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Postal gaming in the family

Idly googling my ancestors in the hope of getting some genealogical insight is one of my occasional harmless pastimes. I have struck gold for once with this story from the archives of the Correspondence Chess League of America (at least, from context, I guess that is what CCLA stands for):
After nearly 50 years, the Henry D. Hibbard Trophy formerly given to winners of CCLA's Grand National has resurfaced among the personal effects of its last known holder, 1950 GN champion Curtis Garner. The Trophy, some 18 inches high and made of sterling silver, was described by the great Jack Collins as "fully as impressive as either the Frank J. Marshall Trophy or the Hamilton-Russell Cup [given to FIDE's Olympiad-champion team]."
The trophy was named for Hibbard, one of CCLA's earliest members whose friendship with CCLA organizer Stanley Chadwick dates from at least 1913. In 1924, Hibbard joined the club's "leadership ladder" as Second Vice-President, moving to First Vice-President the following year and then President the year after that. After CCLA's Grand National event was re-established in 1933, Hibbard's son had the trophy made in honor of his father's long CCLA career and directed that it be given in turn to each GN champion.
I had no idea about this. But it's an odd coincidence that both wwhyte and I were at one time very involved with a related hobby, postal Diplomacy; we are Hibbard's only great-grandsons.

Hibbard was born in 1856 and so would have been 70 when he ascended to the dizzy heights of president of the CCLA. He had made it big in metallurgy, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey (his book on the manufacture and uses of alloy steels was recently reprinted). His first wife, our great-grandmother, died in childbirth in 1904, and his second wife was in generally poor health (she was the mother by her first marriage of the literary critic Van Wyck Brooks), so correspondence chess must have been how he whiled away the lonely hours of his retirement. And sixty years later, his great-grandsons picked up a very similar hobby. It's a funny old world.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2008 01:59 pm (UTC)
I keep meaning to join a Diplomacy by email game, but never ever get around to it.

But that is rather cool.
Jan. 26th, 2008 07:26 pm (UTC)
I put whatever I knew about my family genealogy online in about 1996:


It's been neat, because every once in a while, I'll get E-mail from very distant cousins, and additional information about my family.

The most interesting thing was hearing from my cousin Sebastian, whom I'd never met. His grandmother and my mother were first cousins and grew up together. His father, Dana, had...um...emmigrated rapidly to Canada during Viet Nam.

During Torcon, we all got together for dinner. It turned out I had met Dana when I was about 4 - he remembered me, but I didn't remember him. And, since Dana had emmigrated to Toronto, he knew Judy Merrill slightly, as she worked with other Americans who had also rapidly emmigrated to Canada.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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