Alex Fishbein of Wyoming scored 5 1/2 - 1/2 to take top honors at the first Tournament of High School Champions. Thirty-two players from 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the Dominican Republic played in this U.S. Open satellite event, which was held from August 5 to 11.
Fishbein earned a $1,000 scholarship by his fine showing. After a first round draw, he closed out strongly, beating masters Ronald Burnett of Tennessee, Danny Edelman of New York, and Adam Lief of California in the final three rounds.
Carl Magnuson of New York finished second with five points, outdistancing many far better-known players. Michigan’s Ben Finegold captured third place in tiebreaks, ahead of Edelman, Burnett, Lief, Vivek Rao of Pennsylvania, Brian Gannon of Minnesota, Scott Moore of Missouri, and John Kirby of North Carolina. All scored four points.
GM Yasser Seirawan highlighted the event by giving a simultaneous exhibition against the participants. Edelman was the only player to make Yasser turn down his King.
The tournament came about largely as a result of GM Arnold Denker’s energetic lobbying and organization. In recognition of these efforts, the USCF Delegates determined that it henceforth be known as the Arnold Denker Tournament of High School Champions.
George Cunningham, Steve Miller, and Ira Lee Riddle directed the event. Its success indicates that this showplace for future stars will be around for a long time to come.
Here is how Fishbein locked up the big prize: