26 October 2017

California Chess Periodicals

I ended my previous post, Of Grass Stains and Prison Breaks, with a quote:-

A striking feature of the early issues of the USCF's flagship publication, Chess Life (CL), was the lack of balance between the two coasts of the United States. Particularly in the 1950s, the East Coast was heavily favored. Did the [The California Chess Reporter, CCR] provide sufficient counterbalance?

An index for PDF copies of CCR is at California Chess Reporter (chessdryad.com). It says, 'Most of these magazines were digitized by Sam Sloan; whom I heartily thank.'

That first issue started,

The unhappy demise of CHESS DIGEST early this year left the chess players of California without any organ for the systematic publication of chess news. It has been the fate of chess publications in the past to quietly expire unless they enjoyed the support of some solid organization of chess players. The present issue of the Reporter is made possible by the generous financial support of the San Francisco Bay Area Chess League, which voted funds for publication at the meeting of May 6, 1951.

Which Chess Digest publication was that? Gino Di Felice's book, Chess Periodicals, 1836-2008, informs,

543. Chess Digest [USA] (1950) Vol.3, no.1 (Jan 1950) - Vol.3, no.10 (Dec 1950). 10 issues per year. Senior Editor George Koltanowski; Editor-in-Chief Phyllis Seidkin. Publisher Chess Digest. Santa Rosa, CA. USA. Illus., 23 cm. Magazine. General. English. Note: Continues California Chess News and News of the Pacific Coast, with the same numbering. No longer published.

As for the California Chess News mentioned in the note, the same book says,

420. California Chess News and News of the Pacific Coast (1947-1949) Vol.1, no.1 (Nov 1947) - Vol.2, no.10 (Dec 1949). Monthly. Editors George Koltanowski (Nov 1947), R.D. Taylor (Vol.1, no.10/1948), George Koltanowski (Feb 1949). Publisher George Koltanowski. Santa Rosa, CA. USA. Newsletter, from Vol.2 magazine. General. English. Note: Continued by Chess Digest.

As long as we're tracking chess periodicals, let's add Di Felice's entry for CCR:-

421. California Chess Reporter (The) : Official Organ of the California State Chess Federation (1951-1976) Vol.1, no.1 (June 1951)-Vol.25, no.6 (May/June 1976). 10 issues per year, later 8 issues per year, more later 6 issues per year. Editors H. J. Ralston (Jun 1951), W. Guthrie McClain (Oct 1953), W. Guthrie McClain & Robert E. Burger (July 1971). San Francisco. USA. Illus., 21-23 cm. Magazine. General. English. Note: With supplements California Chess Reporter: Special Bulletin, and California Chess Reporter Supplement. No longer published.

The mention of Sam Sloan on the Chessdryad page triggered a few memories, because he has appeared on this blog in the past. The last occasion was Sam Sloan and Gulf News (July 2014). The first issue of CCR had a note about ratings that triggered another memory.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHESS RATINGS • The second revised version, as of May 1, will be published in the San Francisco Chronicle and in Sacramento Chess News. Hereafter, the Reporter will be the official organ for publication of ratings. It is strongly to be hoped that the Northern California and Southern California ratings will be incorporated into a single system and published simultaneously.

According to my recent post, The First USCF Rating List (July 2017), 'The first rating list was published in the 20 November 1950 issue of CL.' How long did it take California chess to adopt the new national rating system?

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