Random Posts

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rabbi Saul Wachs

There was a player who participated in the 1954 US Champ. who was very promising. In the 1960’s he lived in Columbus Ohio and was routinely winning events in the Midwest. I don’t remember his exact rating, but it was somewhere in the mid-2300’s. That may not mean much today, but in those days masters were rare, many GM’s were mid-2400, world class players mid-2500 and a few super GM’s were 2600, so his rating was pretty good.

Unfortunately he gave up chess to pursue his career. You never heard of him, but a he was really good. Looking at his resume makes it clear he had little time to devote to chess and gave it up completely in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.

This obscure master was Rabbi Saul Wachs. A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Wachs holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in education, Jewish education and Jewish music from Gratz College, Temple University, The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and the Ohio State University, which awarded him a Ph.D. in 1970. Dr. Wachs was the recipient of an honorary doctorate from the Seminary as well.

Dr. Wachs served as educational and musical director at congregations in the East and Mid-West. For ten years he served as Director of Education for Congregation Tifereth Israel of Columbus, Ohio, the Pilot education program of the Melton Research Center. He served Camp Ramah for twenty five years as teacher, counselor, Division Head, Educational Director and Music Director. Dr. Wachs came to Gratz in 1975 as Academic Dean and has remained as a professor since that time. Since 1980, he has also served as a national field consultant for the Solomon Schechter Day School Association.

He has taught or lectured at The Academy for Jewish Religion, American University, Baltimore Hebrew University, Bar Ilan University, Brandeis University, Cleveland College of Jewish Studies, George Washington University, Hebrew College, Hebrew Union College, Jewish Theological Seminary, Tel Aviv University, Temple University, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, The University of Cape Town, The University of Judaism, The University of Pennsylvania, and Villanova University. In 2006, Dr. Wachs was awarded the Tribute to Excellence Award of the Alumni Association of the Graduate School of the Jewish Theological Seminary.

He is a life Master of the United State Chess Association. In the following game he defeats GM Nicholas Rossolimo in the US Championship.

1 comment: