U.S. Senior Open Underway
By Charles Hatherill   
August 16, 2007
Photo Charles Hatherill
Walter Shipman is the highest seeded player out of twenty-six players in the traditional schedule of the 2007 US Senior Championship (August 14-19.) More players will join tomorrow for the accelerated schedule, including FM Jim Eade, who is five points higher than Shipman. FIDE only started giving out titles in 1950. Walter got his IM title in 1982 at age 53 making him one of the oldest players ever to receive the title. He was IM strength for several decades but work, family and lack of opportunities delayed his becoming an IM. He made his debut in the US Championship at South Fallsberg, New York, in 1948, where at age 19 he tied for 8-10th places with 11.5 points in the 20 player round robin.He is a noted chess historian. IM John Donaldson notes that "Walter is one of the great gentleman of American chess."

It was a pleasure meeting Walter this morning while he checked out his competition and his old friends. He told me he is enjoying his stay here at the La Quinta Resort and Spa. He said the La Quinta staff was very helpful and courteous and the restaurants had great food. He likes the competition in the U.S. Senior, but prefers to remain age anonymous for the age prizes- he is in Palm Springs to compete for first place overall!

Shipman approved the latest rule change which allows the top male player over sixty years old and top female player over fifty to represent the USCF at the World Senior Open. The details for playing at the World Senior are still being set up with the USCF but will be in place for the 2008 US Senior.

Shipman drew his first round game to Thomas Fries:


U.S. Senior Open
Standings after two rounds

1-4- Lester Van Meter, Robert James Rowley, James Hammersmith and Mark Pinto.
5-8- Dan Mayers, Walter Shipman, Carl Wagner and Thomas Fries.

For complete crosstable, click here.

Here is Walter Shipman's game with Arthur Bisguier from the US Open Championship in 1946.


IM John Donaldson contributed to the reporting in this article.