While an audience of 20 watched through the cafeteria's glass wall, the man billed as a master stepped silently from one chess board to the next, giving each move no more than ten seconds of attention. His score was seven won, four lost, four drawn.
"I just wish I'd gotten more than five hours of sleep," Howard J. Bromberg '81, captain of the Harvard-Radcliffe Chess Club's A team, said last night before he launched into his simultaneous exhibition match in the Science Center's Greenhouse Cafe. "It wouldn't work to prepare for this," Bromberg said, adding, "It would be like reading the collected works of Tolstoy before writing a short story. I'll just try not to make any blunders."
Although he met the U.S. Chess Federation's Master qualification last year by amassing 2200 tournament points, Bromberg's title is still unofficial because the federation's computer has been out of order for six months.
Bromberg lost four games in the two-hour chess match to David Groisser '78; Loren Dean '83; Se-Jin Lee '81, president of the H-R Chess Club; and David Chelton, a production editor for a textbook company in Boston.
Bromberg said he once lost to Viktor Korchnoi in a simultaneous exhibitition game, but drew two other Grandmasters. "When one of the world's greatest players criticizes your play with his moves, you kind of quake," he said. "It's as if Picasso were criticizing your painting, even if only for three minutes," he added.
In high school Bromberg studied chess three hours a week, played chess for five hours and spent one weekend every two or three months at tournaments. He added he placed fifth in the National High School Chess Championship. Bromberg said he has let his chess-playing drop in college. "You grow up," he said. "I don't think too much time should be devoted to a game."