- May 2, 2000. Portland Oregon. Arthur Dake, the oldest competitive chess gramdmaster in
history, has died in his sleep in peace at the age of 90.
Jude Acers remembers: "I flew into Portland April 8 ( Henry Ford Restaurant)
and gave a 5 minute address. Later (in the past 3 weeks) I received three letters from
grandmaster Dake thanking me.. He was absolutely fabulous at the dinner -tremendous
ovation for my remarks to Mr. Dake at April banquet..I worked on those short remarks for
months and uncorked them with enormous pride...Thank god I had the sense to drop into
Portland for his jam-packed honorary 90th birthday celebration and meet his daughter
Marjorie who phoned me today...I asked his daughter on the phone to place my red beret in
his casket rather than return it. ...I had presented him with one of my six berets at
the banquet and he placed it atop his head as he spoke. He was in fabulous shape until the
second he died..had dinner, drinks and a great time at a Reno Casino before dying in his
sleep in peace."
July 1, 1999. San Francisco, California. The oldest competitive
chess grandmaster in history, 89 year old Arthur Dake (Portland, Oregon- beat
A. Alekhine at Pasadena 1932!) today confirmed that he will definitely appear
with his daughter at the Dake Honorary International Chess tournament, another great
triumph for the 150 year old Mechanics Institute Chess Club(57 Post Street-4th floor)
The event (July 11-20, 1999- with three international masters
Grefe,Vucic,Rey) will feature the legendary speed player who once made a living at Coney
Island chess stand where film giant Humphrey Bogart played chess for dimes.
Dake, a member of three U.S. world Olympiad championship teams, had the most
memorable 300 days of his life when a youngster..he defeated Alekhine and added a
"won" game versus Capablanca, New York 1931 (a game so fiery, it produced five
(!) electrifying diagrams in Khalifman's "Chess Stars" Capa
volume).. then refused the great Cuban's kind offer to adjourn the game in a still
dead won ending for Dake!
"I was just a foolish kid and wanted to polish off the great maestro
right now for the newspapers, to brag..to my eternal regret. I hurried to get him to
resign...first went the win and (two) forced draws and I lost in a flash. I learned my
lesson but the opportunity to even play Capa again was gone forever.. and believe
me, Jude I greatly regret it."
Many years later when traveling through Portland, I showed Dake what he
had always dreaded... a third draw for the asking, found by Botvinnik, in addition to
three forced wins -- all vanished, gone... "When the win is in sight-sit on your
hands!"- S. Tarrasch, 1891.......
So, the Dake Honorary International Chess tournament July 11- 20, 1999
will be a fabulous opportunity to meet the man who played one of the great thrillers of
all time. He knew em all, played the greats......... All information on the GRANDMASTER
ARTHUR W. DAKE TOURNEY is open to the public: John Donaldson, Mechanics
Institute Chess Director, 57 Post Street San Francisco, California Phone (415)
393-0110 (e-mail: email@example.com)..or the neat
history packed web page of the 150 year old Mechanics Chess rooms http://milibrary.org/chess Also check
out information with the simply charming Joan Arbil - Arbil@chessclub.org
Jude Acers. New Orleans.