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Old November 20th 04, 01:26 PM
Sam Sloan
 
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Default Whatever happened to the Master Emeritus title?

I have just received a mailing that refers to Harold Dondis as the
Chairman Emeritus of the US Chess Trust.

The title of Master Emiritus was awarded by the USCF and included in
every USCF rating list in the 1950s and 1960s.

The title was supposed to be awarded to elderly players who had once
been masters but due to age or infirmity could no longer hold the
title. For example, someone like Herman Helms would be awarded the
Master Emeritus title. It would be an insult to call Helms a "Class A
Player" even though at age 90 he could no longer hold the master title
over the board. The real ratings of players with the Master Emeritus
title were not published.

The problem was that the Master Emeritus title was subject to abuse.
Norman T. Whitaker insisted on being called a Master Emeritus even
though his real rating was still master. Whitaker did not want anybody
to know that his rating had dropped to as low as 2220.

There was a player in Mississippi, I do not remember the name, who was
awarded the Master Emeritus title even though in his life his rating
had never been above the 1800s.

I assume that the title has been dropped. Does anybody know?

Sam Sloan
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Old November 20th 04, 06:55 PM
Few Good Chessmen
 
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"Sam Sloan" wrote in message
...
I have just received a mailing that refers to Harold Dondis as the
Chairman Emeritus of the US Chess Trust.

The title of Master Emiritus was awarded by the USCF and included in
every USCF rating list in the 1950s and 1960s.

The title was supposed to be awarded to elderly players who had once
been masters but due to age or infirmity could no longer hold the
title. For example, someone like Herman Helms would be awarded the
Master Emeritus title. It would be an insult to call Helms a "Class A
Player" even though at age 90 he could no longer hold the master title
over the board. The real ratings of players with the Master Emeritus
title were not published.

The problem was that the Master Emeritus title was subject to abuse.
Norman T. Whitaker insisted on being called a Master Emeritus even
though his real rating was still master. Whitaker did not want anybody
to know that his rating had dropped to as low as 2220.

There was a player in Mississippi, I do not remember the name, who was
awarded the Master Emeritus title even though in his life his rating
had never been above the 1800s.

I assume that the title has been dropped. Does anybody know?


What's the point of idling away once an individual is awarded with the
title? There wouldn't be anything special about the title once more
candidates fall in. Personally, I would remember a person as (my) Master
Emeritus not just by his/her rating during active Chess Playing but (most
importantly) the number of (in quality and not necessary quantity) written
publications on Chess Theories, Games Analysis, Problem Compositions, Chess
Playing Software/Hardware R&D, etc based on his/her years of accumulated
knowledges.



Recall from the scene - In Search of Bobby Fischer - where the teacher hands
out a dozen of certificates to his disciple craving of Chess Playing
recognition. A title such as Master Emeritus wouldn't be that easily earned
(hence the respect the bearer truly deserved by the Chess Playing
Communities at least from me). In a healthy Chess Playing atmosphere those
with rating starting 1800 (and over) definitely have something to contribute
to his/her peers (obvious Rating vs. Population ratio should keep Chess Game
in good momentum and well nurtured).



That said how many are able and willing?


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