The Ohio Championship Games of James Schroeder – 1950 and 1985

James Schroeder won the Ohio Chess Championship in 1950. When he won again in 1985, as co-champion with Calvin Blocker, he became the two-time champion with the longest time before repeating — 35 years. He went without a loss in both championship tournaments, scoring 5-0-1 (W-L-D) in 1950, and 4-0-2 in 1985.

Here are his games from those two tournaments.

Ohio Chess Championship 1950

Schroeder wrote:

In 1950 I tried to play according to principles of chess, as in “Tarrasch: The Game of Chess.”

The tournament was held in Akron on September 2, 3, & 4. The time control was 50 moves in 2 hours.

Game Results

  • Rd. 1, Sept 2: E. Roberts 0-1 James Schroeder
  • Rd. 2, Sept 2: William Granger 1/2 Schroeder
  • Rd. 3, Sept 3: Schroeder 1-0 Kurt Loening
  • Rd. 4, Sept 3: L. Jackson 0-1 Schroeder
  • Rd. 5, Sept 4: Schroeder 1-0 A. Nasvytis
  • Rd. 6, Sept 4: Schroeder 1-0 Thomas Ellison

Nasvytis finished 2nd with 5-1-0 (W-L-D). Granger finished 4th. Ellison, the 1947 champion, finished 6th with 4-1-1.

The Games

All notes are by James Schroeder.

Please click on a move to get the floating game board.

Round 1: E. Roberts – James Schroeder

Round 2: William Granger – James Schroeder

Granger beat me in the 1948 Chess Championship because I refused to force a draw in the opening. After that all our games were draws, except one — I won a 30 minute game.

Round 3: James Schroeder – Kurt Loening

Round 4: L. Jackson – James Schroeder

If Capablanca or Alekhin had played Black, it would be a Masterpiece.

Round 5: James Schroeder – A. Nasvytis

Today I would play 6 P-Q5! In 1950, I followed Tarrasch: Develop another piece!
8 N-QN5 was a brilliant inspiration.

Round 6: James Schroeder – Thomas Ellison

For 65 years I did not publish this game because I thought I was lucky. NONSENSE! I won because I played better, and in the next 38 years almost always beat Ellison. Maybe two draws, and then he played the best game of his life and won by a tempo after I made a small mistake. Using the Colle Opening in this game, I moved quickly, not paying attention to Black’s moves. Black moved slowly, so I acquired a big advantage in time. After 19 PN4??, Black used 30 minutes and played 19…NB3. In a state of shock, I recovered by using 45 minutes, so we now had 15 minutes each. Time Limit: 50 moves in 2 hours. Note that Ellison would also do analysis in those 45 minutes. I had only been playing chess for four years and usually I played for mate. But in 1948 I began studying the endgame, and that is more important. Always win your “won” games. [From “Confidential Chess Lessons,” Page M426, 2015.]

16…PB4 – White’s play in the last 9 moves has been bad.
19 PN4 – Typical of my maniacal style.
20 NxP – If 20 BxR QxN threatens NQ5.
24 QKN3 – White has won a Pawn.
51 PB5 – Finishing in style.

Ohio Chess Championship 1985

Schroeder wrote:

In 1985 my play was SUBJECTIVE in games 2, 3, 5 and 6. I deliberately made bad moves in order to take advantage of my opponents’ weaknesses — very successfully, of course.

No matter how many winning positions you may find for my opponents in those four games remember — I KNEW that they would NOT win, but would make mistakes. My play should be judged according to: HOW WELL DID I PLAY AFTER REACHING WINNING POSITIONS.

As I have said: The most important factor in chess is NOT the opening, middlegame, endgame, etc. It is: CAN YOU WIN A WON GAME?

Among the top players in this tournament were: D. Gurevich, A. Lein, C. Blocker, E. Formanek, C. Schulien, D. Gogel, A. Karklins, D. Glueck, S. Berchenko, B. Finegold, B. Steinfeld.

The tournament was held in Columbus on August 31, September 1 and 2. The time control was 40 moves in 2 hours.

Game Results

Ratings are USCF.

  • Rd. 1, Aug 31: Rea Hayes (2027) 1/2 James Schroeder (2174)
  • Rd. 2, Aug 31: Schroeder 1-0 Greg Doughty (2046)
  • Rd. 3, Sept 1: Schroeder 1-0 James Mills (2300)
  • Rd. 4, Sept 1: Schroeder 1/2 Bruce Steinfeld (2324)
  • Rd. 5, Sept 2: Sergy Berchenko (2355) 0-1 Schroeder
  • Rd. 6, Sept 2: Dennis Gogel (2425) 0-1 Schroeder

Three players tied for first with 5 points: Anatoly Lein, Calvin Blocker, and James Schroeder. Ohio residents Calvin Blocker and James Schroeder became the Ohio Chess Co-Champions.

With 4-1/2 points: D. Gurevich, E. Formanek, S. Berchenko, B. Finegold, V. Rao.

The Games

All notes are by James Schroeder.

Please click on a move to get the floating game board.

Round 1: Rea Hayes – James Schroeder

In Round 1 I was confused, because the position was original. Should I have played 6… P-K4 instead of 6… P-K3?

Round 2: James Schroeder – Greg Doughty

Round 3: James Schroeder – James Mills

Round 4: James Schroeder – Bruce Steinfeld

In Round 4 I played for a draw, because I had previously lost a game to Steinfeld.

Round 5: Sergy Berchenko – James Schroeder

Round 6: Dennis Gogel – James Schroeder


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