THE US CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP

1845-

Results and Crosstables

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We divide the history of the US title into three distinct stages:

  1. 1845-1891, a period wherein champions were recognized by Acclamation; by having their superiority clearly recognized by peers and press. Though there were few events specifically recognized as being for the title during this period, we present some of the events where these champions earned their reputation.
  2. 1891-1935, a period where the US Championship was decided by Match Play. This was a period of conflicting claims and counter-claims, especially in the 1891-1909 period, and so data in this section may be contradictory.
  3. 1936-The Present, a period wherein champions have been crowned through tournament play (although there have been a very few US Championship matches in this period also). In 1935, Frank J. Marshall officially relinquished the U.S. Title, and allowed it to be bestowed through tournaments from then on, an arrangement that has lasted to this day.

    I.   C H A M P I O N S   B Y   A C C L A M A T I O N

    Year Event Location Score Notes
    1845 Charles Henry Stanley
    vs.
    Eugene Rousseau Match
    New Orleans +15-8=8 -
    1850 Charles Henry Stanley vs. J.H. Turner Match Washington, DC +11-5=1 -
    1857 Paul Morphy wins 1st American Chess Congress New York +14-1=3 Draws didn't count
    1871 George Henry Mackenzie wins 2nd American Chess Congress Cleveland +14-2=3 Draws didn't count
    1874 George Henry Mackenzie wins 3rd American Chess Congress Chicago, IL +10-1=1 -
    1876 4th American Chess Congress Philadelphia, PA - Not for the US title, in any way, shape or form.
    1880 Mackenzie vs. Max Judd Match - +7-5=3 -
    1880 George Henry Mackenzie wins 5th American Chess Congress - +11-2=5 Beat Grundy in playoff
    1886 Mackenzie vs. Solomon Lipschutz Match - +5-3=5 -



    I. I.   C H A M P I O N S   B Y   M A T C H   P L A Y

    Year Event Location Score Notes
    1887 Judd vs. Hodges Match ? 5-2 Claimed by Judd as a title match. Claim generally not accepted.
    1889 New York 1889 Tournament Take a guess +22-9=7 6th American Chess Congress. Title awarded to top American finisher, Solomon Lipschutz
    1890 Showalter vs. Lipschutz Match Louisville ? Won by Showalter, who claimed Title
    1890 Judd vs. Showater Match Saint Louis 7-3 Judd becomes champion
    1891-2 Showalter vs. Judd Match Saint Louis +7-4=3 Showalter regains title from Judd
    1892 Lasker vs. Showalter Match ? +6-2=2 Claimed by Lasker as a title match
    1892 Lipschutz vs. Showalter Match New York +7-1=7 Lipschutz wins title, retires as champion, title reverts to Showalter
    1893-4 Showalter vs. Halpern Match New York +5-3=1 Showalter retains
    1894 Showalter vs. Hodges Match New York +7-6=4 Showalter retains
    1894 Hodges vs. Showalter Match ? +5-3=1 Hodges wins title, retires as champion, title reverts to Showalter
    1895 Showalter vs. Lipschutz Match New York +7-4=3 Lipschutz returned, claiming he had never relinquished title. This match settled the claim.
    1896 Showalter vs. Kemeny Match Philadelphia +7-4=4 (?) Showalter retains. Clearly defined as being for the US Title
    1896 Showalter vs. Barry Match ? +7-2=4 Showalter retains. Clearly defined as being for the US Title
    1897 Pillsbury vs. Showalter Match Brooklyn +10-8=4 Showalter challenged, Pillsbury did not want title.
    1898 Pillsbury vs. Showalter Match New York +7-3=2 Pillsbury agreed to take title this time.
    1904 7th American Chess Congress - - Judd tries to intercept title
    1906 Grim Reaper vs. Pillsbury Match Philadelphia (Not Pretty) Pillsbury dies, title later retroactively reverts to Showalter. See next entry.
    1909 Capablanca vs. Marshall Match New York +8-1=14 For the title at the time but not afterwards
    1909 Marshall vs. Showalter Match Kentucky +7-2=3 With Marshall's victory, the title has never again been disputed
    1923 Marshall vs. Ed Lasker Match Various +5-4=9 -






    I I I .   T O U R N A M E N T   C H A M P I O N S

    # Year Winner/s Location Top Score Z Notes
    1 1936 Sammy Reshevsky New York, NY 11-3 - -
    2 1938 Sammy Reshevsky New York, NY 13-3 - -
    3 1940 Sammy Reshevsky New York, NY 13-3 - -
    - 1941 Sammy Reshevsky Various 9-6 - Sammy Reshevsky over I.A. Horowitz in Match
    4 1942 Sammy Reshevsky
    Isaac Kashdan
    New York, NY 12-2 - Tournament, April 1942. Playoff, October 1942.
    5 1944 Arnold Denker New York, NY 15-1 - -
    - 1946 Arnold Denker Los Angeles, CA 6-4 - Arnold Denker over Herman Steiner in Match
    6 1946 Sammy Reshevsky New York, NY 16-2 - -
    7 1948 Herman Steiner South Fallsburg, NY 15-4 - -
    8 1951 Larry Evans New York, NY 9-1 - -
    - 1952 Larry Evans Los Angeles, CA
    Las Vegas, NV
    Reno, NV
    New York, NY
    10-4 - Larry Evans over Herman Steiner in Match
    9 1954 Arthur Bisguier New York, NY 10-3 Y -
    - 1957 Sammy Reshevsky Various 6-4 - Reshevsky over Bisguier in Non-Title (?) Match
    10 1957/8 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 10-2 Y -
    11 1958/9 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 8-2 - -
    12 1959/60 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 9-2 - -
    13 1960/1 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 9-2 Y -
    - 1961 Sammy Reshevsky Various 7-5 - Reshevsky over Fischer in Non-Title (?) Match
    14 1961/2 Larry Evans New York, NY 7-3 - -
    15 1962/3 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 8-3 Y -
    16 1963/4 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 11-0 - -
    17 1965 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 8-2 Y -
    18 1966 Bobby Fischer New York, NY 9-1 - -
    19 1968 Larry Evans New York, NY 8-2 - -
    20 1969 Sammy Reshevsky New York, NY 8-3 Y -
    21 1972 Robert Byrne
    Sammy Reshevsky
    Lubomir Kavalek
    New York, NY 9-4 Y Tournament, April-May 1972. Playoff, February 1973.
    22 1973 Lubomir Kavalek
    John Grefe
    El Paso, TX 9-2 - Co-Champions
    23 1974 Walter Browne Chicago, IL 9-3 - -
    24 1975 Walter Browne Oberlin College, OH 8-4 Y -
    25 1977 Walter Browne Mentor, OH 9-4 - -
    26 1978 Lubomir Kavalek Pasadena, CA 10-4 Y -
    27 1980 Walter Browne
    Larry Christansen
    Larry Evans
    Greenville, PA 7-4 - Co-Champions
    28 1981 Walter Browne
    Yasser Seirawan
    South Bend, IN 9-5 Y Co-Champions
    29 1983 Walter Browne
    Larry Christiansen
    Roman Dzindzichashvili
    Greenville, PA 9-4 - Co-Champions
    30 1984 Lev Alburt Berkely, CA 12-4 Y -
    31 1985 Lev Alburt Estes Park, CO 9-3 - -
    32 1986 Yasser Seirawan Estes Park, CO 10-4 Y -
    33 1987 Joel Benjamin
    Nick de Firmian
    Estes Park, CO 8-5 - Co-Champions
    34 1988 Michael Wilder Cambridge Springs, PA 6-4 - -
    35 1989 Roman Dzindzichashvili
    Stuart Rachels
    Yasser Seirawan
    Long Beach, CA 9-5 Y Co-Champions
    36 1990 Lev Alburt Jacksonville, FL 10-3 - Knockout Tournanament
    37 1991 Gata Kamsky Los Angeles, CA 7-2 - Knockout Tournanament
    38 1992 Patrick Wolff Durango, CO 10-4 Y -
    39 1993 Alexander Shabalov
    Alex Yermolinsky
    Long Beach, CA 8-3 - Co-Champions
    40 1994 Boris Gulko Key West, FL 9-3 - -
    41 1995 Nick de Firmian
    Patrick Wolff
    Alexander Ivanov
    Modesto, CA 8-4 - Co-Champions. Wolff won a playoff for the Championship
    Ring, but not the title
    42 1996 Alex Yermolinsky Parsippany, NJ 9-4 - -
    43 1997 Joel Benjamin Chandler, AZ 11-5 - Qualifier Tournament
    44 1998 Nick de Firmian Denver, CO 10-3 - Qualifier Tournament
    45 1999 Boris Gulko Salt Lake City, UT 12-5 - Qualifier Tournament
    46 2000 Joel Benjamin
    Alexander Shabalov
    Yasser Seirawan
    Seattle, WA 6-4 - Co-Champions. Joel Benjamin won a playoff for the Championship
    Ring, but not the title
    47 2002 Larry Christiansen
    Nick de Firmian
    Seattle, WA 6-2 - 56 Player Mixed Swiss
    48 2003 Alexander Shabalov Seattle, WA 6-2 - 58 Player Mixed Swiss
    49 2004 Hikaru Nakamura
    Alex Stripunsky
    San Diego, CA 7-2 - 64 player mixed Swiss
    50 2006 Alexander Onischuk San Diego, CA 7-2 - Two 32-player Swisses, Onischuk over Shulman in Final
    51 2007 Alexander Shabalov Stillwater, OK 7-2 - 36 player Swiss
    52 2008 Yury Shulman Tulsa, OK 7-2 - 24 man Swiss
    53 2009 Hikaru Nakamura Saint Louis, MO 7-2 - 25 player Swiss
    54 2010 Gata Kamsky
    Yuri Shulman
    Saint Louis, MO 7-3 - 24 player Swiss
    55 2011 Gata Kamsky Saint Louis, MO 5-2 - Two 8 man Round Robins
    56 2012 Hikaru Nakamura Saint Louis, MO 8-2 - 12 man Round Robin
    57 2013 Gata Kamsky
    Alejandro Ramirez
    Saint Louis, MO 6-2 - 24 man Swiss
    58 2014 Gata Kamsky
    Varuzhan Akobian
    Aleksandr Lenderman

    Saint Louis, MO 7-4 - 12 man Round Robin

    If a tie for first, all winners are listed as co-Champions. Winner's name in bold indicates that at some time after the tournament he won a playoff for the title. Name in italics indicates that player tied for first in the tournament, but lost a playoff for the title before the tournament's closing ceremonies, and is therefore not considered to have been a co-Champion at any point.


    Pre-1936 Champions
    Player Reign Notes
    Charles Henry Stanley 1845-1857 -
    Paul Morphy 1857-1871 -
    George Henry Mackenzie 1871-1889 -
    Solomon Lipschutz 1889-1890 -
    Jackson Whipps Showalter 1890-1890 -
    Max Judd 1890-1892 -
    Jackson Whipps Showalter 1892-1892 2nd Reign
    Solomon Lipschutz 1892-1892 2nd Reign
    Jackson Whipps Showalter 1892-1894 3rd Reign
    Albert Beauregard Hodges 1894-1894 -
    Jackson Whipps Showalter 1894-1898 4th Reign
    Harry Nelson Pillsbury 1898-1906 -
    Jackson Whipps Showalter 1906-1909 5th Reign
    Frank James Marshall 1909-1936 -

    Champions, 1936-Present
    Player Titles Won
    Samuel Herman Reshevsky 8
    Robert James Fischer 8
    Walter Shawn Browne 6
    Larry Melvin Evans 5
    Gata Kamsky 5
    Yasser Seirawan 4
    Alexander Shabalov 4
    Lubomir Kavalek 3
    Larry Mark Christiansen 3
    Lev O. Alburt 3
    Joel Benjamin 3
    Nick E. de Firmian 3
    Hikaru Nakamura 3
    Arnold Sheldon Denker 2
    Roman Dzindzichashvili 2
    Patrick G. Wolff 2
    Alex Yermolinsky 2
    Boris F. Gulko 2
    Isaac Kashdan 1
    Herman Steiner 1
    Arthur Bernard Bisguier 1
    Robert E. Byrne 1
    John A. Grefe 1
    Michael Wilder 1
    Stuart Rachels 1
    Alexander Ivanov 1
    Alexander Onischuk 1
    Yury Shulman 1