• Chess Master Joe Tamargo has Died

    From seoduction@gmail.com@21:1/5 to samsloan on Fri Jun 17 20:36:52 2016

    My name is Joseph Tamargo as well,

    Do you have anything left that was his?

    On Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 2:27:06 AM UTC-5, samsloan wrote:
    Joe Tamargo has died

    Joseph Tamargo, master of two games, chess and go, died in a hospital in Flushing, Queens New York on October 22, 2013, following a stroke.

    Tamargo was a strong master chess player who won the championship on the Marshall Chess Club in 1976, sweeping the all-master field that included grandmaster Andy Soltis. He was also at one time the second strongest non-Asian player of the game of Go
    in the US.

    As a teenager, he played many games of chess against Bobby Fischer, including three tournament games only one of which has been published.

    Prior to a debilitating earlier stroke in 2004 that left him in a nursing home, Tamargo used to play in Liberty Park opposite the World Trade Center where he played chess giving queen odds to passing tourists at $5 a game, rarely losing.

    Joe Tamargo was an early chess rival of Bobby Fischer, as they were about the same age. Late in life, Fischer still spoke of him often, frequently referring to the strength and power of Tamargo. Tamargo had a fierce reputation over the chessboard and
    even the strongest grandmaster would not take lightly the prospect of meeting Tamargo in a serious chess match.

    Tamargo was five years older than Bobby Fischer and they played two tournament games against each other when both were teenagers. The first was a draw and has never been published. Tamargo says that he no longer has the score sheet. The second was a
    win for Fischer. Played at the Manhattan Chess Club in 1956 at just about the time that Fischer won his "Game of the Century", Tamargo played the risky Morra Gambit and got a small advantage. The game developed into a dead drawn rook-and pawn endgame.
    Tamargo offered a draw. Fischer, aged 13, screeched back "Are you kidding?" Tamargo was so upset that he made a horrific blunder on the next move, the kind of blunder even the strongest grandmasters occasionally make when the mind plays a trick and they
    visualize the board upside down or backwards.

    This game is included in every anthology of Fischer's games, but Tamargo complains that his name is always spelled wrong as Tomargo and that the score of the game is wrong too, as the last moves shown are not what was actually played. Tamargo never
    bothered to correct the record, however.

    Tamargo was at one time the second or third strongest native born American player at the game of go. He was never the best however, as there was always one American who could beat him. Tamargo may however have been the best go player in the world who
    never visited the Far East. All of the other top players spent time in Japan or Korea.

    By 1964 Tamargo was without doubt the strongest combined chess and go player in America, and possibly in the world. Another player who might have made this claim was Edward Lasker. However, Tamargo was several stones stronger than Lasker at go (they
    played many games against each other) and by that time with Lasker advanced in years Tamargo was much stronger at chess, too.

    By the early 1970s, Tamargo had stopped playing go. One evening in about 1970, Tamargo was hanging around Charlie Hidalgo's "Chess House" on West 72nd Street, in New York City. (The Chess House was the location of one of the opening scenes in the Woody
    Allen Movie "The Front" where Woody goes to play a chess game against a blacklisted writer.) At the Chess House, a match had been arranged between a team of top players from Japan and a team of top players from Korea. However, one of the Japanese players
    had not shown up, so they went around the Chess House asking if anybody knew how to play go so that each team would have the same number of players. Finally, Tamargo said that he used to know how to play go but had not played in years. Happy to have
    found somebody who knew how to play go, the Japanese team adopted him. In order to improve their chances of winning the match, they put Tamargo on the top board against the top Korean player as a sacrifice. They were all astounded, flabbergasted and
    unbelieving when Tamargo won the match. They had never seen anything like this.

    In later years, Joe Tamargo has made his living hustling chess in Liberty Park in front of Ground Zero and the World Trade Center, taking on all comers at $5 a game. Fortunately for him, he had not gotten to work yet when the World Trade Center fell on

    Although the most famous chess game ever played by Tamargo was against Bobby Fischer, his most famous win was against Grandmaster Andy Soltis, who is now the chess columnist for the New York Post. In the 1976 Marshall Chess Club Championship, Tamargo
    had the tournament of his life, winning almost every game against an all master field. The critical game was against Grandmaster Soltis. Soltis resigned thinking that Tamargo had mate in three. However, subsequent analysis showed that Soltis had a
    defense and could have won the game. This became famous as a game where a grandmaster resigned in a winning position. However, modern re-analysis of this same game has established that Tamargo really did have a win with best play when Soltis resigned,
    although it is unlikely that either Soltis or Tamargo would have found all the best moves over the board.

    Tamargo wrote a book, "Really Learn Spanish", for persons who have studied Spanish but find that they still cannot speak it. The book contains slang terms not found in traditional grammars. For example, a “chapin” is a person from Guatemala. The
    book was written as a present for his girlfriend who was living in Costa Rica but who could not speak Spanish. However, the book failed to impress her and she probably never read it. The book is published by Ishi Press under ISBN 978-0-923891-79-4

    In 2004 Tamargo suffered a serious stroke and nearly died. He was unconscious for several days. When he woke up he was in a nursing home. The doctors had amputated his left leg to save his life.

    Tamargo spent the last eight years of his life living in the nursing home in Flushing Queens, playing Backgammon online on FIBS, having been nearly forgotten by the chess community. He left some of his belongings in my apartment, which I will probably
    have to throw out now.

    Sam Sloan

    Here are some of his games:

    [Site "Manhattan Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1956.??.??"]
    [Round "02"]
    [White "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Black "Fischer, Robert J"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "B21"]

    1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Nc3 Nxc3 7.bxc3
    d5 8.Bd3 e6 9.Ne2 Be7 10.O-O Bd7 11.f4 g6 12.g4 Qc7 13.f5 gxf5
    14.gxf5 exf5 15.Ng3 O-O-O 16.Nxf5 Be6 17.Kh1 h5 18.Qf3 Rdg8
    19.Nh6 Rf8 20.Bf5 Qd7 21.Bd2 f6 22.Bxe6 Qxe6 23.Qf5 Qxf5 24.Nxf5
    fxe5 25.Nxe7+ Nxe7 26.dxe5 Kd7 27.Bg5 Ke6 28.Bf6 Rhg8 29.Rab1 b6
    30.Rfd1 Rc8 31.Bxe7 Kxe7 32.Rxd5 Rxc3 33.a4 Ke6 34.Rdb5 Ra3 35.a5
    bxa5 36.R1b3 Rxb3 37.Rxb3 Rg5 38.Rb7 Kxe5 39.Rxa7 Kd4 40.h4 Rg4

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.03.28"]
    [Round "09"]
    [White "Soltis, Andy"]
    [Black "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C91"]

    1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O
    8.d4 d6 9.c3 Bg4 10.a4 exd4 11.cxd4 Bxf3 12.gxf3 Na5 13.Bc2 c5
    14.Nc3 b4 15.Ne2 Qb6 16.Ng3 g6 17.d5 Nd7 18.f4 Bf6 19.Qg4 Qc7
    20.e5 dxe5 21.Ne4 Bg7 22.f5 b3 23.Bb1 Nc4 24.fxg6 hxg6 25.Ng5 Nd6
    26.Qh4 Nf6 27.Rxe5 Qd7 28.h3 Nh5 29.Re6 Rae8 30.Rxg6 fxg6 31.Bxg6
    Re1+ 32.Kg2 Bd4 33.Bh7+ Qxh7 34.Nxh7 Rxf2+ 35.Qxf2 Bxf2 36.Kxf2
    Rd1 37.Ng5 Nf6 38.Ne6 c4 39.Nc7 a5 40.Ke2 Rh1 41.Ke3 Kf7 42.Kd4
    Nd7 43.Nb5 Rd1+ 44.Ke3 Nf5+ 45.Ke2 Rh1 46.Rb1 Ne5 47.Na3 Rh2+
    48.Kd1 Nf3 49.Bf4 Rf2 {In this position, a grandmaster resigned
    in a winning position. White resigned believing that he had no
    defense to N5d4 followed by Rf1# checkmate. However, it was soon
    discovered that White did have a way out and in fact could have won
    the game. Can you find the saving defense for White? wKd1,Na3,Bf4,Rb1,Pa4,b2,d5,h3/bKf7,Nf3,f5,Rf2,Pa5, b3,c4 8/5k2/8/p2P1n2/P1p2B2/Np3n1P/1P3r2/1R1K4 w - - 0 50} 0-1

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.01.18"]
    [Round "01"]
    [White "Bernstein, Sidney"]
    [Black "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "B25"]

    1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.f4 e6 7.Nf3 Nge7
    8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nd4 10.Nh4 f5 11.Qd2 Rb8 12.Nd1 Kh8 13.c3 Ndc6
    14.Nf2 b6 15.exf5 gxf5 16.Rfe1 a5 17.Qe2 Qe8 18.Nf3 h6 19.Nd2 Nd5
    20.Nc4 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 Qd7 22.a4 Ne7 23.Qe2 Nd5 24.Ra3 Rf6 25.Bxd5
    exd5 26.Qe8+ Kh7 27.Qxd7 Bxd7 28.Re7 Rb7 29.Ne3 Bc6 30.Rxb7 Bxb7
    31.Rb3 d4 32.Nc4 Re6 33.Kf1 Bf3 34.Rxb6 dxc3 35.bxc3 Bxc3 36.Rb1
    Re2 37.Nxd6 Bd4 38.Nde4 fxe4 39.Nxe4 Rxh2 40.Rb7+ Kg8 41.Rb8+ Kg7
    42.Rb7+ Kf8 43.Rb8+ Ke7 0-1

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.02.01"]
    [Round "02"]
    [White "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Black "Hulse, Brian"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [ECO "B22"]

    1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nc6 5.Nf3 e5 6.Be3 cxd4 7.cxd4
    Bg4 8.Nc3 Bb4 9.dxe5 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Qxf3 11.gxf3 Nxe5 12.Bb5+ Nc6
    13.Rg1 g6 14.Bd4 f6 15.Bxc6+ bxc6 16.a3 Bxc3+ 17.Bxc3 Rd8 18.Rg4
    Nh6 19.Ra4 Rd7 20.Rd1 Re7+ 21.Kf1 Kf7 22.Rd6 Rc8 23.Rxf6+ Kg8
    24.h4 Nf5 25.h5 c5 26.hxg6 Nd4 27.Rc4 Rcc7 28.b4 Nb5 29.bxc5 Nxc3
    30.Rxc3 hxg6 31.Rxg6+ Kf7 32.Rd6 Re6 33.Rxe6 Kxe6 34.c6 Ke7 35.f4
    Kd8 36.Ke2 Re7+ 37.Kf3 Kc7 38.f5 Rh7 39.Kf4 1-0

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.02.22"]
    [Round "05"]
    [White "Robinson, Richard"]
    [Black "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C00"]

    1.e4 e6 2.b3 d5 3.Bb2 dxe4 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Qe2 Bb4 6.O-O-O Qe7 7.Kb1
    Ba3 8.Ba1 a5 9.Nxe4 Nbd7 10.f4 a4 11.Nf3 axb3 12.cxb3 O-O 13.Ne5
    Nd5 14.h4 f6 15.Nd3 c5 16.Nc3 Nxc3+ 17.dxc3 b5 18.Nb2 c4 19.bxc4
    b4 20.Qe4 Rb8 21.Bd3 f5 22.Qd4 bxc3 23.Qxc3 Bb4 24.Qd4 Nc5 25.Bc2
    Bb7 26.Kc1 Bc6 27.Rh3 Ne4 28.Bxe4 Bxe4 29.Rg3 Rb7 30.Nd3 Ba3+
    31.Kd2 Rd7 32.Qe5 Bd6 33.Rxg7+ Qxg7 34.Qxg7+ Rxg7 35.Bxg7 Kxg7
    36.Ke3 Ra8 37.Rd2 Ra3 38.g3 Bc5+ 39.Ke2 Be7 40.Ne5 Rxg3 41.Rd7
    Kf8 42.c5 Bxc5 43.Rd8+ Kg7 44.Rd7+ Kh6 0-1

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.03.14"]
    [Round "07"]
    [White "Early, Brian"]
    [Black "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [ECO "C36"]

    1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.Qe2+
    Be7 8.Nxd5 Qxd5 9.Bc4 Qd6 10.d4 Be6 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.O-O O-O
    13.Bd2 Nd7 14.Rae1 Rf6 15.Qe4 Rd8 16.Kh1 h6 17.Ne5 Nc5 18.Qe2
    Qxd4 19.Bc3 Qd5 20.Nf3 Rf7 21.Nd4 e5 22.Qxe5 Qxe5 23.Rxe5 Bf6
    24.Rxc5 Bxd4 25.Bxd4 Rxd4 26.Kg1 Re7 27.g3 fxg3 28.hxg3 Re2
    29.Rf2 Rdd2 30.Rxe2 Rxe2 31.Kf1 Rd2 32.Ke1 Rg2 33.Rc3 Kf7 34.Kf1
    Rh2 35.Rb3 b6 36.Ra3 Rxc2 37.Rxa7+ Kf6 38.b4 g5 39.Rb7 b5 40.Ra7
    Kf5 0-1

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.03.22"]
    [Round "08"]
    [White "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Black "Kane, George"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [ECO "B22"]

    1.e4 c5 2.c3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd6 7.Be3
    cxd4 8.Bxd4 Nf6 9.O-O Ne4 10.Be5 Bxe5 11.Nxe5 Qd6 12.Nxc6 bxc6
    13.Bd3 Nc5 14.Re1+ Be6 15.b4 Nd7 16.Nd2 a5 17.a3 axb4 18.axb4
    Rxa1 19.Qxa1 O-O 20.Qa6 Bg4 21.h3 Bh5 22.Nb3 Qf6 23.Nd4 Ne5
    24.Bf1 Bg6 25.Re3 Rb8 26.Rxe5 Qxe5 27.Nxc6 Qc7 28.Nxb8 Qxb8
    29.Qa5 1-0

    [Event "Marshall Chess Club Championship"]
    [Site "Marshall Chess Club, New York"]
    [Date "1976.04.04"]
    [Round "10"]
    [White "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Black "Popovych, Orest"]
    [Result "1-0"]
    [ECO "E62"]

    1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.O-O d6 6.d4 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bg4
    8.d5 Na5 9.b3 Qd7 10.Re1 c5 11.Bb2 a6 12.Qd3 Rab8 13.e4 b5
    14.cxb5 axb5 15.e5 Nh5 16.Ne4 c4 17.Qc2 Rbc8 18.b4 Nb7 19.Bc3 h6
    20.exd6 exd6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qc3+ Kg8 23.Nd4 f5 24.h3 fxe4
    25.hxg4 Nf6 26.Ne6 Rf7 27.Bxe4 Nxg4 28.f3 Nf6 29.Bxg6 Nxd5
    30.Bxf7+ Qxf7 31.Qd4 Nxb4 32.Re4 h5 33.Rg4+ hxg4 34.Qxg4+ Kh8
    35.Kg2 1-0

    [Event "Manhattan Chess Club Championship Preliminaries"]
    [Site "New York NY"]
    [Date "1971.??.??"]
    [White "Tamargo, Joseph"]
    [Black "Sloan, Sam"]
    [Result "1/2-1/2"]
    [ECO "A16"]

    1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.e3 c6 6.Nge2 d5 7.cxd5
    cxd5 8.d4 Nc6 9.Nf4 e6 10.O-O a6 11.Na4 Nd7 12.Nd3 Qc7 13.b3 h5
    14.Ba3 Re8 15.Rc1 b5 16.Nac5 Qa5 17.Nxd7 Bxd7 18.Bc5 Rec8 19.b4
    Qd8 20.a3 Bf6 21.f4 Kg7 22.Ne5 Ne7 23.h3 Nf5 24.Qe1 Be8 25.g4 Bh4
    26.Qd2 hxg4 27.hxg4 Ng3 28.Rfd1 Ne4 29.Bxe4 dxe4 30.g5 Bxg5
    31.fxg5 Qxg5+ 32.Qg2 Qxe3+ 33.Kf1 f6 34.Ng4 Qxa3 35.Qxe4 Bc6
    36.d5 Bxd5 37.Qf4 Qh3+ 38.Ke2 Qg2+ 39.Ke3 Qh3+ 40.Kd2 Qg2+ 41.Kc3
    Qh3+ 42.Rd3 Qh4 43.Kb2 e5 44.Qxf6+ Qxf6 45.Nxf6 Bc4 46.Rd6 a5
    47.Rh1 Bg8 48.Rd7+ Kxf6 49.Rf1+ Kg5 50.Rg1+ Kf5 51.Rf1+ Kg5
    52.Rg1+ Kf5 53.Rf1+ 1/2-1/2

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