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Elliott Forry Laucks
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1961

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(born Jul-22-1898, died Jul-31-1965, 67 years old) United States of America

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 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. E Forry Laucks vs A Cantone 0-113196162nd US OpenC20 King's Pawn Game

Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Stonehenge: A man who accompanied and financed many of Fischer’s trips around the world to play in chess tournaments may also have influenced his ideology. E. Forry Laucks was a multimillionaire who Brady says wore a swastika on his lapel and had Nazi flags in his home.

Whitaker told me that when Laucks would drive a bunch of chess players across the country, he would not take of the car. He would never change the oil. Then, when the engine finally ground down because of no oil in the motor, Laucks would just go to a local used car dealer, buy another car, and then the merry group would speed on their way again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Stonehenge> Interesting, I don't recall a single mention of Laucks in Profile of a Prodigy. Maybe he's in Endgame, but I can't bring myself to read it.
Feb-26-13  IndigoViolet: Interesting how often people reach for the word <interesting>. Just for variety's sake, is there a handy synonym?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: I'd settle for an interesting synonym.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: It's a placeholder on the road to strange, horrifying, disgusting, typical, odd, heartening, comical, etc.
Feb-26-13  King Radio: Laucks has always been sort of a strange figure to me. He did a lot to promote chess, especially in the New York area, but his life seems shrouded in mystery. I think there could be a fascinating article written about him.
Feb-26-13  TheFocus: <Maybe he's in Endgame, but I can't bring myself to read it.>

He is mentioned in regard to the 1956 Log Cabin Chess Team Tour that included 12-year-old Bobby Fischer.

But I agree. After you read <Endgame> once, you don't want to pick it up again.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Benzol: < Just for variety's sake, is there a handy synonym? >

< I think there could be a fascinating article written about him >

Dr McCoy : Please Spock do us a favour and don't tell me it's fascinating

Spock : No, but it is interesting


Feb-26-13  TheFocus: Here is an interesting article about Laucks.


The year is 1980. The first American space-liner has just landed on Mars. Who are these passengers briskly climbing out ahead of all the other people in the ship? There can only be one answer: the space-traveling chapter of the Log Cabin Chess Club of West Orange, New Jersey, led by that intrepid pioneer, E. Forry Laucks. They are seeking Martian chess players for the purpose of engaging in the first interplanetary chess match, the greatest and grandest “first” in the interminable history of “firsts” piled up by the Cabineers.

Do you think, tough-minded reader, that we are jesting? Nothing of the kind. This is as sure a prophecy as that the Irish will celebrate next St. Patrick’s Day. In order to extrapolate, we merely need to take a look at some of the actual “firsts” on the log of these ubiquitous wanderers.

They were first in the Western Hemisphere to travel by yacht and plane to other clubs, first to be televised while en route to Fairbanks and first to play matches in forty states. Whimsically, they were first to play a tournament by gas light in modern times and first in the Western Hemisphere to hold a blindfold tournament. As for their heavy guns, they have won the championship of the country’s strongest chess league (beating out the powerful Marshall Chess Club in New York City to do so) and have had on their membership list all classifications of U.S. champions, including the national, open, amateur, women’s, correspondence and junior. Even the bright face of danger has been stared down by the Cabineers, as on the occasion when they went on a hazardous trip of exploration to snow-capped mountains near Mexico City, almost losing one of their two motor cars during the journey.

Who is this almost legendary figure, Log Cabin chieftain E. Forry Laucks, the man with the vast enthusiasm, untrampled imagination and passionate devotion to the cause of chess? Born back in 1898, he looks like a man in his forties, darkish, intense, ready at a moment’s notice to laugh at himself and at any of life’s ludicrous situations. Neatly balancing his social and business interests is his gift for art, as evidenced by the paintings which hang upon the walls of his home and which have been exhibited at the Montclair Art Museum, the Trenton Academy of Art, and the Art Center of the Oranges.

He was reared in York, Pennsylvania, as the son of a prominent industrialist and attended Dummer Academy, Mercersburg Academy and Philips Exeter. He first took notice of chess when he was nine years old and at eleven visited the Manhattan and Marshall Chess Clubs in New York. During his boyhood, however, the game did not mean much to him, so that it was not until many years later that he began his checkered past (harmless pun intended) as player and impresario.

Feb-26-13  TheFocus: In 1933, four years after his marriage to Josephine Frances Lehmann, Laucks joined the West Orange YMCA Chess Club. A far as he was personally concerned, he immediately discovered a fatal flaw in the set-up – the relatively early closing time. To a born “night person” such as Forry, who is at his best at three or four in the morning, midnight is the signal for coming awake, not going to bed. Surely, reasoned Forry, there must be nocturnal chess players like himself. Inspiration: Why not establish a haven for these kindred souls, irked as they are by regulations which absurdly put the need for slumber above the lure of Caissa? With Laucks, to get an idea is to act; so he went to work at once to create the world’s liveliest chess club.

In a way, the Log Cabin’s “club personality,” if one may use this term, was just a happy mushroom growth: in another sense, it was the natural result of effort, planning and devotion. When the idea for a chess club took root in Lauck’s mind, the spacious basement of his residence at 30 Collamore Terrace in West Orange, New Jersey (he has another home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and two children) seemed just the thing for his purpose. He wanted a comfortable, relaxing, “different” atmosphere: the answer was to transform his basement into a “log cabin” with furnishings to match. Here, in his own words, is what he sought to accomplish: “[The clubhouse was to be] a log cabin that would be neither too palatial, as some wealthy clubmen’s are, nor so poor and roughshod that it would lack comfort or a certain degree of refinement…

“…I realized that everything, even to the wall decorations, furniture and utensils, had to be in keeping with the surroundings, or else just one piece out of place could spoil the effect of the whole…Therefore I made and designed all the furniture just as if I were in the backwoods where there can be no machined, finished pieces.”

When this labor of love was done, Lauck’s chess-playing friends descended with a cry of joy upon the new chess club. Where else, indeed, could they find rooms whose main house rules came close to avoiding all rules and whose perfect playing conditions were not marred by orders of “lights out” and other intolerable interruptions of chess genius in the throes of creation? The first session, held on January 31, 1934, did not break up until 4 a.m. Subsequent meetings lasted till 5 a.m. or dawn or such time as Morpheus claimed his own.

Formal organization of the Log Cabin Chess Club took place on July 28, 1934, and resulted in the election of E. Forry Laucks as president. No constitution was drawn up at that time and none is in existence now: the club simply does not need this kind of machinery.

Feb-26-13  TheFocus: It did not take the Log Cabin long to become a rendezvous of champions, deep in tournaments and league matches. The greatest victory of all, duly celebrated at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, occurred when the Cabineers won the championship of the Metropolitan Chess League of New York ahead of the famous Marshall Chess Club. Although the perennial champions of the Manhattan Chess Club were not competing that year (1948), many of the nation’s strongest players took part in these matches, and the triumph of he Cabineers therefore took on epic proportions.

Not to be outdone in any sphere of operations, the Log Cabin claims to publish, and to be the subject of, more reading matter than any other chess club. In addition to a stream of letters, circulars, advertisements, and so forth, literature includes Log Cabin Chess Divertives, issued irregularly as a news bulletin, the book of the Log Cabin Chess Club Championship of 1951, edited by A.N. Towsen, and Selected Games from the Log Cabin Chess Club Spring Tournaments, 1957, edited by Jack Spence. Titleholder of 1951 was Weaver W. Adams, while joint winners of the 1957 Log Cabin Independent Open were A. Feuerstein, G. Fuster, M. Green, A.E. Santasiere, and S. Wanetick. Among titles of future books will be Log Cabin Firsts and Tournament Games and Barnstorming Trips of the Log Cabin. Spence is also preparing a book of Log Cabin games which will include scores taken from its first 1957 Morphy Centennial Tournament (played in Alabama!), on the occasion of which the Log Cabin donated a monument and plaque in honor of Morphy.

It is safe to predict that any little thing that Laucks and his merry men have not yet attended to will be taken care of in due time. Laucks himself, the center of all this ferment, is determinedly unobstrusive and unassuming, as player, as host and as promoter. Thus, although strong enough to have defeated E.S. Jackson, Jr., in a New Jersey championship tournament, he grades himself as Class B and shrinks from having any of his winning scores included in Log Cabin publications “so people won’t think this fellow Laucks is such hot stuff as a player.” His hospitality has been likened to that of the Great Gatsby in Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the 1920’s, except that Laucks entertains on a more modest scale and without benefit of a staff of servants. Chess players, after all, cannot be bothered with folderol when they are intent upon the serious business of stalking the opponent’s King.

The membership card of the Log Cabin Chess Club, as might be expected, is a unique item. On the front are listed three telephone numbers – standard, loud-speaker and mobile car. Underneath the name, “Log Cabin Chess Club’” we read, “The most diversified, animated chess club in the Western Hemisphere.” On the other side of the card is printed the club’s motto: We are the Pioneers
For the most animation.
First here, first there,
First most anywhere.
We are ready, up and forward!
Let’s schusse! Log Cabineers!!!

“Let’s schusse,” an expression of the Pennsylvania Dutch, is roughly translated as “Let’s be up and doing.” That just about sums up the club spirit. To return to our opening themme: if there is ever an interplanetary chess match, we know who will be first to face the extra-terrestrials over the chessboard – Chess Review, January 1958, pg. 14-15.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: Laucks died in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Premium Chessgames Member
  HeMateMe: And, to think he missed out on a copyright bonanza!


Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: Laucks definitely played in every US Open from 1950-1963, as well as his tragic last appearance in 1965.

I strongly suspect he also played at Boston 1964, but that is the tournament without a crosstable and I can't verify his presence either from reports or published games. I would welcome verification of that fact -- or, for that matter, any information about the 1964 US Open..

This is what I've put together so far:

Game Collection: US Open 1964, Boston

Premium Chessgames Member
  wordfunph: from Anthony Santasiere's Essay on Chess..

<Oklahoma City, U.S. Open - this story about the last two players in the standing, something like #129 and #130 fighting it out for the last place. One of them was our dear Forry, the other a good chess friend - two chess lovers without a thought in their heads. Hard fought game - Forry (his opponent having gone for a long walk) made his move and pushed his clock, and also went for a walk (empty table). In ten minutes Forry returned (empty table), sat down, carefully studied the position, made a move, pushed his (already pushed) clock, and went walking. A returned opponent thought the position strange, but said nothing. Game finished, as friends they walked out together, opponent remarking: "You know, Forry, I think you made two moves in a row." Forry (insulted) - "Who, me?" No reply. The next day Forry met him and said "You know, about those two moves you said I made - I think now maybe you were right; and I'll tell what, the next time we play, I'll let you make two moves in a row!">


Jul-22-16  TheFocus: Happy birthday, E. Forry Laucks.
Jul-22-16  Ultra: I find myself...


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