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Friday, October 26th, 2012

Early US Junior Champions

The U.S. Chess Federation (USCF) organized its first U.S. Junior Open (called the USCF National Junior Chess Championship) in July, 1946, at the Lawson YMCA in Chicago. The winner that year was 16-year-old Larry Friedman of Cleveland. Hans Berliner and Philip LeCornu tied for 2nd-3rd. There were 32 players from 14 states in the event, including Larry Evans, Jim Cross, Paul Poschel, Richard Kujoth, George and Harald Miller, and Eugene Levin. All the players were under 19. That would change to under 21 in later events. In 1945, Friedman took 4th place in the Ohio State Championship while a sophomore at Shaw High School in Cleveland. He was the 1945 Junior Champion of Cleveland.

Larry Friedman also won in it in 1947, held in Cleveland. Jim Cross and Larry Evans tied for 2nd-3rd place. There were 45 players from 18 states in the event, all under 21. The youngest was Ross Siemms of Toronto (the USCF opened the event up to Canadian players), who was 11 years old. Herman Steiner directed the event. On July 31, 1950, Friedman appeared on the first USCF rating list at 2284. In 1958, he played in the New Jersey Open and took 1st place as the top New Jersey resident (the event was won by Tibor Weinberger).

In July 1948, Arthur Bisguier (born Oct 8, 1929) won the 3rd annual U.S. Junior Championship Tournament, held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (directed by George Koltanowski). He won on Sonnenborn-Berger tiebreaks over Frank Anderson (1928-1980) of Toronto, Canada. Bisguier and Anderson each scored 8-2. Jim Cross took 3rd place. There were 50 players from 17 states in the event.
Bisguier also won it in 1949, held in Fort Worth, Texas (38 players from 15 states). He won it on tiebreaks over Larry Evans (2nd) and James Cross (3rd). Each scored 8-2.

In 1950, James Cross (born in 1930) of Glendale, California, won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Milwaukee. He won on tiebreaks over Ross Siemms. In 1957, he won the California State Championship. He later gave up the game in the late 1950s.

In 1951, Saul Philip Wachs (born Dec 24, 1931), of Philadelphia, won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Philadelphia. In 1954, he took 8th-9th place in the US Chess Championship. He later became a rabbi. He received a PhD in Education and Jewish history from Ohio State University.

In 1952, Curt Justin Brasket (born Dec 7, 1932), of Minneapolis, won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Omaha. He has won the Minnesota State Chess Championship a record 16 times.

In August 1953, Saul N. Yarmak (born Dec 18, 1933) won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Kansas City. He scored 8.5 out of 10. John Penquite and Martin Harrow tied for 2nd-3rd place with 7 out of 10. There were 24 players in the event. In 1954, Saul tied for 3r-4th in the US Junior Championship.

In 1954, Ross E. Siemms (born Sep 7, 1935), of Toronto, Canada, won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Long Beach, California. He scored 8.5 out of 10. He also won the Canadian Junior Chess Championship. He retired from chess in 1959.

In 1955, Charles Kalme (born Nov 15, 1939), of Philadelphia, won the U.S. Junior Championship, held in Lincoln, Nebraska. He won with a score of 9-1. In 1957, Kalme won the U.S. Collegiate Championship. This was Bobby Fischer’s first US Junior Championship. At age 12, he was the youngest participant. Kalme died on March 20, 2002.

In July 1956, Bobby Fischer (born March 3,1943) won the 11th U.S. Junior Championship, held at the Franklin Mercantile Chess Club in Philadelphia. He lost to Charles Henin (2265) in round 6, drew with Arthur Feuerstein (2150) in round 1, and won all his other games. He defeated Carl Grossguth (2022), William Whisler (1882), Sydney Geller (2150), George Baylor (2014), Charles Weldon (1927), Steve Friedman (Unr), Kenneth Blake (1877), and David Kerman (1927. Fischer was 13 years and 4 months old, making him the youngest U.S. Junior Champion and the youngest chess master (2321 rating after the event) up to that time. For his efforts he was given a portable typewriter. Henin and Feuerstein tied for 2nd-3rd place. There were 28 participants.

In 1957, Bobby Fischer won the 12th annual U.S. Junior Championship, held at the Spreckels Dairy Company in San Francisco. Fischer scored 8.5 out of 9. His only draw was to Gilbert Ramirez (2222) in round 5. He defeated James Bennett (1725), Andrew Schoene (1842), Ronald Thacker (1888), William Haines (1950), Stephen Sholomson (2233), Mike Bredhoff (2000), Robert Walker (1780), and Leonard Hill (2038). He won another typewriter. His USCF rating after the event was 2298. There were 33 players in this event.

In 1958, Raymond Allen Weinstein (born April 25, 1941) won the 13th annual U.S. Junior Championship, held in Homestead, Florida. In 1960-61, he took 3rd place in the US championship. He tied for 3rd-4th place in the 1959 US Junior Championship.

In 1959, Robin Ault (born Dec 23, 1941), of New Jersey, won the 14th 13th annual U.S. Junior Championship, held in Omaha. He won on tiebreak over Gilbert Ramirez. He is the only person to win the US Junior Championship three times in a row. He also won it in 1960 and 1961. He died on September 16, 1994.

1 1946 Larry Friedman
2 1947 Larry Friedman
3 1948 Arthur Bisguier
4 1949 Arthur Bisguier
5 1950 James Cross
6 1951 Saul Wachs
7 1952 Curt Brasket
8 1953 Saul Yarmak
9 1954 Ross Siemms
10 1955 Charles Kalme
11 1956 Bobby Fischer
12 1957 Bobby Fischer
13 1958 Raymond Weinstein
14 1959 Robin Ault
15 1960 Robin Ault
16 1961 Robin Ault
17 1962 Larry Gilden
18 1963 Peter Irwin
19 1964 John Meyer
20 1965 Bill Martz
21 1966 Charles Alden
22 1967 Alan Rufty, David Lane
23 1968 John Anderson, Steve Soyko
24 1969 Lawrence Day
25 1970 John Geanakopolos
26 1971 Biyiasas, MacPhnil
27 1972 Jon Frenkle, Jon Jacobs
28 1973 Wierzbicki, Stopa, Brenner
29 1974 Spencer Lucas
30 1975 Donald Reents, Dade Jonsson
31 1976 Steven Opendahl
32 1977 Tom Brown, Alan Anderson
33 1978 Yasser Seirawan
34 1979 Jay Whitehead
35 1980 no tournament
35 1981 David Griego, Moshe Khatena, Andy Lerner
36 1982 Stuart Rachels, David Gertler
37 1983 Doug Eckert
38 1984 Dennis Younglove, Doug Eckert
39 1985 Adam Lief
40 1986 Vivek Rao
41 1987 Andrew Serotta
42 1988 Andrew Serotta
43 1989 Andrew Serotta
44 1990 R.O. Mitchell
45 1991 Vadim Tsemekhman
46 1992 Josh Manion, Mikhail Zlotnik
47 1993 Valdis Saulespures, Andy McManus
48 1994 Vadim Tsemekhman
49 1995 Gabriel Schwartzman
50 1996 Gregory Shahade
51 1997 Shearwood MCClelland III
52 1998 Jennifer Shahade
53 1999 Andrew Whatley
54 2000 Asuka Nakamura, Arthur Traldi
55 2001 Rodelay Medina, Digeng Du
56 2002 A.J. Steigman
57 2003 Salvijus Bercys, Thomas Bartell
58 2004 Deepyamin Datta
59 2005 Benjamin Coraretti, Roger Rojas-Suaraz
60 2006 Peter Yeh, Ryan Milisits, Deepyaman Datta
61 2007 Brian Goldstein, Edward Lu
62 2008 Maxx Coleman
63 2009 Eric Rosen
64 2010 Deepyaman Datta
65 2011 Gregory Young
66 2012 Karthik Ramachandran

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