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The Definitive History of Chess in California.

Published: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 09:46:48 -0800

Last Build Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 09:52:57 -0800


The Little General of Chess

Sat, 1 Dec 2007 09:46:48 -0800

He was the Napoleon of chess, a man of small physical stature but the rarest of gifts. As "The Little Corporal" changed European history, Samuel Reshevsky left an indelible mark on the Royal Game.

by NM Andy Sacks

Chess in Action November 1953

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 11:47:03 -0700

Henry Gross: Winner Chess Friends' Playoff

Special Bulletin: An Address by Jerry Spann

Fri, 12 Oct 2007 11:46:08 -0700

On November 2, 1957, a banquet was held at the Gourmet Restaurant in Beverly Hills, where fifty persons assembled to open the U.S. Women's Championship and to meet with the new president of the U.S.C.F. Mr. Spann's talk turned out to be a major policy speech, and was deemed by the officers of the California State Chess Federation to be of enough importance to reproduce here for the membership.

I Take Mine Black and White

Mon, 1 Oct 2007 09:15:19 -0700

By NM Andy Sacks

There was chess, chess, and more chess. A tradition as old as three and a half centuries. As old as Western coffeehouses. A coffeehouse that has never been home to a chess game is not worth the name. For that matter, one that has never had kibitzers discussing and/or interfering with a chess game might seek another appellation.

In California with Clark Gable

Thu, 30 Aug 2007 13:09:54 -0700

On a visit to Hollywood, former world champion Dr. Max Euwe went sightseeing with Samuel Reshevsky and U. S. titlist Herman Steiner. At the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, they posed stiffly, politely, and meaninglessly with top movie-star Clark Gable (see picture).

Lyn Henderson, Southwest Woman Champion

Mon, 27 Aug 2007 09:46:52 -0700

Mrs. Henderson is better known to our postalites as Lyn Henderson, but is still better known to the world as the former Mitzi Mayfair of Broadway and Hollywood fame. The movie, "Four Jills in a Jeep," was based on experiences from her overseas tours during the last war, with Kay Francis, Carole Landis and Martha Raye.

Chess Nuts

Sat, 25 Aug 2007 18:49:19 -0700

On January 30, 1957, San Quentin Chess enthusiasts were treated to a rather unexpected, but greatly appreciated, special event: Mr. Al Horowitz, International Chess Master and editor of Chess Review, honored our institution and local Chess Club by visiting our premises.

Denker Retains United States Title By Fred Reinfeld

Wed, 22 Aug 2007 10:58:45 -0700

For the second time in less than a year, California was the scene of a major chess event, as U. S. Champion Arnold S. Denker successfully defended his title against Challenger Herman Steiner by the score of 6-4. The outcome of the ten-game match was decided with the completion of the first nine games, after Denker had already scored 5½ points - which made his victory mathematically certain. The tenth game ended in a draw, which of course did not affect the final result.

Another Hollywood Chess Club by NM Andy Sacks

Sat, 18 Aug 2007 11:43:59 -0700

Then what was the genesis of the notion to start and then maintain the club? Was the motive pure altruism for local players displayed by a class B player (the host's rating was generally about 1650) who studied, loved, and wished to promote the game? Was it to fill a void in the area because of a dearth of clubs nearby?

Chess Nuts, March 1956

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:49:49 -0700

International Chess Master Imre Konig paid a visit to San Quentin on Saturday, February 25, 1956. He engaged the local club’s top 20 players in a simultaneous exhibition and lost one game and drew six while winning the rest. His only loss came in 24 moves to club President and Institution Champion David Hansen. Many of the games played were very interesting and the game scores can be found elsewhere in this issue of Chess Nuts.

Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #357

Thu, 16 Aug 2007 10:09:57 -0700

Fabiano does it again

Any naysayers about Fabiano Caruana, who recently turned 15, are chewing on crow now as the newly minted GM took the 250-player Vlissingen Open held August 4-11 on tiebreak over world class GM Sergei Tiviakov and others with 7.5 from 9, good for a 2715 performance rating. Fabiano showed great versatility but was particularly strong in tactical positions. Here are a few highlights from the tournament.

Chess Nuts: December 1956

Wed, 8 Aug 2007 14:09:34 -0700

On Saturday, November 10, 1956, a combined group of players representing four Bay Area Chess Clubs visited San Quentin. The ten-man team of outsiders engaged San Quentin in a two-round match. San Quentin won the first round 6-4, and took the second round 5-4, one of the visitors being able to stay for only one round.

Koltanowski Bests the Bogey-man

Sat, 4 Aug 2007 17:53:01 -0700

Winner of the coveted Oscar in the current Academy Awards, tough guy Humphrey Bogart lost a close one to International Master George Koltanowski in San Francisco - in chess, not acting. But it took the Belgian-born expert forty-one moves to punch his way to victory.

The Herman Steiner Chess Club: Beverly Blvd. Site

Wed, 1 Aug 2007 14:35:32 -0700

The Herman Steiner Chess Club, originally located in Hollywood, California, has a long and venerable history: many players, many distinguished visitors, many notable tournaments-- and, perhaps surprisingly, many sites.

by NM Andy Sacks

Chess Nuts, December 1955

Tue, 24 Jul 2007 03:42:56 -0700

Cutter Laboratories chess club of Berkeley, which is a member of the Bay Area Industrial League, has expressed an interest n playing at San Quentin although they state they have a small chess team.

Fischer Simul, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, April 1964

Sat, 21 Jul 2007 23:17:21 -0700

It seems only natural, in retrospect, the Bobby Fischer's 1964 national simul tour would have a stop in the L.A. area, but the particular venue as well as the smooth and successful organization were a testament to the vision and skills of chess patron Jacqueline Piatigorsky.

by NM Andy Sacks

2nd Imre Konig Memorial

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 21:30:02 -0700

Photos by Richard

Mechanics' Institute Chess Room Newsletter #354

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 16:00:24 -0700

For such a big country, the US offers very few opportunities for someone to make a GM norm – maybe there are half of dozen such tournaments in the country. One of them – and this is the only such tournament this year on the West coast – is in progress at the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club in San Francisco. It is called the 2nd Imre Konig Memorial and it has a Scheveningen format, with two 'teams' facing each other.

Jim Lazos: An Appreciation

Sat, 14 Jul 2007 08:48:58 -0700

When chessplayers speak of playing at odds or with handicaps, they are talking about material and/or time inequalities. However, one of the most talented players Southern California has ever produced competed his entire chess career under a burden of various handicaps that almost defy belief-and was still able to make a mark.

by NM Andy Sacks