Chess in Old Newspapers V
The London Chess Club anniversary dinner is fixed for Wednesday, March 30, 1814, at the City of London Tavern. – London Times, Mar 12, 1814
The weekly meetings of the New York Chess Club, for the ensuing season, will commence on Saturday next. The members are requested to be regular in their attendance at 7 P.M . J.T. Watson, President. W.H. Coleman, Treasurer. – New York Evening Post, Dec 5, 1821
A chess club in the city [London], established for some years, meeting one evening in the week, wish to add a few members, capable of playing a moderate game, to their present number. The most respectable references will be required. Apply by letter, post paid, to Y.Z., Queen’s Arms tavern, Newgate-street. – London Times, Mar 1, 1827.
We see it announced in the Philadelphia Gazette, and copied into a number of other papers, that Dr. Mitchell of Philadelphia has, after a long and laborious investigation of the machinery, discovered the secret of Maelzel’s automaton chess-player. When it is once shown that a person is concealed in the apparatus, and how that person is concealed, no further explanation is necessary; and we are perfectly well aware that the machinery contained in Maelzel’s automaton (the real machinery, we mean), was less in amount than that which composes a patent straw-cutter. There is a gentleman now residing in the city , who constructed an automaton chess-player equal in its mechanical construction to that of Maelzel, and, what may be surprising to some people, he did not think the performance worth heralding. – Philadelphia Public Ledger, Sep 18, 1840
An adjourned meeting of the members of the New Orleans Chess Club will be held this evening, at half past 7 o’clock, in the rooms formerly occupied by the District Court, Merchants’ Exchange. E. Morphy, Secretary — New Orleans Times-Picayune, May 8, 1841
An object of interest in Venice is the Place of Saint Mark. It is nearly 600 feet long between 200 and 300 wide, being bounded by the grand Basilica of St. Mark in front, and surrounded by bureaus of the old Republic. Those bureaus are now used as cafes. The Venetians go to the cafes at midnight and play chess till morning, then retire til 12 o’clock, and at 1 o’clock return and breakfast, they dine at 7, visit the theatre from 9 till 12, and again play chess in the coffee-house till day break. – Weekly Wisconsin, July 28, 1847
If Paul Morphy, 36 Rue Dauphine, New Orleans, is not forgotten, it has not been his fault. If he is, it shall be mine. For 15 years he has lived a life of obstinate obscurity. He has scarcely appeared in public. He has avoided his friends, until they have, with less than a dozen exceptions, disappeared into acquaintances. His name, even, is never seen in the annual city-directories. Two publications of his death have pleased him more than all of his exploits. It was not even deemed worth a New York newspaper item when Paul Morphy sailed for Europe, although he had won 97 out of 100 games of chess against the strongest players in the United States. – Chicago Daily Tribune, Mar 2, 1873
Louis Paulsen whose death was recorded recently was born with the marvelous faculty of the chessplayer and some of the feats at his chosen game have not been surpassed. His memory was so remarkable that he could play 12 games at once blindfold. Yet at his death his name was unknown to nearly all save the comparatively few who make chess their hobby. – Chillicothe Tribune, Sep 7, 1891.
Playing chess, which has always been considered a game requiring scientific skill and study has brought upon Bishop James N. Fitzgerald of the Methodist Episcopal Church the criticism of Pittsburg Methodists. The bishop likes to play chess, but when, after a few games with prominent Pittsburgers, he found that he was being criticized, he quit. In St. Louis, where he comes from, a bishop playing chess would not excite passing notice. Bishop Fitzgerald learned chess in order to play his blind son. – Davenport Weekly Leader, Nov 22, 1901.
The Newnes chess trophy was regained by the British after the Americans lose the 9th international cable match. Great Britain’s representatives in London emerged victorious by the score of 5.5 points to 4.5 points, thereby recapturing the silver trophy of Sir George Newnes, which has been in custody of the Brooklyn Chess Club since the year 1899. The record of the series now shows America to have won five times – 1896, 1899, 1900, 1902 and 1903. Great Britain is credited with victories in 1897, 1898 and 1907. There was a tie in 1901, which broke the American sequence. No matches were contested in the intervening years. – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb 24, 1907
The great match between Lasker and Schlechter is over, and with a level score of 5 points each player Lasker retains the championship title for the time being. The final result of this most interesting match is remarkable but inconclusive: remarkable for the 8 drawn games out of 10 played, and still more remarkable because Lasker has only won one game; inconclusive inasmuch as the superiority of neither player is demonstrated no more by the score than it has been by the play. In 1908 the challenger was Tarrasch, who had the reputation, in tournament play at least, even better than Lasker’s. In this match it is not too much to say that it was a battle of temperament as much as skill. Lasker’s coolness gave him an immense advantage over Tarrasch, who suffered from “nerves,” and, in point of fact, threw away two games by oversights when in a state of great nervous excitement. The final scoe of Lasker 8, Tarrasch 3, with 5 drawn games may be taken as a fair indication of the relative strength of both players – London Times, Feb 11, 1910
It is reported that a massacre of Jews is going on in the Russian town of Kieff (Kiev). It is said that Dr. Tartakower, the chess player, has received a telegram saying his parents were murdered today by a mob. – Chicago Daily Tribune, Mar 4, 1911.
News on Monday last of the elevation to the United States Supreme Court bench of Chancellor Mahlon Pitney of Morristown, NJ was of exceedingly great interest to chess players. Judge Pitney is a keen admirer and patron of chess, and takes pride in a chess library of considerable proportions. Two other sons of New Jersey are talented chess players – John W. Griggs, former Governor of the State, and later Attorney General, and E.C. Stokes, chess champion of New Jersey, before he was elected Governor. Another State executive known to chess fame as well, is Governor John F. Shaforth of Colorado, whose defeat of J.H. Parnell of the House of Commons in the interparliamentary cable match on June 1, 1897, saved the American legislators from defeat. – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Feb 22, 1912
Alexander Alekhine of Russia, Sunday, in New York, established a world’s record for blind chess play by completing 26 games. The previous record of 25 completed games was made by Julius Breyer of Hungary in 1921. Alekhine won 16, drew 5 and lost 5 contests. Play lasted nearly 12 hours. – Ogden Standard Examiner, Apr 24, 1924.
Cardinal Richelieu was a master-mind of the chessboard and he played his Europe as he played his castles and his knights and his bishops and his kings and queens. Philip II of Spain also played chess, but we are told that the cardinals and grandees were careful to reserve their wisdom for the council chamber. Philip II rarely lost. Hindenburg and Ludendorff played chess by the hour – before the war. The world is divided into two classes of men – those who never play and those who explain carefully why they do. – Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Aug 14, 1924
Romance centered around the life of John Henry Blackburne, the noted chess player, who died recently in England at the age of 82. In his youth he was employed in a hosiery store, but was discharged because he overstayed his leave while chess playing in London. He then devoted himself to his favorite game, and when he toured the country his brilliance soon found reward, for he was hailed as a chess genius. Two years ago, when 80 years old, he played 20 games simultaneously in London, winning 9, drawing 10, and being beaten in one game. – Frederick, MD News, Mar 14, 1925
Since the World War the game of chess has become a thousand times more popular than it ever was before. On the Western Front, in the field hospitals, in the training camps, chess became a favorite means of passing away the time. It was fascinating and it helped to develop something every soldier was interested in – the grasp of the principles underlying military strategy and the ability to conceive and to carry out military operations on a large scale. The reason why many people hesitate to learn the game and to teach it to their children is that chess has been misrepresented as a game which is very difficult to master. Not so. Chess is no more difficult to learn than pinochle or bridge. – Wakefield News, Nov 15, 1930
One of the strangest blindfold matches ever played took place in the Bohemian Chess Club, London, in 1890, when two players played 6 games at the same time without a single chessman or board, and without making an actual move. Both players were blindfolded, and progressing mentally from one board to the next (although in fact they used no boards) they announced their moves – both players keeping track of all 6 games in their minds. The players were A. Curnock and T. Laurence; each took the first move on three games. Other members of the club followed the mental games on 6 boards in another part of the room. Laurence won two games, the other four were drawn. – Harrisburg Telegraph, Feb 26, 1935.
Princess Olga Chagodalf, member of a former royal Russian family, and Jose R. Capablanca, ace chess player and commercial attaché at-large in Europe for the Cuban government, were back in New York today after a quick trip to this “gretna green” where they were married yesterday in Elkton, Md. They planned a week’s stay in New York before sailing for Holland, where Capablanca will enter a chess tournament. The couple were brought to Elkton by David E. Masnata, chief of the Bureau of Consular Revenues of the republic of Cuba. – Hagerstown Daily Mail, Oct 21, 1938.
America’s performance in international chess competition suffers from lack of financial support. Chess masters are compelled to work for a living, and find it difficult to spare time for adequate practice and international competition. They compete with representatives of countries where chess receives more encouragement. Hence the good show made at Havana, Cuba, by American chess masters is cause for congratulations. There are no Russians in the tournament, despite Russia’s present preeminence in chess. Russia acquired some good chess masters in the territory seized from Poland and the Baltic states in World War II, and they now work for the state, like everybody else. Russia does not approve of Stalin’s subjects engaging in international competition outside Russian borders. But the showing the Americans are making at Havana indicates the Russians would have no walk-over if they were present. – Waco News-Tribune, Mar 22 1952
For those who like their action mental, rather than physical, and slow and deliberate, we recommend the lobby of the Lewis-Clark hotel in Centralia, Washington Sunday. At that time, chess players from Washington are going to be attempting to prove their superiority over Oregon players. The challenge was given after the Washington players were piqued when a Portland player, Don Turner, won the Washington state open chess tournament, and further shushed when two Portland players came in first and second in the recent Puget Sound open. Handling the first board for Washington will be one of the nation’s best players, and one who copped a number of European championships before he moved to Seattle as a displaced person from Latvia. The player is Elmars Zengalis, who is rated as the No. 3 chess player in the United States. – Centralia Daily Chronicle, Mar 13, 1953
Dr. Samuel Sheppard spends his spare time in jail teaching felons to play chess. – Kansas City Star, Oct 19, 1954.
Ann Landers column: Dear Mrs. Landers, I was going steady with a girl whose father just didn’t think much of me because I don’t play chess. He told me not to see his daughter. I miss her and need your help. Landers: Oh, come on now. The girl’s father had more against you than your ability to play chess or he’s very hard up for partners! If it is just a matter of chess, flatter your future papa-in-law by asking him to teach you. – Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, Jun 30, 1955
A quiet group huddled around a table in the corner of the Marshall Chess Club, watching an almost unbelievable game. The players were Donald Byrne, a chess master, and Bobby Fischer, a 13-year-old Brooklyn schoolboy playing in his first major tournament. “Impossible,” whispered one of the onlookers. “Byrne is losing to a 13-year-old nobody.” “Mate,” said this “nobody,” and the game was over. Bobby had earned his first victory in the Lessing J. Rosenwald Trophy Tournament. Chess Review magazine called it the “game of the century.” The crew-cut youngster who would rather play chess than eat established himself as a young man to watch. Hans Kmoch, secretary-manager of the Manhattan Chess Club says: “For his age, I don’t think there is any better player in the world. He is a genuine prodigy and one of the best players in our club. If he continues to proceed the way he has the past year or two, he’s likely to become one of the greatest players of all time.” — Carroll Daily Times, Feb 14, 1957
Ever have trouble coping with your teenager? How would you like it if he were a genius? “It’s not easy,” says Mrs. Regina Fischer of Brooklyn.” One of Mrs. Fischer’s definitely “not easy” moments came this summer when Bobby appeared to be stranded in Yugoslavia after his first international tournament. “He had a round trip ticket, but nobody made any reservations for him and he couldn’t get a plane. I knew he’d spent most of his money at the World Fair in Belgium and I was afraid the Yugoslav Chess Federation wouldn’t go on paying for him after the tournament had ended. I went to the Yugoslav Embassy but it was the weekend, and I couldn’t find anybody. I tried to call Bobby, but they said he had left by train. I was really worried. I knew he was loaded down with books and I didn’t see how he could manage. He doesn’t speak the languages. I could just see him sleeping in a train station somewhere and people stealing everything he had.” But Bobby used his tournament prize money to get to Munich where he found a plane space home. – Atchison Daily Globe, Jan 1, 1959
Tourists who visit Hamburg can play a muscular game of chess. In a park a chessboard measuring 15 feet square has been set up. The kings are nearly 15 feet high and weigh about 17 pounds. The pawns are almost 2 feet tall. – Troy Times Record, Feb 12, 1963
Want to know how Marlene Dietrich kills time during plane flights? She plays chess with the tiny kind of chess set you can buy at airports. Her partner could be any chum who happens to be aboard. – Ottawa Journal, Apr 15, 1965
Bobby Fischer, a native of Chicago, grew up in Brooklyn. When he was six, his sister bought him a chess set. They learned the moves from the enclosed directions. The experience, for Fischer, was like that of an elephant munching his first peanut. When he turned 14, he won the U.S. chess championship. Six subsequent times, the honor came his way again. He was told he would regret dropping out of high school in the junior year. “I have yet to do so,” he said. “I dropped out to play chess.” He always plays against the clock. During a world’s championship match in 1858, according to one legend in chess, a player once took 12 hours for one move. “I won’t let that happen to me,” Fischer said. “It’s silly.” The Fischer way with chess is contained in a new book, “Bobby Fischer Teaches chess.” The publishers maintain that the book can teach anybody Bobby Fischer’s tactics to playing winning chess in just 10 hours. – Bridgeport Post, Oct 2, 1966
Russia is the pre-eminent chess country in the world. Children there learn to play chess before they can read; the game is offered in every school. A champion is a national hero, subsidized by the state and given lavish expenses to travel aboard and represent his country. In the U.S., needless to say, chess is a forlorn stepchild of the society, regarded as an esoteric “intellectual” pastime. The way to beat the Russians at chess is to encourage better chess players at home, not to construct a machine that will only reflect our national inadequacy. – Long Beach Independent, Jan 8, 1968.
Friends of Bobby Fischer, the chess champion of the world, are beginning to wonder if he will ever play again. Since he won the title from Boris Spassky last Sept 1, Fisher has been in virtual seclusion. He has even turned down – or at least has not accepted – an offer of $1.4 million from the International Hilton in Las Vegas for a rematch with Spassky, or any other opponent of Fischer’s choice. After a few public and television appearances on his return from Reykjavik, Fischer retired to an apartment in Pasadena, Calif., the site of the headquarters of the worldwide Church of God. He saw very few people and refused to give interviews. Recently there have been reports that Fischer has become disenchanted with the worldwide Church of God. He is now staying in Denver with a man who used to be associated with the church. Contrary to general belief, Fischer has never been a member of the worldwide Church of God, a fundamentalist group headed by Herbert W. Armstrong that “follows biblical teachings 100 per cent.” — Lowell Sun, Jan 2, 1973
Pele, the soccer star, took geometry lessons and learned how to play chess so that when playing a soccer game he would be able to see 5 to 10 moves ahead what his opponent would do. – Emporia Gazette, Jan 15, 1977
Soviet behavior toward Viktor Korchnoi, a chess grandmaster who defected on July 27, 1976, has implications that go far beyond the chess world. While playing at an international chess tournament in the Netherlands in 1976, Korchnoi asked for and received political asylum. At present, the Soviet authorities are doing everything within their power to make Korchnoi a non-person in the chess world and to make his life miserable as possible. The Soviet Chess Federation has moved to erase Korchnoi’s name from Soviet chess history. New chess books, as well as revised versions of old ones, cannot include examples of Korchnoi’s play. Chess periodicals may not publish descriptions of any games Korchnoi has played since his 1976 defection. – Benton Harbor News-Palladium, Apr 8, 1978
Will Bobby Fischer come out of his self-imposed exile to play chess with champion Viktor Korchnoi? Fischer has been offered the match (to take place in Israel) along with a pot of $3 million by Knesset Member Shmuel Flatto-Sharon. Korchnoi gladly accepted, and has already offered to donate the prize money to the Israel Defense Forces. Korchnoi also recently announced plans to make Israel his permanent home. – Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Feb 15, 1979
It’s mid-summer on the southern hemisphere’s polar icecap, but the Chileans base here had ample snow for Christmas. The base, on an island off the northern coast of the Antarctic continent, is completely isolated from April to November when the ocean freezes for hundreds of miles. The men play chess, drink vodka and speak a curious Spanish-English-Russian and sign language with 29 Russian scientists who live in a base a snowball’s throw from the Chilean installation. – Galveston Daily News, Jan 2, 1981
The actor Timothy Hutton recalled his first encounter with George C. Scott: “I met him at a wardrobe fitting and he asked me, ‘Do you play chess?’ I said yes, and he said, ‘Meet me at the hotel.’ We played 10 games of chess and I lost every one.” — Indiana Gazette, Jan 4, 1982
World chess champion Anatoly Karpov doubts Bobby Fischer will play chess again, saying the former titleholder’s nerves are shot. Karpov said, “Fischer’s nervous system has failed. Unfortunately, in the near future, one can hardly see him playing chess again.” Karpov has several times expressed interest in playing Fischer, whose activities are still of great interest to chess enthusiasts in the Soviet Union. – San Bernardino County Sun, Mar 8, 1982
A chess-playing computer is back home after spending a month in the hands of U.S. Customs agents who thought it might leak strategic secrets to the Soviets. Belle, a computer about the size of a camper-refrigerator and worth about $6,000, was seized at Kennedy International airport in a government crackdown on the export of defense-related technology to the Soviet Union. Scientist Kenneth Thompson, who programmed Belle to play chess and was taking it to Moscow for a demonstration, said about the only military application for the computer would be to drop it out of an airplane. – Indiana Gazette, Jun 10, 1982
Take a talented computer science instructor, blend in a music professor’s knack for chess and apply the resources of a new super-fast computer, and you have the recipe for a space-age adaptation of a centuries-old game. The combination, springing from a computer program developed only a few years ago, has earned Robert Hyatt and Albert Gower, professors at the University of Southern Mississippi, widespread recognition among computer programmers. Hyatt and Gower, teaming with a computer supplied by Cray Research of Minneapolis, recently captured the 4th World Computer Chess Championship held in New York. Their program, dubbed “Cray Blitz,” defeated 22 other teams. The program is better than 99 percent of the chess players in the world. The combination of Hyatt’s program and the Cray computer has beaten four chess masters in the past two years. – Baytown Sun, Jan 18, 1984
A souped-up computer has earned the elite rank of master in just 5 months of play and achieved the highest rating ever given to a machine. The electronic chess whiz is called Hitech, capable of analyzing 175,000 moves per second, which its creators say is 50 percent faster than any other chess-playing machine. “it’s both smart and fast. It’s very, very strong in tactics and the ability to calculate sequences,” said Hans Berliner, a computer science professor at Carnegie-Mellon University who helped create Hitech. It whipped two human masters at a local tournament this month and drew a third. It also established supremacy over all other machines by winning the North American Computer Chess Championship in Denver. The victories earned Hitech the rank of master, with a rating of 2250. Of 30,902 players rated by the U.S. Chess Federation, only 766 are masters and Hitech is the lone machine. According to a recent Gallup poll, 20 million Americans know how to play chess. – Salina Journal, Nov 19, 1985
Chess is a national sport in Iceland, which boasts more grandmasters than any other Scandinavian country, even though its population is only 240,000. Einar Einarsson, former president of the Icelandic Chess Federation, puts the name of chess players at 50,000 in this country. Iceland has 5 grandmasters – three are under the age of 30. “There’s something that inspires people to play chess,” said Margeir Petursson, 26, Iceland’s newest grandmaster, who won the international tournament at Hastings, England in January. “Our teachers inspire us. Competitions are held between schools. Our parents encourage us to join chess clubs, and once we become grandmasters the government pays us a salary in order to devote time to play chess,” he said. The salary is $700 a month. –Galveston Daily News, Mar 2, 1986
It was a battle of two chess champions – one active and outspoken, known to sip tonic water during matches, the other sitting quietly on a desk, taking in a different kind of juice. World champion Garri Kasparov, who hasn’t lost a tournament since 1981, met Deep Thought, the winner of this year’s World Computer Chess Championship, for two games Sunday. The human won the first game after 2.5 hours when the computer retired from the game after Kasparov’s 52nd move. He won the second match after 2 hours when the computer surrendered after 37 moves. Grandmaster Larry Christiansen complained that computers are killing the creativity of chess. He said, “A lot of the beauty of chess is coming up with an original and beautiful idea. Now, with computers, everything is known.” Deep Thought, created by 5 graduate students at Carnegie-Mellon, can analyze possible 700,000 positions on the chess board per second, and 5 to 20 moves ahead by each side, as well as discern each move’s implications. – Gettysburg Times, Oct 23, 1989
Gary Kasparov, the chess champion of the world, and his challenger, Anatoly Karpov, came face to face at a news conference Tuesday morning at the Hotel Macklowe in Manhattan, where they will carry their renowned dislike for each other to the playing board next Monday in a grudge match if there ever was one. The match between the two long-time rivals will be the first in 3 years and the first world championship in New York since 1907. Kasparov has resigned from the Communist Party and has announced that he will play under the flag of his homeland, the Russian republic, and not the Soviet flag, which he has said “represents oppression and tyranny.” Karpov, a Communist Party member, will be playing under the Soviet flag. He maintained that he was apolitical. “My only job is to play chess,” he said. – Santa Cruz Sentinel, Oct 3, 1990. Note: I was at that press conference and the NY match.
Dear Abby: I am a 26-year-old female who would like to meet a decent, eligible man. I’ve tried the bar scene, but most men are after a one-night stand. I’ve tried church groups, but the few men who are present came because their wives made them go. So where do I go from here? Abby (Abigail Van Buren). I have a suggestion. Join a chess club. Women are always welcome. Furthermore, they will find that men outnumber women 10-to-1. Not bad odds! Also, from 25 percent to 40 percent of the men will be unmarried. Men who play chess on a regular basis are usually of good character. The game requires that the player make individual, intelligent, patient and logical decisions. These attributes carry over into everyday life. For example, I estimate that 95% of steady tournament players do not smoke, and I have never met one who abuses alcohol or drugs. They are almost always employed, are high achievers and have a stable family life. A woman could counter with, “But I don’t know anything about chess.” Well, that could be to her advantage. What better way to break the ice than to ask a man of her choice to show her the moves? — Logansport Pharos-Tribune, Jun 21, 1991
Samuel Reshevsky, who dominated the U.S. chess tournament circuit for almost 4 decades, died April 4 of a heart attack. He was 80 years old and lived in Spring Valley, NY. Reshevsky was born in Ozorkow, Poland to Orthodox parents. An observant Jew throughout his life, Reshevsky always refused to play chess on the Sabbath. Reshevsky was 5 when his father taught him how to play chess. By the time he was 8, he made his first tour of European capitals. That year, he emigrated with his parents to the United States and became famous after defeating 19 of the 20 top faculty members at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He entered his first U.S. Championship in 1936 and won the title easily. He won it 7 more times through 1971. – Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle, Apr 17, 1992
“I play chess with my dead husband.” Even death could not deny David Morris has favorite game of chess. His spirit returns to his home in Tunbridge Wells, England, every night after his wife, Deirde, 62, has gone to bed. Deirde, who used to play chess with him, is certain the ghost of her beloved husband is responsible for arranging the pawns, bishops and other pieces on the chess board. She lives alone, and nobody else could possibly be moving them. “I know he’s trying to show me he’s still around and caring for me,” she says. – North Hills News Record, Aug 17, 1994.
A former Army employee of the NSA was arrested today on charges of spying for the Soviets in the 1960s and ‘70s. Robert Lipka, 50, who worked for the NSA in 1964-67 and whose code name was “Rook,” was arrested without incident at his home in Millersville, PA. Lipka sold secrets to the former Soviet Union from 1965 to 1974. He and a Soviet agent identified only as “Ivan” used to meet and play chess. – Daily Sitka Sentinel, Feb 25, 1996
Much of what you need to succeed financially you can learn on the chessboard. Susan Polgar is passionate about the topic. “If women put their minds to it, there is no reason they can’t be as good as men.” Susan Polgar is the oldest among three child-prodigy Hungarian chess-playing sisters, the undefeated winner with 10 straight victories (at age 4!) of the 11-and-under Budapest girls’ championship. Polgar is also a four-time women’s world chess champion and the first woman to earn the men’s grandmaster title in what is still, at top levels, a gender-divided game. In an event to raise funds for here foundation to promote chess among children, Polgar was trying to set a Guinness World Record by playing more than 321 chess games at once. To be eligible for the record, she had to score at least 80 percent. No Problem. America’s chess queen scored 97 percent, winning 309 of the 326 simultaneous games, drawing 14 and losing just 3 in a record-shattering performance that began about 10:30 a.m. Aug 1, 2005 and ended at 3 a.m. Aug 2 at the Garden Mall in Palm Beach Gardens. Polgar ended up playing 1,131 consecutive games, winning 1,112 wins, drawing 16 and losing 3, all records as well, while walking 9.1 miles from chessboard to chessboard at the mall and taking only 5 breaks of 5 minutes each. – Salina Journal, Sep 3, 2005
The rapper RZA, a founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, sat in a suite on the 48th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, staring at a chess game through a pair of sunglasses. Chess has long had an important role in the aestheric of the Wu-Tang Clan, which has songs about the game. RZA, 38, and his cousin, GZA play chess almost every day, and RZA, holder of the Hip-Hop Chess Federation belt – a trophy he picked up last fall at a tournament in San Francisco that featured rappers and martial-arts experts – is turning his interest in a business. Last week he started WuChess (wuchess.com), a Web site where fans can play chess online, chat, see scores of their games and other personal information. – Indiana Gazette, Jun 9, 2008
– Bill Wall