Game Over in Chess Hall of Fame Case


     LAS VEGAS (CN) – The World Chess Museum in St. Louis checkmated Las Vegas-based World Chess Federation by default in a trademark dispute.
     The lawsuit ended Wednesday because the World Chess Federation and Stan Vaughan missed the June 22 deadline to replace their attorney.
     Airene Williamson withdrew as their counsel on May 20 and the court gave Vaughn 33 days to find a new attorney or default.
     Vaughan asked for an extension to obtain new counsel on June 17 but did not do so in a motion, so U.S. Magistrate George Foley Jr. declared the match over Wednesday.
     The World Chess Museum dba the World Chess Hall of Fame sued in February 2013, to protect its World Chess Hall of Fame trademark .
     The museum says it “exhibits one of the world’s premier collections of chess and chess-related artifacts, memorabilia, and artwork” and that it obtained its World Chess Hall of Fame mark from the France-based World Chess Federation. It registered the World Chess Hall of Fame trademark in 2002.
     Vaughan created Las Vegas-based World Chess Federation to organize chess tournaments and offer chess lessons, and in 2011 announced the opening of the World Chess Federation Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.
     The St. Louis museum sued.
     Vaughan, a grandmaster, won nine major tournaments from 1996 to 2012 and in 1982 set a world record by winning 112 consecutive blindfold chess matches, according to his biography posted on the World Chess Federation site.
     He also is a cryptanalyst who is credited with solving the infamous Zodiac killer’s 340-character cipher, according to his website.
     Vaughan, his former attorney, and the World Chess Museum did not respond to requests for comment.

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