Tactics Laboratory #12

I was looking through my game database and found a casual game I played long ago. The game took place in Chicago’s Hyde Park at an outdoor meeting spot called “Harper Square.” Chess players were later banned. My opponent had just played 27. Ne3-g4.

Chicago’s Hyde Park, 1989 (Hyde Park player-Shabazz)
Black to move and win!


  1. Daaim – is the ban still in effect at Harper Square? What would happen if the Drum combines forces with some other chess groups in Chicagoland (such as Renaissance Knights and CICL) and organizes a series of massive protests? People can even bring in their own folding tables and chairs, others would bring sets, and you could fill the square with 20 to 30 chess tables. If the protesters patronize the local shops and eateries, the business people will be on your side. Get some friendly press coverage (including TV and radio) and voila! you’ll overturn the ban! If you have a lawyer or two among the volunteers, they can deal with anyone attempting to violate your rights of free speech and free assembly.

  2. Russ,

    All that happened years ago and Tom Fineberg was bringing chairs and tables out on Saturdays, but it died off. Many players are now at Borders bookstore on the corner of 53rd, but it’s not the same. Harper Square was a special chess watering hole and it was open publicity for the game… not tucked away in a building. It took the enigma away from chess. Another effort may be worth a try now since the business owners may have realized the mistake. I know a few players in Chicago who would be interested… I live in Florida, so I can only participate from the website.

    See this story I wrote titled, “Chicago’s Harper Court bring back Chess!

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