9th Clare Benedict Chess Cup: Bern 1962

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Basic data

9th Clare Benedict Chess Cup
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 21st - 25th April 1962
City: Bern, Switzerland
Venue: Gurten Kulm hotel
Tournament Director: Mr. Alois Nagler (SUI)
Chief Arbiter: IA Hansjürg Leuzinger (SUI)
Teams participating: 6
Players participating: 29 (incl. 3 GMs and 9 IMs)
Games played: 60
Competition format: Four board round robin.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Match points; 3. Board points (the more points scored at highest boards the better, a system used was similar to that adopted at the European Team Championship in 1965)
Time control: 40 moves in 2 hours 30 minutes, then each next 16 moves in 1 hour
Downloadable game file: 62cbc.zip

Tournament review

The Six Nations' Tournament for the "Clare Benedict" Challenge Cup which will be held shortly in the vicinity of the Federal Capital, Berne, recalls the grateful memory of the great sponsor, Miss Clare Benedict, who passed away on October 31., 1961. We chessplayers from this country and abroad have suffered a severe loss through her death, as she was always very close to us. Ten years ago, her admiration for the art of chess had induced the American Miss Clare Benedict to agree gladly to the writer's proposal to institute the now world-renowned tournament of the six nations.

She alone has laid the financial basis for this fine chess event, to which those nations are annually invited, for whose country and people she felt a special affection.

At the age of 90 Miss Benedict left this world after a rich and fulfilled life. Her unselfish service for the promotion of the noble art of chess are immortal and in her memory the chess masters compete every year with renewed enthusiasm in the tournament bearing her name.

The authorities of the city and the Kanton of Berne contributed their share to stage this year's small "Olympiad" too. Their generosity helped considerably to house this cultural event once again in a appropriate setting.

We welcome most heartily the participating chess masters from near and far. We are convinced that also the coming hard, fight will be held in the same spirit of true friendship, which has always been the characteristics of the Clare Benedict Tournaments.

Alois Nagler

President of the "Clare Benedict" Tournaments

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Through her father Miss Clare Benedict is related to the Rathbones of Liverpool, while among the forefathers of her mother are General Seth Pomeroy and Judge William Cooper, the father of James Fennimore Copper, the author of the famous book "The last of the Mohicans". Three years old she lost her father and spent part of her life together with her mother in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and England, Miss Clare Benedict was an authoress herself. Her stories appeared in the magazines 'Atlantic', 'Century' and 'Harper'. Of special interest are her three books 'Voices of the past', 'Constance Fennimore Woolson' and 'The Benedicts abroad'. She was a real humanist. Music, literature and the treasures of art in the European museums were admired by her. In closer contact with chess she came in the last ten years of her life. Special bonds tied her with the Swiss problemist Alois Nagler. Together with him the idea of the Six Nations' Tournament materialised. This tournament was named to her honour "Clare Benedict" Challenge Cup.

Miss Benedict died on the 31st of October 1961 at the age of ninety in Lucerne. She lies buried in the protestant cemetery in Rome, where also her mother rests.

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Round 1
Hard fights for full points. After the first session six games are still not finished. Not one draw is shown on the scoreboard. The longest game. lasts for nine hours. The tournament starts off well. England and Spain take the lead with clear victories over Austria and Holland, Also West Germany seems to match them, but at the end they are to be content with a narrow 2½—1½ victory over Switzerland.

Round 2
Spain takes the lead. Though Keller holds Pomar to a draw, who is a candidate for the Grandmaster's title of the FIDE, and Blau defeats Albareda, Switzerland suffers the second narrow defeat, because both Eupper and Castagna lose their games. In the match England-West Germany the game Tröger-Hollis decides. After eight hours' play the German wins, but the English player should have won earlier on. Ill-luck pursues the Dutch team. Prins gets defeated by Kinzel although the Dutchman is in the double rook ending one pawn up. Jongsma cannot win the game against Steniczka, who has only rook and knight for the queen.

Round 3
The match between the two leading teams does not bring a decision in the fight for first place. After a hard and interesting tussle the.,encounter ends with a 2—2 draw, leaving the positions at the top of the table unchanged. Darga scores for the Germans, Franco evens the score England had a chance to push well ahead today. The Dutchman however are in good form and hold the Englishmen to a draw. The Swiss are having no luck today. Instead of achieving their first victory which is well in sight, they lose for the third time 1½—2½. The games speak for themselves.

Round 4

Spain and West Germany beat their pursuers with the same score. The positions at the top of the table remain unchanged. The decision is left to the last round. Who will be winners of the Glare Benedict Challenge Cup, Spain or West Germany? Pomar got the winning point. He beat Kottnauer in an instructive endgame. Diez del Corral-Alexander, a complicated and breathtaking fight resulted in a draw. The 2½—1½ victory of West Germany against Austria was not foreseen at the first stage of play. Unzicker was not at ease against Dückstein, Tröger and Mohrlok were on the defence, Schmid had the advantage. Holland and Switzerland fought for not being last. The match ended 2—2, although the Swiss on the whole had the better chances.

Round 5
A spectacular round! After five hours only five games are finished. Germany scored three wins. Although Tröger is going to lose, they are the likely winners, because Spain is not going to get more than 2½ points from Austria. Switzerland-England has also its dramatic moments. Keller plays well against Kottnauer. Hollis sets a trap for Castagna into which the Swiss tumbles in time trouble, but then Hollia throws away the win with some terrible king moves. Prameshuber tries to win his game well passed midnight, when the the final act has already been completed. But Austria does not get third place.

Alois Nagler, the driving force behind the Clare Benedict Challenge Cup, announced the final standings. As it happened, West Germany won because they had the better board points (616½—604½), scoring better on the upper boards. A narrow victory, bad luck for the Spaniards, who looked the winners right up to the end.

Best board results

bd name code pts gms %
1.= GM Unzicker, Wolfgang GER 3 5 60.0
1.= GM Pomar Salamanca, Arturo ESP 3 5 60.0
2. IM Darga, Klaus GER 4 87.5
3. GM Schmid, Lothar GER 3 4 75.0
4. Puig Pulido, Pedro ESP 4 62.5
r. Franco Raymundo, Eduardo ESP 3 83.3

Interesting games

Black overlooked easy trick.
Schmid, Lothar (GER) - Langeweg, Christian (NED) 1 - 0

A long-lasting pawn tension in the centre.
Bouwmeester, Hans (NED) - Pomar Salamanca, Arturo (ESP) 1 - 0

Some believe, that's Prins' second best victory ever achieved,
only inferior to his historic win vs Kotov in Amsterdam, 1954.
Alexander, Conel Hughes (ENG) - Prins, Lodewijk (NED) 0 - 1