National Master Miro Reverby produced an interesting video documentary on a partial history of Washington Square Park. He includes footage of legendary figures in the chess hustle game in New York and provides a candid view inside the life of a small family of chess players. The park has been a setting in movies such as “Searching for Bobby Fischer” and “Fresh” and have hosted American prodigies such as Bobby Fischer, Hikaru Nakamura and Fabiano Caruana.
The video contains a number of legendary characters in the “hustling” realm, some have long passed away or left the park. Some of the most colorful characters in the park history can be seen in this video such as Vincent Livermore (deceased), Sammy, Poe, Theo, Russian Paul, Big Ralph are a few of the characters seen in the video.
There is a cameo appearance of GM Roman Dzindzihashvili and a segment of Larry Tamarkin playing self-proclaimed Jack “World Grandmaster of the World” Cohen in a humorous scene. The video is narrated by “Jimmy Jam“.
1990 Flashback: “Russian Paul” waiting for a game while
Ernest Colding (seated right) is in a test. Photo by Daaim Shabazz.
While the video was done as a school project and is of poor VHS quality, it is really a jewel to behold. While many of the characters in this video have passed away or have aged, the personalities in this video are brought to life once again. The magic of Washington Square Park lives! Thanks Miro!
“MEN WHO WOULD BE KINGS”
by NM Miro Reverby
CAUTION: CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE
See “Chess at Washington Square Park, Part #1“ for other footage.