Edition # 15 - 10/01/04 - Editor: C. Thompson
(A monthly e-mail newsletter-pertaining to activities in the area)
-Produced by the 1st-week - monthly-

The Homan Sq. Pool Checkers and Chess Club
of Chicago
Homan Sq. Community Center
3559 W. Arthington St.
Chicago, IL.
Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri. - 2:30 - 9:00 P.M.
Phone - 312-746-6650
Pres. Charles Thompson


Homan Sq. Club goes to South Bend 

A contingent of the Club's players traveled to South Bend, Indiana for the annual Pool Checkers Festival of Mr. Roger Blaine, the APCA Treasurer. The Club's Big Four of Lambert, Williams, Thompson, and Lay plus it's new superstar Fred D. Shurn had knockdown drag-out matches as they competed for the top prize. This time the order was Williams, Thompson, Shurn, Lambert, and Lay. The new superstar, Mr. Shurn defeated Lay and Thompson one game each, in the two games matches he played them. Additionally he claims he should have defeated Mr. Thompson in both games but for an oversight on his part. Mr. Thompson retorts. "Sorry, but close is only good in horseshoes."

Other Club entries, Mr. Thurman Earnest and Mr. Stoney Burke finished 7th and 11th respectively. The hospitality of the hosts Mr. Blaine and South Bend resident, Mr. Arthur '"Sonny" Bell, was excellent. As expected, Mr. Blaine has already given the official scores for the tournament. Log on to checkersusa.com for the final results. Thanks is offered to Mr. Blaine for a very nice tournament.

Belated Chicago-News Newsletter Anniversary

It was September 1, 2003, that I embarked on a venture to share Pool Checkers news in the Chicago area.  The response from the contacts has been fantastic and heartwarming.  I would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all for the interest and support.  Hopefully we can continue to provide provocative and interesting information in the future.   The site, http://www.checkersusa.com/, has provided a numerical listing of the Newsletters along with my '20 Greatest.'  Feel free to log on if you have missed some issues.

The Regional Pool Checkers Tournament Idea - Has its time come? 

In the coming months, I will be discussing with various players locally and nationally about the idea of having Regional Tournaments.  I expect to use the checkersusa.com Bulletin Board (BB) along with individual e-mails to discuss this subject. If there is any input, you can e-mail me or use the BB to express your feelings.

Chess Corner

Man vs. Machine   The machine is idle!

Legends of "Buster"

By the summer of 1992 Carl "Buster" Smith seemed to have been at the top of his game. He had come full circle. After his triumph over Mr. Kuperman, he returned to Chicago for a hero's welcome.

Considering his easy trouncing of a brash and outclassed "Pecan" in the late sixties, and throughout his frequent trips to Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe to compete (and hold his own) with some of the great grandmasters, and along with his defeats of Ramsey, Langley, Black, and others-and notwithstanding his disappointments with "Grocery Store Bob" and the "Lady." and then after his greatest triumph (the dethroning of the great Mr. Kuperman), one would have said that he had done it all.

Conventional wisdom would have dictated that he now rest on his accomplishments and live the life of an elder statesman. But that would not be the case for this champion who, like Alexander The Great, needed new worlds to conquer. At this time, after having ruled Chicago Pool Checkers for nearly a half century, he did in July 1992, head of the The Bahamas in search of new glories. He was to compete in the 27th APCA National Tournament being held there.

With the absence of the grandmasters Mr. Kaplan and Mr. Kuperman, Carl "Buster" Smith was now in control again. And again, one would fine his name at the 'top of the pack' in the final standings. While he had to share the 1992 title with the Bahamas' young Andrew Frazier, there was little argument that he had etched his name for all times as a great American Champion.

In October of 1992, Carl "Buster" Smith passed away. At his funeral was a host of his Pool Checkers friends. I think I can recall seeing Mr. William Langley along with his friend Mr. Rudy Poe of Detroit, Michigan. Most of the local players were there also. The arrangements were simple; and those of us who knew him well, conversed quietly among ourselves. My final recollection of the service was that they played ‘jazz music,' perhaps by Gene Ammons, Art Blakley, and/or Ronnie Laws, Stanley Turntine as the final bell tolled.

And so, we all left that service with the feeling that a Giant had been take from our midst.

Editor's Note:  Friends this was the last in a series of my remembrances- The Legends of "Buster," I only hope that you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed sharing them with you. 

Thanks again for your interest and attention.  "Pecan"