I found this excellent article

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  • I found this excellent article

    Well it was never lost but it brings back many memories. If you lived in Montreal and were playing chess in the 1960's and 70"s you will relate....from Kevin Spraggett's blog:


  • #2
    It seems Spraggett is beginning to write his memoirs. And this is quite a good start.


    • #3
      Not to be too picky (for Chesstalk??) but that article was on Spraggett's blog some time ago: PUBLISHED JULY 7, 2011 ˇ UPDATED JUNE 3, 2019

      We are still waiting for his massive expose of Canadian Chess etc.
      ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kerry Liles View Post
        We are still waiting for [Spraggett's] massive expose of Canadian Chess etc.
        It's in the works. SoCA will be publishing it soon.
        everytime it hurts, it hurts just like the first (and then you cry till there's no more tears)


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ben Daswani View Post

          It's in the works. SoCA will be publishing it soon.
          LOL ... well played. Perhaps it will fit on a t-shirt?
          ...Mike Pence: the Lord of the fly.


          • #6
            I remember the Alekhine CC well! From its opening days in the summer of 1969, until its last days at College Maisonneuve in 1979. I ran weekly blitz tournaments for most of its existence - I still have almost all the crosstables and rating lists which I compiled. No a/c in its early locations, so summers could be brutal. Since the space was rented by the Quebec-USSR Cultural Society, there was lots of Soviet literature on display - but nothing chess related. There were sometimes up to four Spraggetts in attendance.

            One memorable winter evening, about a dozen of us were taken to a Soviet ship in the harbour, where we had a match against the sailors. I don't remember the result, but one of the sailors pointed at me and said "Small Suttles".

            Another time, I reluctantly entered a simul against master Klaus Pohl. He moved to South Carolina a few years ago, where he is still active (he must be well into his 80's). Mine was the last game to finish, and beat him while using a clock - picking up half the entry fees (Pohl getting the rest). .

            Four locations over the years:

            1) 1969-72 - Show Mart/Palais du Commerce. Demolished about 20 years ago for the new city library. You could squeeze in about 50 players for a big event. Lots of low-stakes money games going on (5c, 10c - maybe 25c - always with "contra" - like the backgammon doubling cube.) Kevin would play the "boss" - Arthur Langlois - most often at 5-2 and a Rook for 50c contra. It was an easy 5 or 10 dollars for a couple of hours work.

            2) 1972-74 - 6827 St-Hubert - on the second floor above a funeral home on a busy shopping street. Also capacity for about 50 players. The youngest player usually had the mission of going to the Le Roi du Smoked Meat and picking up a pizza. In early 1972,I started a club at the downtown YMCA with Leo Williams - abandoning the Alekhine until late 1973 when we gave up on the Y club.

            3) 1974-77 - 4570 St-Denis - on the second floor above the Guerin bookstore (Guerin was a chess player, so the Soviets and the chess club probably got a good deal on the rent). The space was much larger, and could probably hold 200 players. On Friday nights, the Lakdawalas were usually there (Cyrus - the author - and his younger brother, Jimmy). We would send Jimmy out for a big order of hot dogs, fries, and Nesbitt's Orange.

            4) 1977-79 - 3800 Sherbrooke E - a classroom in College Maisonneuve. No more Soviets, so Arthur Langlois simply ran it for his enjoyment - only on Friday nights, which was the traditional blitz tournament. The biggest was a 36-player round-robin, which forced players to play fast or withdraw in order not to miss the last Metro around 1:30 am.

            Arthur Langlois seemed to enjoy the presence of teenage boys - he was probably gay, but harmless. He helped arrange for Yasser Seirawan to play in the 1977 Quebec Open, and he stayed at his place. (he would have been 17 at the time).

            By the late 70's, almost all formal "chess clubs" has disappeared from the Montreal scene (there had been 20 or 30 represented in city team tournaments in the early 70's), and cafes became the places to play. Cafe En Passant, Le Jardin de Caissa, Le Gammon, Cafe Pi, etc. Serge Lacroix made several short-lived attempts at starting clubs (as did Roman Pelts), but they all failed in the end.