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Selected Old Chess News (2004)

News items previously appearing on the Northwest Chess home page.

See Gary Kasparov's December 2004 interview with Sports Illustrated.

The Seattle Chess Club's 125th Birthday Celebration was held December 17-19, 2004
at the club's meeting location in Shoreline. Happy Birthday!

IN MEMORIAM – We regret to announce the recent death of Mike Franett of Seattle, WA, a chess master and "great fan and supporter of chess," at age 63. See the story on the US Chessmaster Championship website. A Memorial service was held at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Seattle on Capitol Hill on Friday, December 10th, 2004.

WOW! The U.S. Chess Championship in San Diego, California, presented by Chessmaster, concluded with playoffs on Sunday, December 5 for both the men and the women! Hikaru Nakamura is the new US Champion! The 16-year-old swept the playoff match against Alex Stripunsky 2-0. Rusa Goletiani won her playoff against Tatev Abrahamyan with the same 2-0 score to win the Women's Championship. See the official website. Also see the story about Nakamura on MSN and the interview on National Public Radio.

Chess Mates Foundation was at The Seattle Art Museum for "Spain in the Age of Exploration," Saturday, November 20, 2004. The exhibit at SAM ended on January 2, 2005.

Errors in November Northwest Chess magazine – The Washington and Oregon Chess Federation officers were incorrectly listed as the old officers (whose term expired earlier this year). See the officers page for the correct information. The cross table for the Portland Summer Open, Open Section, was also incorrect. See the USCF website Member Services Area for the correct cross table. (You can search by affiliate for "Portland Chess Club," then click on the "Tnmt. Hst" tab.) The Nov. NWC magazine mailing date was 11/4.

WOW! World Chess Championship – Kramnik vs. Leko – Kramnik retains the title of "Classical World Chess Champion" after winning the 14th and final game to tie the match score at 7-7. Matches in 2005 will determine the "unified" world champion.

Internet Scholastic Chess Championship qualifying rounds began October 20. See the NWC tournament announcement page and/or

GM and former world champion Boris Spassky was the guest of honor for several events at the Western States Open at the Sands Regency Hotel/Casino in Reno, Nevada, October 13-17, 2004. Spassky, who received a standing ovation from tournament players and guests present at the event, made a wonderful impression with his humor, sportsmanship, and of course his chess knowledge and playing ability in the simultaneous exhibition!

Chess Book for Kids – Janet Wong, a local chess parent and children's book author, has released her latest book which happens to be about a school chess club and, in particular, the adventures of one of its young student members: ALEX AND THE WEDNESDAY CHESS CLUB. See the flyer in PDF format. There was a book signing event at Hullabaloo Books in West Seattle on Saturday, October 2nd. Janet Wong spoke, and there was simultaneous chess play with "Dr. Leo" Stefurak!

Albany, OR Chess Group – "First Mondays Chess," a monthly chess gathering for adults and children of all ages, continued at 6 p.m. September 13 at the main branch of the Albany Public Library. A chess leader will lead classes during future gatherings. No registration is required. For more information, call librarian Scott Keeney at 917-7591.

America’s Foundation for Chess First Move Celebrity Tournament & Dinner, held in Bellevue, WA on September 19. e-mail

Everett Club celebrates 1st anniversary – On Tuesday, August 31st, the Everett Chess Club celebrated its one year anniversary. Along with it the ECC held a blitz tournament.

Marcel Milat (2350 rated) was scheduled to run a Master's night at the Microsoft Chess Club on Friday August 27, but his flight was delayed. He was to have given a lecture on "Unusual Sicilians," followed by theme games.

NM Elliott Neff conducted a chess simul in Lynden, WA on August 21. He reports that he "ended up with only 46 players in the simul ... loss 4, drew 2. Total time playing was approx. 2.5 hours - I rushed too quickly to finish on time which caused a couple of the losses. Blindfold chess throughout the week ... played approximately 80 games, including 8 simultaneously ... lost 2 all week and 2 draws. Hope to do this again sometime, with a larger number of people in the simul."

IM John Donaldson visited the Tacoma Chess Club (his first chess club) on July 30, 2004 and was interviewed by a local reporter. See the story on

Vancouver Island Summer Chess Festival – Held July 24-25, this event featured two of the world’s best players, Grandmasters Pia Cramling and her husband Juan Bellon, in simultaneous exhibitions.

GM Shaked simul at Microsoft Chess Club – Nearly 40 people competed against Grandmaster Tal Shaked in a simultaneous exhibition at the Microsoft Chess Club on July 13. Davar Alai reports that "This grandmaster earned his GM stripes at a very early age of 19, and was the 1997 World Junior Chess Champion!" He is currently a Microsoft employee.

GM Chess Fest in Vancouver, BC – July 7, 2004 was a day of chess in Vancouver, BC with four famous chess grandmasters. There were three separate events including two simuls and a pairs event. See the details.

Lincoln Knights Chess Club at Reardan School – See info by Skip Sabin.

Acers Exhibition – Chess Master Jude Acers of New Orleans, LA played a 15 board exhibition against youngsters ages 18 and under at Crossroads Shopping Center, Bellevue, Washington on Sunday, June 20. All players received a chess software CD donated by Robert A. Karch of Tacoma. See the tour website by Russell Miller.

Chess Day in Chelan – June 18 was proclaimed Chess Day in Chelan by Mayor Jay Witherbee. The Mayor's Declaration was prompted by the visit of the renowned World Chess Champion, Jude Acers. See the full story.

Everett Chess Club begins tournaments – See the club info page.

Old Hay's New Playground Dedication, including a giant chess set, took place the afternoon of May 1 in Seattle's Queen Anne Hill neighborhood.

Bobby Fischer Goes to War: Book Recounts Epic 1972 World Championship Chess Match. See the article on the NPR web site.

Maryhill Museum Exhibit "It's More Than A Game: The Art of Chess Today." See the article by the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

Foundation Promotes Chess as a Classroom Learning Tool – The Seattle Times ran an article on March 15 about America's Foundation for Chess, which promotes chess as a classroom learning tool.

Seirawan in Pairs 4000 event – International Grand Master Yasser Seirawan played in the Pairs 4000 Tournament I (Active/Blitz), A 2005 Elod Macskasy Memorial Fundraising Event, March 20 at the Vancouver Bridge Center, Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a wild form of chess where players and their partners alternate making two moves in a row in the course of an otherwise normal game. Since Yasser is rated 2672, his partner was a 1240-rated player, Andrea Cheng, to stay under the 4,000 total rating limit!!

Zemgalis recognized by King County – A half-century after the triumphs that made him a champion, the Metropolitan King County Council honored newly-crowned International Chess Grandmaster Elmars Zemgalis during the council's Committee-of-the-Whole on Monday, February 23 at the King County Courthouse. Council members Bob Ferguson and Dow Constantine co-sponsored the recognition. Zemgalis, now 81, lives in Burien.

Viktor Pupols: 50 years of chess – Congratulations to Life Master Viktor Pupols for 50 years of top-level tournament chess. He played in the 1954 Washington State Championship, and is now playing in the 2004 version (see below). Pupols has played in many, many chess events all over the United States and Canadian in the last fifty years. Former editor of Chess Life Larry Parr did a book a number of years ago on Pupols. Check him out at MSA section of USCF website. And yes, Pupols played Bobby Fischer and beat him in the 1955 US Junior Open (when Fischer was only 12 years old).

President's Corner – The February 2004 issue of Northwest Chess magazine includes
The President's Corner by former WCF/NWC President Duane Polich, with a response to the controversial "Ratings Fraud!" article appearing in the December 2003 issue of Northwest Chess magazine.

In Memorium – Dick Phillips. We regret to announce that Dick Phillips, a long time member of the Seattle Chess Club and a former officer in the Washington Chess Federation, passed away on January 28th. There was a service in Seattle on February 8.

Interview with "Dr. Leo" (Dr. Leo Stefurak) on scholastic chess!

Article causes controversy — The article "Ratings Fraud!" appearing in the December 2003 issue of Northwest Chess magazine has caused considerable controversy, and was the subject of a board meeting held in Seattle on January 4. Although Northwest Chess and Washington Chess Federation board members are concerned about the ethical issues involved, it is important to realize that the events alleged to have taken place are still under investigation by the United States Chess Federation, and that the NWC/WCF boards did not officially endorse the article/editorial content that appeared in the magazine. NWC/WCF board president Duane Polich has written a more extensive response.

Chess at the Seattle Art Museum — The opening celebration of “Art in Chess and Chess in Art” took place on January 8th, 2004. The exhibit will remain until early February.
See the complete story.  See article in the Seattle PI.  See photos from January 8.

AF4C Finds Co-Sponsor for 2004 US Chess Championships — America's Foundation for Chess (AF4C) announces the NTC Foundation as its new partner for the annual U.S. Chess Championships scheduled for the first two weeks in December 2004. The NTC Foundation in San Diego, Calif., will host this historic national tournament at their new arts and cultural venue, Promenade Centre.

Tournament News – See 2004 tournament news page.