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Your Chess Club

Most serious chess players eventually join their city’s chess club, where strong competition can be found and lasting friendships formed. Some players become fixtures at these establishments, waging their silent battles and passing on our chess heritage to youngsters or beginners. Stories and anecdotes build up around such characters, the solid pillars of any chess club – and then they’re gone. That old guy who used to sit at the corner table, reading chess magazines and taking on all comers. What was his name again?

Chess Club Player

John Hurt, Memphis Chess Club

His name was John Hurt. He started winning chess tournaments in 1933, and when he moved to Memphis in 1961 Mr. Hurt became a dominant force there for the next 25 years. Many times city and club chess champion, this gentleman gave countless exhibitions for schools and youth groups. He published a pamphlet on gambits, and loved to attack your King. John Hurt handed the game of chess to a new generation of Memphis players; he was the guy at the corner table reading chess magazines, taking on all comers.

We know these things because the Memphis City Chess Club has done an excellent job of preserving their history. The club historian, Dwight Weaver, maintains a web page  to this end with lists of champions, past tournaments and notable events. We find that the Memphis Chess Club was founded in 1877 and that a 1901 simul by Pillsbury energized the members, growing their numbers and stimulating regular chess tournaments. We learn that a World Chess Championship game was played in Memphis, between Lasker and Marshall in 1907, and of other visits by famous Grandmasters.

US Chess Open Trophy

US Chess Open Trophy, 1900-1914

Even the US Open trophy used between 1900 and 1914 is housed here, and has been in the Memphis Chess Club’s possession for nearly 100 years.

Many such American chess clubs have a long and proud history, and not just the top names in big cities. This second and third tier history, this “secret” chess history, is where our royal game really lives – in that corner seat where the old guy reads chess magazines and takes on all comers. He’s there because another fellow sat there before him, and another before that. So sit down and have a game; it’s your club’s future history being made.


Add Culture with Chess

Chess Boards adds Culture to
Raleigh’s Downtown


Heads turned and cell phone cameras snapped Thursday as Sherman Leathers and Luis Guzman, president of the Raleigh Chess Club, sat down for the first five-minute game in a new downtown.

Downtown Raleigh shows off its newest makeover, a $14.8 million art-studded plaza, Sherman Leathers is celebrating the return of six blocks of granite with checkered black-and-white patterns chiseled on the tops. Outside the Sir Walter Apartments and the Chick-fil-A, he plans to bring downtown Raleigh a half-block of Greenwich Village — minus Bobby Fischer.

“I was so excited I couldn’t get to sleep last night,” said Leathers, 73. “This is where the culture is. Chess adds culture. It comes from you. Every game is never the same. You’re the one who gives the pieces character.”

Read more here

Add culture to your surroundings by placing a quality chess set and chess board in your home from ChessCentral

IM Anna Zatonskih – U.S. Women’s Chess Champion

Congratulations to IM Anna Zatonskih
U.S. Women’s Chess Champion


With a round yet to go, IM Anna Zatonskih has clinched her second consecutive U.S. Women’s Championship by having a Fischeresque performance.

In the eight rounds played so far, she has seven victories and a lone draw, to WGM Camilla Baginskaite. IM Irina Krush, after a slow start, has rebounded and is in a tie for second place with Baginskaite, both two points behind Zatonskih.

Congratulations to all of the competitors in this hard-fought championship!

Karpov-Kasparov Chess Rematch after 25 Years

Chess Match Extraordinary

The twelve-game chess match commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first Karpov vs Kasparov world chess championship match in 1984, played in the Hall of Columns of the Trade Union House in Moscow.

They played each other in five big World Chess Championship matches, the most famous in 1984, when their first encounter was abandoned after 48 games without a final decision. Now to mark the 25th anniversary Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov will play a 12-game match – four rapid and eight blitz games – from 21 to 24 September, 2009, in Valencia, Spain.

Karpov vs Kasparov iin 1984 Chess Match

Karpov vs Kasparov in 1984 Chess Match

Karpov vs Kasparov in 2009 in Valencia

Kasparov and Karpov in 2009 in Valencia

The Basics of Chess Databases

Boggled by Chess Databases?

This ChessCentral article will give you the basic information you need to understand databases, copying games, and distributing chess lessons in database form. There is a particular skill set which chess instructors ought to have when working in the electronic medium. Nobody is expecting you to become a chess computer guru, but you do require a bit of knowledge to be able to best utilize these electronic tools. We’ll keep this discussion as painless and non-technical as we can; if you’d like additional specific details, please consult your ChessBase documentation (such as the context-sensitive Help file).

A chess database is simply a collection of games. A database might contain literally millions of games or it might simply be a half-dozen games which your student should review — the basic concept of a “database” remains the same either way.

Read nore on Chess Databases and how to make them