Snowmass history: U.S. Open Chess Tournament |

Snowmass history: U.S. Open Chess Tournament

A photo of Bob Murray that appeared in the Aspen Flyer.
Bob Brougham/Aspen Historical Society |

“The 1968 U.S. Open Chess Tournament started at Snowmass-at-Aspen Sunday and will continue for two weeks. Aspenite Bill Murray displays the concentration that, in itself, should be sufficient to move the chess men,” the Aspen Flyer reported on Aug. 12, 1968. “Among the 200 competitors are such grand masters as Pal Benko, Bent Larsen, Dr. Anthony Saidy, Robert Byrne and James Sherwin. Paly starts at 7 p.m. each evening. A total of $4500 in prizes has been guaranteed. Cities which bid for the event this year include Lincoln, Newark, Santa Monica, Cleveland and Milwaukee.”

By the second week, Larsen and James Tarjan were tied for the lead in the 12-round tourney with five points each. In the end, Larsen was declared the 1968 U.S. Open Chess Champion.

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