Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The First and the Old Place of the Boylston Chess Club

July 17 -- it was a Friday and I had just been having an early dinner in the Chinatown area with family and friends visiting from Costa Rica. Walking at the intersection of Washington St. and Beach St. - where not long ago this section of Boston was known as the "Combat Zone." Just around the corner was 48 Boylston St. - YMCU - and “the headquarters of the Boylston Chess Club” from the 1870’s to 1989.

I saw from a close distance a clear landscape now, where in the past, about 30 years ago, I can recall there were a movie house and other weird stores around.

[Editor's note: I found a photo of how it looked in 1899. rjo]

In from of me, I can distinguish the back of the old place where the BCC main playing room was - big, tall windows and the high lights decorating the big room, I can see it now as a flash from the past. That room never had AC and the heat in winter was very light.

There was always thunder coming down and shaking the ceiling from time to time from the third floor. [Editor's note: I have heard that the "thunder" was from wrestling lessons being given by "Killer Kowalski" from the old studio wrestling days. rjo]

The summers when the temperature reaches 75-80F, everyone used to sweat crazy and wear light clothes and in winter you needed to wear a jacket or sweater all the time when the temperature was getting 30-25F.

And now I believe there will be new buildings covering this zone and covering this present view,- I do not know if the small and closed alley will remain there too, to peek the wall.

I have a lot of memories from this old place that maybe in the future I can share with anyone who interested to know: little pieces of the past of the BCC.

Bernardo Iglesias

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