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Arthur Dake. ChessFlash Commentary by Jude Acers

Chess News        July 30, 1999 World Championship

  • 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 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: the neat history packed  web page of the  150 year old Mechanics Chess rooms  Also  check out information with the simply charming Joan Arbil -

Jude Acers. New Orleans.

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