H.S. Harry Anderson age 90, born 3/18/1900, died 9/5/1990 Forsyth Co. Kernersville, NC 27284  243-09-XXXX

       Harry Anderson was an excellent checker player and checker historian who spent a life time promoting and supporting checkers. He was an active member and committed officer of NC Checker Association and Winston-Salem YMCA Chess & Checker Association.  He served on the Executive Committee over the years for both organizations.   He was one of the founders and elected President of Winston-Salem YMCA Chess & Checker Association on February 26, 1946 when they organized this association with H. W. Bennett as Vice President and Gene Self as Secretary/Treasurer.  Much of the early history we have about our NC Checker Association and our Championship list come from Harry. It is also obvious that he wrote the history in the NCCA Booklet. The below pictures are two of the only pictures I could find of Harry. The below picture and article is from the April 1948 issue of the American Checkerist, which mentions a number of NC checker player at this state tournament.  I've hear this from several checker players who knew Harry Anderson and said he was an intelligent fellow with an exceptional talent or gift to figure in his head.  This particular trivial was related to me by L.W. Newsom, “Harry worked most of his life for Tobacco Companies, as a tobacco buyer.” “Back in the 50's all the companies like NCR, Burroughs, Monroe, Friden, and HP would call on R J Reynolds trying to sell their machines and calculators and the executives would repeatedly get a kick out of sending the salesman down to the tobacco warehouse to Harry Anderson.” “Harry was the fellow who followed the auctioneer and buyers' action through the rows of tobacco flats as it was sold, he figured and recorded the poundage, grade, price, buyer, etc. as they walked pass the piles.” “He would tagged it and kept up with all the totals.” The salesman would tell Harry he could do this and that, easier - faster - better - and more accurate!  Harry would say, “Don't Want It, Don't Need It!” “What you mean, “You Don't Need It!” retorted the salesman. Harry would say again, “I already do all that and I don't need it.” Well of course, management wanted to see a demonstration of how the salesman could actually automate their procedures, making it easier, give them better and more accurate records, while saving time and money. Harry would amaze them all... he totaled, recorded, tagged, and was walking to the next auction before the salesman could key in his first digits of the sale into his calculator.  The secret was Harry, they went to computers when Harry retired.

Harry Anderson and Ed Scheidt both played in the first NCCA Checker Tournament in 1918, officially organized and sanctioned by North Carolina Checker Association.  The first year the players' moves were recorded for posterity.  Harry was 18 and Ed was 15 years old.

Harry Anderson won the NC State Championship Title nine times: 1924, 26, 35, 36, 39, 41, 42, 48, and 51.  He undoubtedly would have won it during the WWII years, but no State Tournaments were played because everyone was involved with the war. He also won the Southern States several times, and in the top 5 numerous times like 1961.  Records reveal that Harry won most of his tournaments prior to 1950, although he won his last NC State Championship in 1951. Here is an article with comments by a reporter from an interview with 77 year old Harry Anderson at 1977 State Tourney in Greensboro.

Harry was one of the Monday night checker gang that met at Harry Bennett's home, and he also was an active tournament player and played in most all NC State Tournaments, Southeasterns, and other distance tournaments. I got this information from a lifetime checker player Joe McClellan.  Joe was the youngest of the Monday evening checker gang gathering that would converge at 2419 Greenwich Road, Harry Bennett's home in Winston to play checkers.  Joe reminiscences,  "Harry was the perfect host, they met at 7 pm with the fireplace roaring, in winter, checker boards all set up, drinks in the refrigerator."  "All these players: Lawrence Newsom, Tony Muncus, Marshall Church, Harry Bennett, John Kurfees, Jasper Memory, Harry Anderson, David Marshall, and myself, made a pleasant night of competitive play and wonderful friendship."  "I have many fond memories of the above players."  Joe would often bring Harry Anderson and or Jasper Memory to the checker sessions.

Joe McClellan said, "Harry and Ed Scheidts were best of  friends, playing partners at the YMCA, and they roomed together at all the big tourneys."  The record shows both were close to equal ability: considering their number of NC Championships and Southern States wins, with respect to individual timing."  "I met Harry in 1968 and we were friends until his passing."  "He was a true champion, very helpful."  "When Willie Ryan or Newell Banks came to Winston-Salem they stayed at Harry Anderson's house on Elizabeth Avenue."

There is no doubt that Harry Anderson left an indelible impression on those who met him.  Another tidbit from L.W. Newsom, Harry played average at their local checker sessions and local tourneys, even losing occasionally, but when he traveled way off to another state and played in Master caliber tournaments he would slay those competitors, beating the very best!  We never figured this one out?

(L) Elbert Lowder vs (R) Angus Simpson then (L) Harry Anderson vs (R) Ed Scheidt & Grover Swinney  at end of table,
(bkgd) L: Tony Bishop & R: Jerry Ingram & John Webster. This picture was taken at the 1975 NC State Ty
in Sanford which I cut/pasted it from a Southeastern - District 4 - Checker Tournament flyer.  The text
above picture read as: "36 years of NC State Championships are represented in the picture below,"
which gives Lowder 13 titles,  Scheidt 13,  Anderson  9, and Simpson 1 for a total of 36; however,
Elbert Lowder has expanded that!  (count'em - currently 34 times by himself)

Article from the April 1948 issue of American Checkerist Magazine

Deceased Tournament Players  |  NC Open Champions