CHESS VOICE (Vol. 5, No. 2 April-May 1975)
MECCA FOR BAY AREA CHESS PLAYERS
By Mike Padovani
On the corner of "A" Street and Meekland Avenue in Hayward-22472 Meekland, to be exact-there is an inconspicuous little café known as Cherryland. To his regular customers, Harold James' Cherryland represents an excellent place to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner. To the chessplayers of the Bay Area, however, Cherryland means chess!
Have you ever awakened at 3 o'clock in the morning and felt like playing a game of chess? Normally, this idea would seem an absolute absurdity. Well, it isn't. You can play chess against top-notch local competition at Cherryland from 11 PM to 6 AM every day except Monday and Tuesday.
If you can't beat the waitress-manager Ilene Tipp, you probably won't care to tangle with the other players. Ilene has sent many an aspiring greenhorn home talking to himself incoherently with a shattered ego.
In the event you best Ilene, then Harold James, who happens to be an excellent cook, may be available to test your talents. When Harold triumphs, the defeat can be very embarrassing for his opponent, since he usually is cooking and serving customers as he moves. I once played a game with Harold via algebraic notation from his stove to the counter, with one of the waitresses carrying our moves. A sample order relayed by the waitress to the cook might be: "Chef salad, bacon and , over easy, and Queen to h5 check."
Now, assuming you can handle Harold over the board, there are some fine talented chess players waiting in the wings for an opportunity to crush you. Among the strongest players who visit Cherryland regularly are Martin Sullivan (2136), Garry Wilson (1993), Kerry Lawless (1909), Hiawatha Bradley (1841), Romeo Samo (1750), and David Brooks (1736).
"Ambassador of Chess"
While playing chess at Cherryland, you may run into the chief resident kibitzer, Richard Shorman-chess editor and columnist of the Hayward Daily Review and chess teacher at Chabot College. If you play an outstanding game with Richard in attendance, it is not at all unusual to find it published in the Daily Review chess column the following Sunday. Since Richard is Cherryland's official "Ambassador of Chess," he keeps everyone informed of current chess news happening anywhere in the world.
Rapid Transit or Speed Chess games are very popular at Cherryland, and it is not strange to see a freshly cooked meal sitting on the counter growing cold while a player is completing his 5-minute game. The more ambitious chess buffs play and eat simultaneously, which tends to be troublesome for one's digestive system. Also a problem may be keeping the captured pawns and pieces out of one's scrambled eggs and pancakes. After seven hours of marathon rapids and risers, anything can happen!
Cherryland has been graced by some of the chess world's most famous personalities. International Master James Tarjan has performed at the caf&. His opponent was one of the Cherryland regulars Garry Wilson (1993). Garry managed to win one out of three games. He has also beaten International Master George Koltanowski two times in simultaneous exhibitions given by the venerable Vice President of the USCF.
Alan Benson, chess editor and columnist of the Berkeley Gazette and local tournament director, has given private blindfold exhibitions here. Former world junior chess champion Julio Kaplan and 1973 Unites States co-champion, John Grefe as well as Masters Jude Acers, Ken Fitzerald, Frank Thornally, and Jeremy Silman have also attended Cherryland. USCF Secretary Martin Morrison and top woman player Ruth Herstein have been in attendance also.
Chessplayers who are regulars at Cherryland (or who have been in the past) are: David Brooks, Martin Sullivan, Romeo Samo, Chris Mavreadis, Elizabeth Traina, Pam Ford, Kerry Lawless, Mike Padovani, Garry Wilson, Pete Hyatt, Jon Moura, Al Shepperson, Everett McNally, Lupe Lopez, Robert Martinez, William Bartley, Peter Prochaska-Kolbas, Hans Poschmann, Robert Pellerin, Keith Dow, George Angel, Elwin Myers, Manuel Galindez, Robert Raingruber, and Ed Delgado.
To complete the list, other "regulars" are: James Pascrell, Ed Silva, Becky Oliver, Susan Jenson, Frisco Del Rosario, Jerry Rogers, Robert Manners, Hiawatha Bradley, Paul Masgalajian, Fred Crosby, Doug Biggart, Ralph Segura, Louis Givt, Ray Segal, Phil Hanshaw, Leonard Petty, John Barr, Sharon Rudahl, Bernie Beadling, Larry Kohl, Ernie Bartholemew, Steve Wegman, Leon Hopkins, Jerry Berg, Steve Krumrey, Terry Halliwell, Tony Mendoza, David Smith, Ray Wheeler, Dave Stambuck, Al Chamberlain, Randy Weis, Manilica Gimdalf, Rick Kiger, Dave Ahland, Dave Betanco, Roger Wilkins, and many, many others.
The story of Cherryland is not an old folks' tale but a chessplayer's dream come true. So if you're up at one or two o'clock in the morning and are having problems with insomnia, an inspiring alternative is playing chess at Cherryland. You probably won't be able to sleep anyway, so why not have some fun? Or plan ahead to go to Hayward for an evening of chess. Harold and Ilene will be delighted to greet you.
Well, so long. I'll be seeing you all at Cherryland. Say waitress, may I have an order of ham and eggs, over easy, some milk, and-oh yes-pawn takes Queen. It's your move!