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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jack S. Battell

     Battell, born in New York City in 1909, was an author, correspondence player and organizer. He was not only talented in chess but also gifted in music, literature and science. According to USCF director of correspondence play, Joan DuBois who succeeded him at the USCF, Battell “showered all of us with chocolate treats everyday at 4pm and never forgot us on our birthdays and holidays. Jack also never forgot the anniversary of our being hired! Every month, when the monthly cycle of work was complete for the magazine, he took us across the street to the soda fountain and everyone celebrated!” In October 1985 Battell suffered a heart attack and passed away on November 3, 1985.
     Battell was a pioneer in American postal chess play. He joined the Correspondence Chess League of America in 1935 and in 1946 became its highest rated player. He won the 35th Grant National Championship of CCLA. Battell worked for many years as coeditor of Al Horowitz’ Chess Review and when it was sold to the USCF, he continued as Postal Director.

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