Grandmaster Arnold Denker - the Dean of American Chess, U. S. chess champion from 1944 to 1946, was the Runyonesque chronicler of the "guys and dolls" of the New York chess scene of the 1930s, and the man who treated personal friendship as a high art. No one meeting Arnold for the first time, however briefly, could doubt how he played the games of chess and life. You could see it. In his athletic build, in his well-tailored elegance, in how he chomped into one of his favorite, five-inch thick hot pastrami sandwiches at the old Applebaum's on New York's 7th Avenue - or, most impressively, in the way he crossed a street. For Grandmaster Denker did not just cross a street, he attacked it as he would an opponent's king. GM Denker played chess the way he crossed that street. His goal was nearly always to cross the center of the board on the way to his opponent's king. Some of his sorties were wing-and-prayer affairs, and they famously crashed. However, many of his tempestuous attacks, with their slashing assaults against enemy kings, did reach the other side of the board, producing victories and draws against the greatest players of his time.
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