Sunday, April 5, 2009

Miami, Florida: World Chess Hall of Fame

Bet you didn't know there even was a World Chess Hall of Fame. And if you guessed it, you probably didn't think of Miami as its location. (New York would have been a natural.)

Turns out that Miami is the home of Excaliber, the leader in computer chess games. So the creation of the chess hall was a natural attraction for the firm. Up it went, right off an Interstate on the west side of town (and a long way from the ocean).

Inside, there are displays of old chess pieces, the list of honorees, other memorabilia, and -- thankfully -- places to play chess. The big attraction, though, probably is the table from the most famous chess match in history: Fischer-Spassky, Iceland, 1972 (shown). Fischer's odd behavior cost the game a chance to capitalize on an absolute windfall of publicity from that match. And Fischer continued his march to the deep end in the years after that.

The Hall has an induction weekend and other special events. It's a cute little place that could get even better in the years ahead.

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