Hello, I would like to give to my readers some insight on how, not only popular Chess indeed is, however, how entertaining
it could be.
Anyone could play in chess tournaments. There are a few requirements. You join the chess federation, for an annual
fee, in which includes a monthly chess magazine and you get a chess rating. However don’t fear, I assure you it is one
of the most enjoyable events, and everyone should experience this.
chess rating is when you participate in a chess tournament; you are given a provisional chess rating of 1200. A master is
2200. It is a mathematical formula. Easily understood, if you win you go up about 15 to-30 points a game, based on your opponents
rating. Lose you go down.
There are tournaments
available. Most popular are on weekends. I will be directing a few in Hudson County,
And possibly Secaucus.
To improve in chess, like
anything else, practice. I’m a believer of books. Computers are very popular, and lessons from a chess instructor.
Some of the most popular people played chess. Benjamin Franklin is my favorite. He also wrote the first Chess book
in the USA called the morals of chess.
went everywhere with a chess board. All his endeavors were over a chess board.
Benjamin Franklin's chess set. Courtesy of American Philosophical Society
The game of chess was especially
important to Benjamin Franklin, and he likened his life of business and diplomacy to the game. In his Morals of Chess (1779)
Franklin wrote, “Life is a kind of Chess, in which we
often have Points to gain, & Competitors or Adversaries to contend with. . . .The game is so full of events . . . that
one is encouraged to continue the contest to the last, in hopes of Victory from our own skill.”
own life was instrumental in the founding of the United States
and influential in its course since. He was the only person to help draft and to sign all of the nation’s founding documents:
The Declaration of Independence, in 1776; the Treaty of Paris, in 1783; and the Constitution of the United States, in 1787. In addition, he negotiated and signed the Treaty of Amity
with France, in 1778, which secured France’s financial and military support without which the American Revolution
would likely have foundered.
While living in the Paris suburb of Passy from 1776 to
1785, Franklin was the American rebels’ representative
not only to the French court but to the world. He frequently entertained friends, spies, and fellow statesmen. Franklin’s
continued popularity with the French helped guarantee his greatest diplomatic victory, the 1783 Treaty of Paris, officially
ending America’s Revolutionary War with Great Britain.
It was during this time in Paris
that Franklin likely purchased the missing table around which
he would have discussed his official duties as well as pursued his passion for chess. This would make the table witness to
some of the most diplomatically delicate moments in American history.
brought his “chess” table back to Philadelphia with him when he returned from Paris in 1785 as well a fruitwood chess set likely made in France
between 1750 and 1780. Morris Duane, a member of the American Philosophical Society and Franklin descendent, presented the
chess pieces, with a 19th century English chess board not connected to Franklin,
to the Society on December 28, 1976.
Underscoring the importance of chess in Benjamin Franklin’s life are the
large number of anecdotes, most of them likely apocryphal, about Franklin
and chess. However, two of the most amusing stories are documented.
One evening, Franklin
played late into the night with Madame Brillon de Jouy (1744-1812), a much younger woman with whom he was close friends in
Paris, while she lay in the bath. Franklin wrote to her afterward, “Upon returning home, I was astonished to find that
it was almost eleven o’clock. I fear that because we were so overly engrossed in the game of chess as to forget everything
else, we caused great inconvenience to you, by detaining you so long in the bath. Tell me, my dear friend, how you feel this
morning. Never again will I consent to start a game in your bathing room. Can you forgive me for this indiscretion?”
Jefferson (1743-1826) recorded this exchange that Franklin had in Paris:
"When Dr. Franklin went to France on his
revolutionary mission, his eminence as a philosopher, his venerable appearance, and the cause on which he was sent, rendered
him extremely popular. For all ranks and conditions of men there, entered warmly into the American interest. He was therefore
feasted and invited to all the court parties. At these he sometimes met the old Duchess of Bourbon, who being a chess player
of about his force, they very generally played together. Happening once to put her king into prise, the Doctor took it. 'Ah,'
says she, 'we do not take kings so.' 'We do in America,'
says the Doctor.”
Benjamin Franklin rented rooms from 1757 to 1775 at 36
Craven Street, London (now known as The Benjamin Franklin House
and open for tours). It is now the only house Franklin lived
in still standing. His childhood home in Boston and the house that he built for his family
in Philadelphia were both later torn down. For this reason,
objects known to have belonged to Franklin are especially
important to our understanding of the man and his world. The fact that this table is connected with Franklin’s chess-playing makes it all the more important.
The table is not designated
by name in the inventory of Franklin’s possessions taken
on his death. There are six tables listed, usually as being mahogany. One entry cites “Chair & Table” without
mentioning a wood, and assigns a combined value of ₤3 to both. The value put on each other table alone is between ₤2
and ₤4, putting the pair of objects below the average. The table in this pair is likely the missing French “chess”
The table descended to Franklin's granddaughter,
Deborah, who married William Duane. It passed to their daughter, Elizabeth Duane, who married Archibald Hamilton Gillespie,
and was inherited by their daughter, Ellen Duane (Gillespie) Davis. Following Mrs. Davis' death it was sold, with many other
family "relics," by the auctioneers Stan V. Henkels and Son, on June 16, 1924.
The table was last seen in the Loan Exhibit of
the Philadelphia Antiques Show in 1963, loaned by its last known owner Mrs. Benjamin R. Hoffman (Margaret Clawson), and is
illustrated in the show’s catalog. It may have been sold at Freeman's auction in Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania in 1973, following the death of Mrs. Hoffman.
Special thanks to:
The staff of the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary
American Philosophical Society
The chess table as shown in the catalog of the Loan Exhibit of the Philadelphia Antiques Show in 1963.
Courtesy of Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary
Bogart the same.
In his most famous movie, Casablanca,
there is a famous scene, where he is playing, you guessed it, CHESS. John Wayne was a big time player as well.
Foxwoods had a Chess tournament, where one of the sections were celebrities only. Dustin Hoffman was present along with many
others. I’m in the process of setting up a chess game with a very aspiring chess
player, Sharon Stone. If this indeed takes place, then my chess career will be complete. Ha Ha.
The Chess Hustler.
One very entertaining chess setup are chess hustlers in famous
chess parks. New York has a dynamic community. Chess in
the parks are played by, what we call Chess hustlers. They play for money, and during play, basically trash talk there opponents
My favorite is Russian Paul. If you ever had the pleasure of watching
one of his games, the pieces are moved at lightning speed. I once brought my
chess camp to Washington Sq Park, the most famous Chess park, And after viewing Russian Paul in a heated game of one minute
blitz, That’s right, the game was played in 2 minutes, one minute for each player, the kids were saying he had a robotic
arm, That a human hand could not move that fast.
I have a friend who may be a bit more entertaining however. I call him Black.
tells me he’s known as the Don Bello, by him of course. While playing him, he won’t shut up! I once told him if
his Bishops where as powerful as his mouth, he would be unbeatable. He will scream out, “don’t touch that pawn!
I’m going to crack your knight with my bishop”, and holler “CHECK”. “Then after you move the
king, I’m going to grab your Queen, I’m a bully you know. I’ll do It!”
Now sometimes his talk is bogus, however, sometimes he does what he says hes going to do, so you must be careful.
In blitz chess you have no time to be care full, so you are in his element. While you calculate the options, he’s hollers
again “it’s over” this I found to be his favorite line, so beware. You could play the Don Bello at 169th
st @ Washington Ave
in NY. I'm planning on having him present for our Pizza party on December 12th, so you could be entertained. $5 dollars
a game. LOL. But beware he’s a bully.
Last week I had the pleasure of putting together an event called Human
chess, where the chess pieces are humans moving across the board. This best part
of this, was the idea was from a first grade student of mine. Her name is Love, and it was during her birthday party this
wonderful event took place.
Please support our upcoming famous Friday knight Chess / Pizza party. December 12th in Hoboken. Pizza and Chess from 6:00 PM-7:00 PM, followed by a chess tournament at 7:30 PM.
Friday December 19th, Chess Trophy Knight / Pizza Party.
info and other Chess parks, you could view on the web.
Right, New Jersey Scholastic