Fishbein Tops Field of High School Champions

by David Gertler
Reprinted from Chess Life, November 1985 with permission.

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:

French Defense
W: NM Alex Fishbein
B: NM Adam Lief
1985 Tournament of High School Champions
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. dxc5 Qc7 7. Bf4 Bxc5 8. Bd3
Nge7 9. Qe2 f5 10. h4 O-O-O 11. b4 Bb6 12. O-O h6 13. a4 g5 14. hxg5 Ng6 15.
Bh2 a5 16. Na3 Be8 17. b5 Nb8 18. c4 d4 19. c5 Bxc5 20. Rfc1 b6 21. Nc4 Kb7 22.
gxh6 Rxh6 23. Ng5 Qe7 24. Nh3 Nh4 25. Nd6+ Ka7 26. Rxc5 Qg7 27. Bg3 bxc5 28.
Qd2 Kb6 29. Nc4+ Kb7 30. Qxa5 Nf3+ 31. gxf3 Rxh3 32. Kg2 Rxg3+ 33. fxg3 Qf8 34.
Nd6+ Rxd6 35. exd6 Qxd6 36. b6 Nc6 37. Qa6+ Kb8 38. b7 Kc7 39. Rb1 Nb8 40.
Qxd6+ Kxd6 41. a5 Black resigns
**Alex Fishbein said that he represented Colorado in the tournament although he spend the summer before the event in Wyoming.