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Banks, Newell

Newell William Banks (1897-1977) was a U.S. checker champion who was also a chess master.  He learned checkers at the Detroit Chess and Checker Club, and started playing checkers at the age of 5.  His father taught him chess at the age of 8.  He defeated the U.S. chess champion, Frank Marshall, and he leading challenger, Isaac Kashdan, at the Master's Invitational Tournament in Chicago in 1926.  He drew his chess games with Jackson Showalter, Samuel Factor, and Oscar Chajes.  In his lifetime he traveled over a million miles playing chess and checkers and played over 600,000 games of chess and checkers.  He was considered the world’s best checker player from 1917 to 1922 and 1933-1934.  He was once asked which was the greater game, chess or checkers, and he replied, "I must, in all frankness, favor chess."

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