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Charles Kalme
submitted by IM Anthony Saidy

“Charles Kalme was born in Riga, Latvia, home of many fine chessplayers, including world champion Mikhail Tal. After the war his family fled to Germany, where they lived for several years in Displaced Persons Camps in the Allied zone.

“It was here that Charley learned chess, though he didn’t play seriously until his high school days in Philadelphia, where his family settled in 1951. He was the city’s leading player for several years. He is a former U.S. Junior and U.S. Intercollegiate titleholder, having won the former title twice, in 1954 and 1955, and the latter in 1957. He tied for first place in the North Central Open in 1957, in which he defeated Bobby Fischer, a feat which has not since been duplicated in an American chess tourney.” (CL, March 1961 by Charles Henin)

A math professor, he returned to action at the World Open a few years ago, still playing his favorite king’s fianchettoes, then emigrated to his native Latvia, where he died (details unknown).

I recall that he played in just one U.S. Championship —
1. c4 Nf6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Nf3 0-0 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 c5 7. e3 d6 8. Be2 Bf5 9. 0-0 Nc6 10. d5 Nb4 11. a3 Na6 12. Nd2 g5 13. Bg3 Nc7 14. e4 Bg6 15. f4 gxf4 16. Bxf4 e6 17. dxe6 Nxe6 18. Bg3 Re8 19. Bh4 Ng5 20. Bd3 Qb6 21. Qc2 Ng4 22. Rae1 d5 23. Nxd5 Qd6 24. Bg3 Be5 25. Bxe5 Rxe5 26. g3 Nh3+ 27. Kg2 Rh5 28. Nf3 Ng5 29. h4 Nxf3 30. Rxf3 Rxh4 31. e5 Rh2+ 32. Kg1 Nxe5 33. Nf6+ Kh8 34. Rxe5 Rxc2 35. Rd5 Rc1+ 36. Bf1 Qe6 37. Rd2 Qxc4 38. Rh2 Qd4+ 39. Kg2 Rc2+ 40. Kh1 Rxh2+, White resigns. The 1960 World Student Championship victory in Leningrad remains the only win ever by a U.S. team over the USSR. Kalme was avenging his father, a high-placed victim of Stalin’s conquest of Latvia, and scored 11˝ out of 13 on second board. (Bill Lombardy, on first, scored a sterling 12-1, defeating Boris Spassky. His other teammates were Ray Weinstein, Edmar Mednis, Anthony Saidy, and Eliot Hearst. The captain was USCF Pres. Jerry Spann.) — IM Anthony Saidy