11 May 2017

Early U.S. High School Championships

While researching Early N.Y. Scholastic Championships (April 2017), where the first was in 1967, I noted,

I couldn't find the 1969 event and I imagine that it was pushed aside by the first 'National High School Championship'.

As usual with chess history, one thing led to another and I soon found myself researching early U.S. national high school championships. Shown here are the first five winners.

Top row: John Watson (1969), Robert Newbold (1970)
Bottom row: Larry Christiansen (1971), Craig Barnes (1972)

Where's the fifth? In 1973, Larry Christiansen, a future three-time U.S champion, repeated his 1971 success. References for all five events are shown in the following table, which uses the same codes as in the 'N.Y. Scholastic' post.

Event Date Announced Reported Rated
National High School Championship 1969-04 CL69B082
CL69B083 (note)
CL69E173 (cover)
CL69F234 (teams)
CL69F241 (article)
2nd Annual National High School Championship 1970-04 CL70C172 CL70F293 (cover)
CL70F310 (article)
3rd Annual... 1971-04 CL71C174 CL71F289 (cover)
CL71G394 (article)
4th Annual... 1972-04 CL72C198 CL72G438 CL72I568
5th U.S. Scholastic Championships 1973-05 CL73C176 CL73H447 CL73F298 (note on rating lists)

Along with Christiansen, John Watson is well known in the current chess scene, primarily as an author. What about the other two early champions?

The Chessgames.com page on Robert Newbold, shows the last game in 1977. This must have been from the 1977 San Francisco tournament (the 'Bagby' event, according to 'Chess Results, 1975-1977' by Gino Di Felice), which Newbold won. Amazon.com has an author's page for Robert C. Newbold, with four books on project management. The chess programming subdomain on Wikispaces.com has a page on Craig Barnes, showing activity in the 1970s and 80s.

For a list of national high school champions through 2013, see Scholastic Champions (chessmaniac.com) by Bill Wall.

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