A respected friend posted something upsetting about the upcoming Marshall Meeting on their Facebook. I am responding here. Their Facebook is for them to say what they want to say.
Of the 60 years of my life, I have paid dues at the Marshall most years. In my view, that's what a loyal member does. It didn't necessarily matter to me whether I had time to play, or whether I liked what the club was doing at a particular time. I also recommend the Marshall to chessplayers in the NYC area. The Marshall still has, and does, some things that no one else has, or can do. But it sickens me every time anyone says that St. Louis is the chess capital of the US. I don't even think it's true.
That being said, I've attended maybe 15 or more annual meetings over the years. Suffice to say the club has changed. The club that I grew up in and enjoyed a great many times over the years is long gone. I still play chess every day. There are definitely a number of individuals I wish I could see more often. But the Marshall I loved, is gone, and I don't think it's coming back. I had originally planned to attend the annual meeting, but I have Dylan tickets, which I purchased long before the date of the meeting was announced.
I will not be at the club before or during the meeting. I have no reason to. I would only attend the club to play chess in the months following the meeting if some changes are made, but that's just me.
Its pointless to say the meeting was contentious unless you know why it was contentious. There was no great "divides". There was one divide. Why comment on it if you don't know why it existed?
Does the person who made these comments know how many constructive talks were attempted, and what the results were? Do you know how many times we searched for common ground and found there wasn't any? Everyone should have a voice, but do you know the history of how only a handful of people have a voice?
Its funny how people keep invoking the name of Frank Marshall. The club was originally constructed as a place where GM Marshall and his wife could make their living. I think he would have been happy if he had known it would last this long. I don't think we can infer anything else about what he would want.