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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 The Origins of Chess Horizons
 Stephen Dann
  April 2014

 This year marks the 45th anniversary of Chess Horizons, and we begin our multi-issue retrospective with a look back at Volume I, Issue No. 1. 

The first issue of Chess Horizons, produced in October, 1969, speaks for itself. Eight 8.5 by 5.5-inch pages, two unstapled sheets of paper, black ink, no photos, four games (one with notes by the late Eugene Shapiro), three ads (two for upcoming Nov. & Dec. events by MACA--then called MSCA), including the first ad for the then new Boston Chess Studio and eighteen total news stories and features photo-reduced. 

The top cover story was the announcement of the 1970 U.S. Open being awarded to MACA and Boston, and scheduled for August 9th – 22nd , 1970. A prediction was made that 300 or more players would participate - 303 actually did. The secondary story on the cover was the announcement that the Boylston Chess Club, at 48 Boylston St., Boston (also then the home of MACA), would celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday, Nov. 16, 1969. The issues were mailed first class to the roughly 225 current MSCA members in late October, and to up to 1,000 others soon thereafter.  

Page two had three editorials/news stories worth noting: "Chess Review sold to USCF," "Revival of Chess Horizons may benefit state players," and "Editor appreciates readers comments" that would establish a tradition of editorial freedom among almost two dozen future editors of the magazine over roughly 45 years. A number of predictions were made by this pioneer editor, but just one ever materialized...that the bimonthly (6 times per year) frequency would "soon" become monthly. 

 We also acknowledged that a mimeographed publication called Chess Horizon (no "s") was produced by MSCA from 1962 to 1964 under the editorship of Bob Goodspeed. MSCA/MACA had no publication from early 1964 to the fall of 1969, a five-year gap. The 18-year old editor and freshman at Northeastern University (journalism major) made it clear that the pages of CH were open for comment about the sport, hobby and any common interests among Massachusetts chess players. 

 Other features included stories on the Boston Met League, a report on the Rhode Island-Massachusetts match in Boston, lectures on Saturdays at the Boylston Chess Club, a full-page report on scholastic chess leagues across the state (then called "schoolboy chess") and the "record" 129-player U.S. Junior Open during the summer of 1969 at Northeastern University, reports of three tournaments in September and October run by the MSCA, a nine-clue Pillsbury puzzle, recommendations on beginner and intermediate chess books, Spassky's rise to defeat Petrosian to become world champion, Shapiro's "Master at Large" column, and a format statement asking for chess artwork (that would soon begin to flood in from volunteers). The back page had a calendar, the puzzle answers and two ads. 

 The budget for the issue was less than $100 (excluding the postage to mail out subscriber and promotional copies), and 1,500 copies were printed. It took 100 hours to type out and layout the eight pages of text that were done on a manual typewriter with a fabric ribbon (the only issue produced this way) and then photo reduced to 67% of original size (columns were 3 inches wide, reduced to double columns of 2 inches).  

The cover had another "feature," introduction of the minuteman figure by graphic artist David Monroe to promote the 1970 U.S. Open. That's why Chess Horizons came together so fast--to raise awareness of the 1970 U.S. Open along with educational, open events and scholastic programs of the Association, and, funding was from an expense deduction from the almost monthly MSCA events, and the "editor" had a $25 discretionary fund, which this writer hardly considered a salary of any sort for the 100 hours of research and production time to produce this first issue in less than a month after being named to the MSCA board and to the editor position. 

 History may judge Chess Horizons by the hundreds of issues by nearly two-dozen editors and hundreds of contributors over the years, and probably 20,000 or more games, numerous crosstables and chess hobby and sporting opinions expressed within its pages, mostly by volunteers. And, for a chess publication, 45 years is a LONG time for most any hobby journal produced by amateurs for a non-profit group six or even four times per year. 

BONUS: The Very First Game in CH! 

On Page 3 of that inaugural late-1969 issue is a mention of a recent match held at Boston’s YMCU between twelve-person teams representing Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Massachusetts won the match by a decisive 8.5-3.5 margin, and it would be a game from that match – a back-and-forth Ruy Lopez between Rhode Island’s Ed Friedman and a gambiteering Harry Lyman – which became the first ever published in Chess Horizons:

Ed Friedman 
Harry Lyman 
MA – RI Match 
Ruy Lopez – Marshall Gambit [C89] 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 e4 10. dxc6 exf3 11. d4 Bd6 12. Qxf3 Re8 13. Bd2 Bg4 14. Qd3 Rxe1+ 15. Bxe1 Qe7 16. Nd2 Re8 17. f3 Bh5 18. Bf2 Bg6 19. Qf1 Qe2 20. Rd1 Bf4 21. Qxe2 Rxe2 22. Nf1 Rxb2 23. Bg3 Bxg3 24. hxg3 a5 25. Rd2 Rb1 26. d5 Ne8 27. Bc2 Rc1 28. Bxg6 hxg6 29. a4 bxa4 30. Ra2 Rxc3 31. Rxa4 Rc5 32. Ne3 Nd6 33. Kf2 Kf8 34. Ke2 Ke7 35. g4 Nb5 36. Kd3 Nc3 37. Ra3 Nxd5 38. Kd4 Kd6 39. Nc4+ Rxc4+ 40. Kxc4 Kxc6 41. Rxa5 Ne3+ 42. Kd4 Nxg2 43. Ke4 Nh4 44. Ra8 f5+ 45. Kf4 fxg4 46. fxg4 Ng2+ 47. Kg5 Kd5 48. Kxg6 c5 49. Kxg7 c4 50. g5 c3 51. g6 Nh4 52. Kf6 Nxg6 53. Kxg6 Kd4 54. Kf5 c2 55. Rc8 Kd3 56. Kf4 Kd2 ½ - ½ 


Those interested in further exploring the history of Chess Horizons can check out the Boylston Chess Club’s bound anthologies, which encompass much of its forty-five year history.