Are We Experiencing a Golden Age in Our Local Chess Scene?
A few years ago, a chess friend of mine mentioned a book was written about the San Antonio scholastic chess scene set in the 1970’s. Players of that time were enjoying the ripples from the Fischer chess boom when people of all ages were flocking to chess. San Antonio was no different in the number of new players being drawn to the game. This was the era when I started playing in organized chess events.
Am I in the book? Yes and no. It turns out the author mentions my name but unfortunately the person he is covering is not me. I did not grow up in the same neighborhood with the author, go to the schools he attended or was a member on the same chess teams. I did enjoy the book mostly because he did a pretty decent job of capturing the era. I bought a copy of the book through Amazon and it is now part of my chess library. I lent it out to a gentleman I addressed as Mr. Mendoza who had put on scholastic chess tournaments for twenty years here in town. He loved the book, his mention in the book and had the opportunity to read it shortly before he passed away. It took a bit of time to recover the book I loaned him from his family following his passing. I had thoughts about writing a chess book of that time in my life. Those were magical years for me.
We are currently living in a time with so many places to play in San Antonio during a typical week. There is a tournament being regularly held with a round each week. You can go to meet ups at coffee shops, restaurants, local senior citizen places and pubs. We have an upcoming free chess tournament for people 50+ years of age in August which may expand in number depending on interest. In our recent past, we had unrated scholastic tournaments and rated ones which different people host. I think the sheer number of places chess is happening is a great indicator we are experiencing a golden age in our local chess scene.
Who will be writing in the future about what’s happening now? That writer may be in our scholastic chess community right now in elementary, middle school or high school. I hope to be able to read their book one day.