Monday, May 04, 2015


There is always one thing I admire about Harold and
that is: he shows up to the Saturday tournaments,
week after week to play Rounds 1 through 3.
Now that effort would warrant praise from any
person who was energetic enough to consistently
show up at the BCC on Saturday regardless of the
stress and strain of partying on the previous Friday night. 
My guess is that Harold has toned down his social life
over the years, yet (!) who am I to guess one way
or the other. The bottom line is that Harold is present
for the Round 1 game of all events on the
Saturday schedule. Now you might ask: why am I
making such a big deal of this feat? Well, I'll tell
you. First: Harold is 92 and a half ! Second, a few
years ago, Harold was run over by a UPS delivery
guy--knocked to the ground-- (ooch!) and spent
some months recuperating. This is why Harold
needs a walker. Well, Harold is a fighter, from his
days arguing cases before the Supreme Court of the
United States, to his victory over Bobby Fischer in
the Wachusetts Chess Club, Fitchburg MA program of
a very large gathering of players who wished to take
a stab at the man who by 1964 was, along with GM Petrosian
the highest rated FIDE player in the World. There were
 56 participants in this 3rd day of March 1964 simul: 5 beat the champ, 
including Harold and 2 drew. The game was published in the 1964 issue 
of Chess Horizons and again, in 2004 by Nathan Smolensky, 
CH editor and MACA president. Harold is also on record of having 
knotched a win from former World Chess Championship 
GM Tigran Petrosian and local chess star FM John Curdo, both in 
simul programs in the Boston area. Dondis is a chess journalist [Dondis 
covered the Fischer-Spassky 1972 match from Reykjavik, Iceland and the 
visits of the Polgar Sisters to Boston, both in 1985 and 1993 as well
as Mikhail Tal's visit to the BCC in 1988] as well as a lawyer and in 1964 was also, 
at the time of his victory over Fischer, president of the Massachusetts Chess 
Association. George Mirijanian, former MACA president and Chess 
Horizons editor, interviewed Harold on his win over Bobby for the April 
CH (p.31) in 1979. Two weeks ago Saturday, Harold played in the BCC April
 Grand Prix, a 4SS one day event. In Round 3 Harold was paired with NM Hal 
Terrie.  (Harold always takes a 4th round bye and goes home, showing his good 
sense, as well as his chess prowess. After all playing 4 rounds of chess for anyone is 
grueling enough; for Harold it is also a bit stressful. And besides, his wife wants him
home at a decent hour so they can have fun together on Saturday nights!)  Harold had 
the white pieces in this GP encounter. Hal was rated 501 points higher than Harold.
A draw (with the white pieces) would have been a pleasure
for Harold. What happened was a fight to the finished, both
sides duking it out, without a whiff of "draw" in the air.
When the dust settled, Harold had performed a neat sacrifice
of a piece, which could not be declined. The rest, as they say
is history:  Look and enjoy:
Remember, this "mind" which conceived of the
brilliancy and subsequent extremely accurate
play was 92 and a half, in Round 3 of a 4SS
Game 60. I remember when I played 3 rounds
of chess. I was very weary by the end of the
hour. Mistakes are easily made when one is
weary.  "Resilience": Harold really never showed
any fatigue during this game. He played slowly
and purposefully, one move at a time, taking
his time. This was truly a masterful game for
a player of any age!  Bravo Harold; Go Sox !!

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