I don’t believe I had ever met James “Jim” Eade before quite recently – his tenure as Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Director from 1996 to 1998 coincided with the time of my leaving for Virginia for 15 years. I missed a lot, chess-wise, in the San Francisco Bay Area during that time.
I originally planned this article as a straight interview, and I asked Jim a few softballs, like:
Q. How old are you and where are you from?
A. I was born in 1957. New Haven, Connecticut.
Q. What’s your favorite food?
A. Candied ginger
I don’t know if Jim likes softball, but I do know he loves baseball.
The author of Remember the MacCutcheon, as well as bestsellers Chess for Dummies and Chess Openings for Dummies – books I certainly need to look at if I want to bring my game back up to speed – Jim is also the author of (the amazingly titled) Chess Player’s Bible.
On Jim’s resume –
Past editor of the California Chess Journal. Served on the executive Board of the USCF. Past President of Cal Chess. Past President of the Chess Journalists of America. American Zone President of FIDE, 2000 – 2002. Past trustee of the U.S. Chess Trust.
Q. Proudest achievement in chess?
A. Organizing the 1995 Pan-Pacific GM Invitational in San Francisco.
(I’m not exactly sure if this was the question… or the answer to the question! But it’s close. And it allows me to add the tournament book, won by GM Victor Korchnoi and with annotations by GM Nick de Firmian, to the list of books Jim has written.)
There’s more here on Jim’s Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Eade
Besides being a World of Chess Knowledge unto himself and an accomplished FIDE Master, Jim is a friend and fellow traveler with many in the Chess World: the great and the unknown.
I’ve really enjoyed hanging out with Jim while doing commentary on the TNM – it’s been 3 times now, and I’m looking forward to more. He takes the pressure off me, and gently points out my mistakes. We make plans for the future, and talk about the old times as though we’d known each other for years.
I asked Jim what he’s up to now:
Q. What are you up to now?
A. I am Chairman and CEO of eadefoundation.org
The Eade Foundation’s goals, as Jim explains, is “Building communities through chess for those who cannot otherwise easily access the chess community”. I urge you to take a look at Jim’s work, as chess is being increasingly seen as a way to help empower people, to help bring community.
I think Jim likes hanging out at the Chess Club because he feels that kind of community here. I know that I feel it all the more strongly when Jim’s in the room.
Finally, there’s Jim the chess player. Here’s a few games that he’s found memorable. I’ll try to remember what he said about them, and to give a smart preamble to each.
(1) Eade,Jim (2240) – De Firmian,Nick E (2560) [A47]
Labor Day Festival op California, 1993
It’s not every day you get to play a strong Grandmaster, let alone draw with one. Jim shows great fighting spirit, matching Nick move-for-move. In the final position Black might be better, but John Grefe’s declaration that “black is winning” seems far-fetched. Nick has the strong players uncanny sense of danger – there’s danger for black here too, despite the possibility of making a passed pawn on the kings-side. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 4.e3 Bb7 5.Bd3 Be7
(2) Lobo,Richard (2270) – Eade,James V [E06]
Labor Day Festival op California, 1993
A really nice take-down of one of San Francisco’s top Senior Masters. Despite the early exchange of queens white comes under a crushing attack. 14…Ng4! signals the end, and 21…Be3! is just the showy icing on the proverbial cake. 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Be7 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.g3 0-0
(3) Eade,Jim (2335) – Au,Leslie [E72]
Hawaii op Hawaii, 1994
This is from another tournament organized by Jim, a futurity in Hawaii. This is a nice, powerful positional win over one of Hawaii’s best. In the final position the bishop on c8 is lost. 1.d4 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Ne2 c6
(4) Eade,Jim (2320) – Frias Pablaza,Victor J (2485) [A47]
USA-chT Amateur East Parsippany (1), 13.02.1999
Jim includes this game, saying IM Frias was the strongest player he beat, even though he was worse at one point. It’s true: 17.cxd5?! was a positional mistake, and black was marginally better. However 20…Bxe5 gave up much: white straightened out his pawns, and black’s feints on the kingside were nothing. A tactical oversight: 25…Qf5?? was brutally refuted. In the final position if 27…Ne7 28.Rxf8+ Kxf8 29.Ba3 Qg5 is met by Qc8 mate! 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.e3 b6 4.Bd3 Bb7 5.Nbd2 e6