Volume V, Number 3, October 5, 1950



President, United States Chess Federation

Acting on information received through the press, the members of a Los Angeles chess club recently adopted a resolution deploring a case of racial discrimination which occurred at the July tournament of the Southern Chess Association and proposing that the members of that association be barred from participation in USCF tournaments until such discrimination had ceased.

This resolution, published in the club’s news bulletin, was circulated by the club’s president to chess clubs and individual players throughout the country with the request that an accompanying petition be signed and mailed to my office. A number of these petitions have reached me, but several signers criticized the propose punitive measure as being unwarranted and “in itself discriminating.”

I am informed that the Southern Chess Association, an independent association of Southern chess players, had no official part in the incident. The lack of tolerance displayed at the Durham, N.C. Tournament must apparently be described to some individual players who objected to the participation of a colored player.

Discrimination is an ugly word, reminiscent of former years of self-righteousness and bias which fortunately have waned to a dim memory in this more enlightened age. It is unthinkable that there should be intolerance, because of race, color, or creed, in connection with chess, the most universal and democratic of all games. Throughout the world, chess stands for equality and good sportsmanship, a common link for people of all lands, all races and all walks of life.

It is only proper that USCF tournaments and activities have always been open to our players regardless of race, color or creed. Our Federation will not sponsor, endorse or recognize for official rating any tournament conducted in violation of this spirit.

We deplore the unfortunate Durham incident. The players guilty of intolerance in this instance should know by now that they have earned the disproval of their fellow chess players. We leave it to the chivalry and good sense of our Southern chess fraternity to prevent an occurrence of that sort in the future.

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