My Introduction to Chess . . . .(memoir)

My Introduction to Chess . . . .(memoir)

Aug 4, 2010, 12:06 AM |


It has always been my pleasure to love a subject matter and to pass it on to other people with pleasure.

On of the first subjects was the game of chess. I learned to play the summer of 1950 in San Francisco.

“Hey, Bill let’s go to the library and get several books on chess. It’s got to be better that this little piece of paper with the instruction that came with the game,” I said.

“Ok. I’ll go. We can also get an ice cream at the King Koles. You guys want to go with us?” Bill said to the other guys that were at my house.

So on a boring overcast day in San Francisco we went to the library and got several books. Just about six of us tried to learn the game and only I took to it.The pieces we had were hollow plastic ones and a black and red checker board.

I learned to love it. Chess became my first love. Even though I was teaching myself by the wins and by defeats I obtained. Losing was a pleasure for without them I could not play the next game.

Losses produced wins as well as, wins produced more losses. I joined the Koltonowsky chess club of San Francisco becoming just another wood pusher. I accepted it without question. Without acceptance, there wasn't any fun and learning.

I tried to get more of my friends involved in the game that I loved with a passion. Each game was so different from the next and the next. To me there was such hard fought action on the boards. Only those that knew the game a little could actually see.

My first tournament was at the local playground on Lake street and eleventh avenue. The city of San Francisco was conducting a city tournament and I happened to go to the playground on the final day of qualifying.

“Hey Denver, why don’t you enter the tournament? It is going on right now.” Bill said.”

Encouraged by my pals I entered. I showed that I was far better than any that had entered. I was one of the four chosen to go to the semifinal in the Sunset district. We were given a bus passes to use to get us to the tournament. In those days most everyone used the bus system to get around in the San Francisco. 



I didn't fare as well as I had at the local playground. I found that the adversaries were stronger players. I placed fourth in my age division. My family didn't come that weekday as everyone had to work. I received a certificate for participating. Others that won got the chance to go to the finals the following week.

That was my intro to the chess world.

Oh what a web CHESS has made in my life.