(October 1967, Volume IV, Number 2)
***CHESS GOSSIP: A CONFIDENTIAL REPORT***
From THE KNIGHT ON THE TOWN
First of all, let us congratulate Theodore Anderson, President of the Oakland Chess Club (and Director of the Alameda county high school chess league - KL), who won a scholarship this summer to study co-counseling techniques for youths under a special program at the University of Rochester, New York. Anderson, an Alameda High School counselor, was one of two California men to be honored with the scholarship. A side trip to New York City was an additional thrill in his extraordinary summer.
In a lighter vein, some clown at the Oakland Chess Club's Fourth Annual Summer Tournament surreptitiously posted amusing stickers around the tournament premises. One, on the door of the men's lavatory read: "Knock three times; then walk in." Just so it didn't confuse the feminine players!
Speaking about the Oakland tournament - there was considerable grumbling about the triumph of Mr. Leonard Trottier, President of the Richmond Chess Club and resident of El Cerrito. Since Mr. Trottier played in the C Division and since I am not a C player myself, I don't always follow closely the results of that division, but friends tell me that Mr. Trottier has been winning C Divisions for years, then playing poorly in the B Division at another tournament to bring his rating down to that of a C again, ad infinitum. The implication, of course, is that Mr. Trottier deliberately loses in the B Division so that he can return to the C Division and win there. He seems to be too pleasant a fellow for that kind of chicanery. Could be he is merely one of those players who are unable to improve, always remaining a very weak B or a very strong C.
Further grumbling took place at the same tournament about the A Division, which was obviously unjustified. The complaint is that Mr. Heldt, a strong expert, was playing in a tournament far below his class. Experts were not excluded from the tournament, however, and we must wonder whether Mr. Heldt, who came from Arizona, didn't expect a goodly number of equally strong opponents. At any rate, he acted within the rules and in fact had difficulty in several games, even losing to David Forthoffer, a weaker expert.
Oh, by the way, Robert Trenberth still won't settle down. He has moved two more times since we last wrote about him. This will make his twentieth - or was it thirtieth - move. Frankly, I've lost count.
I got quite a response to my report of chess on TV. It seems the Colgate Palmolive Co., the L&M Corp, the Benson & Hedges Tobacco Co., and the San Jose Savings and Loan Corp. have all used chess in one form or another in their television commercials. In addition, a bad motion picture offered a surprising scaccic feature. Deadlier than the Male is, peopled not only with spies and lovely girls but also with a giant robot chess set, in which each piece is at least eight feet tall. The moves are fed into a giant computer, which operates machinery to make the required moves. When a piece is captured, the floor beneath the piece opens up to swallow it. In the climax of the picture (sorry to spoil the ending for those of you who haven't already seen it), the good spy and the bad spy try to kill each other by crashing one of the monster chess pieces into the other spy or by opening the square underneath him. In all, it was one of the (few) amusing features of the film. I doubt, however, that a non-chess player would think much of it.
Well, that's all for this issue. Don't forget that if you have any newsy items to report, send them to me as explained on page two of this issue. Until the next time we meet - I'll be watching.
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