Robert Feldstein
By Phillip R Smith   
November 9, 2011

Robert A Feldstein (1956-2011)

I learned of Robert Feldstein ESQ’s passing recently. Robert was either insane with chess or an innovator in chess. Robert was to play on our team for the November 2011 Eastern Team Championship but sadly resigned before it began.

First playing Robert in May 1982 and seven times since where he played as white the Reti and as black the Alekhine Defense. Throughout the years Robert would call me with plans to play chess; once in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Groundhog Day to get chess publicity and anther time to fly to the first city to welcome the new millennium and be the first players to play a USCF rated game.

In September 1991m there was a weekend series of chess tournaments played in 5 states where Robert flew out to play for the entire weekend. We played in Wisconsin for first place where he lost playing the Reti.

One year at the US Amateur Team Championship East Robert had a team called “The Knightmares,” where each team member signed a binding contract to always play NKB3 as either white or black (which is easy if you are a Reti and Alekhine player, LOL). Later he called me to play in 2 US Amateur Team Championships at once, playing in Florida on Saturday and Sunday and in NJ on Monday.

On day turning my television on, I saw Robert and his wife on the Jerry Springer show in which he later told me he agreed to go on with a fake story so he could get a free flight to Chicago to play in a chess tournament.

Recently, Robert and I last played at the 2011 World Open Senior Championship as he was sitting in his wheelchair. That victory helped me tie for first place in that tournament but we spent a good hour analyzing the game afterwards.

I last saw Robert on two occasions, the 2011 NJ Open and Ken Thomas’ 5 County Championship in Somerset, NJ..

Roger E Pedersen Here is our last game at the 2011 World Open Senior Championship

[Event "3rd Annual World Open Senior Amateur"]
[Date "2011.11.03"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Robert Feldstein ESQ, 2000."]
[Black "Roger E Pedersen, 1906."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B10"]

{B10: Caro-Kann: 2 d3 and 2 c4} 1. e4 c6 2. c4 e6 {last book move} 3. e5 d6 4. exd6 Bxd6 5. d4 Nf6 6. Nf3 O-O {Black castles and improves king safety} 7. Bd3 h6 {Prevents intrusion on g5} 8. O-O b6 {White has an active position} 9. Nc3 {White has a very active position} Bb7 10. a3 {Controls b4} c5 11. dxc5 Bxc5 {White has an active position} 12. b4 {White threatens to win material: b4xc5} Be7 13. Qe2 {White has a very active position} Nbd7 {Black has a cramped position} 14. Rd1 Qc8 {White has a very active position} 15. h3 {Black has a cramped position} (15. Bf4 Re8 $14) 15... Qc6 {White has a very active position} 16. Qf1 Qc8 {Black has a cramped position} 17. Nd4 {White has a very active position} Ne5 18. Be2 {White has an active position} Rd8 19. Bf4 {White threatens to win material: Bf4xe5} Ng6 {Black threatens to win material: Ng6xf4} 20. Bg3 Ne4 (20... a5 21. Na4 Nd7 (21... axb4 $2 {leads to nothing} 22. Nxb6 Qc5 23. Nxa8 Rxd4 24. axb4 Rxd1 25.Qxd1 $18 (25. Bxd1 $6 Qxb4 26. Be2 Bc5 $16))) 21. Nxe4 $14 Bxe4 22. Nb5 Rxd1 {Black pins: Rd1xf1} 23. Rxd1 (23. Bxd1 $6 a5 24. Nc3 Bf6 $11) 23... e5 24. Nd6 Bxd6 25. Rxd6 {White has the pair of bishops} Bf5 26. Bf3 e4 27. Bd1 Qe8 28. Bb3 e3 29. Qe2 exf2+ 30. Qxf2 Qe4 (30... Be6 31. Qc2 $14) 31. Kh2 Re8 (31...Be6 $5 $14 {has some apparent merit}) 32. Ba4 Re7 33. Rd8+ Kh7 34. Bd6 (34. c5 $142 $5 bxc5 35. Qxc5 $16) 34... Re6 $14 35. c5 { White threatens to win material: c5xb6} Rf6 (35... bxc5 36. Bxc5 (36. Qxc5 $143 Bxh3 37. Qf2 Bxg2 $19) 36... Qe5+ 37. Qg3 $14) 36. Qd2 (36. Qg3 $142 $5 $16) 36... bxc5 $11 37. Bxc5 Qe5+ 38. Time (White Loses) (37... Qe5+ 38. Kg1 Nf4 $11) 0-1

Obituary submitted by Roger E Pedersen.

Robert Feldstein was a chess player off the beaten path. His opening reportoire was quite unique in that he popularized as white, Nf3 followed by b4, not exactly like N-QR3 Robert Durkin, but it ranks up there. To me and others, Robert Feldstein absolutely loved the game of chess, and was the first chess player to compete in at least 1 tournament in all 50 states. His 50th State was Hawaii and he got that in July of 1991, and it was my hope for me to be the first player to compete in all 50 states. I actually have participated in 37 states and 1 Canadian Province (Ontario). Robert's goal was to spread his love of the game to all over the country, and I do recall a picture of him with former President and First Lady, James and Roslyn Carter in Georgia, where President Carter autographed Mr. Feldstein's scorebook as setting another record. Robert was featured in the edition of Chess Life where Mr. Dennison got to compete in all 50 states, and there was mention of other players that have played in at least 30 States.

Robert was from Brooklyn, but as recent as a month ago, he was seen frequenting tournaments here in New Jersey. He achieved an Expert Rating, and competed in the U.S Amateur Team Championship in all 4 regionals. Robert was also the victim of the largest rating upset as at one of the U.S. Opens Robert was defeated by a player rating about 1,400 rating points below him. Win, lose or draw, Robert was always gracious to his opponents in more ways than one, and he kept all of us entertained.

Robert had to undergo kidney dialysis, and in the end, he succumbed to heart failure at the age of 54 as he was 2 months shy of his 55th birthday.

RIP Robert A. Feldstein, as your presence on the chess board was appreciated by many.

Respectfully Submitted,
David A. Cole

Robert Fedlstein may you rest in peace.