- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Stressed voters are making some momentous choices as this column is being written, but today we offer an oasis of unity in a parched desert of partisanship. For one column at least, both Clinton and Trump (or “Trumpf“) can be winners.

Clinton Parmelee, a fireman from Newark, New Jersey, was a strong master in the 1940s and 1950s. He earned a nice footnote to history as the winner of the first rated tournament that Bobby Fischer ever played — the fifth U.S. Amateur Championship in May 1955. The 12-year-old Fischer tied for 33rd at 2 1.2-3 1.2, while the final round saw Parmelee defeat fellow master Shelby Lyman, who would go on to greater fame as the PBS commentator for Fischer’s 1972 world title match.

Clinton P. (as we prefer to call him) claimed a nice scalp when he defeated longtime U.S. champ Sammy Reshevsky, even if the win came during a 1941 simultaneous exhibition. Not to stretch the political analogy too far, but Parmelee — like the other Clinton — shows himself well-prepared in this heavily trafficked QGD line and gets a small but clear positional pull after 16. f5?! (premature; 16. Rac1 or 16. Na4 was better) Bc8 17. Rac1 Nbd7 18. Nxd7 Bxd7 19. Rf3 Re7 20. e4 dxe4 21. Nxe4 Nxe4 22. Bxe4 Rde8, with a better pawn structure and good pressure on the e-file.

Perhaps pressing for a win, White goes for a trick that falls short: 30. Rxe2 Rxe2 31. Qc8+? (White can still hold the position on 31. Qc3, as 31…Rxb2?? 32. Qc8+ Kh7 33. Qg8 is mate) Re8 32. Rc1 Bc6! (not falling for 32…Rxc8? 33. Rxc8+ Kh7 34. Bg8+ Kh8 35. Bf7+ Kh7 36. Bg6 mate) 33. Qxe8 (Rxc6 Qxc6! 34. Qxc6 bxc6 35. Bxc6 Re2 36. Bd5 Rxb2 and Black should win) Bxe8 34. Rc8 Qb5! 35. Bf7 Qxf5, and White’s rook and bishop are no match for the Black queen. On 38. Re7? (an oversight in a hopeless position) Qh5+ 39. Kg1 Qc5+, the rook is picked off and Reshevsky resigned.

And like his political doppelganger, German expert Walter Trumpf used a daring and unorthodox gambit to notch a “yuuuge” victory at a 2005 open tournament in Lugano, Switzerland. Italian Class A player Matteo Vignoli as Black castles unwisely into the White attack, and then pays a heavy price for an imprecise defensive move.

It’s over in a flash after 13. Rf3 Nd7? (seeking trades to ease the pressure, but Black has nothing to fear after 13…Bd7 14. Rh3 Nh5 15. Ne4 Bc6) 14. Ne4 Bxg5 15. Nxg5 Nf8 (see diagram; no better was 15…h6 16. Bxg6! Qxg5 [hxg5 17. Qh7 mate] 17. Qxg5 hxg5 18. Bxe8) 16. Rxf8+! Kxf8 (removing the critical defender; 16…Rxf8 17. Qxh7 mate) 17. Rf1+ Ke7 18. Nf7+. The Black queen is lost and the Black king will follow soon; Vignoli resigned.

Reshevsky — (Clinton) Parmelee, Simultaneous exhibition, New York, March 1941

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. e3 c6 7. Nf3 Bd6 8. Bd3 O-O 9. O-O Re8 10. Qc2 h6 11. Bh4 Qc7 12. Bg3 Bxg3 13. hxg3 Nb6 14. Ne5 Be6 15. f4 Rad8 16. f5 Bc8 17. Rac1 Nbd7 18. Nxd7 Bxd7 19. Rf3 Re7 20. e4 dxe4 21. Nxe4 Nxe4 22. Bxe4 Rde8 23. Rf4 Qb6 24. Rd1 f6 25. Kh2 Kh8 26. d5 cxd5 27. Bxd5 Re1 28. Rf1 R1e2 29. Rd2 Bb5 30. Rxe2 Rxe2 31. Qc8+ Re8 32. Rc1 Bc6 33. Qxe8+ Bxe8 34. Rc8 Qb5 35. Bf7 Qxf5 36. Rxe8+ Kh7 37. Re2 g6 38. Re7 Qh5+ 39. Kg1 Qc5+ White resigns.

Trumpf — Vignoli, Lugano Open, Switzerland, November 2005

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e4 dxe4 4. f3 exf3 5. Nxf3 e6 6. Bd3 Be7 7. 0-0 0-0 8. Qe1 Re8 9. Qh4 Nbd7 10. Ne5 Nf8 11. Bg5 Ng6 12. Nxg6 fxg6 13. Rf3 Nd7 14. Ne4 Bxg5 15. Nxg5 Nf8 16. Rxf8+ Kxf8 17. Rf1+ Ke7 18. Nf7+ Black resigns.

• David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by email at [email protected]

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