Edelman Tops Field of High School Champions

by Frank Elley

Reprinted from Chess Life, November 1986 with permission.

Danny Edelman of New Rochelle, New York, continues to enlarge his collection of national championship trophies. The reigning national high school co-champion won the Arnold Denker National Tournament of High School Champions, held from August 3 to 8 at the U.S. Open in Somerset, New Jersey.

Edelman scored 5 – 1 in this Swiss system event, drawing only with the two second-place finishers, senior masters Vivek Rao and Ilya Gurevich, who tallied 4 1/2 – 1 1/2. His final round battle with world under-14 champion FM Gurevich was dramatic indeed. Gurevich, in a better position, picked up a Rook and mistakenly placed it on a square where it was en prise. When he extended his hand to resign, Edelman grabbed it. But before Gurevich could speak, the champ accepted his “offer” of a draw.

In addition to his championship trophy (all the hardware was provided by Fidelity Electronics), Edelman received a $1,000 college scholarship. Edelman is a former national eighth grade champion (1983), national junior high champion (1984), and national high school champion (1985).

Six players tied for forth through ninth places at 4 – 2. They were, in tiebreak order, Tim Radermacher, Benjamin Finegold, Joseph Waxman, Erik Ronneberg, Chuck Lovingood, and Andrew Witte. The final trophy for 10th place went to Andy Serotta, who had the best tiebreaks among five players scoring 3 1/2 – 2 1/2.

This was the second year for the Denker Tournament, which brings together high school champions from across the country. Each participant received $200 to help cover travel and living expenses. This year’s event drew 32 players from 30 states. (Northern and Southern California are separate state chapters, and Pennsylvanian Vivek Rao was seeded as national high school champion, since he posted the superior tiebreaks from that event.)

The tournament, which was co-sponsored by the USCF and by the New Jersey State Chess Federation, was directed by Michael Somers, who was assisted by veteran NM Edgar McCormick.