Moore on Ladies' Chess
Apr 4, 2008, 10:32 PM
Jean Moore, a very lovely young lady at the time, was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Moore of Muscatine, Iowa. She later married Harold Grau and won the American Chess Federation Women's Championship in 1937, playing as Jean Grau, by defeating Rosemarie Fisher of Milwaulkee (the Wisconsin state women's champion) in a tournament (now called the U.S. Women's Open) held at the Congress Hotel in Chicago.
Congress Hotel, Chicago
Mrs. Grau planned on attending the 1938 U.S. Women's Championship tournament at the Marshall Club in New York but was unable to make the long trip. Instead, before the tournament commenced, she suggested a match between the winner of the National tournament and herself at some mid-way point. Mrs. Mona May Karff, the eventual winner, was amenable but unfortunately nothing ever seems to have become of the idea.
At the "Century of Progress" exposition (the Chicago World's Fair) in 1933, 17 year old Jean, walking about with her parents, passed by a chess exhibition being given by Alexander Alekhine. Alekhine was scheduled to play a 32 board blindfold simul. It so happened that two contestants failed to appear, so Jean and her brother George volunteered to stand in for them. Jean managed to draw her game with Alekhine.
According to Mrs. Grau, "Then I began to realize that I might be able to make something of my chess. Since father taught me to play when I was 14, I had been playing with the family, but that was my first experience in competition."
In 1935 she won the class-A division of the trans-Mississipi tournament at Davenport playing against 6 men. In 1936, she captured the midwest chess championship for women played at the Oak Park Y.M.C.A.
Alexander Alekhine - Mrs. Jean Grau