U.S. Chess Championship
|US Chess Championship|
Sam Shankland, the current US champion
|Given for||Winner of the US Championship|
|Presented by||United States Chess Federation|
|Most recent||Sam Shankland|
The U.S. Chess Championship is an invitational tournament held to determine the national chess champion of the United States. Begun as a challenge match in 1845, the U.S. Championship has been decided by tournament play for most of its long history (Soltis, 2012). Since 1936, it has been held under the auspices of the U.S. Chess Federation. Until 1999, the event consisted of a round-robin tournament of varying size. From 1999 to 2006, the Championship was sponsored and organized by the Seattle Chess Foundation (later renamed America's Foundation for Chess [AF4C]) as a large Swiss system tournament. AF4C withdrew its sponsorship in 2007. The 2007 and 2008 events were held (again under the Swiss system) in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis in St Louis has hosted the annual event since 2009.
America's national chess championship is the world's oldest.
Sam Shankland is the current champion.
Champions by acclamation 1845–1891
Years Champion Notes 1845–1857 Charles Stanley Defeated Eugène Rousseau in a match in 1845 1857–1871 Paul Morphy Won the first American Chess Congress in 1857 1871–1891 George Henry Mackenzie Won the 2nd, 3rd and 5th American Chess Congress
Match Champions 1891–1935
George Henry Mackenzie died in April 1891 and, later that year, Max Judd proposed he, Jackson Showalter and S. Lipschütz contest a triangular match for the championship. Lipschütz withdrew so Judd and Showalter played a match which the latter won. A claim by Walter Penn Shipley that S. Lipschütz became US Champion as a result of being the top-scoring American at the Sixth American Chess Congress, New York 1889 is refuted in a biography of Lipschütz. The following US Champions until 1909 were decided by matches.
Year Winner Loser Result Notes 1 1891–92 Jackson Showalter Max Judd +7−4=3 The final game was delayed until January 1892 because Judd was ill. 2 1892 Samuel Lipschütz Jackson Showalter +7−1=7 3 1894 Jackson Showalter Albert Hodges +7−6=4 Prior to the last game the players agreed to extend the match. Many sources classify this as the first of two matches instead of one extended match. 4 1894 Albert Hodges Jackson Showalter +5−3=1 Can be considered a match extension or a new match. 5 1895 Jackson Showalter S. Lipschütz +7−4=3 6 1896 Jackson Showalter Emil Kemény +7−4=4 7 1896 Jackson Showalter John Barry +7−2=4 8 1897 Harry Pillsbury Jackson Showalter +10−7=3 Pillsbury added to the conditions of the match : "... even if I should win, I shall leave Showalter the possession of his championship title". 9 1898 Harry Pillsbury Jackson Showalter +7−2=2 Contrary to the 1897 match, the title of U.S. champion was clearly at stake in 1898. 10 1909 Frank Marshall Jackson Showalter +7−2=3 Title reverted to Showalter after Pillsbury's death in 1906. 11 1923 Frank Marshall Edward Lasker +5−4=9 Marshall declined to play in the invitational tournament that began in 1936.
Tournament champions since 1936
# Year Winner Notes 1 1936 Samuel Reshevsky 2 1938 Samuel Reshevsky 3 1940 Samuel Reshevsky - 1941 Samuel Reshevsky Match victory over I.A. Horowitz 4 1942 Samuel Reshevsky An erroneous ruling by the director allowed Reshevsky to tie for first with Isaac Kashdan.
Reshevsky won a playoff match against Kashdan 6 months later.
5 1944 Arnold Denker - 1946 Arnold Denker Match victory over Herman Steiner 6 1946 Samuel Reshevsky 7 1948 Herman Steiner 8 1951 Larry Evans - 1952 Larry Evans Match victory over Herman Steiner 9 1954 Arthur Bisguier - 1957 Samuel Reshevsky Match victory over Arthur Bisguier.
The title of U.S. champion was not at stake. (Bisguier remains champion).
10 1957/8 Bobby Fischer At 14, the youngest champion ever 11 1958/9 Bobby Fischer 12 1959/0 Bobby Fischer 13 1960/1 Bobby Fischer 14 1961/2 Larry Evans 15 1962/3 Bobby Fischer 16 1963/4 Bobby Fischer Fischer went 11–0 in the tournament, the only perfect score in its history 17 1965/6 Bobby Fischer 18 1966/7 Bobby Fischer A record eighth win (out of eight attempts) 19 1968 Larry Evans 20 1969 Samuel Reshevsky 21 1972 Robert Byrne After playoff 9 months later against Samuel Reshevsky and Lubomir Kavalek 22 1973 Lubomir Kavalek
23 1974 Walter Browne 24 1975 Walter Browne 25 1977 Walter Browne 26 1978 Lubomir Kavalek 27 1980 Walter Browne
28 1981 Walter Browne
29 1983 Walter Browne
30 1984 Lev Alburt 31 1985 Lev Alburt 32 1986 Yasser Seirawan 33 1987 Joel Benjamin
Nick de Firmian
34 1988 Michael Wilder 35 1989 Roman Dzindzichashvili
36 1990 Lev Alburt Knockout tournament 37 1991 Gata Kamsky Knockout tournament 38 1992 Patrick Wolff 39 1993 Alexander Shabalov
40 1994 Boris Gulko The only person to have held both the US and Soviet championships 41 1995 Nick de Firmian
42 1996 Alex Yermolinsky 43 1997 Joel Benjamin 44 1998 Nick de Firmian 45 1999 Boris Gulko 46 2000 Joel Benjamin
47 2002 Larry Christiansen 48 2003 Alexander Shabalov 49 2005 Hikaru Nakamura Tournament was played in 2004, but called the 2005 Championship, for legal reasons 50 2006 Alexander Onischuk 51 2007 Alexander Shabalov 52 2008 Yury Shulman 53 2009 Hikaru Nakamura 54 2010 Gata Kamsky Kamsky won an Armageddon tie-break playoff against Yury Shulman 55 2011 Gata Kamsky 56 2012 Hikaru Nakamura 57 2013 Gata Kamsky Kamsky won an Armageddon tie-break playoff against Alejandro Ramírez 58 2014 Gata Kamsky Kamsky won a playoff rapid against Varuzhan Akobian after Akobian qualified
by beating Aleksandr Lenderman on an Armageddon tie-break
59 2015 Hikaru Nakamura 60 2016 Fabiano Caruana 61 2017 Wesley So Wesley So won a rapid playoff against Alexander Onischuk 62 2018 Samuel Shankland
- U.S. Women's Chess Championship
- U.S. Open Chess Championship
- U.S. Women's Open Chess Championship
- American Chess Congress
- Soltis, Andy (2012). The United States Chess Championship, 1845–2011. US: McFarland. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7864-6528-6.
- Davies, pp. 196–99
- Andrew Soltis, The United States Chess Championship, Second Edition, Mac Farland, 1997, p. 32.
- Andrew Soltis, The United States Chess Championship, Second Edition, Mac Farland, 1997, p. 33.
- In an objectively drawn endgame against Arnold Denker, the flag on Reshevsky's clock fell, which should have resulted in his losing on time. The tournament director Walter Stephens, who was standing behind the clock, flipped it around and, looking at Reshevsky's side of the clock (which he mistakenly thought was Denker's), announced "Denker forfeits!" He refused to correct his error, explaining, "Does Kenesaw Mountain Landis reverse himself?" William Lombardy and David Daniels, U.S. Championship Chess, David McKay, 1975, p. 22. ISBN 0-679-13042-X. Arnold S. Denker, My Best Chess Games 1929–1976, Dover, 1981, p. 121. ISBN 0-486-24035-5.
- Kamsky reigns supreme
- Soltis, Andy; McCormick, Gene H. (1997). The United States Chess Championship 1845–1996 (2nd ed.). McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0248-2.
- Isaac Kashdan (1933). History of the United States Chess Championship. Chess Review, November–December, 1933, reprinted in The Best of Chess Life & Review 1933–1960. ISBN 0-671-61986-1.