Jude Frazer Acers (b. April 6, 1944 Long Beach, California) is a chess player best known for playing against all comers in the New Orleans Gazebo while wearing a red beret. He claims to have been the first chess master born in Louisiana since Paul Morphy.
In addition to being a player, he has written or contributed to several chess books. In 2008 he is working on The Road which will be a book about his chess tours. He is also known for being a great showman, touring the country giving simultaneous chess exhibitions. He was twice the world record holder of having played the most opponents in a simultaneous exhibition. First against 117 opponents (1973, Lloyd Center, Portland, Oregon), then against 179 opponents (1976, Mid Island Plaza, Long Island, New York). The records were certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Questions have arisen concerning his actual strength at chess. He got his rating up to 2399, just one point below Senior Master, by playing matches against players who had never played rated chess before. This led the USCF Executive Director Ed Edmondson to freeze his rating at 2399 until he played in an open tournament.
In 1995, a new rating statistician, apparently unfamiliar with the "Jude Acers Rule", added one point to his rating, giving him a rating of exactly 2400.
Ever since, for the last nearly 40 years, Acers has not played in a rated open tournament until the World Senior Championship held in September 2007 in Gmunden, Austria. Acers defeated veteran master Bill Hook of the British Virgin Islands in the first round. Acers' recent result at the 17th World Senior Chess Championship, with a FIDE performance of 2289, should help to confirm his playing strength.
Acers barely survived Hurricane Katrina and lived in a displaced persons camp for some time. He annotated many American Master-level games, along with Louis Ciamarra, for the Yugoslav-published series Chess Informant.
The Italian Gambit (and) A Guiding Repertoire For White - E4! ISBN 1-55369-604-2