Sometimes, even the greatest competitors in a given sport are unable to win one particular event--tennis provides several prominent examples of this, including Borg at the U.S. Open, Lendl at Wimbledon and McEnroe and Federer at the French Open.
Chess Grandmasters Reuben Fine, Pal Benko and Gregory Kaidanov won many strong, prestigious tournaments but never captured the U.S. Championship (though Kaidanov is currently ranked seventh in the United States and could end that drought next month when the 2009 U.S. Championship is held in St. Louis).
My newest article for Chess Life Online examines the U.S. Championship results of these three Grandmasters. CLO Editor Jennifer Shahade--who won the U.S. Women's Championship in 2002 and 2004--did a really nice job of selecting archival Chess Life magazine covers to illustrate the article. You can check it out here:
The Uncrowned: Fine, Benko and Kaidanov