(obituary to be added)

GM Thomas G. Wiswell  (Birth: April 25, 1910 - Death: November 14, 1998)  Visit Virtual Cemetery

Thomas George Wiswell or Tommy [spelled Tommie in Twentieth Century Checkers and the original printing of Learn Checkers Fast - later Tartan paperback has Tom] was born in NYC on April 25, 1910. {Ken Grover wrote this in a sketch on Wiswell in the first edition of Ryan's Modern Encyclopedia of Checkers, page 175f.} Grover was Wiswell's mentor. Wiswell died November 15, 1998. Al Lyman in ACF Bulletin for February, 1999 at the bottom of p.1. Henry Toder, a long time friend, called Lyman with the information. (Wiswell was 88, judging from his birthdate.) It's too bad that such a fine problemist should have just a two line obit. at the bottom of a page. The next 2001 National GAYP was, appropriately, dedicated to Tom Wiswell.
His cemetery grave marker at Calverton National Cemetery in eastern Long Island, New York, NY has his death date as Nov 14, 1998 which is most likely the correct date.

Thomas Wiswell of Brooklyn, NY, (The wizard of Gotham).  Noted problemist publisher and player has written more books on checkers than any other man with the possible exception of Millard Hopper, and without question he sold more checker books than any other author of the game.  

Tom Wiswell's many publications included Let's Play Checkers “LPC” by Tom Wiswell & Kenneth M. Grover (opb) Originally published by David McKay Co, in 1940. This paper-back edition is the eleventh printing, 1972. 188 pages, 5” x 7 ¾”, An excellent checker book dealing primarily with the “Cross” and “Double Corner” openings with a good problem section. This was Wiswell’s number one all time best seller which covers it all: games, midgames, landings, problems, historical notes. If you can only buy one book - get this one. Learn Checkers Fast "LCF" by Tom Wiswell / Introduction by Jack Dempsey “An invitation to proficiency.” published by David McKay, 6th printing, 1946 (pb) 208pgs. Wiswell always has something to teach us, a great classic book. This was Wiswell’s number two all time best seller. Both above books as all his book were later published in hard back.

Wiswell won only one major tourney that was the 1938 New York masters tourney.  However he compiled an excellent record in match play.  He won the “go as you please” World Championship from Millard Hopper in 1951 by a score of 7-2-27, and he defended it in 1953 by drawing the match with Hopper 2-2-36.  He twice defended the title against Canadian Champion W.R. Fraser winning 2-0-37 in 1956 and by a score of 7-0-27 in 1959-60.  Wiswell until his retirement was famous for his cross country exhibition tours.  He also appeared on early televisions shows.  He was on the game show "What's My Line" and on the Ed Sullivan show.

Belfast's International Hotel-1968 World City Championship, NY vs Belfast.jpg (67653 bytes)Millard Hopper vs Tom Wiswell.jpg (71174 bytes)Millard Hopper vs Tom Wiswell - 1954  Championship Match.jpg (50931 bytes)Tom Wiswell 1953 Champion.jpg (69043 bytes)Tom Wiswell - Hopper 53 Championship.jpg (71437 bytes)Millard Hopper & Tom Wiswell shaking hands.jpg (71437 bytes)

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