Fischer's New York Chess Club

DENVERHIGH

   We went on vacation on July 20th to New York City and while planning this trip I said to Barbara, "You know we are going to be in New York and the oldest chess club building is in Greenwich Village. Marshall formed his chess club in 1915 so . . ."

Before I could get any more out she said, "I am not going to sit and watch you play chess, no way. If you go there, then I’m going shopping."

"I didn't intend to play chess," I said. "I just wanted to see the place, like we are seeing the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, the same."

"Didn't Fischer play in some park in New York?" She asked.

"He played in the park in a Manhattan Park and there was that kid Waitzkin in "Searching for Bobby Fischer" that played in a park.

We left that discussion at that. On the last day of the Vacation we headed to the New York Library research center. Well right next to the library is a park, and as we entered she said, "Look, it looks like they're playing chess over there."

I didn't say a word. I saw a dozen men watching games being played on round metal tables. We strolled nearer and there was a metal engraved sign on a table in the middle of a chess set that was ready for play and that said,

"RESERVED FOR CHESS. MARSHALL CHESS CLUB."

Wow. It brought a smile to my face. That is the second oldest, private chess club in the USA and one of the chess club left in NYC. All the great chess players have played there.

That is where Bobby Fischer a thirteen-year-old played and defeated Donald Byrne in the historic gane, "The Game of the Century."

Fischer also played a tournament against players in Cuba using a teletype machine, because of the USA restrictions placed against Cuba, which some are still in place today.

The round metal table had the chess pieces on the board waiting to be moved and two empty chairs waiting for two opponents to sit down.

I could have sat down and some one would come and ask, “Want to have a game?” Then we would shake hands and our minds would meet in mental combat. It could be a patzer or even some Master who would play me.

She said, "Do you want to play?"

"No, I don't want to play," I said.

"I just analyze games and teach now. I haven't played a game in months." I said telling her a small white lie.

"You can play if you want to," she said.

"No. But they set up the pieces wrong. I'm going to straighten them out."

"Maybe they want it that way. Leave it alone," she said.

I didn't listen to her and walked over to the table, picked up the white king and queen and reversed their positions. I picked up the black king and queen and did the same. Nobody bother to look at me doing that.

I walked back to Barbara and I said, "I don't understand how chess players can do that. They do that in the movies all the time, because they don’t play chess.

The lastest major flaw I have seen, was on Harry Potter’s chess game being sold. There is a black square on the right bottom side of the chess board on the box. The board is backwards."

"Maybe some kid set this up that way on purpose," she said.

We walked away toward the library. Passing a game being played. The clock showed it was the mid time of a five-minute game. The players were discussing the moves made.

"If you want to stay and watch the game go ahead." she said.

"No. There aren't playing they're discussing every move and the best move to make."

We went to the NYC library which is a museum and a research center now. It is a huge building with high rise ceilings, much ornate wood paneling and framing.

"Barbara, look at this research room. It must have at least 80 PC's,"

"You would be in heaven here." She said sarcastically.

We walked into the other large room.

"Wow. Look at all those tables and each with a small green lamp. I see most of the people are using their own laptop and there’s a section with about ten copiers, printers and fax machines."

There was a sign on the wall it says "Request for any book will be found within 10 minutes."

Guards are at every entrance and if you have a bag, they will check it.

What a wonderful book store they have for books and writing items. The real library has been moved to the corner across the street.

We walked back through the park to have lunch. We didn’t even notice the chess players.

In my mind, the thought of belonging to the Marshall Chess Club was sure intriguing to me. I believe that the oldest chess club is in San Francisco, "The Mechanic's Institute" It's on Post Street. The Manhattan chess club is the second oldest PRIVATE chess club in the United States. They have twenty-eight Grandmasters and the club meets every day. The members think of it like their second home. They live and play for chess.

                    Bobby Fisher

 

   Bobby Fischer's, Marshall's

  Chess Club Card 1954.

Bobby Fischer belonged to this club as a youngster. He didn’t have any money; he would show up to play in a club tournament would say to the director,

“Take the fee from my winnings.”

He never won anything in those tournaments, but he beat everybody in the country in all the other tournaments. I personally think that when he played in the club tournament he tried different opening variations that he was working on.

The present building was paid for by chess players and has been at 23 West 10th Street since 1931. It was Frank James Marshall’s former home. He is a former US chess champion.

Barbara and I purchased a Pepsi and split a sandwich from one of the three kiosks selling food.

It is a great park with many shade trees. Many people come down from the high rise buildings and have lunch on the small round metal tables with metal chairs all over the park.

Our hunger satisfied we continued with the last day of our vacation.

Frank Brady one of Fischer's friend is the President of the Marshall Club. I suppose that you must know by now that I admire Bobby Fischer. I have books written by him, written about him and his games.

1pawndown

Interesting vacation story, but I believe Philadelphia actually has the oldest chess club.

DENVERHIGH

1pawndown wrote:

Interesting vacation story, but I believe Philadelphia actually has the oldest chess club.

Hello Pawndown

I believe that the oldest chess club is in San Francisco, "The Mechanic's Institute" It is on Post Street. The Manhattan chess club is the second older.

I don't know of any old one in Philadelphia.

I clarified what I wrote. The Marshall is the oldest "PRIVATE" chess club and the only one in NYC.

Bye for now.

                                     

GreatDays

Hi, I'm visiting New York at the moment and wanted to see this chess club. I read on the net that it's no longer running and closed down. If it hasn't - according to your post- what is it like? Do you have to pay an entry fee? From you post its sounded like you hadn't gone indoors or the chess club was just outdoors. I'm slightly lost. Please help ?

DENVERHIGH
GreatDays wrote:

Hi, I'm visiting New York at the moment and wanted to see this chess club.  From you post its sounded like you hadn't gone indoors or the chess club was just outdoors. I'm slightly lost. Please help ?

Marshall Chess Club in Greenwich Vilage.
Address
23 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10011 
Telephone:
(212) 477-3716
Hours
Mon-Fri: 1 PM-midnight.  
Sat-Sun: noon-midnight.

I am sure if you drop in they wouldn't charge you anything just to visit.
You were right, I only saw the tables at the park.

I didn't go in because my wife threatened to go shopping and that would have cost me a chess arm and a leg.
onthehouse

Denver;

Thanks.

GreatDays

Hi again,

Thank you very much for your help. It was quite appriciated ! It was a wonderful sight to see :)

DENVERHIGH

Here is Bobby Fischer riding the New York subway and strudying a Russian game.

kockam

Hi Fisher's Club.
I cleaned my PC and I found some ebooks. This one could be interesting for Fisher's Club :).

http://linky.own.cz/Bobby-Fischer%27s-Outrageous-Chess-Moves.pdf

DENVERHIGH
kockam wrote:

Hi Fisher's Club.
I cleaned my PC and I found some ebooks. This one could be interesting for Fisher's Club :).

http://linky.own.cz/Bobby-Fischer%27s-Outrageous-Chess-Moves.pdf

Hello Kockam. I have that book bought the hard copy on Amazon for $3.00 US. It is a quick read, but I use it as an exercise. I flip open the book and only look at the diagram and try to solve it according to the number of move shown on the top right corner. 

One neat part is that the game for each diagram shown is on the rear pages.

Thanks for the link.

jfq722

Ugh. I used to be married to one of those. Get out while you can dude.

DENVERHIGH

Wow . . . this post is from 2011 . . .

Tharks I re-read it . . .

DENVER

PremierChess64

Premier Chess is now offering New York City Chess Tours. We will share the game of chess and all the NYC chess sites, including, but not limited to, The Marshall Chess Club, Washington Square Park, Union Square Park, and the Chess Checker House in new York. We will do a lesson in one of the spots and tour the rest. 

Guests will gain experience this tour from someone who is a born and raised New Yorker, National Chess Master and Active Teacher. 

For more information about Premier Chess or to book tour, see www.premierchess.com or www.facebook.com/premierchess.

DENVERHIGH

@ NM erabin

Thanks so much for the re-read and the two links.

= = = = = = = =

CHESS tours that sound interesting I would take one.

I already went to one link and looked at the Premier club. I will look at the other.

I am not high rated as you but I love teaching. Currently I teach at the Santa Rosa Public Library every Tuesday after to youth players.

I have about 24 sets, a demo board and

access to 20 clocks. IT'S no charge for the kids.

This year I will be 80 but I don't want to quit just yet.

bye for now.

DENVER

PremierChess64

 Great to meet you Denver! Like the Facebook page to keep up with chess news and pedagogy. Feel free to reach out at erabin66@gmail.com if you ever have any questions or would like to pursue idea of lessons. 

DENVERHIGH

Id like to go back to New York but its impossible now. . . 

i have a wjfe with dementia . . .

Howhorseymove
Sorry to hear about your wife.

I would love to visit the Marshall chess club someday.

I did get to visit the Manhattan Chess Club back around the year 2000 and still have pictures from my digital camera that I saved and posted to Facebook.

DENVERHIGH

You should post the photos here on chess.com . . . They're 20 yea old . . .

I'm sure many would be interested . . .

Howhorseymove

Let me see if I can figure this out.

a photo of the door where the club resided at the time.

Howhorseymove

A photo of the directory of how many companies were in the building.

you see the name of the club on the right side.