Showdown at Cherryland Café

by Kerry Lawless

Richard Shorman was driving IM James Tarjan home from a (1975) Simultaneous Exhibition at the Berkeley Universal Life Church when Jim evinced an interest in a late dinner. After hearing of the good food and good company the Cherryland Café would afford, Jim readily agreed to travel a little out of his way. By the time Richard dropped Jim off in front of the café, they had both agreed on the scenario... Jim was to be the man with no name!

Class B player and Cherryland Café regular, Chris Mavraedis, was sitting at the counter eating dinner and playing chess with the proprietor and cook, Harold James, when a rather short hairy man pushed through the glass double doors. After diffidently watching the end of the five-minute game, he politely asked Chris for the next game. The bearded man won handily.

Smarting for revenge, Chris quickly set the pieces up for another game. At that point, his hairy opponent suggested that they play for stakes. Harold, knowing that Chris was a destitute student, agreed to back Chris for whatever they played for. Chris was blasted off the board for a cup of coffee. Sensing he was playing a very strong player, Chris insisted on time odds. He quickly lost a 5-3 game for a milkshake and another 5-1 game for a dinner.

Richard nonchalantly walked in the door, looked at the remains of the last game, and asked, "Say, Chris, you having a little trouble?" Jim and Richard both laughed heartily at Chris' pained _expression.

After everyone was introduced, Harold made Jim one of his celebrated 'super dinners'. The rest of the evening was enjoyed by all, and another legendary episode at the Cherryland Café was born.

Return to Index