1975 Florida Open
"The Swindle Win" by: Richard L. Fortman
(reprinted from MCA Newsletter 2/07 p. 5-7) dedicated to Elbert Lowder

     Once again, with the liberal donation by James D. Jarman, this annual ty. at St. Petersburg, FL. was a resounding success, with 65 entries, headed by World Champion Marion Tinsley.  In later conversations with him at Tallahassee, he mentioned having picked up a head cold prior to the start of play.  "I had a running nose, sneezing, and coughing, and I really shouldn't have entered, but I thought it would taper off in a day or two, but it didn't!" 

     "Out of the 15 in the Masters section, I was hoping for an easy first round draw, but instead Ed Markusic's name was drawn by referee Burke Grandjean - "Mark" is well posted and we had two 2-movers, in 9-14, 23-19, 5-9 and  11-15, 22-17, 8-11; both drawn on PP lines."  "In contrast, Elbert Lowder played one of his finest tys. of his long career, winning over Vic Montiero 1-0-3 draws."  

     "In rd. 2, still in hopes of someone easy, I had the ever-dangerous Everett Fuller, winner of the 1968 Nat. Ty. in Medora, over Walter Hellman."  "OUR FIRST OPENING was the "Montrose Cross", 11-15, 23-18, 15-19 in which I had White, then 21-17, 12-16, 27-24 etc. to draw (given in CTTW, p.124, Note c-1 RLF) - In Game 2, Fuller varied with 18-15, instead of 21-17, to an open game after 9-14, 22-17, and 7-11 etc."  (This is also in "CTTW"  and "BC" up to this stage:  Black 1, 10, 11, 12, 16, 22 - White 30, 29, 28, 27, 13,   Kgs. 6, 2 - with Black to Move Smile Laughing.  "After my 10-14, I offered a draw, as the position is even - luckily  (yes, there is this at times!), he declined, and moved 27-24; had he accepted, in view of what happened later, I would have been 6 points behind Elbert, instead 4!"  "After the 27-24, then 14-17, playing for a little trap!"  "Now 13-9, 17-21, and 9-5 draws, but instead he played 2-7?, overlooking 22-26, 30-23, 16-20, 7-16, and 12-26."  "Taking one brief look, Everett threw up his hands in disgust, and left his chair, although there is still play remaining after 24-19."  "Our next opening was 9-13, 23-19, 6-9, in which I had Black."  "Then 27-23, 9-14, 22-18, 11-15, 18-9, 5-14 etc. to a P.P. draw as in 'BC'. "  (Omitted in "CTTW" - RLF)  "With White in Game 4, I played my usual 22-18 (instead of 27-23) then 11-15."  (Many years ago Tinsley varied with the 9-14 exchange, playing Paul Thompson in practice, then 25-22, 11-15, 30-25, 1-5, 22-17 13-22, then 26-17!  Instead of 25-9 in "CTTW" - mentioned by Lloyd Taylor in the 1978 U.S. Nat. Ty. Notes - with no continuation.)  "18-11, 7-23, 27-18, 8-11, 25-22, 3-7, 32-27, 1-6, 27-23, 12-16, 24-20, 4-8, 18-15, 10-19, 22-18, 9-14, 18-9, 5-14, 23-18, 14-23, 28-24, 19-28, 26-3, and again I suggested a draw, and once again Fuller declined, and after moving 6-10.  At this stage, referee Burke Grandjean approached our table to tell me I had a long distance phone call, so clocks were stopped.  It was Don Lafferty calling to ask how the ty. was going.  I told him I had a drawn rd. with Markusic, but would win this second rd. against Fuller!  Returning to our table, I carelessly moved 29-25?!, instead of 30-25 or 30-26, allowing the 10-14 Trap!, and a winning Black ending! see game pdn  Shades of Alex Cameron at Paxton!  So, with two drawn rds. I was 4 points behind Lowder, who had won over Frank Parks - this placed me in a "must win" situation. 

     In Rd. 3, I won over Clem Crawford, and Lowder kept up, vs. Earl Ingram.  In Rd. 4, I was fortunate to win against my close friend Lloyd Taylor who was having health problems.  Lowder duplicated, winning over Markusic.  In Rd. 5, I had an easier time winning over Earl Ingram, who was visibly tired; Lowder playing finely, winning his round with Fuller.  In Rd. 6, I was paired with Elbert, still 4 points behind with 3 rounds to play.  I was surprised when he suggested an agreed round, even though it was in his favor.  I was still fighting that pesky cold, and lack of sleep, so I agreed, although in more favorable conditions, I would not have done so.  In Rd. 7, I was paired with another good friend, Ed Scheidt." (A letter from Ed mentions this: "I was in the hotel bar, having a drink with Lloyd Taylor, when we saw Tinsley enter, I said to Lloyd, "Maybe he's going to offer me a draw!"  "Instead he came over to our table, and I invited him to have a seat, which he accepted."  "Then he said, "As you know, Ed, I am not a drinking man, but to make it a fair test, I'll have one of the same that you are drinking," which he did, and enjoyed a brief chat before play was announced.")  "For the start of Rd. 7, our first opening was an easy 10-15, 23-19, 6-10, not given in "CTTW", but shown in the mimeo copy of the ty. - two drawn as in Tinsley-Long 1981 WCM.  Our next opening was an "Octopus", which I badly needed to prevent another drawn match, which would eliminate me!  I had Black first, with Ed using a published attack, similar to the Hellman-Long 1962 match to draw. (This is not in "CTTW").  So I had to win with White: the only question, which line to play!  I stayed with my long-time favorite with the 23-19 break-up, and after 1-10, then 25-22 (instead of the early 30-26 vs. DEO),  12-16, then 30-26, as in "MEC" var. 13, cont. 8-12, 27-23 then Ryan  gives 3-7, but no star.  Instead Ed tried the natural 4-8?  After which 32-27* won <note> (this is in CTTW" - RLF) against Ryan's 3-7.  I was prepared to play 24-19, 15-24, 28-19, 10-14, 19-15, 7-11, 15-8, 4-11 - here Willie gives everything except 29-25, which I would have played - it does not win, but has its 'blood points'!"  (Marion did not give these "good blood points". <note>  However, in a 1979 team match, USA vs. GB, Wm. "Bill" Edwards used this 29-25 against me.  It continued: 11-15, 32-27, 15-19, 25-21, 2-7, 22-17, 7-10, 17-13, 16-20, etc. and 26-23x to draw - RLF)  Lowder kept up his fine play, winning over Ed Bruch 1-0-3draws, with the white side of a 3-8 Ayrshire Lassie."

     "And so, it came down to the final round, a repairing with Lowder, and I was still 4 points behind with still another 'must-win' situation."  "Referee Grandjean cut the deck for our first opening - I had my fingers crossed, and also said a prayer for a on-sided opening!"  "Back at Paxton in 1950, I was a game down with two to play vs. Alex Cameron, and I also had my fingers crossed, but no prayer, as I was still a 'non-believer' at this time."  "When the opening card was exposed, I looked at Alex (instead of the card) who had a broad smile on his face!,  11-15, 23-19, 8-11!"

     "But here my prayer was answered - a 'switcher' - 11-15, 21-17, 9-13 - not the best perhaps, but certainly not the worst!"   "I had Black in game one."  (Although this game is given in both "CTTW" and "BC", Tinsley's comments may be of interest - RLF)  < you can cut & paste pdn  to checkerboard >

[Event "1975 Florida Open St Petersburg, FL - Rd 8 Gm 1.pdn"]
[Date "1975"]
[Black "Marion Tinsley"]
[White "Elbert Lowder"]
[Result "1-0"]
1. 11-15 21-17 2. 9-13 25-21 3. 8-11 {"James Wyllie’s Switcher"} 17-14 {Tinsley's Comment A} 4. 10x17 21x14 5. 6-10 22-17 6. 13x22 26x17 7. 15-18 {Tinsley's Comment B} 24-20 8. 2-6 29-25 9. 18-22 25x18 10. 10-15 28-24 11. 15x22 32-28 {Tinsley's Comment C} 12. 6-10 23-18 {Tinsley's Comment D} 13. 22-25 30x21 14. 10-15 27-23 15. 15x22 14-10 16. 7x14 17x10 17. 22-25 23-19 18. 11-15 20-16 19. 25-29 16-11 20. 29-25 11-7 21. 25-22 7-2 22. 5-9 {Tinsley's Comment E } 10-6 {Tinsley's Comment F (10-6?)} 23. 1x10 2-7 {Tinsley's Comment G} 24. 9-14 7-11 25. 14-18 31-27 {Tinsley's Comment H} 26. 4-8 {Note 4-8 * !} 11x4 27. 22-26 {Black Wins ("Horse-shoes")} 4-8 1-0

(Tinsley's Comments)    

(A)  Lowder stays with the original Wyllie defense, as did Walter Hellman.  In Game Two, I played my favorite 30-25 after which Lowder allowed me an old P.P. draw by Robert Martins.

(B)  As you know, I have long favored the 4-8 and 1-6 attack with which I have won games against Newell Banks and Leo Levitt, among others.  But Lowder is much better posted than many I think, as he delighted in secondary lines at times.  So I decided to keep the pieces on the board with this which I haven't used in important play since winning from Bob Cornell in the 1948 Ohio State Ty.

(C)  Elbert kept making star moves, and I was beginning to doubt the wisdom taken in this line.  Cornell had tried 21-19?,  instead, but after 5-9, 14-5, and 11-15 etc., the White position is shaky, and he lost the ending.

(D)  The first chink in the armor!  Kears Ency. rates this as doubtful with very little continuation - Master Play gives a questionable draw. Note by JR Smith (24-19* only move to draw, if 11-15, then 23-18, 15-24x, 3-8, 18-15, 1-6, 27-23, 22-26x,  6-9, 15-6, 9-27 draws).  James Wyllie correctly named this opening "The Switcher" and rightful so, because it lends itself to numerous only move to draw for the neophyte to find & play.  It was a favorite of the "herd laddie" who swindled many wins from it, and as you can see, it snared a Grandmaster!

(E)  This has followed the "M.P." line in which 22-18 is played, and I think best, although I wasn't certain I could win after it.  Elbert was in time-trouble, so I decided to gamble, and give him a choice of two pitches:  (Al Lyman told me he thinks 22-18 will win, and improve on the M.P. ending.  After 22-18, the  31-27, and now 5-9*  (instead of 4-8) 10-7, 3-10, 2-7, 10-14, 19-10, 18-15, 10-6, 1-10, 21-17, 14-21, 23-15, then 15-18* (instead of 21-25) is a winning ending. - RLF)

(F)  This is what I had hoped for , which loses the other way with 10-7*, 3-10, 2-6, 9-14, and 24-20 draws.

(G)  If 2-6, 4-8, 6-13, 8-11, 21-17, and 11-16 etc.,  BW. 

(H)  Lowder said later, when pitching 10-6, he had mentally visualized 11-7 to draw, missing 18-23, 7-14, 22-25, 19-10, and 23-26, 31-22, 25-9.  Black wins nicely. 

      "Our final opening was 11-16, 23-18, 8-11, 18-14 etc. in which Lowder introduced a new defense in mid-game, which I consider easier than the usual 11-15, as in the Jordan-Pomeroy matches." - (This is given in "B.C." trunk - RLF)  "Game 4 was an agreed draw, with both of us finishing with 26 match points, giving me the title on higher honor points, and splitting the 1st and 2nd prize money.  Ed Bruch was 3rd with 22 points, followed by Fuller, Taylor, and Ingram with 20 points each, then Scheidt with 18, and Markusic with 16 among the top ten." 

     "I have had some close finishes, but non closer than this one!"  (MFT)   (Times Digest Article )

Elbert Lane Lowder
DOB 3/3/32 - DOD 12/14/06

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