Precita Valley CHESS HERALD
Vol. 2, No. 2, February 1957

(Jim Reynolds)

"Precita Valley Club - Symbol of Spirit" - this headline appeared in the MISSION NEWS SECTION by Tom Cargo of the SAN FRANCISCO NEWS just prior to the Al Horowitz lecture and exhibition. Of course, it referred to the entire community club and it couldn't have been more fitting. It can only be said that Tom Cargo and THE NEWS staff did a splendid piece of work regarding this little center in almost the heart of the Mission District. --- And, then, came Mr. I. A. "Al" Horowitz for what was suppose to be Precita Valley Club's big night! It was a big night in a sense, but on the disappointing side. The editor of CHESS REVIEW and international chess master, however, won chess games and many friends; not only at Precita Valley but everywhere he went in the Bay Area.

Yes, this is both a report of the event, and editorial. As editor of this humble periodical I wish to report the event as well as comment personally on it.

First, why didn't we have a bigger crowd? I know the excuses of the club members, but the excuses are not mine. As for that matter, I will take complete blame. Actually, the event was not a failure, but a very big success! This report will prove that it was!

The excuses are that we are a small new club, that we changed leagues at the wrong time and so did not get the publicity we should have gotten, and that we are in such a difficult place to find. Your editor wishes to correct this reasoning. Yes, we are a small club but we are growing. Yes, we did change leagues and since the old showed how lousy they are we should wake up to the fact we don't need them. We are not difficult to find - every gas station in San Francisco has maps of the city and Precita Avenue is well printed on them.

The most important fact seems to be the publicity angle. Yes, a certain person played us dirt just to take it out on yours truly. He claims to be an ardent devotee of chess. If this be so then he should not take anything personally against a fellow chess lover. His proper reasoning should be to make a chess event successful, thus upping the cause of the game, especially since a fellow chess master was involved. It is apparent that, as things happened, he does not care particularly whether chess is elevated or not, but whether he himself is elevated. -nuff said??

Actually, we did not need this particular party's help, but yours truly did not wish to impose upon the fine assistance offered by our new affiliation. That is why I am to blame for the whole thing. I should have accepted their help, but I did not wish to intrude upon the personnel of the new league since we are strangers to it.

Now, let's not be antagonistic toward our old associates. It is not the right way, regardless of whether they feel this way toward us or not. Let's adhere to the old adage that two wrongs do not make a right. At the moment I believe our old associates are learning this the hard way. Too many people go around hating other people for the faults they have. You can only learn to "love thy neighbor" by forgetting his faults and merely realizing the good things you like about him. It would be a world of hate if we all just looked at each other's faults. We can make it a world of love and peace only by noticing each other's finer qualities. I don't mean to sound religious, but even Jesus did His utmost to teach us this. In other words, please remember that we have no ill feelings toward anybody, though we are more interested in our new affiliation.

Getting back to Horowitz - I'm sure he understands our situation and truly he is a great man. He did not appear to be so big he could not talk to the little fellow. He showed us why he is great. He gave everyone personal attention. The only thing he complained about during his whole stay in San Francisco was that he "never wined and dined so much!". (Well, Henry, Mac, and Charlie - what's the idea??!!??) Al Horowitz proved his greatness in many ways. Just to name one he went on an unscheduled visit with yours truly up to the California State Prison, San Quentin. The chess club at San Quentin gave up their lunch hour just to see and hear Al! So, like I said, Al made a hit wherever he went, including a more complimentary turnout at Mechanics' Institute, which we are surely happy about.

Now, the success of the event! Did we not get plenty of publicity from THE NEWS and KPIX (SHELL NEWS)!!!!

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