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Saturday in the park, I think it was the fourth of July!
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There's another film I watched recently, although it's from 1994, where Washington Sq hustlers are shown.
It's titled "Fresh", and it is a story of a 12 years old pusher, whose bum father is a hustler himself. (It's NOT a movie suitable for kids by any mean.)
A tragic "accident" convinces him to play a sort of real life game of Chess in order to go from...
SPOILER ALERT !!!
...pushed-around-pusher with an addict as a sister to a protected witness, but he kind of blunders one of his friends and in order to win the "game" he sacrifies 5000 of his "I'll have 1 million some day" dollars (correct sacrifice) and his dog (speculative sacrifice at best, incorrect imho: maybe the dog's killing has the symbolic intent to suggest his friend was not blundered but sacrified).
I'm sure somebody here on this website has gone down to Washington square park to play? I know many famous players have played there
There are also local, many times homeless people who okay down there regularly for money. How good are these guys? I was thinking about taking a ride down there one day to check it out. Anybody have any good experiences to share?
i spent a week in DC as a tourist. i spent my afternoons and early evenings playing chess there.
that was back in the late 90s. if you have a chance to go and play there, you should. just hang around and watch a few games and then pick which guys you want to play.
even now this many years later, when someone asks me about my best game ever.....my mind takes me back there, a russian fell into my italian gambit, it was wild, it was wonderful, the crowd was roaring.
yep, go and enjoy my friend!
I was travelling to Europe, and had an 8 hour stopover in NYC. Went to the square to play, but didn't want to play for money. So I ended up standing around for two hours watching guys trade $3 games. I finally got one of the players to play me when nobody else was around, and won 5 straight @ 1 min. He might have been hustling me, but it didn't seem like it... I went back to the airport dissapointed and sat around for 4 hours.
A lot of great comments.
I will look for the movie "FRESH".
I just saw the movie "A Game of Shadows" Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Moriarty finally play a game at the end of the movie. It start out as a five minute game with a chess clock that rocks to stop and start the time.
After five minutes time they play the rest of the game verbally without looking at the board. Then the movie ends both fighting and go over the falls in Switzerland. This is the chess clock used.
The time on the clock is set at 12 in the movie, but I never saw the clock time move.
I also went to the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco where I was raised and played the men that cluster playing around the chess tables. I was only 16 and in Lowell High School. Here is the link.
I just saw the movie "A Game of Shadows" Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. James Moriarty finally play a game at the end of the movie.
Did you notice?
In the fight which follows the Chess game, Holmes obtains a draw using a desperado tactic!
I agree, btw: very nice movie.
By the way. How strong are those hustlers if they would be given an ELO ? IAre they between candidate master and Fide master strenght (the best of them). ? Or higher ? Anyone who has played them and could estimate their strenght.
By the way look at these clips. I love them. So funny. The videos consists of two parts. For money or Love is the title. Two hustlers are fighting in the park in NYC trying their best to "talk down" his oponent.
"You may say boo booo" !! " Tshu tshu!
Given how often they play since they do very little else, I would estimate between 1900 - 2100 strength.
I used to play in Washington Square Park and I have spoken with many of the hustlers. I have been told that many of them are of Expert and Master strength.
A few years ago now GM Keith Arkell spent some time in New York, and played against these guys. Eventually a 2 minute vs 5 minute handicap against him was judged to be balanced, making them probably 2100 standard at least, and plausibly more.
About thirty years ago I took my nice wooden chess set to an empty table at Washington Square Park, and got challenged. Fully expecting to lose, but to my surprise I got into a position where I had a slight advantage. The problem was I was playing too slow and my partner was getting restless. Of course in the winter cold I had to go pee so bad that I couldn't concentrate on the game. So I made a desparate run for the toilet. Rushed into the Woman's room by mistake, ejected by an angry guard, almost peeing in my pants finally got to the urinal did my whizz got back to my game. My opponent, my chess pieces and box and board, all gone!!!
Some of those players are master level players and higher although they may not have official ratings.
In New York City you cannot leave anything that is not nailed down. Even then someone might pry off the nails.
I've heard of stranger use of nails in the kinky West Village.....
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