
|Hikaru Nakamura||3||2005, 2009, 2012|
|Larry Christiansen||3||1980, 1983, 2002|
|Lev Albert||3||1984, 1985, 1990|
|Joel Benjamin||3||1987, 1997, 2000|
|Nick de Firmian||3||1987, 1995, 1998|
With Gata Kamsky’s latest win that puts him tied for fifth for US Championships won.
When I started this post, I had this perception that the players from eighty years ago would be much weaker. Although they lacked some modern knowledge (see their openings for any questions) I felt that their play was quite solid. I believe it’s useful to analyze these old games to see just how little (and how much) has changed since the early days. Without further ado, let’s look at the contestants from the 1936 US Championship!