1982 Badger Chess Interview with William Martz

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 31 March 2024
  • Last Updated: 30 April 2024
Reprinted with permission of Bill Williams, Badger Chess editor from the October 1982 edition.

This interview was conducted about two weeks after Wisconsin’s William Martz had won the U.S. Open Co-Championship with GM Andrew Soltis.  It took place in the chess room of the townhouse apartment that he and his wife, Norma, dwell in Wauwatosa.  The walls are lined with bookshelves, each one packed with chess volumes on every subject one might wish to examine, and atop the bookshelves are the many trophies he has accumulated in his 20-odd year career as Wisconsin’s leading player.  Also present for the interview (although he declined to comment for publication) was his good friend Dr. Robert Huebner, a name well known to chess fans.  The interview ended abruptly, when the tape recorder used to record his answers ran out of tape—much to the embarrassment of this confused editor.

When and where did you begin playing chess?

I began playing chess when I was a senior in high school at about age 15, and I was brought up on the tournaments in Milwaukee.  It was the custom in those days to hold the Thanksgiving and Fourth of July tournaments at good hotels; either the Plankington or the Schroeder, or similarly good sites. They were quite well organized and playing conditions were very good when compared with modern swiss-system events.  So, I became interested in chess because it seemed a pleasant thing to do. Being competitive by nature, and being a little artistic, one finds chess a good means to express oneself … a good outlet for a competitive spirit.

Where did you attend college?

I attended the University of Wisconsin for three or four years and took a degree in mathematics which I haven’t seen fit to use.

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Arpad Elo Visits the 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace

  • Written by Mike Nietman
  • Published: 22 June 2012
  • Last Updated: 11 March 2023

By Mike Nietman, Local Organizer, 1990 World Youth Chess Festival for Peace

In July of 1990 Fond du Lac’s Marian College hosted the Under 14, Under 12 and Under 10 Open and Girl’s sections of the World Youth Chess Championships. Over 170 players from 40 countries and six continents descended on the small liberal arts college located sixty miles northwest of Milwaukee. Many famous players competed in the event. International stars included Romania’s Gabriel Schwartzman and a then-relatively-unknown Peter Leko of Hungary. The Americans were led by Tal Shaked, Morgan Pehme, Josh Waitzkin and eventual Under 10 champion Nawrose Nur. But the biggest name was the world’s number one rated woman, Hungary’s Judit Polgar who arrived with her contingent and her father Lazlo.

Most teams that flew came thru Milwaukee’s Mitchell airport; this included the Hungarians. We had staged greeters at the airport to welcome the teams as they landed and to shepherd them to waiting buses for the final leg of their journey to Fond du Lac. We knew the flights most of the teams would be on, so we asked the Milwaukee representatives to notify Hungarian-born and retired Marquette University Physics professor Arpad Elo about Judit’s itinerary, as he had always wanted to meet her.

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State Chess Champions

  • Written by Arlen
  • Published: 29 October 2004
  • Last Updated: 16 October 2023

Wisconsin has been active on the national chess scene for longer than most other states in the union, but we seem to have come to the idea of formalizing the state champion later than our contemporaries. The earliest formal championship we've been able to find was a match that crowned Carl Eppert as the official state champion. We're still digging through archives looking to fill in the blanks, as there was active club play in the state going back to the days of Morphy and Paulsen. This list is the official list; if you have information about champions not on it, please contact us with the information.

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Memories of Greg Knutson

  • Written by Don Hwang
  • Published: 16 November 2004
  • Last Updated: 14 April 2009

On July 28, 1996, my friend died. To the members of the chess community who did not know former USCF Master Gregory A. Knutson I offer my deepest sympathy. They shall never know the kind soul who brought gentle humor and intellectual challenge into my life. Greg was a man of many talents and a broad range of interests. Most of us are familiar with his chess playing ability, but many are unaware that he was also a 2-dan Amateur (Master) of Go and that it was his true love. Perhaps, it was his lifelong interest in Mathematics which propelled him toward a game in which logic was not the determining factor in mastery, but intuition, passion and unrestricted imagination. Nor are many people aware of the fact that he was an expert at backgammon and bridge.

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Being a series of articles devoted to reproducing elements from past journals about Wisconsin's chess heritage