Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Albert and Angelo Sandrin remembered

Angelina, Albert, and Angelo Sandrin, 1968
For those of you who didn't know Albert, here's a nice introduction.

The 1949 U.S. Open was won by the legally blind Albert Sandrin.  His brother Angelo (a longtime expert who finally made it to 2300 after his retirement) also played in that event. On the rare occasions that Albert played (the 1989 U.S. Open in Rosemont comes to mind), Angelo would attentively monitor Albert's game and keep score for him.

Most Chicago players over age 45 or so will remember Angelo from many events at Jules Stein's Chicago Chess Center. Sometime in the mid-1980s, I was rummaging through a used bookstore in Rogers Park and came across the tournament book of the 1949 U.S. Open.  I bought it and gave it to Angelo.  The next time I saw him at Jules's, he surprised me with a bottle of Courvoisier. (Which my then brother-in-law drank in one sitting, but that's another story.)

I really didn't know Albert as well as Angelo. A couple years earlier (circa 1980-81?), I had played Albert once or twice at the ten-minute Tuesday night tournaments organized by Richard Verber at the old No Exit on Lunt. He was completely blind by this time, but could play blitz "by touch" on a standard set and clock, and beat me handily.  And in the aforementioned 1989 U.S. Open, I played on a board adjacent to Albert in an early round.  My opponent (a strong master) and I didn't pay much attention to our middlegame: we sat slack-jawed for half an hour or so as Albert dismantled his opponent's defenses in the style of Alekhine, and even exchanged a "Don't you wish you could play like this?" glance.

NM Frederick Rhine presented games of both Angelo and Albert in this 2011 post.  And Tartajubow (from whom I cribbed a good deal of this post) points us to this nice collection of Albert's games.


Marty Wilber said...

A youtube video of a Angelo Sandrin game vs Bobby Fischer from 1957.

Bill Brock said...

Remarkable game by young Fischer: I assumed that c2-c4 was unsound, but it looks winning.

Bill Brock said...

P.S. That's actually an Bobby vs. Albert Sandrin game.

Bruce Leverett said...

I have created a Wikipedia page for Al Sandrin (under "Albert Sandrin Jr."). Suggestions and corrections welcome.