Johnstown—Tony Palm glimpsed his dream when he went to San Diego to visit his son in the Navy 30 years ago.
An avid chess player, Palm went to a chess club dedicated solely to the sport with free admission.
His dream is to see a similar concept in Johnstown.
For years, Palm has championed chess through the Greater Johnstown Chess Club.
The club has met at various locations throughout the area, and now meets at Graystone Court Villas on Theatre Drive in Richland.
About four to six men, including club officers Palm, Al Holt, Greg Quinn and Ron Coleman, regular attend the meetings in the dining room of the luxury apartment complex.
Patrick Kelly, a student at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, also comes, Palm said. Palm described Kelly as a "strong player."
"Chess is just like life: Every move you make on the chess board matters," Holt said. "Our goal is to get more young kids involved.
"It's not something that's for everybody, but you don't have to be an intellectual to do it. It's a real simple game. It's been around for hundreds of years."
Palm said he would especially like to organize a club for youth, where the adults can pass on their knowledge.
Playing chess across a board is far different than competing on the Internet enthusiasts point out.
"Tony's old-school. I'm old-school. We do across-the-table, face-to-face chess play," Holt said. "One of the main advantages is we can train people. We're pretty much experts in chess. We can show you what to do or if you're making a bad move. You can't get that on the Internet."
Internet chess, Palm added, also allows players to take their time and look up ways to counteract an opponent's move.
"I don't put too much stock in computer chess," said Palm, noting that he plays chess on the computer occasionally.
The club isn't just for experts. Others can attend to learn chess.
"I am just so convinced that chess helps people in all regards of their life, especially high-school and grade-school kids," Palm said.