Maynard Jackson: A Friend of Chess (1938-2003)

The first African-American mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson, died June 23 at the age of 65. Don Schultz, recently elected to the USCF board, sent Georgia Chess the following remembrance:

"As a result of Bill Scott, an Atlanta Chess patron and expert player, Mayor Maynard Jackson lent his name to the organization of the 1981 FIDE Congress in Atlanta. This no doubt got us better room rates and cooperation by many supporting groups.

When Maynard came to our awards dinner he gave a very impressive talk and followed it by spending hours making sure he spoke to every delegate from every country. I was proud to have such an impressive man represent our city and nation. Following the dinner and Maynard's discussions with the delegates,
FIDE President Campomanes, who was not a humble man, said:

Maynard Jackson

Maynard Jackson

"Wow, the USA finally has someone who could get the votes to beat me out for the FIDE Presidency." The fact is Maynard, in those few hours, gave a boost to the reputation of the USA in the eyes of worldwide FIDE delegates - a boost that lasted for years.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Soviet delegate
Vitaly Sevestianov, who was also one of the first cosmonauts, gave a very large trophy of appreciation to Maynard.

My one regret is that in an effort to save money I had recruited an amateur photographer to take photos of that presentation and the photos never came out."

Reprinted from Georgia Chess magazine (Sept/Oct 2003) with permission.

Posted by The Chess Drum: 31 August 2003