Flash back from my days in Montreal
(Updated October 2017)
I came across this photo, taken in the winter/spring 1976-1977, of Jules Therien. The photo is from the St.Jean Baptiste tournament held at the St.Denis Community Centre.
I don’t know how old Jules was in the above photo (probably 70-something; the above link erroneously gives his date as 1920), but what I do remember is that he was PASSIONATE about chess! Jules taught chess to all of his children and grandchildren, and served as president of both the Quebec Chess Federation as well as the Montreal Chess Association.
I played Jules numerous times in local tournaments. He was a real gentleman! Jules came from the generation of chess players where attacking was all there was to chess.
Jules played in some Canadian Championships in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and held some sort of record for most games played blindfold simultaneously.
Someone told me before I had to play him for the first time back in 1972, ”After everyone of his moves, ask yourself what is the threat?”…the funny thing is that this advice was right on!
Every single move of Jules’ (after the opening) had a threat! Jules Therien died in May 1977 at age 71, of lung cancer, as reported in a local newspaper column of June 1977.
If any of my Montreal readers has any information of what has come of the Therien clan, then I would appreciate it if you pass it on to me!
UPDATE October 17, 2017
Dear Mr. Spraggett
My name is Denis Thérien, son of Jules and brother of Loïc. Recently, looking for information about my father on internet, I saw your article about my father and the photo related to him. I want to correct some things:
First of all this photo was not taken in june-july because he bears a scarf ,a beret and a winter coat. According to me this photo was probably taken in the winter-spring 1976 or 1977 because he looks sick and he died in May 1977 from lungs cancer at the age of 71and 2 weeks.
My father taught to play chess only to Nicole (my elder sister) and Loïc. I started to interest in chess by myself when I was about 20 with no master to learn…so…
Our family comes from Québec city. We are 7 children (3 boys-4 girls);the first boy (Alain) died in a car accident at the age of 8 in 1946. All the others are still alive.
Loïc stopped playing chess when he moved to Sherbrooke city in 1973 where he completed his PH.D. in mathematics and was hired by University of Sherbrooke for 30 years. He took his retirement at the age of 55. Loic is now a well known potter in Montreal. What a discrepancy ?
Hoping these informations could help you for your blog and posterity,
Denis, son of Jules Thérien and Marie-Jeanne Toussaint.