Saturday, June 28, 2008

Reubens Landey U2200 BCC Championship

The Reubens Landey round of the Boylston Chess Club championship cycle is about to begin. Club members rated under 2200, i.e. not masters, are invited to contend for the BCC U2200 Championship and entry into the BCC Championship (to which all club masters are invited.)

We urge club experts and A players to make this year's 5 round Swiss another very competitive tournament.

Dr. Jon Lee and 15 year old Adam Yeddia, winners of the first part of the cycle - the Weaver Adams Under 1800 Championship, were seeded into the Reubens Landey by virtue of their victories.

Monday, July 7, 14, 21, 28
August 4: Reubens/Landey
BCC Qualifier U2200 Championship5SS; 40/90, G/20;
Open to BCC members rated 2199-1800; EF: $25: Winner receives free entry into the BCC Championship beginning on 9/8. Registration: 6:30 to 6:50; Rounds: 7:00

Below is some context for this tournament: two biographical articles by Bernardo Iglesias and a listing of past winners.
by Bernardo Iglesias

"....Chess appeals to our emotions and brings us joys and sorrows."

Emil Reubens was born in a beautiful land very far away, in Yelisavetpol (Kirovabad) Russia, in 1886, on September 23 and, died in Massachusetts in Norwood Hospital in 1973, on August 29 after a brief illness. Emil Reubens was 86 years old when he died, an extraordinary man who believed that mankind could become rehabilitated through Chess. Chess is more than life and can change a person to benefit Society.

He was a chess master emeritus and one of the founding member of the United States Chess Federation, a member of the Boylston Chess Club, the Brockton Chess Club and his dear Sharon Chess Club.

Reubens received his formal education at the University of Prague. In 1906 he immigrated to the United States and worked for a time in steel mills in Detroit. Eventually he moved to Boston and graduated from Boston University in 1922 with a degree in business administration. Much later, in June of 1973 he received his Master's degree in business administration, he was the oldest person in the university's history to obtain such a degree at 86.

He lived in Sharon, Mass. for many years. Emil Reubens was a U.S.C.F. life director and authored a wonderful book on chess play, entitled Chess - Trick and Treat in 1965. This book is a treasure, a precious jewel for any novice player. At the end of the book he recommends that every young player should “Join a chess club. Meet chess players of differing skill and style. Subscribe to a periodical that will keep you abreast of the important events in Chess world."

In 1964, he helped to bring the U.S. Open to Boston. He was an honorary Chairman of the Committee, along with a lot of the great chess organizers of the time: Robert Goodspeed (Brockton C.C), Harold Dondis (Johnson C.C.), Eleanor Goodspeed, Eleanor Terry, Frank Ferdinand (Harvard C.C.), James Burgess (Boylston C.C. ),Harry Goober (Clarendon C.C.), Beverly Jarnigan and Joseph Hurvitz (Boylston C.C.). That year, the U.S.C.F. was celebrating the silver anniversary of its foundation, in which Emil Reubens had been a strong force in promoting chess in this country.

Emil had a long time interest in prison reform and was instrumental in assisting many prisoners get back into society. In his book, mentioned above, he thought that “When I was drafted into becoming a "leader" in youth clubs, I employed chess and chocolate bars to lead the youth into the paths of righteousness. There are no available data to estimate the effect of chess on juvenile delinquency, nor are there statistics to gauge the collateral effects of chocolate bars freely rewarded for chess merits."

Reubens combined a lifelong interest in better prisons, rehabilitation and parole systems with chess activities. He organized many teams of players who visited several penal institutions to play against teams of inmates, or just to play simultaneous exhibitions against the inmates. On one occasion, he took Steve Frymer, John Curdo, and R. Gleason to Norfolk Prison, delighting one inmate in particular so much that he became an active player and organizer in Norfolk area.

Emil Reubens loved the youth, kids of all ages, -- they are our future joys and sorrows in life. The second Brockton Open, on September 25 & 26, 1971 in Brockton, Mass. William Lombardy, former World Junior Champion, had agreed to participate in the selection and awarding of a special Lombardy - Reubens “best played game” trophy to some player under the age of 21 (Harry Lyman was present in this ceremony). The winner of the award trophy was won by the young John Peters. The third Brockton Open, on September 23 & 24,1972, the Lombardy-Reubens award trophy was won by John Stopa. For the Boylston C.C. member’s information, at this event Alex Slive and Andrew Anisimov, two new youngsters showed up in the chess arena. After this event, it seems that such award stopped being awarded by the Brockton Chess Club, since he became sick and died shortly.

The "MASS STATE JUNIOR CHESS CHALLENGE TROPHY PRESENTED BY EMIL M. REUBENS " is a silver trophy cup at the Boylston Chess Club to preserve his memory for future generations. In 1988, William Lukowiak, treasurer of the Boylston Chess Club and long time an officer on the board of MACA, introduced a motion to the Executive Board of MACA that the winner’s name of the Junior Scholastic Champion from Massachusetts be inscribed in this trophy and that MACA will help to pay for traveling expenses to the National Championship whenever it was to be held. The MACA board turned down this motion, and denied youngsters of this State such an honor.
After his death, the Mass State Chess Association, organized a one time "the Emil Reubens Memorial" at the Massachusetts Open at the new Brockton High School in 1974. The winner of this event was John Peters.

Emil founded the Steinberg-Reubens Educational Foundation. The Boylston Chess Club Board of Directors decided that in 1986 to pay tribute to Emil Reubens and Ben Landey by naming a qualifier cycle of the B.C.C. championship qualifier in their honor, for players rated 1800 to 2199. The winners of the Reubens/Landy move on to play against the club’s masters for the club championship.

by Bernardo Iglesias

Benjamin Landey was born in 1912 and died on January 20, 1981 in Quincy. From his high school days he worked for the Sharon Bolt and Screw Company founded by Emil Reubens, reaching the position of board chairman, which he held at his death. According to Harry Lyman, Benjamin married Reubens’ daughter.

For many years, he was the ceremonial chess leader of New England: Landey was President of the MSCA, the Boylston Chess Club, the Boston Metropolitan Chess League, the New England Chess Association, and the USCF Regional Vice-President.

He was a truly regional chess entrepreneur, a notable chess organizer, a man of remarkable poise and intelligence, a master of parliamentary procedure and a skillful politician, that is, a leader among leaders in the region. He worked for long hours at his job and then spend evenings and weekends on numerous chess projects and clubs.

While Ben Landey was a tournament director for M.S.C.A., he brought to Boston the U.S. Open in 1970 and the U.S. Junior Open in 1965 and 1969, held at Northeastern University. Ben Landey's most active years were from 1965 to 1970; after this year his health impeded more time in his passion for the royal game of chess. Despite his failing health, he was an extremely successful teacher of chess for beginners, though he himself was rated only about 1500 during most of his over the board career; he also, worked with the Massachusetts Association for Retarded Citizens and several local groups.

Along with Emil Reubens, Landey was a major sponsor of prison chess programs, and the two of them sought the parole of a number of inmates who were avid chess players. In addition to being a regular tournament player, Ben Landey was very active in postal chess with the Nights of the Square Table (NOST).

Landey was the first person to compete with a computer in chess at a U.S. Chess Federation rated tournament. He lost.

Landey’s most glorious moment in the spotlight as an organizer was winning the bid for the 1970 US Open for Boston. It was Ben Landey’s rhetoric that easily won the bid at the 1969 U.S.C.F. meeting in Lincoln, Nebraska. It was unfortunate that the then M.S.C.A. was not ready to host such a major event. The host site, Boston's Parker House, was a less than welcoming host, and a great number of participants complained about the space designated for the playing room, that the light was not good enough for many, etc. Also, Ben Landey got sick a few months before the event along with his co-organizer Lewis Icenogle. It was not Landey's shining hour. `

Ben was treasurer of the Greater Boston Committee of the U.S. Peace Council, past President of the South Shore Assn. for Retarded Citizens. He was the President of the Boylston Chess Club at the time of his death.

After his death in 1981, M.A.C.A. organized a memorial tournament at the Mass. Open in April; the winner of this tournament was the young James Rizzitano in North Darmouth.

The Boylston Chess Club has honored Ben Landey since 1986, when the Board of Directors dedicated a qualifier tournament to those members of the club rated 1800 to 2199 plus the winners of the Weaver Adam's; the winner to participate in the fall championship. His memory will endure for ever at the Boylston Chess Club along with that of Emil Reubens.
Gregory Kaden, 2007

Brian Salomon
Kenneth Newman, Carey Theil
Simon Warfield
Edward Astrachan
Simon Warfield
Edward Astrachan, Kimani Stancil
Simon Warfield
Daniel J. Woods
Paul Mishkin
Robert Armes
Larry Schmitt
Miguel Angel Santana
Alex Slive
Timur Feinstein
Daniel J. Woods
Larry Schmitt
Alex Slive
Thomas Durnan
Thomas Durnan
Harold Dean Lawton
Charlie Mays
, 1986 1st BCC Reubens Landey U2200 champion

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