Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chess Champ Needs Skills, Stamina

by James Kingsley

John Hurt Moves Against One of His 22 Chess Opponents.
(The Memphis Press-Scimitar June 14, 1962)

You could hear a pin hit the floor last night at the Associated General Contractors Building at 320 South Dudley.

For, gathered in one room, 22 of Memphis and Shelby County's top chess players were meeting John Hurt of 1063 South Perkins Road, Memphis Chess champion for the past two years.  The simultaneous match was played in a room where smoke oozed upward.  Eyes were glued to tiny objects shaped like horses heads, little men, and salt and pepper shakers.

The match was not one in which the champion loses or wins.  It was arranged by the Memphis Chess Club to give anyone who is interested in the game the opportunity to meet him.

In the match last night the challengers seemed to have the advantage over the champion.  He had about 15 to 20 seconds to make his move.  The challengers had maybe five minutes as he circled the rooms playing the 22 boards.

One of the great disadvantages Mr. Hurt had was the walking and standing.  "It gets tiring but becomes more interesting with each move,"  said Mr. Hurt, a former West Virginia State champion (1939, 1949, 1952, & 1955) who also reigned as king of chess at Charleston, W. Va., for eight years.

Mr. Frank Garner explained that the match, in addition to giving many players the chance to play against Mr. Hurt, also was to sharpen Mr. Hurt's game for the Southern Championship which will be played at the Hotel Claridge June 30-July 3, 1962. 

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed playing over this game with the format provided by the authors. It seems that John Hurt had the initiative very early on, yet Black fought back valiantly until the very end. Thank you for sharing this game.