The Chessmill

Ramblings and ruminations on chess in Milwaukee,

SE Wisconsin, theUSA and the World.

Chess players may be divided into three classes: those who don’t know the principles, and are therefore very weak; those who know the principles and are less weak; and those who know how weak the principles are, and are strong.

 — C. J. S. Purdy


Interview With Arpad Elo

Posted by Arlen on Jul 10, 2010

We continue with our plundering of Wisconsin chess history by reaching back into the longest-published of all the local chess periodicals, Badger Chess, for this interview with Arpad Elo, conducted by Dave Brimble

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Milwaukee Chess - The Numbers

Posted by Arlen on Aug 31, 2007

Some people seem to think I’m lost in nostalgia. There’s a genuine resurgence of chess going on in the schools around here. Hundreds of kids are playing, so obviously I’m just looking at the past through rose-colored glasses and refusing to acknowledge that the chess scene has been rebuilt. I’m sure there’s even some who think the only reason I haven’t come around to this conclusion is that I’m not in control of the current chess scene. It’s not my achievement, therefore I don’t want to acknowledge it.

So, for those cynics I’d like to present some numbers from a Milwaukee Recreation Department document. It’s undated, but from external evidence I’d place it in the late 1950’s. It summarizes participation in the first 23 years of the Milwaukee chess program.

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The Draw Problem

Posted by Arlen on Dec 11, 2008

Since I’m now retired, I think I should probably dump some of my experiences here. Perhaps some of you can learn from my mistakes and improve on my results as an organizer. I’d like to think I did a pretty good job, but I made mistakes and failed to solve some problems at all.

So let me talk a bit about the problems draws cause an organizer. Not the hard-fought earned draws; they’re no problem at all. But I mean the “tactical draws,” the short ones players make because of tournament standings, when they take a draw with their main competition for the event in a dozen moves or so. They’re part of the game, like playing “safe” in billiards they keep a player from damaging their own chances while at the same time blocking an opponent’s advance. I’ve said before that from a player’s perspective, these draws absolutely make sense.

But from an organizer’s perspective, they’re trouble. For two reasons.

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The Passing Of An Icon

Posted by Arlen on Jan 18, 2008

Bobby Fischer is dead.There's a lot that could be said at this point, both good and bad. There's the brash young kid who wanted to be the youngest world champion ever. There's the bitter old man, spewing invective at everyone.

People will tell stories. And, in the end, we'll all remember what we choose to remember.

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