Categories: Art+Culture

Knights of the Portland Chess Club

The Portland Chess Club in 1914, above the Circle Theater, with spitoons.

Twenty-five years ago, lawyer and chess expert, Michael Morris, tried to mediate the eviction of the Portland Chess Club (PCC) for keeping late hours at its headquarters in Southeast Portland. He lost the case, but since that time has been instrumental in housing and maintaining a cultural institution which dates back to 1861 when another legal mind, federal judge Matthew Deady, was the first president of the PCC. Deady was interested in bringing Eastern culture to the Wild West and is also credited with being the founder the Multnomah County Library. In 1913, another lawyer, G.T. Woodlaw, secured PCC’s first “permanent” quarters above the Circle Theater on SW 4th next to the Dekum Building. After several decades, the stability provided by Colonel Woodlaw eventually spawned a champion who was sent out to conquer the world.

The link between education and chess dates back to Goethe who called it the “gymnasium of the mind.” In recent years, the royal game has been used as an educational tool by organizations like Portland-based Chess for Success. Oregonians may never see another Arthur Dake, but two local Portland players, who honed their skills at the PCC, have recently received scholarships to play on chess teams at two Texas colleges. In 2011, Clackamas High School sophomore Alexandra Botez won the National Girl’s Chess Championship in Chicago and was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas. More recently, Oregon state champion, twenty-year-old Steven Breckenridge, received a scholarship to another Lone Star chess power, Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

Read about Oregon’s forgotten chess grandmaster Arthur Dake

Share
Published by
admin

Recent Posts

Spring Whiskey Events Around Oregon

MARCH 25 Distillery Startup Workshop Mon, Mar 25 – Fri, Mar 29 Corvallis Corvallis, OR MARCH 28 The Eastburn’s Whiskey…

1 month ago

Women and Whiskey at Freeland Spirits

Freeland Spirits sets out to do distilling differently written by Sheila Miller Freeland Spirits started with a Texas grandma, a…

1 month ago

Gravel Riding Calendar 2019

WASHINGTON Cascadia Super Gravel (Olympia) — March 30 www.racecascadia.com Vicious Cycle's Gran Fondo Series wwwrideciciouscycle.com Ephrata — March 17 Goldendale…

1 month ago

Gravel Ride the PNW

Get off the pavement and into backcountry on gravel roads across the Pacific Northwest by Kevin Max I climbed the…

1 month ago

Northwest Destination: Spokane Rising

Spokane is the right jumping-off point for outdoor adventure and sophisticated city life written by Cara Strickland If you’re looking…

1 month ago

Trip Planner: Redmond

Central Oregon’s oft-overlooked city is getting cool before our eyes written by Sheila Miller Not so long ago, downtown Redmond…

1 month ago