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1961 MS State Open Picture

front of picture
back of picture

I received email from Lee Brady from Houston in April, 2005 that included this picture.  Here are the contents of the email:

Dear Mr. Stewart,

While going through some old family photos I came across one of the
Mississippi State Open chess tourney in 1961. I thought your organization
might like to have a copy. My dad, William Lee "Bill" Fowler was one of
the trophy winners in the tournament. He played in many tournaments in
Mississippi, LA and Texas through the years and was a rated player. He
passed away in December of 1997.He would have been 27 0r 28 in this picture.
I think he sent a telegram to my mom from this tourney and they were married
shortly thereafter--it may have even been a proposal. While growing up most
of our family vacations were to chess tournaments in Natchez, Hodges Gardens
(near Leesville, LA), Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Iberia, Shreveport and
other places.

I am sending you a copy of the front and back of the photo. You may be able
to make out the names. I think the old gentleman in the picture may be
Robert Scrivener, the oldest MS state champion. (While trying to find info I
stumbled on something about him. He was 80.) Other names on the back of the
picture are Fowler (2nd from Rt, 2nd place), Parham (3rd place),Weaks (4th)
and Miller (5th?). I think "Miller" may be "Troy Miller" from Natchez. His
name is very familiar to me--I think he and my dad competed together quite a
few times.

If you know anymore about this picture and can pass it on, I'd appreciate

Lee Fowler Brady
Houston, TX

Jerry Krouse (a long time Mississippi chess player)  was able to clarify some points in a later email:

Hell Douglas and Mr. Brady,

Thanks for the photograph, front and back. I have examined it. I did not
start playing chess until 1966, and it was even after this that I played in
my first tournament. I am familiar, though, with the names you mention.

But, there may be a problem with the names on the back of the picture. I do
not see Fenner Parham. I would recognize Fenner since I sat across the
board from him literally hundreds of times. I know that Troy Miller is on
the left (I knew him well, too), and I presume that Scrivener is next to
him. Though he looks pretty old and decrepit to have beaten either Fenner
Parham or Troy Miller -- both powerhouses of chess at that time.

So, I am guessing that the lady is not Fenner dressed as a woman. Next are
two younger men who must be Bill Fowler and/or Weeks. I do not know of
Weeks, and this goes so far back that I do not recognize Bill Fowler in the

I do, however, remember Bill Fowler. He was a tenacious and strong player.
I remember attending a tournament in Shreveport and contesting a game with
him. I remember him being rated in the 1900's when we played. My rating
would have been, at that time, lower. It was a heartbreaking loss for me
after a long, hard struggle. I may have been in line for a high prize if I
had won that game, and I am almost certain it was in the last round of a
tournament. I seemed to remember him living in Shreveport at the time, but
he could have been in Texas. I just don't remember. I am sure I have the
game tucked away somewhere.

I may have played him more than once. I am not sure. There is no question
that he was a strong player, though.

That is about all I can contribute for now. If anything else develops, Cc..
me too.


Jerry Krouse

Douglas L Stewart
Last Update: October 9, 2005