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Remembering Curt Brasket

Published on: 2014-02-22

Remembering Curt Brasket
By Roger Rudolph

Minnesota chess players know Curt Brasket as the man who won the state chess championship sixteen times. Others remember his having won the US Junior Championship in 1952. Still others may note that he was awarded the title of FIDE Master in 1984. But my son Alex Rudolph remembers him as his godfather. I remember him as a lifetime friend and chess companion. Curt, Ron Elmquist and I crossed the rolling green hills of Wisconsin together many times in hopes of winning the North Central and other well run tournaments in the land of the Packers. Those were the good ol’ days with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings serenading us while we joked and jabbered while using up plenty of Moosehead beer. Curt may have pinched his pennies but once, while preparing to leave after a tournament held in a nice German hotel in Madison, I overheard Curt say while handing some money to the manager, “See that the colored lady that cleaned my room gets this.” OK, he wasn’t perfect, but he was ours.

Then there were the many, many speed chess soirees in our living rooms while the wives played Scrabble. He plied us with Fox Deluxe for which he boasted he procured for a mere $1.50 a case. It was overpriced. Though it took physical threats to deter him from constantly playing Gene Autry tapes, the three of us had a lot of common musical taste. We leaned towards country but we also loved great tenor voices. Anne Murray, Roger Whitaker, Caruso… they were all good. And the pots went up from a nickel to a dime to a quarter. Oh, the gleam in Curt’s eye while shoveling in a big one!

We all work hard in this world to make a living, support our families and leave something worthwhile behind. We need some diversion from the stress. While the three of us were playing pots, listening to good music, drinking nice wine, the rest of the world could “go pound sand” as the expression goes.

Rest up, good buddy, for we’ll soon be joining you to once again test that steel for which you are famous!




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