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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Club Spotlight - What’s Happening in Waltham
 Nicholas P. Sterling, Ph.D.
  November 2014
My time with Waltham Chess Club dates back to 1991 when I received a phone call on a wintry January afternoon. It was from a chess player named Alan Beck, who proceeded to invite me to a chess club that met in Waltham every Friday evening. I had never been to a real chess club before, so I was intrigued. 
So I went, and met Alan Beck and Steve Frymer for the first time, in a rather drablooking building behind a police station in Waltham. Not many people came that first night, but I still got to play my first club games ever, and even though I think I lost most of them, it was a thrill.
But there were some problems with that locale. One of the most serious nuisances manifested itself severely one evening in the middle of a major tournament, when Grouch Superior from downstairs (the watchman at the door) interrupted us to try to throw us out. This guy almost caused me to leave the Club for good, and it took a great deal of persuasion by Alan Beck to keep in on board.
A lot has happened in twenty-three years. First, thanks to the intervention of Todd Chase, we moved away from the drab building behind the police station (and its rather loud-mouthed building supervisor) to our current posh layout at 404 Wyman Street. It’s not perfect, having a minor problem with a lighting deficiency, but still it provides a great environment for Friday night chess. There’s lots of table space for tournaments, fun chess, and Bughouse (most importantly). Drinking water is nearby, and the bathrooms are clean. The ambiance is pleasant with a great view out the window (cars rushing down the highway); the front door guard, Marie, greets us delightfully every week; we do not have to pay rent.
Second, we have Free Pizza nights and Wild Card tournaments. For the Wild Cards, the players get to vote on the time control of the night. A great way for chess players to spend a Friday before a holiday weekend – they get free dinner if they arrive soon enough!
Third and best of all, there is an annual Club Championship, recently won by Denys Shmelov and Steven Winer (pictured below) – and now, an annual Blitz Club Championship. To give other players besides the top six a chance to participate, the Club Championship has been expanded to include a Summer Open of 10 Rounds
over 5 weeks (with other options offered simultaneously). Both the Championship and Summer Open are prestigious, with much larger cash prizes than our regular weekly events. The combined tournament is held in May and June between MemorialDay and Fourth of July.
I have learned a lot from being the weekly TD at Waltham Chess Club over the last six years, and am grateful to all the players for having made our time at 404 Wyman Street of Waltham an ongoing success.