Saturday, December 30, 2023

50 Years Ago... on December 29, 1973

some future blogger was awarded first place in a  chess tournament (1973 Winnipeg High School Chess Tournament) . How time flies !

From the Winnipeg Free Press, December 31, 1973, pg. 3. 

I was quite fortunate that the best player that year, Jeff Babb, was upset by Chris Cooley sometime in a middle round. Thus I didn't have to play Jeff, and I beat Cooley in the 8th and final round. I scored 6.5 -1.5 (3 draws) and if I recall correctly I was awarded the trophy on tiebreak over Paul O'Leary and Jeff Babb. I also seem to recall there were over 80 players (84 apparently from the clipping below).

According to my recopied scoresheets there were 3 rounds on each of the 27th and 28th, 2 rounds on the 29th. The draws were with the still active John Remillard, Richard Lindsay, and J. Bradford.
I do remember Eric Jefferson, who I think was also the TD,  giving me a ride from Tec Voc (the tournament site) to the Free Press (which was on Carlton then ) for the photos.

I have posted the games here.

I had been playing seriously for about 2 years - (of interest my scorebook shows that I just returned from the the Santa Claus Open in Hibbing, MN - I caught a ride with several other local players - more on that later) starting sometime in Grade 9 after getting tired of being the victim of Scholar's Mate on the odd occasion that someone (Steven Ward) brought out a board in the school library.
I recall having studied (amongst others) Reuben Fine's 'Basic Chess Endings', Euwe's 'Chess Master vs. Chess Amateur' and playing over games from Keene's 'Flank Openings', and Chess Canada magazine.

John's team from St. Paul's had the highest team score - I don't recall how the team score was determined, it may have been the total of the top 4 players.

 Below are the individual results (scores, tiebreak) - players from the same school did not play each other.
I didn't appreciate it at the time, but hats off to the TD . It couldn't have been easy doing the pairings.


Louis Kessler said...

Thanks for posting that, Tony.

I knew I entered one of those high school tournaments, but didn't remember how I did. Now I see that I ended up 24th with a score of 4.5.

That may have been the last human chess tournament I ever entered. I do remember never being able to beat you, Tony.

Also, note who wrote the Chess column back then.


Nikachu said...

8 rounds and never got paired against Jeff Babb? How lucky. Or suspicious....

Nigel Hanrahan said...

Wow. What I notice is that even a High School event made it into the local paper. Nowadays, I think that would never happen. Of course there is the internet.

Chess Manitoba said...

Nikachu - big field - probably had different scores - I had a string of draws in the middle rounds.

Chess Manitoba said...


Winnipeg Free Press sponsored the tournament for several years. Even after that there are reports for several years. Your local newspaper would probably send a cub reporter to file a story on the burgeoning Island scene.