Beyond the Mississippi - IV

American Chess Bulletin Vol. 9 No. 11, November 1912

Chess in San Francisco

From time immemorial, the general chess center of the Golden Gate City has been the Mechanic's Library, located, since the period succeeding the great earthquake, in a fine new building near the foot of Post Street. The chess club is a sort of annex to the Library Association, and I think there is no official organization. In time past, it numbered a good many strong players, but latterly, these, on account of gathering years, have mostly retired, and many have resigned to the Pale Master and have passed on. Play is still very active at the Library, however, and on the afternoon of my visit there were twenty-eight boards in operation. I did not find much of what I should call the "chess spirit." Few of the players I met take chess periodicals, or appear to care anything about what is going on in the chess world. They seemed not to take the royal game very seriously, and most of the play was on the skittles order, and there is a decided dearth of even moderately strong players. Perhaps the strongest of them is George Hallwegen, who, I beIieve, is a reporter for the Evening Post. In a few off-hand games, I found him to be a formidable antagonist.

There is material and opportunity for a vigorous chess organization in 'Frisco, if some persistent enthusiast would but take hold of the situation and get things going. Some of these days, this is likely to happen, and then we may expect to see the metropolis of the Pacific coast back on the chess map again.

Knight Errant

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