Remembering Arnold

by Harold J. Winston

US Chess Trust Chairman

When I first meet Arnold, it was probably at the 1975 USCF Directors meeting at Lincoln, Nebraska.  The following year I ran for the USCF Policy Board (later renamed the Executive Board). And, as it turned out, Arnold was my opponent. Our close friendship began later.  In August 1979, Arnold came to me and complained that two week US Opens were too long and too expensive for him and others. I co-sponsored a successful Delegate resolution to authorize a nine day US Open, which has since become the standard.  Later Arnold supported me in my Policy Board campaigns in 1982 for Member-at-Large and in the 1987 run for USCF President.

I supported him becoming FIDE Zonal President, a position in which he worked hard to make sure USA players received the FIDE international titles they had earned. When I went to the 1989 FIDE meetings as USCF President, I observed Arnold’s fine work, together with our other representatives in FIDE, Don Schultz and Fan Adams and the support of Carol Jarecki from the Virgin Islands. Arnold was very helpful to me when I attended those FIDE meetings.

Arnold had a warm and friendly and outgoing personality and a zest for life that earned him many friends at home and abroad. My wife, Carol Weinberg, and I enjoyed talking with Arnold and his wife, Nina and visiting them in their Ft. Lauderdale, Florida apartment.  Arnold could identify with problems others had; he had the endearing quality of empathy.

Arnold wanted to help other players and came up with the idea of a tournament of High School Champions, which was named for him. Years later when a dinner was held honoring Arnold (I believe on his 90th birthday), Arnold was thrilled to receive a plaque listing all the winners of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions that US Chess Trust Managing Director Barbara DeMaro and I presented to him. Arnold loved watching games in the Denker tournament.
In 1988, the US Open and meetings were held at the Lafayette Hotel in Boston. One night a fire alarm went off. Players and delegates alike walked down the stairs, including Arnold’s wife, Nina. Not Arnold. He emerged from an elevator with his jaunty trademark white hat in place.

My two daughters, my wife, and I enjoyed breakfast meetings with Arnold when he was at the US Open. His book, The Bobby Fischer I Knew, co-authored with Larry Parr, is an enduring legacy of his generosity and recognition of other players’ accomplishments.  He was a very special person and I miss him a lot.

 

 

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