( See the article below in the Port Huron Times Herald for Sunday, January 18, 2015 in the “Life” section.)

 “ Alan Gregg, a member of the Port Huron Chess Club, won the Class A championship at the Michigan Masters, Experts, Class chess tournament Jan. 9-11 in Lansing.

"I'm 70 now," he said. "I learned the game quite young, but I really didn't start playing until my 20s.

"I have an actual flair for the game. I'm probably in the top 50 in Michigan. In chess itself, I'm in the top 5 percent in the country."

In 2010, Gregg won the Michigan Senior title.

"At that stage I was in the top 100 in the USA over 65," he said. "I'm out of that now. My rating is dropping."

Players in Class A have ratings of 2,000 to 1,800. The class is one notch down from Masters — players with ratings greater than 2,000.

There were 141 people in the multi-class event at Lansing. There were 19 Class A players in the section that Gregg won.”

 Lon Rutkofske and Stew Wilkinson battle each other in a 5-minute game! Photo by Nicholas Grenke - Port Huron Times Herald


Chess club is a place to check out

Nicholas Grenke,5:07 p.m. EDT September 3, 2014

Kings and queens — and knights and bishops — meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Port Huron Chess Club.

The club, which has 10 to 15 members, has a place at the chessboard at the Palmer Park Recreation Center, 2829 Armour St., Port Huron, for anyone who wants to sit down and enjoy the game of kings. The club has been around for 45 years, and is hosted by the Port Huron Recreation Department.

              "We've had a lot of great players come through here," club director Lon Rutkofske said. "We're the oldest active club in the Port Huron Recreation                                Department."

Rutkofske started the club in 1969 when he came to Port Huron as a teacher. In addition to instructions, tournaments and competition, he also publishes a newsletter and updates a website.

The club will have a chess clinic at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the recreation center. The clinic will start with the basic rules and will continue until 10 p.m.

The club will have tournaments at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and 18.

"People come down to a chess club for the social interaction as well as for playing the game," Rutkofske said.

The club is free; individual lessons are $7.50; people also can pay membership fees of $20 for adults and $10 for those younger than 19 to play in club tournaments. The fees help pay for prizes, plaques and club events not provided by the Port Huron Recreation Department.

"If you just want to come down for causal play, there's no charge — we'll help you out as the game goes along," Rutkofske said.

Rutkofske said at the club's peak in the early 1970s, when more than 100 people attended. He said online games have attracted some players to stay home, and people now seem to have shorter attention spans.

He said Port Huron has a very vibrant chess community and the club's annual championship draws players from across St. Clair County and eastern Michigan.

"Some of the best players in the state come here," Rutkofske said. "There's some great young players, too, like Nathan, who could be very good."

Nathan Hartwig, 17, of Clinton Township, won the Port Huron Chess Club Junior Championship.

Stew Wilkinson, of Port Huron, has been coming to the club since he was in high school in the early 1970s.

"My athletic career ended in my 30s," Wilkinson said. "Chess helps fuel the competitive spirit and there is a high level of sportsmanship."

Wilkinson said playing chess won't magically make a player smarter — but the game helps people learn to have a good work ethic because chess takes a lot of studying and forethought.

Rutkofske said the game helps people concentrate — an issue in today's society, as attention spans grow shorter.

"Chess is chess," Wilkinson said, moving a bishop while playing against Rutkofske. "It's a great game."

Contact Nicholas Grenke at (810) 989-6261 or ngrenke@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @NickSJ86.



• The Port Huron Chess Club meets at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays, except for holidays, at the Palmer Park Recreation Center, 2829 Armour St., Port Huron.

• The club will have a fun tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Play starts at 7 p.m.

Reprinted with permission of the Port Huron Times Herald

 http://bwne.ws/1nYh6I4  - this will take you to the video

Saturday Chess in St. Clair Going Strong! 

It’s Saturday morning, at 10:30am, as I pull into the parking lot at the Burger King on Clinton Ave. in St. Clair where an Einsteinian vision of Tom Broyles, former Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of St. Clair county, local duplicate bridge instructor and resident chess enthusiast meets my gaze from the main dining area. Home of the St. Chess Club for over 14 years, Burger King has been a patient and responsive host and has provided monthly meeting space each Saturday without charge. Other regulars include: Jaime Chan, Rob Brown, Joe Nadasky, Dave Boucher, Noel Bedy and now, members of the PHCC desiring to take advantage of a second chess playing opportunity have begun attending as well. While playing time is limited to 3 ½ hours at its Port Huron counterpart, closing time on Saturday, seems to be the only time control on Saturdays in St. Clair. If you enjoy the luxury of chess, food, and full day of playing the royal game, then Saturdays at St. Clair Burger King is for you! Just remember to bring your own, sets, clocks, boards and endurance!

 St. Clair Chess Club Featured in Times Herald Article – Complete Story Follows:

Game on: Chess club meets weekly By BOB GROSS/Times Herald: Pictures by WENDY TORELLO/Times Herald . Reprinted by permission of the Port Huron Times Herald.

 PHCC shirts still available        

Whether you have noticed or not (members of the PHCC have moved into the fashion mainstream with stylish collection of its very own. Aided by accomplished embroiderer and design artist, Diane Rutkofske, members of the PHCC now have access to high quality, custom creations that sport the logo of the Port Huron Chess Club.

With the price tag of just $30, you too can enjoy the celebrity that comes with the crisp, tailored look of well-dressed chess aficionados in colors that best reflect your chess-playing mood. Whether it be burgundy, black or traditional white (other colors available on request), these objects de arte available in sizes S thru 2XL, will make you the envy of every chess enthusiast, be they friend or foe.

Don’t miss this opportunity to become a player of distinction and exquisite taste – order your shirt/s today by contacting Diane at drutkofske@sbcglobal.net. See you on the runway!

PHCC scheduled to re-open in May

It appears that the PHCC may reopen in early May according to acting supervisor Ronda Bingham. In order to facilitate this situation, the PHCC must demonstrate the willingness to operate under strict CDC and Port Huron Recreation Department guidelines, and had to submit our Covid-19 Procedures. Below are the guidelines that I have developed to ensure that we can open for in-person play. Please review and comment as necessary. Please continue to monitor our website for further updates!


PHCC procedures and protocols resulting from Covid-19 Pandemic

The following policies/procedures will be in place once the PHCC will begin meeting again at Palmer Park Recreation Center and continue until pandemic infection is on longer remains a threat as indicated by the CDC:

·         Entrance/Exit for regularly scheduled club meetings will be via the NW door of the recreation center, unless staff opens the main door for another event.

·         CDC approved face covering will be required of all members or visitors throughout the duration of their attendance during club events.

·         All members/guests are required to sign in via PH Recreation Department guidelines.

·         Tables /chairs will be arranged to meet the CDC guidelines for social distancing at a space at a minimum of 6 feet.  Only two chairs will be available per table for play. Observers must stand at least 6 ft. from each other and the table they are observing.

·         Washing of hands should take place between games and equipment and tables will be wiped down before and after each game and once again before equipment is stored for the evening. Antiseptic wipes will be provided at each table during play.

·         Refreshments provided by the club will be subject to provisions provided by the PH Recreation Department. (Members and/or visitors may provide their own refreshments.)

·         All other Recreation department required policies, procedures and protocols will be enforced by officers/members of the club.

·         Policies, notifications or changes to any of the above mentioned information will posted on the club website,  in the club meeting room, and forwarded to all members via the club newsletter: “Chess Chatter”.

Submitted by Lon Rutkofske on 4-12-21


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