The Ken Whyld Association in New York City (14-16 September 2007)
Report on the Annual Meeting 2007 by Andy Ansel
Report on the Annual Meeting 2007
Greetings to all,
the KWA meeting in NY was a great event for all of us who attended. Here are the highlights including pictures of the various events.
Before the "official" Friday night dinner, many of us met at the New York Athletic Club right on Central Park where some guests were staying.
We headed downtown to Union Square where there are chess tables and the normal hustlers available ready for a game.
We had a short walk to Fred Wilson's Chess Shop to look around for some books ...
We would like to remind here of Fred Wilson's review of the Oxford Companion to Chess in American Chess Journal (No.1, 1992, p. 112-115). For Ken Whyld had commented on that in his letter to Fred Wilson.
... and then back to our opening dinner gala at Blue Water Grill, which is one of New York's finest restaurants.
We had a nice private room and as soon as the event kicked off, the appetizers were passed around. People started coming in and soon we had a full house. There were 24 people at the dinner (including 4 spouses). A sample of the commemorative menu is given opposite (please click the small picture). Our guests included such authors as Frank Brady, Martin Hillyer, David Shenk, and John Donaldson. A good time was had by all and at around 10:30/11 the room emptied as people got ready the next days activities.
Here our gallery of Friday evening (12 pictures).
Saturday morning we all arrived downtown in Tribeca to Citigroup's building around 9:30. Once we got through security, we had a very nice conference room ...
... with all the necessary equipment to show presentations (thank you John Gruska).
We had a brief welcome discussion, personal introductions plus a little bit on the KWA and then the talks began.
All were outstanding, informative and professionally presented. But also all were enjoyable to take in.
The morning speaker's included Martin Hillyer going over his book on Thomas Frère and the Frère scrapbooks. Kurt Landsberger presented an English translation of an obscure newspaper that presented some new found evidence on Steinitz's early life. Eric Ruch gave a fascinating talk on Caze's manuscript and perhaps a new date on when correspondence chess began. Jurgen Stigter gave a talk on book projects like the "Scacchia Ludus – Studies in the History of Chess" edited by Hans Holländer and Ulrich Schädler and the Austrian Bibliography project of Robert Karner which brought great discussion.
Then after a quick lunch break the afternoon began. I gave a short discussion on David DeLucia's new book and passed along a proof for all to examine. David Shank gave a nice discussion about his book The Immortal Game and answered some tough questions.
Larry List gave a very nice presentation about Duchamp and Man Ray and chess. I believe this talk is going to be incorporated into his next catalog which is appearing at the Tate Museum in 2008.
Michael Negele then gave a presentation on the Lasker project and the time table, the goals and also the contributors.
Our second gallery "Saturday Meeting" includes 15 pictures.
Next we broke to the book exchange which appears to have been an on-going all day event. Larry brought copies of his book on the last exhibit and Kurt had several of his books as well. There was the usual collector madness but soon this ended and we concluded with the official KWA meeting aspect, election of new officers and a brief discussion of the goals of the organization.
Guy van Habberney, new KWA treasurer (from 2008 on) took part in discussion.
The new board:
Guy van Habberney (treasuerer),
A copy of the Zukertort biography for Martin Hillyer - presented by our parting chairman Michael Negele.
There was a present for the new chairman as well!
Here we broke off into several groups. Most of us went to the upscale pizzeria Otto (in Greenwich Village) where we shared lots of food and wine with each other in a very "hip" (and loud) atmosphere (left and below).
Afterwards, several people went to the Empire State Building and Times Square.
The next morning, at 10 AM the Marshall CC was full of KWA members. About 12 of us still had the insatiable chess bug. Those of us at the Marshall were presented with quite a treat. [Here the nicely produced announcement.] Dr Frank Brady gave an incredible talk on the Marshall as well as personal interactions with Duchamp and Fischer. What a great talk! We then wandered around the club and looked at all the great artefacts. We also got to meet such NY chess luminaries as Asa Hoffmann, Michael Rohde and Nick De Firmian.
You will find a selection of 10 pictures of our visit to the "Marshall CC" in this gallery.
We then walked through Washington Square Park and saw the chess scene as it is.
On to Thompson Street where we visited the Chess Shop.
Probably the most amazing feat of the weekend was this small shop had an obscure (and totally unimportant) chess book that none of us had ever seen (which of course we all bought).
Across the street we visited the Chess Forum where several people tried to negotiate for some pictures they had hanging on the wall.
For the Chess Shop's and the Chess Forum's history you may read Stefan Löffler's article "Schachkrieg in der Thompson Street", in: Schach-Kalender 1998, p. 49f. (in German only) [R.B.]
We then broke off and some took the subway while I drove to Greenwood Cemetery to hear Martin Hillyer give a talk about Thomas Frère and visit the grave site. Nine of us were still together at this point.
The whole Frère collection was displayed with amazing photographs and other neat memorabilia of the NY chess scene.
At this point three people split off to go to the airport and spend a day in Cleveland while five of us ventured to Long Island to spend a short time at my house looking at my collection.
Overall this was an amazing chess experience and hopefully all enjoyed it.