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Weaver W. Adams

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National Master
BornApril 28, 1901
BirthplaceDedham, Massachusetts
DiedJanuary 6, 1963 (aged 61)
Place of deathCedar Grove, New Jersey

Weaver Warren Adams (b. April 28, 1901 in Dedham, Massachusetts, d. January 6, 1963 in Cedar Grove, New Jersey) was an American chess master, author and chess opening theoretician. His greatest competitive achievement was winning the U.S. Open Chess Championship in 1948. He played in the U.S. Chess Championship five times.

Adams is most famous for his controversial claim that the first move 1.e4 confers a winning advantage upon "White". He continually advocated this theory in books and magazine article from 1939 until shortly before his death. Adams' claim has generally been scorned by the chess world. However, International Master Hans Berliner in a 1999 book professed admiration for Adams, and similarly claimed that White may claim a winning advantage, albeit with 1.d4, not 1.e4.

Adams did not succeed in showing the validity of his theory in his own tournament and match play. Indeed, his results suffered because he published his analysis of White's supposed winning lines, thus forfeiting the element of surprise and enabling his opponents to prepare responses to his pet lines. Future World Champion Bobby Fischer used the Adams Attack, the line Adams advocated against the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense, with success.

Personal life Edit

Weaver W. Adams believed that he was descended from Henry Adams, who was born in England on January 21, 1583, and who landed in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1644, and thereby he was distantly related to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. His father was Frank Harding Adams and his mother was Ethel Weaver. Both Weaver and Warren were his ancestral names. His mother's side has been traced back to the founding fathers of America. His father's side has not as yet been established.

Grandmaster Arnold Denker related of Weaver that he was "a master who inherited a chicken farm and who was – so to speak – a White man clear through. He wrote a book, White to Play and Win, lived in a White house on White Street, chewed antacid pills that left the inside of his mouth perpetually White, and raised only white chickens that laid white eggs. Predictably, Adams' business was soon no more than a shell."[1] Harry Golombek wrote in 1977 that Adams, whom he described as "author of White to play and win and a sodium bicarbonate addict", was on Golombek's "reserves" list for "the ten most interesting personages" from the past 100 years.[2]

Adams was gay, as discussed in his autobiographical article reprinted in Chess Pride.[3]

Footnotes Edit

  1. Denker and Parr 1995, p. 170.
  2. Chess Notes, No. 5215
  3. Johnson, 1998.

References Edit

  • Adams, Weaver W. (2007), White to Play and Win (reprint ed.), ISBN 978-0-923891-83-1 
  • Adams, Weaver W. (1959), How to Play Chess, OCLC 22300203 
  • Adams, Weaver W. (1959), Absolute Chess, OCLC 20876567 
  • Adams, Weaver W. (1946), Simple Chess, OCLC 8157445 
  • Adams, Weaver W. (1939), White to Play and Win, OCLC 4377426 
  • Adams, W. "The Adams Gambit", Chess Life, March 1962, p. 56.  Also available on DVD.
  • Hans Berliner (1999). The System: A World Champion's Approach to Chess. Gambit Publications. ISBN 1-901-983-10-2. 
  • Irving Chernev (1955). 1000 Best Short Games of Chess. Fireside; Rei Sub edition. ISBN 978-0671538019. 
  • Denker, Arnold & Parr, Larry (1995), The Bobby Fischer I Knew and Other Stories, Hypermodern Press, ISBN 1-886040-18-4 
  • Evans, L. "White to Play and Win?", Chess Life, May 1962, p. 98.  Also available on DVD (page 98 in "Chess Life 1962" PDF file on DVD).
  • Evans, Larry (1970), Chess Catechism, Simon and Schuster 
  • Johnson, Eric, ed. (1998), “Weaver Adams”, Chess Pride Magazine 3, <http://www.correspondencechess.com/campbell/reviews.htm#ReviewC> 

External links Edit


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