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John Tomas of Chicago elected to the Nebraska Chess Hall of Fame.
On Friday, July 13, 2001 at 12:10:03 AM UTC-5, Bruce wrote:
John Tomas, currently of Chicago, Illinois has been formally elected as
the newest inductee into the Nebraska Chess Hall of Fame. John had an
extensive career that included four consecutive Nebraska State
Championships in 1967, 1968, 1969 and 1970 and Omaha City Championships
in 1971 and 1972. John won the City Championship of Chicago where he
now lives in 1978 and 1980. John graduated from Creighton Prep High
School here in Omaha and attended classes at the University of Nebraska
in Lincoln until 1973, when he moved to Chicago to attend Graduate
School at the University of Chicago where he received his PhD in
English. John has also made quite a name for himself in the field of
chess journalism winning numerous awards from the CJA for articles in
the Illinois Chess Bulletin, Chess Life, APCT News Bulletin and for his
efforts in editing bulletins at the U.S. Open in 1979 and the 1983 World
Youth Team Championships.
John joins a small group of some of the finest chess organizers and
players to ever come out of this, a small state. Other players, writers
or organizers in our Hall of Fame include John Watson, Loren Schmidt,
Lee MaGee, Anton Sildmets, Aleks Liepniks, Al C. Ludwig, Delmar Saxton,
Jack Spence, Bud Narveson and perhaps the finest player in the history
of Nebraska, Howard Ohman who won the Nebraska State Championship for 26
years in a row, a feat that will probably never be accomplished again.
According to my Nebraska Chess Bulletins, Ohman once played Alekhine in
an informal eight game match when Alekhine's train was stuck here at
Union Station for several hours. According to the bulletins, Ohman
secured two wins against Alekhine out of eight, although no written
records of the games exist.
People still recollect the game collections and U.S. Open bulletins of
Jack Spence who organized two US Opens in Omaha in 1949 and 1959. The
1959 event bankrupted the Nebraska Chess Association Treasury and led to
the suspension of their official Nebraska Chess Bulletin.
I would like to congratulate John Tomas on joining the Nebraska elite
in our Chess Hall of Fame. He and I have corresponded by e-mail a few
times over the years, and although I just began playing rated chess at
the time that he left for Chicago, I ran across his name quite
frequently in my Nebraska historical research a few years ago. My older
brother was closer in age to John and played him when they were both in
I attended Creighton University from 1966-72 and taught there from 1970-73.
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