I've been playing chess for most of my 54 years. While my parents don't play, they supported my playing, buying me a chess clock and a tournament size set when I needed one - or thought I did - of my own, and letting me buy books and join the US Chess Federation when I discovered such things existed.
My father, Harry Williams, was for many years responsible for the leather inlays in desks and conference tables sold by Kimball. Over the years, he created many items for Kimball's office personnel from the scrap trimmings of the hides used for the inlays, from folders to desk pads to pencil holders to mouse pads (desk leather makes the best mouse pad I have ever used). He is now retired, but many people still proudly use the folders he made for them.
In the early 1990's, Father presented me with my proudest possession: a wood and leather chess board. He had been making other chessboards, using leather on the frame surrounding the board as well as on the actual squares, for some time previous to this. He even had an oak table-top hanging on the wall in his work area, with a board inlaid into it, as part of the samples displayed for plant tours. Last time I checked, that top is still part of the display in the plant's leather inlay work area. Other than the oak top, this was the first board he had made with a wood frame around the squares. I thought the effect was spectacular. I took the board to a tournament a short time later, and everyone wanted a look at it. One person even stated that he hoped he drew me as an opponent just so he could play on that board!
I've told a lot of people with whom I have corresponded over the years about this board, relying on description to convey the appearance and always feeling that I wasn't doing it justice. Now, here, I can show it to everyone!
Below, you will find links to pictures of my board, another board he made for the plant manager of the furniture plant where he worked at the time, and one of the earlier boards with the leather border. The squares on all three boards are individually-covered wood squares, which are then inlaid in the frame. The result is a tiled effect. There is also a larger piece of leather inlaid into the underside of the board so that the wood frame does not rest directly on the table surface.
The chessboard pictures below will open in a new window. Close the window to return to this page.
My Board. This is a natural-finish walnut frame with green and cream desk leather. The walnut came from boards my grandfather Austin Williams had stored in an attic many years before and that my parents found there after he passed away. That element of family history adds to the meaning this board has for me. The squares on this board are 2 1/4 inches across the top, taking slightly more space edge-to-edge because of the thickness of the leather. The full board measures slightly less than 25 inches across. My Board without Chess Pieces.
The Plant Manager's Board. This board has a figured maple frame with an inlay of genuine ebony wood. The squares are navy blue and dark red leather. The squares on this board are also 2 1/4 inches across the top. The Plant Manager's Board without Chess Pieces.
The Leather-Framed Board. This is one of the earlier boards Father made, before deciding to use a wood frame. The squares on this board are 2 inches across. I used it in a tournament back in the mid-eighties. The Leather-Framed Board without Chess Pieces.
All Three Boards. This is a picture of all three boards together. Even with the distortion of perspective, you can see the size difference in the squares of the leather-framed board. Please Note: I am aware (now) that the board in the foreground is set up with the wrong color square in White's right-hand corner. I guess my brain went to lunch early when I was setting up for this photograph. Yes, I do know better, and this is in fact one of my own pet peeves about chess sets shown in ads and the like. I am considering whether to keep this picture on the site. In the meantime, please excuse the "creative board placement."
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I am very proud of my father and of his work, and I would like to know what you think. He does many things with wood, including turning on a lathe. I have been nagging him for some years about turning a chess set for me (that's a hint, Dad)! He did turn a couple of pieces one time, just to satisfy himself that he could do it. Naturally, I want the whole set. My mother is equally talented. Among other things, she makes scroll-saw cutouts and paints them. She made a wood cutout of a bunny chomping a huge carrot and painted him with such an expression that it would give you the giggles just to look at it. If my father ever turns that chess set, I am going to ask my mother to carve the Knights (another hint, Mom).
Here's an alphabet-block Christmas tree Mom made made for me, Christmas 1999.
My Game Page. Win, lose, or draw, these are some of my most memorable games. Fifteen games are currently posted, including one played as part of a promotional team chess match for a movie's Indianapolis premiere, the toughest draw I ever played, a comeback win (I have added notes to that one), and another interesting draw. By the way, although I check and recheck these games as I post them, it's possible mistakes could get past me (the old thing of knowing what it's supposed to be keeping you from seeing the error while proofreading). If you run across anything that seems like a typo, drop me a line and I'll check it out. (Thanks in advance!)
New! My Postal Games in PGN Format. I've begun a project to put all of my Postal Chess games into a PGN file. This is as much for my own use as anything else, but they're also here for you to see. This is my Postal play with "all the warts." You can see some of the dumbest moves I've ever made as well as my "best and brightest." I have the first 48 Postal Chess games I ever played recorded here right now, out of a current total of 92 completed. My current record at Postal Chess is 45-35-12.
Just copy the page, paste it into a notepad file and save it - all you have to do is put the name you choose and the .pgn ending in quotes (Example: "postal.pgn") and notepad will use the .pgn ending rather than it's usual .txt ending. If you don't have a program for displaying PGN format, ChessBase.com has a "Light" version of their ChessBase software which is free. You can get it at the ChessBase Light Download Page.
Both of the Games Pages will open in a new window which can be closed to return here.
Right now, most of my chessplaying time is being spent on chessworld.net. If you check it out and decide to register, be sure to indicate that BoardFlak sent you!
(The board graphic above is one I made. If you like it, you are welcome to copy it - for personal use only.)Send Me E-Mail!
I am the Systems Administrator at a woodworking plant. If you've been out on a plant floor at all, you know that equipment gets dusty and dirty, especially at woodworking plants. Computers are no exception, but did you ever wonder about what gets inside them? Check out A Very Dusty PC!
Truck-Tractor Combo Father has always been a tinkerer, and has come up with a number of things that most people wouldn't have thought to do. This was one of his more offbeat ideas. Here's a picture - unretouched - of the "Tructor." And then there was the day Father decided to pull up a stump that wasn't quite what it appeared to be....
My mom took the photograph on which this wallpaper is based. I designed the cross image and added the verse. If you'd like to use it on your desktop, you are very welcome to copy/save it for your personal use. Click on the thumbnail image to see the full-size wallpaper.
Saved by Jesus. Powered by God.
(The Cross graphic above is one I made. If you like it, you are welcome to copy it - for personal use only.)
This is a page of pieces I've written, including my attempts at
being a poet. You can decide whether I succeeded at it.... I've written several new pieces lately, so this is my most-active section right now.
May 2009: My latest poems are posted, including Memorial Day, Every Day, A Better Present, Water and Waves, Captain Kid, and First Influence. I also have a Haiku section.
These are random bits that don't quite rate their own section, but I wanted to throw them in anyway. Someone might find them useful or entertaining.... The poetry corner is now in its own section, just above this one.
Here are the rules to a dice game I created many years ago while I was in college: Six By 6. Being as it dates from the late 1970's, you have to use real dice to play it. I don't have a computer version.
Need an online scientific calculator? Here's a good one.
The same site which had the scientific calculator had an interesting routine for a Fortune Cookie Simulator. I added a few extra entries and changed a couple of the eight original ones. It's a good starting point / example for anything where you might want to generate random choices. Just don't believe the "lucky numbers" really are, okay?
Click above for the Toy Trunk Railroad homepage!
Here's one of the best cartoons on the Internet. Unfortunately, the cartoonist is not publishing any new strips right now, but there's plenty to read, nevertheless. If you are not familiar with it, you're missing out! Better get busy! Here's the drill: First, you will want to go read The TTR Backstory. Next, go check out The TTR Cast of Characters. Now, you can read The TTR Archives and follow the action properly. Start at the bottom of the list of topics and work your way up. Click on the link icon above for the TTR main page.
Einstein the Cat. Here's a Toy Trunk Railroad series I really enjoyed, partly because it is based on a story I sent Erik Sansom about a cat of ours and our model railroad layout. It's presented here with Erik's permission. This may be the only place you can see all five strips of this series! The last time I checked, the TTR Archive for this series only had the first four strips. All five strips are in one image, so please be patient while it loads.
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