Monday, May 13

West Coast chess: San Francisco

On our return, as it were, from far-off New Zealand, we make landfall in San Francisco, where the Championship tourney of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club is underway.  This club, one of the oldest in the United States, has in the past hosted visiting Masters of the caliber of Zuckertort, Pillsbury, and Maroczy, and boasts an active and accomplished membership.  We are particularly happy to note that the club has again found a permanent home, at 57 Post Street, after several years' residence in makeshift or temporary headquarters following the terrible earthquake and fire of 1906.

The subject of today's post is 22-year old Adolf J. Fink, a player of rare promise who bids fair to capture this year's Championship. Mr. Fink is also already developing quite a reputation as a problemist, unusual in one so young.  We present below two of his direct mate compositions, along with a game from the current Mechanics' Institute Championship tourney, for all of which we thank our friends at The San Francisco Call.  Solutions to the problems will be found at the close of this entry.

White mates in 3 moves

White mates in 3 moves

Solutions to the problems:

1.Qb2 Kxd5 2.Kc3 and mate in various ways on the following move according to Black's reply, the prettiest, in our opinion, being 2...Ke5 3.Kc4.

1.Ng5 Kxe5 (1...Kc6 2.Qb7+; 1...Kd4 2.Nce4) 2.Nd7+ Kd4 3.Qd2 mate.

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