With artists from over 40 states and 6 countries, this year's 22nd  Annual Philadelphia Art Expo held at Temple University's Liacouras Center, proved to be a treat. This event did not disappoint.  Such artists as Jacob Lawrence, Romare BeardenCal Massey, and William Tolliver made the trek to Philly to show  their works to over 40,000 enthusiastic attendees.

To keep you occupied , this Expo had everything from body painting, a fashion show, art auction, live music and poetry, as well as a holistic center for the healthy. With an event such as this , it's no wonder such luminaries like
Isaac Hayes and Billy Dee Williams have demonstrated their works here in the past.

What makes this exciting for chessplayers, is for the first time a chess tournament was included with $6000 in prizes guaranteed.  This was enough to attract strong players like IM Alex Lenderman from New York, IM Bryan Smith, FM William Morrison from Maryland and NM Elvin Wilson.

This tournament was unique in the fact that, it was actually three separate unrated events.  Each day consisted of four G/30 games with separate prizes for high scoring unrated players. IM Bryan Smith seemed to have his game face on all weekend, sharing 1st place each day he played. 

First place was shared on Friday by IM Bryan Smith, NM Elvin Wilson and
David Apelo  from New York.  Saturday's 1st place prize was split by IM Bryan Smith and FM William Morrison.  Sunday's prize was split between Bryan Smith and David Apelo. 

Philly locals like Larry Pugh and Jeffrey Johnson also played but found out that everyone came to play and there would be no cakewalks.

Overall, the event was a nice addition to an already creative environment.  This being the first year, low attendance was somewhat understandable.  I anticipate this event will grow is size over the years.

"Pete" Honored!

On Saturday evening,
Norman "Pete" Rogers was  presented with an award from the city as well as a painting donated by October Gallery.  This was a lifetime achievement award for over 30 years of dedication to this city and our game.

Michael Williams (at podium) helps in awarding Norman "Pete" Rogers with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Also presenting were Glenn Bady and Elvin Wilson. Photo courtesy of Michael Williams.

I was proud to help present this award to a personal friend.

I would personally like to thank Mercer Redcross and his family  for sponsoring this event.  I would also like to thank those who came out and supported.  Next year's event promises to be just as exciting and entertaining. Hope to see everyone there!

Some of these pictures were allowed to be taken due the courtesy of jtrollinschesstables.com and Amaze Art Gallery.

~ Michael L Williams

Posted by The Chess Drum: 16 November 2007