Daniel Harger

by | May 7, 2016

Dan Harger won the New Mexico Championship in 1980.  As with some other winners, so far as I can tell, his New Mexico Championship tournament was the only New Mexico tournament in his life.  Most of his life he has lived and played chess in Iowa.

The fact is that Dan and I were both going to high school and playing chess in Iowa in the late 60’s.  Dan was already an expert at the time, whereas I was a class C player.  We both went to all the Iowa tournaments and played each other three times.  All three were embarrassing losses for me.  He won the Iowa Championship in both 1969 and 1970.  You could say Dan was the Stephen Sandager of Iowa chess, winning the state championship nine times before giving up chess in 1992.  Dan’s rating peaked at over 2300.

The following game is from the 1989 Midwest Masters Tournament in Chicago.  I cannot say this game is brilliant in a conventional sense.  But what the game does show is the perseverance I see in all of Dan’s games.  His opponent, 2100 player George Trammel, appears to be headed for an easy victory after an early blunder by Dan.  But Dan keeps working to improve his position and put George on the defensive.  Finally George cracks under the relentless pressure; losing has advantage and quickly thereafter the game.