Cambridge Springs

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Phil Innes

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Jul 4, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/4/99
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I have just returned from a few days a Cambridge Springs - famous for its
international tournament in 1904, attended by Frank Marshall, a host of chess
luminaries of the time, the world's press, and the name of this (very small)
town has the rare distinction of having an openening variation named after it
- The Cambridge Springs Defence.

Unfortunately there are no records extant - the original grand hotel of the
1904 tournament - earlier named the Vanadium, then the Hotel Rider, burned in
1931. This hotel was peculiar because it had the largest foyer of any hotel
structure in the world at that time.

The historical society have no artifacts or information - neither has the
library. The archivist at nearby Edinboro University library also draws a blank.

In 1988 The National Chess Championship of the United States was held in
Cambridge Springs - at The Riverside Hotel. There are still photos in the
foyer with pictures of the players. I am unsure if I identified them all; but
they were:

Dlugi, Wilder, Rohde, Seirawan, Frias, De Firmian, Benjamin, Miles, Alburt, Gulko.

I think there were originally 12 players - one dropped out - and a New York
player agreed to take part as the thirteenth - and who then won the tournament
- is this Mr. Wilder?

Otherwise the bar-person, or the manager are excellent sources of information.

The Victorian era Riverside Hotel has since renovated many of its rooms,
including a new dining theatre which would be useful as a press-center for
other events. Cambridge Springs is approx. 30 minutes south of the city of
Erie, PA. It has 75 rooms, and a nearby Ramada has the same.

Phil Innes

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