Saturday, August 13, 2011

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Portland Chess Club!





Official website: http://pdxchess.org



A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PORTLAND CHESS CLUB (contributed Casey Bush)



Established in 1911, for the last century the Portland Chess Club has provided a place for chess players to congregate while hosting world champions and national tournaments.



In 1913 and again in 1915 American Champion Frank Marshall conducted simultaneous exhibitions in Portland, facing 43 boards the first time and 92 upon his return. Built upon the success of those events other champions came to the Rose City for simultaneous exhibitions including Jose Capablanca (1916), Alexander Alekhine (1924) and Emanuel Lasker (1926). In 1921, nine year old prodigy, Sammy Reshevsky, played the PCC’s 30 best players before an audience of over a thousand.



One of the founding members of the PCC, E. Glenn Short (1890-1985), devised a rating system that pre-dated Elo by twenty years. Short’s system was adopted up and down the West Coast and is still in use today in Portland and at San Francisco’s Mechanics Institute Chess Club. In 1919 a PCC team that included Short briefly claimed title to West Coast supremacy after defeating both the Seattle Chess Club and Mechanics Institute in matches conducted by telegraph.



In the late 1920s, one of Short’s students, Arthur Dake (1910-2000), took everything he had learned at the PCC to New York City where he quickly established himself as one of the best players in the country. Dake played on the victorious US Olympic teams in Prague (1931), Folkestone (1933) and Warsaw (1935). Dake was Marshall Chess Club Champion (1931) and defeated reigning World Champion Alekhine at Pasadena (1932). Unable to support his wife and daughter pushing pawns during the height of the Great Depression, Dake retired from professional chess in 1937 and moved back to Portland where he worked most of his life for the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles.



More here.