A Half-Century of Chaturanga Chess

The club that was to become Chaturanga began life in the winter of 1970 as the “Elco Chess Club,” named for the company where it operated. The earliest available documentation of the club’s existence in our archives is the following letter, dated January 7, 1970, and addressed to our founding president, Sal Ciavola:

Yes, that is probably THE Benjamin Fox, of Fox Pavilion fame.

(If you lived in the Philadelphia area in the 1970s and ’80s, you might remember the Benjamin Fox Pavilion in Jenkintown, next to the Lord & Taylor department store on Old York Road and where Bonwit Teller and a branch of F.A.O. Schwarz were located on the first floor.)

In the spring of 1970, the Elco Chess Club changed its name and Chaturanga was officially born. Article III, paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Club’s original constitution specify that:

6) Any person joining the chess club on or before March 5, 1970, shall be a charter member of the club.

7) Any person joining the chess club after March 5, 1970, shall be a regular member of the club.

This is a work in progress. Be sure to come back as we fill out the club’s history!

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