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Berliner won this tournament.
Chess life/review reported it. Newspapers reported it.

The Eastern Open in 1956 was Thanksgiving weekend in the YMCA in DC. Berliner won it. Rossolimo, Lombardy, Fischer, Feurstein, Nash, Sloan, Adams, Marchand, Di Camillo, and many well known names played.

Sam Sloan claims to have a picture of the crosstable and posted it somewhere but I cannot find it on his web site. (Sloan has) a photograph taken of the completed wall chart of this tournament. The reason that this is important is that all records of this tournament have been virtually lost. With this photo (which is poor and faded but perhaps could be enhanced) it might be possible to reconstruct the entire record of this historically important event.

This event was not advertised, rated or recognized by the USCF. The tournament announcement, which was mailed to me as a member of the Virginia State Chess Federation, states: "If you wish them to rate your play, you arrange it."

Perhaps the reason for this was that both the notorious professional criminal, Whitaker, the organizer and director, and, to some extent, E. Forry Laucks, the financier, were "persona non grata" with the USCF at the time. This, plus the fact that high guaranteed prizes were offered, including a $250 guaranteed cash first prize, made this one of the strongest, if not the strongest, open Swiss tournament held in the U.S. during this period. It was top heavy with strong players and had few weak players. Only 56 players participated.

The tournament was won by Berliner, with Rossolimo, Lombardy, Fischer and Feuerstein tied for second.

Anyone know where a copy of the players and results can be found?

The 1961 eastern open had an even stronger field and was reported in chess life (scroll down) http://uscf1-nyc1.aodhosting.com/CL-AND-CR-ALL/CL-ALL/1961/1961_07.pdf Eliot Hearst edged out both Berliner and Benko to win the 1961 EO.

  • The book “Chess results 1956 - 1960” has a bare mention of this tourney and no crosstable. Strange. – Michael West Feb 6 at 6:39
  • I checked 10 books on Fischer, and nothing. I also checked that results book that Michael West mentioned, but since most of that is a compilation of data from using the ChessBase crosstable function, and there is only 6 Fischer games from that tournament in ChessBase, there is nothing there. The only thing I could find was a one-paragraph blurb (take for the results book) in the "Chess Life" archives. It is of note that the USCF just released them all to the public except for any within the last year, which is still reserved for members. – PhishMaster Feb 6 at 11:09
  • The tournament was not rated which makes it harder to find complete results. It was well covered in the press and somewhat in CL. – edwina oliver Feb 6 at 14:23

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