Harvard's chess freaks must have done something right last weekend.
A team from the Harvard Chess Club tied perennial powerhouse CCNY for the Continental Intercollegiate Chess Championship, and freshman John Frankle walked away with the North American Individual Collegiate title.
One tie marred Frankle's otherwise perfect score, which included a last-round upset over Brandeis's Norm Weinstein, former holder of the national title.
The first round of play Friday made it obvious that City College and Harvard would end up first and second. But Frankle's 6 1/2 points, added to the 5 1/2 points apiece amassed by Jon Jacobs, Bruce Leverett and Mitch Tobin, netted the team an unexpected tie. Princeton and the University of Maryland finished tied for a distant third.
"CCNY had an incredibly strong team as they always do," Jacobs said yesterday. "For one thing, they had more depth. But it was a race down to the wire," CCNY and Harvard were tied from the fifth round on.
"Jacobs played pretty well, and Tobia, Frankle and I really outplayed ourselves," Leverett said yesterday. "Only Sandy Zabell didn't play as well as expected, and he's out of practice."
Zabell, despite his rating of expert, finished last of the Harvard pack with 4 1/2 out of a possible seven points. Only the scores of the top four players counts in the team score.
Frankle's lone draw came in the sixth round against Jeffrey Kastner of City College. The game played down to a bishop vs. knight endgame, throughout which Frankle had to fend off the threat of a couple of passed pawns.
"Every five minutes I'd check the game and conclude Frankle had lost," Jacobs said. "Then someone walked over afterward and told me he'd drawn."
Jacobs's lone loss of the tournament was to Eric Shuler of Chicago in the third game when he blundered into a two-move mate.
Leverett eked out a draw against Radomsky of Rutgers in the last round. His lone loss was to CCNY's Kastner in the fifth.
"It was a poor showing for me," Leverett said. "He made a good attack, got complete control, broke through and won nicely." Kastner had a good weekend against Harvard, winning two of his three games against Harvard players and drawing the third.