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Radio club recreates historical chess match

Published: Friday, November 9, 2012

Updated: Friday, November 9, 2012 02:11

Old Chess Match


Texas A&M amatuer radio club, W5AC, receives radio signals to coordinate chess moves in 1973.

The world is at the fingertips of students, only one click of the mouse or press of the button away. But for the students of Texas A&M University in 1973, the world wasn’t so close.

On March 23, 1973, the chess clubs of Texas A&M and the University of Texas competed with the assistance of their campus amateur radio club. On Nov. 11, this event will be re-created with a chess match between teams from Texas A&M and the University of Tennessee with the assistance of W5AC —A&M’s amateur radio club — and AA4UT, the University of Tennessee’s.

Paul Schattenberg, senior aerospace engineering major and president of W5AC, explained the significance of the event.

“The reason we did it in 1973 was there was no internet and people didn’t have unlimited long-distance on their phones,” Schattenberg said. “It was a technological method of having a chess match between several players in two different clubs that were physically not in the same room.”

Schattenberg also said the event has been of great interest to the U.S. Chess Federation as well as the Amateur Radio Relay League. The event will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. in Koldus.

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