Wednesday, August 15, 2012

February 1945, WWII Is Almost Over, and Chess Is All the Rage

Two men playing chess with an older lady watching. Copy made for L H Bowen. Date Feb 1945. From the John Holly Williams Collection.

Photo of young people taken at a youth center for Mrs Houston Case. Date 2/9/1945. From the John Holly Williams Collection.
Not sure why chess was such an obsession at this time in Brookhaven, but according to one chess website, World War II was almost over and there was an involvement of European chess players and code breaking at this point. Duly noted was a statement on the same website that censorship was not as strict at this time.  

Perhaps Americans at home were intrigued by the reported code breaking and drawn to chess as a result? That is pure speculation on my part, so please don't take that as gospel -- more research is needed. Suggestions as to why this phenomena occurred are welcome and any help in identifying the people in the photos is also encouraged!


  1. For some reason, I missed this post. The girl standing at the right looks an awfully lot like Judy Entrikin. Her son Tom is a FB friend, I'll ask him to check it out. One of the guys standing near the rear is I believe Robert Vincent Panzica.

  2. I love your blog. This is a cool site and I wanted to post a little note to tell you, good job! Best wishes!!!
    Play Chess