The first Manitoba – Minnesota match occurred on May 25-26, 1935.


The Winnipeg Tribune of May 25, 1935 reported that the players left that morning at 6 a.m., and that the matches were arranged for 6 p.m. on May 25, and 9 a.m. on May 26. The games to be played in the Fargo Bridge League room of the Gardner Hotel. The columnist opined that “this is the the first time in Western chess history that such a large number of local chess players have travelled to a distant point for an over the board match and this should prove a big factor in promoting in­terest in the ‘King of Games’ and the ‘Game of Kings’.”

The June 1, 1935 Winnipeg Free Press column reported on the match:

Thirty-two players left Winnipeg at 6 a.m. Saturday morning by automobile, arriving at Fargo around 2 p.m., and a like number left Minneapolis by train about 9.30.

A hearty reception was shown by the Fargo Chess club, and during the afternoon a joint committee made final arrangements for the game to be played in Ihe evening. The session was opened at 8 p.m. by George C. Hoenck. of the Fargo club, and after sundry short speeches emphasizing the bonds of good feeling between the two countries from both cities play was started in earnest around 9 o’clock.

Minneapolis gained an early lead in the match and before midnight was seven points tip on the “Winnipeg players, who showed their weakness on the lower boards. From them on to the conclusion at about 1.30 Ihey were registering game for game, and the final score of the first game was 20-12 in the big city’s favor.

The morning session was considerably more even, possibly the alibi being that the Winnipeg players had now had a rest after their long drive, and this game ended in Winnipeg’s favor 16-15.

It agreed the previous day that the total result of the two matches should decide the winner and the grand total was Minneapolis 35, Winnipeg 28.

The beautiful cup donated by the Fargo Chess club was played for permanent possession and has now gone south to adorn the Minneapolis club room.

But Fargo has offered to again provide a trophy for a similar same to be played next year when the Winnipeg clubs will undoubtedly take down a stronger line-up.

Speakers of the evening declared this to be the most important international chess tournament to take place in the north-west, and hope was expressed that this example might be taken by other Canadian and United States cities from coast to coast.

The Winnipeg line-up was as follows:

J. Dreman. H. Helman. A. R. Magnusson. G. Howard, B. Berner, H. Gregory,J. Hurvitz., J. Booker, S. E. Bjornson, W. Otteson, S. Berg. M. Scatfield, J Stephens, B. Stone. A. Yanofsky, C.Thorlakson, J. Bergman. A. Dreman, K. Selchen, B. Newcombe, W. F. Percy, M. Jacob, D. Pearl, C. R. DeWet, I. Pulmer, W. C. Metge, A. T, Burrows,C. Fingard, Z. Mogle. E. L. McMillan, B.Barnes, W. Murray.

The May 31, 1935 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press reported:

One of Winnipeg’s ranking chess players received a severe jolt while participating: in the Minneapolis-Manitoba tournament last Saturday at Fargo. C. R. T. deWet made the trip down to the Minnesota city for the matches and was drawn against a Mr. Morrell of Minneapolis. Imagine his surprise when he discovered his opponent was not only stone deaf but in addition totally blind. Imagine Mr. deWet’s feelings when he found himself defeated in 65 moves. In paying tribute to his opponent’s game, Mr. deWet stated, in feeling his way around the board Mr. Morrell’s sense of touch and distance was so fine that he never made a false move insofar as poise and position was concerned. The Minneapolis player has made a very keen study of the same despite his seeming insurmountable handicaps and his proficiency was amply demonstrated last Saturday.

The July 1935 issue of US Chess Review reports (Canadian Section Correspondent F.W. Watson) [which draws on the sources above all amongst others]:

Winnipeg – Fargo· Minneapolis
The promotion of chess in the west is becoming more realized by other chess organizatlons throughout Canada as each additional forward stride is made by Manitoba’s Chess Association. The Winnipeg-Minneapolis hook-up came to pass as per schedule for May 25th, and serves well to bear out the determination of Canada’s west in its great concerted effort to become generally acknowledged as one of the most important and main chess arteries in the Dominion, if not the main artery. It is one thing to know of their defeat at the hands of the Americans by a 35·28 score, but to conceive the idea of two opposing chess teams meeting at an intermediate point within an area which covers close to four hundred miles, is another thing!
Fargo, North Dakota, U. S. A., was the selected rendezvous, and according to accounts given by Canadian and American papers, the entire program excelled in its part of emphasizing the spirit of good fellowship and true sportsmanship.

The match included two sessions of play- the opening round, an evening feud, finished with the Canadians on the short end of a 20·12 count, with the final round listed for the following morning. The Americans lost the morning engagement by a 16-15 score, although their eight point margin from the
first round was sufficient to win the laurels; in accordance with a pre-arranged agreement that total points of both matches be reckoned as a final decision.

A trophy of exceptional splendor was specially donated by the Fargo Chess Club, with stipulated provision making it a permanent souvenir emblematic respecting the occasion of such international competition. The two aggregations expressed a desire of contesting similar chess combats annually, and the Fargo club assured its approval by generously offering another cup for next year. Big and better chess entertainment would never
become a reality were it not for the laborious efforts and organization work of the various appointed committees upon whose shoulders falls the heavy end of the other fellows’ pleasure.

George C. Hoenck of the Fargo Chess Club, is deserving of much praise and credit for his share, while for Minneapolis – a shower orchids to J. C. Berg, P. W . George, and F. L. Plouf. And, better luck next time for the Canadians!




Winnipeg Tribune – July 8, 1939 

Reports that the match, held last Sunday in the Edgewater Beach Pavilion, Detroit Lakes with 28 players from each city competing.   The score was tied at 13.5 – 13.5, with one game to be adjudicated between Abe Yanofsky and S. Barnes of Minneapolis.  The adjudicators on site were unable to reach any decision; the game score was to be forwarded to a neutral chess master for his opinion. In the event that the match ends in a tie it is possible that a return will be arranged for the same place during the Labor Day weekend.

Mayor Pearson opened the meeting with a warm welcome to the visiting teams.

Local player» turning In a win were R. D. Isaac, D. Creemer, F. Guenther, J. J. Phippen, H. Gregory, L . Moser, A. Dreman, H. A. McCullough, R. Moser, B. Berner, and those to obtain draws,  C. J. Noyes, J. Mogarlls, H. J. Llndal, I. I. Hurwltz, Harry Yanofsky, J. Dreman,Mr. Blinder.



Winnipeg Free Press – June 26, 1948


In no uncertain manner, the Minnesota aggregation took the Manitoba chess players into camp with a score of 20.5 to 8.5 to chalk up the biggest victory for the south since the inauguration of this international event. The game played last Sunday. June 20th in the Detroit Lakes Pavilion was a high success as a social event, and although the mayor was not on hand to welcome the players his representative gave the boys a welcome in no uncertain manner and made everyone feel that they will be looking forward to next year’s return match. This get-together which Is now an established yearly event which will be played on third Sunday of June was started in 1935, but was discontinued during the war. 

Originally the games were played at Fargo N.D. and Mr. G. Hoenck of that city donated two trophies, the 1st was won by Minneapolis and the 2nd by Winnipeg. Then the place of meeting was changed to Detroit Lakes, and Mr. Pulmer of Winnipeg donated a handsome trophy for annual competition, which has now been won twice by Minneapolis and once by Winnipeg. On examining the score it is noticeable that the Canadian team was particularly weak on the lower boards, so this is a condition  we will need to alter in next year’s game.



Canadian Chess Chat – Vol 16 – Number 8 pg 187

The annual match between Winnipeg and Minnesota was contested June 24 on 23 boards. Winnipeg lost by a score of 6-17.