Sunday, July 8, 2007

Chess in Rex Stout's "Gambit"

Those of you who enjoy a good murder mystery, as well as chess, should consider getting hold of Rex Stout's Gambit which features the famous armchair detective Nero Wolfe and his sidekick Archie Goodwin.

It is obvious to me that the Gambit Club is a fictionalized version of the Marshall Chess Club. This is Archie Goodwin giving directions on how to get there: Headed south on Sixth Avenue....I kept going, clear to Twelfth Street, turned left, stopped half way down the long block, and focused on a four-story brick building....A brass plate to the right of the door, nice and shiny, said Gambit Club.

Except for the fact that Sixth Avenue is now known as Avenue of the Americas, if Archie Goodwin had turned left on Tenth Street (instead of Twelfth Street) he would have arrived at the Marshall Chess Club!