Monday, November 2, 2009

Unknown Chess Champ

As I was preparing to graduate from W. R. Myers High School, a teacher/mentor (Frank Semaka) tried very hard to convince me to enroll in the University of Alberta in Edmonton. He was quite disappointed that I chose Brigham Young University instead. Why? Probably because earlier, I had had some experiences on campus, which led me to want to spend more time there. In particular, during the summer of 1967, I attended a Boy Scout conference held at Brigham Young University.

There were many enjoyable activities. I would like to be able to say memorable, but all I can actually remember is a chess tournament, which I won, after some grueling hours. As it was, I think one of the leaders talked my last opponent into resigning, to save time.

At the closing ceremonies, a plaque was awarded to the winner of each kind of competition. The printed program had all of the names and events. Except mine! But, orally, I was called up and recognized as the chess champion, and awarded the plaque. Really, I do remember this.

I have kept the plaque all these years, but have no documentary evidence to substantiate this claim. My mother believed me though, and it is her handwriting on the reverse of the plaque.

Below are pictures taken in 2009 of the obverse and reverse sides of the plaque, along with transcriptions of the text on each side. The plaque itself is a nice piece of walnut, with an embedded plastic emblem showing the logo of the conference.

Obverse (detail photo available on posterous):

L.D.S. Explorer - Ensign 1967 Leadership Conference


Bruce Conrad Chess Champ

I really need to get a better camera than the one in my cell phone!

The pictures are taken with the plaque pillowed on a quillow which my mother made for me many years later.

During my first semester at BYU, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with my classes. I finally decided that I would have to give up not only chess playing, but also science fiction reading, and concentrate on getting the grades to graduate.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I have never learned to play chess. I should. It's in my blood...