Monday, January 11, 2010

Herb Healy Jan 1 2010 - A View from the Sidelines

About 44 participated in playing in this year's Herb Healy. This is down about 20 people from 2009. The deficit caused the $320 expense of the food to be absorbed by the BCF, contrary to previous years where entry fees covered prizes and the food.

The tradition of serving food new year's day began out of necessity because in the days of the blue laws there was very little open on Jan 1. Irving Yaffee estimates he catered the HH (even before it was called the Herb Healy) for about 50 years. Irving worked for a meat packing firm and got the food at wholesale prices. About six years ago Irving got a pacemaker and had to step down. Larry Schmitt and myself stepped in. So although the need to serve food has gone away people still like the tradition.

I remember walking from Park Street Station to Boylston Street in 1976, the morning after the first First Night, to play in the HH. In those days the city of Boston hadn't figured out all the rules and the whole Boston Common was covered in about one foot depth of trash and people were still partying. Public drinking was prevalent and people were in various states of ossification; it was a very chaotic situation.

Below is the score of a beautiful HH French Defense having Ben Goldberg performing the classic exchange sac and then offering his queen.

Ben Yuan
counters in a dangerous almost successful fashion. A fantastic game played by both sides.

Zongyuan Yuan vs. Ben Goldberg

1 e4 e6
2 d4 d5
3 Nd2 Nf6
4 e5 Nfd7
5 Bd3 c5
6 c3 Nc6
7 Ne2 cxd4
8 cxd4 f6
9 exf6 Nxf6
10 Nf3 Bd6
11 O-O O-O
12 Bf4 Bxf4
13 Nxf4 Ne4
14 Ne2 Rxf3
15 gxf3 Ng5
16 f4 Nf3+
17 Kg2 Nh4+
18 Kh1 e5
19 dxe5 Bg4
20 Qb3 Bf3+
21 Kg1 Qd7
22 f5 Nxf5
23 Bxf5 Qxf5
24 Ng3 Nd4
25 Qxb7 Rf8
26 Qxg7+ Kxg7
27 Nxf5+ Rxf5
28 h4 Rf4
29 Kh2 Rxh4+
30 Kg3 Rg4+
31 Kh3 Ne2

How was your HH experience? Please Comment. Thank You Mike Griffin 01/11/2010

How Boston's First Night Got Started

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