Frank Johnson "chess-tizing" the Peach State!

Frank Johnson arrived in Atlanta (from the Chicago area) some years ago to attend the famed Morehouse College. Upon graduation, he ventured into the field of Information Technology serving as a Systems Analyst and Information Architect for a number of years. He also specialized in JAVA programming and at one time, ran the most popular e-mail chess program on the Internet called "MyEmailChess" before the web name was taken by a competitor.

Johnson found enjoyment in the art of photography and is currently working as a freelance photographer. Some of his award-winning photography can be seen at such places as the Associated Press (wire), The Atlanta Daily World, The Atlanta Voice, and of course, The Chess Drum. Without the mentioning Johnson's love for chess, one cannot get the full picture of this loving husband and father of one.

Frank Johnson takes on four opponents in a simultaneous exhibition. This picture was featured in the July 22nd issue of Atlanta's major newspaper (The Atlanta Journal Constitution) and was captioned "Just some Pawns for the King." The chess activities are part of the 100-day initiative put on by the City of Atlanta. Photo by Reneé Hannans (AJC).

Having spent many years enjoying the rigors of tournament play and blitz chess, he has decided to do more in terms of organizing and has been the driving force behind the city of Atlanta's chess activities in Woodruff Park. As part of "Let's Do Downtown" initiative, Johnson has hosted daily chess activities in the park beginning at 1:00pm. The festivities will extend until September 26, 2003. How did this whole thing start? Mr. Johnson told The Chess Drum,

"My participation began when the Director, Bureau of Cultural Affairs visited the park several months ago eyeing the various gaming activities taking place in the park. She began speaking with the various players and eventually was led to me. I was the only experienced tournament player actually playing in the park. George Leite, Sulaiman Smith, DaQuan Bezaleel and a couple other players were all standing around watching a game I was playing. At any rate… she asked me to contact her about an idea she had for the park (Idea: organized chess during the 100 days). I followed up with several phone calls and eventually wrote a proposal outlining what I could do for the initiative. The rest is pretty much history."

The 100-day initiative is an effort by Atlanta mayor Atlanta Shirley Franklin, who is trying to revitalize the downtown area of Atlanta. Along with chess activities during the week is live entertainment and a host of other activities. To learn more about the chess activities in Woodruff Park or to inquire about photography services, contact Frank Johnson at

Chess in Woodruff Park
Photo by Frank Johnson.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 2 August 2003