Monday, September 17, 2018

John Curdo, 86, Wins 934th Chess Event

John Curdo, 86, 

Wins 934th Chess Event

John Curdo, 86, of Auburn Wins 934th Chess Event in Worcester...What an amazing feat!

While athletic sports heroes come and go, who keeps track of people in mind sports who have won or tied for first in 900-plus organized and many USCF-rated chess events over eight decades (since 1948)? This writer does, and a few other stoic chess historians such as George Mirijanian of Fitchburg also do. 

John Curdo, 86, of Auburn, has outlived many in his own fan club, but he keeps on going most Thursday nights at Donna Alarie's Greater Worcester Chess Club that runs at least one nationally rated tournament each month at the Hibernian Cultural Center, Temple Street in Worcester.

Curdo notched his 934th victory by grinding out three wins and one draw against strong competition who has studied his club and tournament games for decades, and a few who have taken lessons from him even before he became a Central Massachusetts resident decades ago after living in Billerica, Chelmsford and Lynn many of his earlier years.

Curdo dominated the 10-player Open section of the August Amiable Open by defeating Hermenegildo Neto, Donna Alarie, and Rawl Rutter and drawing Michael Odell, who took second. In the Under-1750 section, 11 battled in the summer classic event directed by Alonzo Ross, assisted by Alarie and Rutter who are the club's most active certified TD's. The rating report crosstables are in the US Chess Member Service area along with every USCF rated tournament since 1992, though many of the individual results of the rated and unrated events from the 50-plus years from 1939-53 have been lost.

What is so very amazing to me, who has been organizing, directing and reporting on chess events for 49 years, is that John Anthony Curdo was winning tournaments (like the 1948 Mass. Open) before I was born (in 1951). What is doubly amazing was that I competed in hundreds of rated events (mostly before 1990 with a peak rating of 1790, and never won a single event or class prize. If winning 934 events over the board (not online) is amazing, knowing someone who competed in that many events and made such a contribution to New England chess, has been one of my great life pleasures of 67 years, even if I never compete in another chess tournament during my lifetime.

Stephen Dann, New England Chess Organizer



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