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Friday, June 5, 2015

Stanley Chadwick

     Chadwick (Born: 10 Dec. 1870 and Died: 18 July 1943) was born in Brooklyn, New York and learned to play chess at age ten from his mother. Like you and me, Chadwick wasn't a particularly strong player; the Edo Historical Ratings site puts his rating at 1850, but he is famous for being the co-Founder of the Correspondence Chess League of America and in 1934 he founded the Vassar-Chadwick Chess Club at Vassar College which still exists. 
    After Pillsbury's success at Hastings in 1895 a meeting was held in January, 1896 in Chicago and the Pillsbury National Correspondence Chess Association (PCAA) was organized. The founders, in appreciation of Pillsbury's accomplishment and wishing to inspire him to greater success in international competition, decided to name the organization after him. In March of 1896 the PCCA President, Edward Runge, received a letter from Pillsbury saying he was pleased with the founding of the organization and any use of his name that would increase the interest in chess was freely given. In 1897 and 1898 Pillsbury played and won two matches from Jackson W. Showalter and the referee for both matches was Stanley Chadwick. 
     The PCCA only had 50 members and in 1897 they began their first correspondence tournament, the Grand National. Dr. Otto Meyer of Richmond, Virginia was the winner. The club struggled until late 1905 or early 1906 when all of a sudden, the tournaments stopped for unknown reasons. However, the PCCA revived in the Fall of 1907, but the only person doing any work in the club was a fellow named George Walcott and so the club soon folded for good in a couple of years. Chadwick had won a few tournaments and had qualified for the second round of their 1905 Grand National but he quit the PCCA in 1909 and founded his own club which eventually became the Correspondence Chess League of America (CCLA).
    After he graduated from Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute Chadwick began his career as an architect and became secretary of the Brooklyn Chess Club. He also helped organize the England-USA cable match of 1896. 
     In 1907 he moved to Cranford, New Jersey and started a chess club where he gave simuls and occasionally played a blindfold game and as a result the club was moderately successful. His years of playing in PCCA tournaments had given him some insight into how a correspondence club should be run and in 1909 he contacted a couple of PCCA members and the three of them got together to discuss forming a new correspondence organization. The result was “The Correspondence Chess League of Greater New York.” Chadwick was President, William Hickok was Secretary-Treasurer and Clarence Demmer was the Tournament Director. Membership required one to live within a hundred mile radius of New York City's City Hall. They started their first tournament in the Fall of 1909 by contacting all the “qualified” PCCA members. 
     Eventually with the PCCA in its final death throes, many of its members contacted Chadwick and asked to join. As a result the distance from City Hall requirement was eliminated and by 1911 the club had 40 members from 19 states and Canada. Dues were $1.00 per year and entry fees for tournaments were 25 cents.
     In 1914 Chadwick had to give up some of his duties because of his work and other obligations and in 1917, with the help of Hermann Helms, an ardent supporter of correspondence chess, plans were made to merge the Correspondence Chess League of Greater New York with two other organizations into the Correspondence Chess League of America. 
     In 1919 Chadwick left the CCLA to spend more time with his family and doing civic work, but when his wife died in 1931, he moved to Poughkeepsie, New York where he began playing again. In 1933 he entered the Grand National and began writing historical articles celebrating the twenty-five year anniversary of the CCLA. 
  In the following fun game Chadwick defeats a chicken rancher named Allen Pearsall. The game isn't all that great because Pearsall lost a piece early on, but Chadwick's nifty finish makes it worth playing over. 


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