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Weaver Warren Adams (April 28, 1901 – January 6, 1963) was an American chess master, author, and opening theoretician. His greatest competitive achievement was winning the U.S. Open Championship in 1948. He played in the U.S. Championship five times.
Adams is most famous for his controversial claim that the first move 1.e4 confers a winning advantage upon White. He continually advocated this theory in books and magazine articles from 1939 until shortly before his death. Adams' claim has generally been scorned by the chess world. However, International Master Hans Berliner in a 1999 book professed admiration for Adams, and similarly claimed that White may claim a winning advantage, albeit with 1.d4, not 1.e4.
Adams did not succeed in showing the validity of his theory in his own tournament and match play. His results suffered because he published his analysis of White's supposed winning lines, thus forfeiting the element of surprise and enabling his opponents to prepare responses to his pet lines. Future World Champion Bobby Fischer used the Adams Attack, the line Adams advocated against the Najdorf Variation of the Sicilian Defense (6.h3), with success.
Adams' parents were Frank H. Adams and Ethel Weaver Adams. He wrote that he was not directly related to Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, but that the Adamses "in and about Massachusetts are mostly of the same family, deriving from a Henry Adams who landed in Braintree in 1644". Both Weaver and Warren were his ancestral names. His mother's side has been traced back to the founding fathers of America. His father's side has not as yet been established.
Grandmaster Arnold Denker related of Weaver that he was "a master who inherited a chicken farm and who was – so to speak – a White man clear through. He wrote a book, White to Play and Win, lived in a White house on White Street, chewed antacid pills that left the inside of his mouth perpetually White, and raised only white chickens that laid white eggs. Predictably, Adams' business was soon no more than a shell." Harry Golombek wrote in 1977 that Adams, whom he described as "author of White to Play and Win and a sodium bicarbonate addict", was on Golombek's "reserves" list for "the ten most interesting personages" from the past 100 years.
Adams was homosexual, as discussed in his autobiographical article reprinted in Chess Pride.
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