Frank Emile Nothaft Leading Housing Economist and Chess Expert

Frank Emile Nothaft Leading Housing Economist and Chess Expert
April 10, 1956 Ð June 5, 2022

Frank Nothaft, a leading Housing Economist with Òinimitable styleÓ, died at age 66 and will be remembered for his passion for accuracy and his ability to communicate complex ideas simply. He often appeared on CNN, CNBC, published widely and was quoted in The NY Times and Wall Street Journal. He was the Chief Economist at CoreLogic and before that was the top economist at Freddie Mac.

His granddad taught him chess while growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey. His folks started taking him to tournaments across New Jersey, where he enjoyed earning trophies and strolling the boardwalk of Atlantic City[1] in between games.

He attended Jersey Academy and was the Chess Club Captain. Jersey Academy won the Hudson County Chess Championship in 1973 against their much bigger rival Saint PeterÕs Prep. Bob Nader, who later trained in acting at Juilliard, and Frank were the top boards. Frank was relentless in preparing his team and would run afterschool practices and explain new chess opening and variations. They were kicked out of school by the maintenance staff for staying late numerous times Óbooking upÓ for the upcoming matches. Frank also played for the Jersey City YMCA chess team. During that time the consensus was that Jersey Academy was the strongest high school chess team in New Jersey. Frank continued to organize chess competitions against teams throughout Jersey and especially loved organizing a team and coming up with a name for the Team Tournament in New Brunswick each year.

Frank went on the NYU to major in Math and Computer Science. During this time period Bobby Fischer lit up the chess world. Frank loved rubbing shoulders with the greats that frequented the Marshall Chess Club in New YorkÕs Greenwich Village. Then he went on to earn a PhD in Economics from Columbia University and played on their team, but after a while it became too hard to study for tournaments when thesis writing and teaching sapped his time. His first career position was at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in Washington, DC where he was an economist alongside Ken Rogoff who had been a top junior.
Frank has three sons who were all rated and competed in USCF events. He came out of chess retirement, winning the Parents & Friends event, while his son played in the 2006 National Junior High School Championship. Using a 1900 rating from more than 20 years earlier he defeated a 2100 in the last round. He was proud of the fact that his new rating 1956 was the same as his birth year. Everything to do with numbers and chess intrigued him. As a Lifetime member of US Chess, he eagerly awaited his copy of Chess Life in the mail. A tournament at the US Chess Center will be established in his honor.

Link to Frank’s Game published by Bill Wall Ruy Lopez Miniatures

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