Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Email from a reader

I thought y'all might be interested in the documentary I’m making about New Orleans chessmaster Jude Acers who has been playing $5 games in the French Quarter at his "World Chess Table" since 1981.

In 1964 a 20-year old Acers entertained a 21-year old Bobby Fischer in Baton Rouge in New Orleans (where he played  Fischer to a draw at a simultaneous tournament), shortly after Fischer's 11-0 run at the U.S. Chess Championship; in 1968 Acers lived in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district and played pick-up basketball with The Doors and counted Janis Joplin among his acquaintances when he wasn't competing against top players at the Mechanics' Chess Club; Jude's 1970 win over U.S. Champion Walter Browne was voted a “Top Ten” theory game in the world for 1970 by a panel of six grandmasters and published in Chess Informant; Acers has been in the Guinness Book of World Records twice for simultaneous exhibitions and today Fodor’s 2013 New Orleans guidebook sends tourists right to Jude's table. Jude has also logged thousands of miles across the country via Greyhound bus giving chess exhibitions in prisons and malls. He's a great popularizer of the game.

We have already spent extensive time at Acers' table interviewing him at length when he's not playing and they're also developing storylines about people in Jude's orbit--a cast that looks remarkably like New Orleans.

An anonymous benefactor in recent years has sent Jude to compete in the FIDE World Senior Chess Championship held annually in Europe and the documentary team has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough funds to join Acers in Croatia in November to cover Jude as he seeks to become the World Senior Chess Champion.

Here's a link to our Kickstarter campaign where you can learn more about Jude and our project. I hope you give it a look and don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Derek Bridges

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