Meeting in a Chess Collector's Paradise

KWA General Meeting at Cleveland, Ohio
19-21 August, 2011

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Andy looks completely happy, next to him two "Men in Black":
Michael Utt (new US member) and Myron Samsin.

After three plus exhausting hours of chess, where better to go than to one of Cleveland’s finest restaurants, Lola, where we all could relax and talk among ourselves in a private dining room. Not only did almost all members join us but we were fortunate to have three people from the Special Collections room join us (actually one ex-person). The meal and company were great and we all headed back to our rooms late that night.

The menu card from the "Lola" signed by the attendees.
(Please click to enlarge!)

At "Lola": Michael Negele, Lissa Waite and Pamela Eyerdam.

The next morning we were all part of the queue as the library opened at 10 AM. Again we had around 13-15 members and the first part we covered was the annual meeting. The meeting room was refreshed with plenty of nice breakfast snacks. There was some lively debate but important issues were decided such as

1) That we should create a Junior Membership for any person under the age of 25 would be free as we need to encourage young members to join and participate in our chess culture.

2) The board can decide to offer some free memberships to people who will contribute to our group’s success but have some financial hardships.

3) When we redesign the web site we should allow for the introduction of member profiles to make it easier for existing (and new) members to contact others with similar interests.

4) There was some lively debate on the infamous Bibliography project and how we should resurrect it. It is unclear what scope this should take as different members have different ideas on the scope of details of such a project. We are going to form a committee to look at our options and see how we can finally proceed on this very important topic. We are looking for people with computer expertise and time to join in this effort. The first two members to volunteer are Per Skjoldager and Andreas Saremba.

5) There was some discussion of using social media to try and increase KWA’s exposure.

6) It was agreed that there will not be another annual meeting in the US until at least 2014 and if so St. Louis should be heavily considered.

7) Finally it was agreed on the proposal to name Roger Klittich an "Honorary Member of the Board".

All topics of the general meeting are listed in this pdf file:
Topics member assembly (in the member section!).

Concentrated listeners: Maurice Carter, Myron Samsin and Robert Coffman.

So running behind, Michael Negele gave us a talk on Daniel Willard Fiske and the lost chess manuscript of Louis Rou(x). This lecture was filled with many pictures and stories on this very important American chess figure that is not well known by most of us. (See first page of this report.)

We then had a brief break for lunch though many stayed in the library to sneak in some last research.

Per Skjoldager with the preprint of his new book.

After lunch we had a very nice talk from Per on Nimzovich and the meaning of Hypermodern. Per’s new book on Nimzo’s early life is due to be published by McFarland early next year. There was some lively debate and interesting discussion on the subject.

Next Bob van de Velde talked about Lasker and bridge. Again the things one learn from such a learned expert is quite amazing. This talk was very interesting as he greatly expanded upon from the great Laker book project in which he contributed a chapter.

Our bridge expert Bob van de Velde

Finally Martin Frère Hillyer (our newest member) joined up. As many may know, Hillyer wrote about his relative Thomas Frère and at the 2007 meeting in NYC showed us some amazing pictures and other little known memorabilia about early chess in the US.

Our new member Martin F. Hillyer gives a lecture.

Now he explained to us about this latest amazing family find - a chess board - his relatives made. That board Paul Morphy used to play on in the 1st American Chess Congress 1857 and also during the World Championship 1886. Furthermore the pieces he has set up on the board were the actual pieces used at the 6th American Congress. Quite an amazing historical find!

Martin Hillyer's Morphy chess board

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