♙  "Even a poor plan is better than no plan at all." -Mikhail Chigorin  ♙

♔ WCC Biographies ♔

For several decades now most of the regular tournaments held at the Wachusett Chess Club have been named in honor of memorable individuals both living & deceased. Many of these individuals had been long standing members of the WCC &/or significant contributors to the greater chess community. Most are chess players who share a direct connection of one type or another to the WCC.

This section will consist of a collection of biographies, photos, & other related material organized in such a way as to permit easy access to the information which may then provide historical context of many notable personalities & celebrities in the local, national & international chess scene. While they may no longer be with us, they have created an enduring legacy of persistence, camaraderie & chess culture that has continued to thrive at the Wachusett Chess Club for over half a century.

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IM William G. Addison

(November 28, 1933 - October 29, 2008)

IM William Addison

Addison made a surprise visit to Massachusetts in 1964, when he competed in the 4th Central New England Open tournament on June 27-28 in Fitchburg. He won the 82-player event, finishing ahead of fellow masters Shelby Lyman of New York City, Edgar McCormick of East Orange, NJ, Yugoslav native Milan Vukcevich of Ohio, and the "Dean of New England Chess," John Curdo of Chelmsford, MA. Three years later, Addison was awarded the International Master title by the World Chess Federation (FIDE). Many considered him of grandmaster strength at his peak. His last published FIDE rating was 2490, while his peak USCF rating was 2595.

William (Bill) Grady Addison (November 28, 1933 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana - October 29, 2008 in San Francisco) was an American chess International Master (1967). He played in the U.S. Chess Championships of 1962-63, 1963-64, 1965, 1966, and 1969. He took second place with 7.5/11 behind Samuel Reshevsky in the 1969 US Championship and qualified for the 1970 Interzonal at Palma de Mallorca, where he finished 18th. He represented the United States in the Chess Olympiads of 1964 and 1966 (team silver medal). His last published FIDE Elo rating was 2490 and his USCF rating was 2595.

From 1965 to 1969 he was director of the Mechanics' Institute Chess Club.

Notable games:

  • William G Addison vs Samuel Herman Reshevsky (1962) U.S. Championship, New York, 1962 1-0
  • William G Addison vs Donald Byrne (1963) US Championship 1963, King's Indian Defense: Fianchetto Variation. Immediate Fianchetto (E60), 1-0
  • William G Addison vs Robert James Fischer (1965) New York ch-US 1965, Nimzo-Indian Defense: Normal. Bronstein (Byrne) Variation (E45), 1/2-1/2
  • Robert James Fischer vs William G Addison (1966) New York ch-US 1966, Spanish Game: Open Variations (C80), 1/2-1/2
  • William G Addison vs Svetozar Gligoric (1970) Palma De Mallorca Interzonal 1-0

From: USChess.org, November 11, 2008 by Jennifer Shahade
William Addison, 1933-2008

IM John Donaldson with William Addison in 2007

International Master William G. Addison passed away on October 29, 2008. The following remembrances show that he will be sorely missed.

According to Chess Personalia, which I so kindly received from Walter Shipman many years ago, William Grady Addison was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on November 28th 1933. He always seemed in my mind so young in spirit that I always assumed he was younger than I. I was sad that a Chess Master of such remarkable skills had so abruptly ceased playing the game. But being a man of high integrity, he surely did much good in the life he chose. I am most sad at the announcement of his death. Everyone who knew the gentleman needed to see him if but one more time. He was born in the Depression at the start of the Roosevelt Era and lived to see the start of the Second Great Depression. He died on the Anniversary of that Great Depression. His life was decorated with Book Ends. He must have known the squeeze of suffering. Yet, he demonstrated a medicinal wit that assisted those he met to travel over the bumps of life's rocky road. I cannot imagine who more deserves to be in a better place. To say more would be superfluous- GM William Lombardy

William Addison came to San Francisco in the early 1950s after growing up in Baton Rouge and serving in the US military. He was a low expert when he arrived but in the next 15 years he developed into one of the strongest players in the United States. William Adddison served as the Mechanics Chess Director in the late 1960s and was the first international player to develop at the Mechanics. He played in about a half dozen US Championships in the 1960s finishing as high as second which qualified him for the 1970 Interzonal in Palma. Bill played on two US Oympiad teams including the one with Fischer that won the silver medal at Havana 1966. (Ed. Note- See Addison's results including 7.5/9 in the 1974 Tel Aviv Olympiad on olimpbase.com. ) He retired from tournament play in the early 1970s to go into the banking business just as he was on the verge of becoming a GM (his last FIDE rating was his peak at 2490). I only met him once but we corresponded frequently last year. He was a very nice man - IM John Donaldson AddisonJohncomputer.jpg

Bill Addison was a model of what a chess master should be. Yes, I well remember when he came to the Koenig Memorial last year. He regaled us with stories of the old days...His description of Kurt Bendit was a priceless tribute. And he was clearly following the international scene. But he was so vigorous, so animated that day that I can't believe he can be gone. I can say quite honestly that there is no person I have ever played -- and I played against him often in 1953-1969 -- that made such an impression on me and brought so much enjoyment, win or lose, from the experience- Bob Burger

The WCC Games page includes a selection of Bill Addison's games.

Reggie Boone

(January 15, 1926 - June 28, 2008)

Reggie Boone
  • 1944 Gardner High School graduate
  • awarded Bronze Star for bravery in World War II
  • Beat world checkers champion Tom Wiswell in Fitchburg in 1958
  • Inducted lnto Gardner High School Football Hall of Fame in 1993
  • Wachusett Chess Club member at First Church Unitarian Universalist in Leominster.

The Reggie Boone Tribute Page was created in January 2006 for the occasion of the "Reginald Boone Octogenarian Swiss" so named in honor of Reggie's 80th birthday.

Eli Bourdon

(June 28, 1907 - January 6, 1980)

Eli Bourdon
  • Helped the WCC conduct their first rated weekend tournament in June, 1961
  • Organized many Western Mass. & Conn. Valley events in Springfield, MA
  • Western Massachusetts Champion 1957 & 1958, tied for 1st in 1953, 1963, 1965, & 1970
  • USCF Regional Vice President in the early 1960's
  • USCF Rated Expert for many years
  • Massachusetts State Championship, "Eli Bourdon Memorial Trophy", named in his honor
  • Taught chess at the YMCA clubs in Western Massachusetts

Eli Bourdon, former president of the W. Massachusetts Chess Association served as a USCF regional vice president in the early 1960's & helped to bring rated events to western Massachusetts at that time. Bourdon, a rated expert, was a top contender in Massachusetts, winning the title of W.MA/CT Valley champion in 1949, 1953, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1963, 1965 and 1970.
Born in Claremont NH, a graduate of the N.E. Conservatory of Music with a master's degree in music and public school education, he was the music supervisor in Marlboro and then Easthampton for ten years. He was a member of the Easthampton School Committee, before moving to Holyoke in 1951, where he founded the Brown Roofing and Siding Company, where was active until a few months prior to his death. His love of teaching music to young students, including the playing of several musical instruments, translated into the teaching of chess to students of all ages. He taught at the YMCA clubs in the area and even on weekends in his home. Eli was a beloved personality, strongly supporting the chess clubs in the western MA area including Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton, Greenfield, Westfield, Pittsfield, Chicopee and Hartford, CT.

Hervey R. Brisson

(April 23, 1917 - September 26, 1989)

Hervey R. Brisson
  • Enlisted in US Military January 16, 1941
  • Long time member of WCC
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Hervey Brisson info goes here.

David Bronstein

(February 19, 1924 - December 5, 2006)

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David Bronstein info goes here.

Richard Chromiak

(September 28, 1995 - December 25, 2017)

Richard D. Chromiak
  • Wachusett CC member from May 2009 to April 2010
  • Played in nine WCC tournaments
  • Competed in 2009 WCC "B" Championship
  • Member of U.S. Chess Federation
  • Leominster High School, Class of 2014 graduate
  • Learned karate at Doshi-Kai Dojo

Richard "Richie" Dmytro Chromiak of Leominster, a former member of the Wachusett Chess Club and the U.S. Chess Federation, died on Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2017. He was only 22. He was the son of Stephan and Marylee Chromiak. His father had also been a member of the Wachusett CC. Richard and his father were members of the Wachusett CC between May 2009 and April 2010. Richard played in nine club tournaments during that time. They included the 2009 Wachusett Chess Club Championship ("B" Division), Harlow Daly Memorial, Tigran Petrosian Memorial, Hervey R. Brisson Memorial, Arthur Bisguier Octogenarian Tournament, George Sturgis Memorial, Reggie Boone Memorial, George O'Rourke Memorial, and the Wachusett Chess Club Championship Prelims. Among current club members he faced were Ken Gurge, Lenny Arsenault, Tom Fratturelli, Wayne Steadman, Brian Biglow and Francis Scanlon. He had a win and a draw against Scanlon, and a win against Biglow.

A memorial service for Richard D. Chromiak will be held Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at 10 a.m. in Grace Baptist Church, 42 River Road, Pepperell, MA 01463, on Saturday, January 27, 2018, at 10:00 am. Reception immediately following the service.

Richard's obituary is published at:

John A. Curdo

(November 14, 1931 - September 30, 2022)

John A.Curdo

Obituary from Britton-Wallace Funeral Home - Auburn:
John Anthony Curdo, 90, of Auburn, passed away peacefully on Friday, September 30, 2022 at the Rose Monahan Hospice Home. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Carol Curdo; his children, Linda Westland, Gail Mosher, and Christopher Curdo; his step-children, Leslie Polizoti, and Geoffrey Polizoti; and his grandchildren, Cliff Westland, Cora Polizoti, and Micah Polizoti. John is the son of the late Joseph and Delia (Muise) Curdo, of Lynn, MA. He was a graduate of Lynn Technical High School, followed by his enlistment in the U.S. Army in the late 1940's. He initially trained as a watch crystal mechanic, then worked in Production Control at Honeywell in his early years. John transitioned to full-time Chess Professional (player, coach, teacher, journalist, and author), and has been awarded many citations for outstanding player achievement and excellence by the United States Chess Federation, including the Frank J. Marshall Award in 2004, and by the Massachusetts Chess Association over the years. John enjoyed going to the gym, reading (especially adventure and biographies), doing crossword puzzles, lunches at the senior center, learning new and interesting words to use in writing and conversation, following the lives of his step-children, and, of course, studying chess. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to VNA Hospice & Palliative Care/Rose Monahan Hospice Home (https://vnacare.org/donors/ways-to-give/make-a-donation) or to the MA Chess Association (www.maca.org). Funeral services for John will be held privately for his family, and arrangements are in the care of Britton-Wallace Funeral Home. Published by Britton-Wallace Funeral Home - Auburn on Oct. 8, 2022.

Harlow B. Daly

(December 2, 1883 - July 8, 1979)

Harlow B. Daly
  • Unprecedented Seven Consecutive Years as Maine State Champion
  • Won championships of Massachusetts (1940 & 1942), New Hampshire (1962), Vermont, & Maine (9 times)
  • Played in the New England Open every year from 1908 (when he won it) to 1971
  • Played in simultaneous exhibitions against:
    Alekhine, Lasker, Pillsbury, Mieses, Marshall, Fine, Torre & Dake.
  • Oldest person(86) ever to win Maine State Championship(1970)
  • Competed several times in The Danvers 30/30 Tournament losing only to John Curdo

As you might have guessed, the Chess Maine web site has quite a bit of excellent biographical material about Harlow B. Daly. You can find a biographical tribute, "ChessMaine Profiles: Remembering Harlow B. Daly" & a selection of his games.

"Harlow Bussey Daly was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on December 2, 1883, He is perhaps the oldest person to win a state chess championship. In 1959 and 1960, he won the Maine championship. In 1968 he won the Championship of Maine at age 85. He tied for 1st in 1970 and was 2nd in 1971 and 1972. He had previously won in 1961 at the age of 77 and in 1965 at the age of 81. He played in the New England Open every year from 1908 (when he won it) to 1971. He won the Massachusetts State Championship in 1940 and 1942. He was still playing chess in his late 80s and early 90s. At 90, in 1973, he won a New Hampshire Open tournament with a perfect 5-0 score. In 1975, he was designated Master Emeritus by the USCF. He died on July 8, 1979 in Framington, Massachusetts at the age of 95. He played chess for 75 years (1900 to 1974). He won the championships of Massachusetts, New Hampshire (1962), Vermont, and Maine (9 times). He competed in 280 tournaments and matches, not counting correspondence events." -chess.com/chessopedia

A sampling of Harlow Daly's games can be found on our Games page.

Herman M. Demulling

(July 22, 1922 - Sep. 4, 1992)

Herman M. Demulling
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Herman M. Demulling was born in 1922 & lived until Sep. 4, 1992.

Harold B. Dondis

(October 1, 1922 - December 10, 2015)

Harold B. Dondis
  • Graduated from Harvard Law School 1945
  • Argued several cases before the US Supreme Court ()
  • Wrote the chess column for the Boston Globe for over 50 years
  • Former president of the Massachusetts State Chess Association (MSCA)
  • Co-founded the U.S. chess Trust with Ed Edmondson (1967).
  • Constant player at the Boylston Chess club since at least the 60's
  • First to defeat Bobby Fischer in the simul @ Fitchburg (1964)
  • Named a 2015 Top Rated Lawyer in Business and Commercial by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Awarded the highest ranking by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (AV - Legal Ability Rating: Very High to Preeminent)
  • Recipient of the U.S. Chess Federation Cramer Award for the "Best Chess Column." (2001)
  • Interviewed by George Mirijanian for Chess Horizons (2004)
  • Memorialized in Chess Horizons (2016)
  • WBUR Rememberence project tribute by Chris Chase (May 3, 2016)
  • Memorialized in the Harold Dondis Memorial Photo Gallery by Tony Cortizas

[Harold Dondis has been such an important figure in New England chess, both as a player & as a journalist, for so long that it's impossible to do justice to his legacy in just a few paragraphs, so I'll be putting together some kind of dedicated tribute page in addition to a few notes here. For now I'll begin by posting a few excerpts & links for general information with more to come soon. Harold is truly irreplaceable & will be sorely missed.]

Harold Dondis was born on October 1, 1922 in Rockland, Maine. He is a lawyer, graduating from Harvard Law School in 1945.

Harold Dondis has been at the heart of the chess world, for decades. Dondis had a great interest in the game of chess and founded the U.S. Chess Trust. This Trust became the charitable arm of the U.S. Chess Federation. He wrote the chess column for the Boston Globe for over 50 years, first appearing in 1964. He is considered the Dean of New England Chess Journalists.

He was a leader in Massachusetts and New England chess. He is a former president of the Massachusetts State Chess Association (MSCA). In 1967, he co-founded the U.S. chess Trust with Ed Edmondson.

And he was a constant player at the Boylston Chess club since at least the 60's. Harold was a great benefactor to the Boylston year in and year out. He helped make the move to our new Cambridge location possible. When the board wanted to recognize his support by dedicating a room in his name, he deferred, requested that it be called the Harry Lyman room instead.

BCF president Carey Theil and Harold Donis at the naming ceremony this summer.
He will always be remembered in the same breath as other New England chess giants and friends as Harry Lyman and John Curdo.

From Chris Chase, Harold's friend and co-columnist
Boston Globe Chess Notes
Dear Friends,
This past Thursday I lost my good friend and colleague, Harold Dondis. He was 93. He died of heart attack while playing in the Boylston Chess Club's Thursday Night Swiss. It seems fitting that he died playing the game he loved and supported for so many years. I know that he was greatly appreciative of all the support you have given to the Boston Globe Chess Notes column over the years. A column that he authored or co-authored for at least 50 years. I would add that he never, never missed a deadline. This level of professionalism was an earmark of Harold's life.
Thank you all for your very kind thoughts and words!
Chris Chase, #RememberingHarold

Berthold Englisch

(July 9, 1851, Osoblaha - October 19, 1897, Vienna)

Berthold Englisch
  • Won 1st DSB Congress @ Leipzig Tournament 1879
  • Equal 1st @ Wiesbaden 1880 with Blackburne & A. Schwarz
  • Lost match against Vincenz Hruby in 1882, 1.5 - 3.5
  • Lost to Emanuel Lasker in 1890, 1.5 - 3.5
  • Drew a match with Harry Nelson Pillsbury 2.5 - 2.5 (+0 -0 =5) in 1896

Austrian chess-player; born 1851 at Hotzenplotz, Austrian Silesia; died Oct. 19, 1897, in Vienna. In 1879 he gained the first prize at the Leipsic tournament; in 1883 he was fourth in the London tourney; in 1887 in the Frankfort-on-the-Main tournament (twenty-one entries) he gained the seventh prize, winning over Alapin, Gunsberg, and Zuckertort; and in 1896 hewon the first prize in the tournament arranged by Baron Rothschild.

According to ChessMetrics.com, he was once the fourth best player in the world.

Ernest E. Fandreyer Ed.D.

(Oct. 30, 1926 - Nov. 2, 2012)

Ernest E. Fandreyer
  • Professor of Mathematics at Fitchburg State University 1965-1998
  • Translated Doctoral Thesis of Carl Fredrech Gauss
  • WCC Member for ten years
  • Played in more than 100 rated tournaments at the WCC
  • Club games against Dave Couture in 2006 & 2007 on this site

Ernest E. Fandreyer, a former USCF member from Fitchburg, Massachusetts, died at home on Nov. 2, 2012 - three days after his 86th birthday. He was born on Oct. 30, 1926 in Bonn, Germany, the son of Emil and Bertha Fandreyer. He grew up in Bonn and studied at the University of Bonn and the University of Southampton in England. He received a master of science degree from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1971. He earned his doctorate of education in mathematics education from Boston University in 1984. He taught mathematics at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois, and the Portsmouth Abbey School in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. In 1998, he retired as professor emeritus after 33 years of teaching mathematics at Fitchburg State College - now Fitchburg State University. During his retirement, he made a major contribution in the field of mathematics by being the first person ever ["If an English version exists in this country, then it is certainly not readily available. To remedy this deficiency, this translation will be put on file and available through the Internet." -EEF] to translate from Latin to English the 1799 doctoral thesis of the great German mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) "A new proof of the theorem that every integral algebraic function of one variable can be resolved into real factors of the first or second degree."

Dr. Fandreyer leaves his wife of 52 years, Heide (Hildebrand) Fandreyer, and his four children: Gerhard Fandreyer of Phillipston, Mass., Heide Messing and her husband, Jack, of Townsend, Mass., Carl Fandreyer of Fitchburg, and Fe Fandreyer and her husband, Roland Meunier, of Templeton, Mass., and five grandchildren, Emily, Sarah and Daniel Messing of Townsend, and Roland III "Trip" and Adele Meunier of Templeton. He is also survived by a brother, Wilfried Fandreyer of Sankt Augustin, Germany.
He was a member for 44 years of St. Bernard's Parish at St. Camillus Church, where he was a lay reader and taught CCD classes for many years.

He joined the USCF in February 2002 and played in more than 100 rated tournaments at the Wachusett Chess Club at Fitchburg State University in the 10 years that he was a member of the club.

Robert A. Fortier

(July 8, 1923 - August 29, 2021)

Robert A. Fortier
  • WCC Champion 1964 by 5-0 Score
  • VP of the Montachusett Chess Association (MOCA), which sponsored the CNEO all through the 1970s and into the 1980s
  • The Robert A. Fortier Memorial will now be held every year at the club.
  • Participated in the "Battle of the Bulge" in WWII as a seargant in the US Army
  • Owned the Fortier Tie Company & holder of 2 patents for neckties

Obituary from Fitchburg Sentinel & Enterprise:
Robert A. Fortier, 98, of Lantana, FL formerly of Fitchburg, died Sunday, August 29, 2021, in the Trustbridge Hospice House in West Palm Beach, FL. He was born in Fitchburg, on July 8, 1923, a son of the late Alfred and Marie Jeanne (Chardonne) Fortier and had resided in Fitchburg for several years before moving to Boynton Beach, FL and more recently Lantana, FL. Robert was a WWII veteran having served as a Sergeant in the U.S. Army with the 296th Engineers where he participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He frequented the 296th reunions into his 90's. He was a former member of St. Joseph's Parish in Fitchburg and the St. Joseph's Club where he loved to play chess and pool. Robert was a rated Chess player and until recently still played against opponents on the computer. He was a remarkable man of integrity and conviction and shared many beautiful occasions together with family and friends. Robert was a salesman for the Charles Manoog Plumbing and Heating Sales Company for several years prior to his retirement in 1985. He also owned the Fortier Tie Company where he held two patents for neckties. His wife, Delores (Fontaine) Fortier, died in 1985. He leaves a daughter, Joanne Nutting of Gardner; a brother, Raymond Fortier and his wife Rose of Leominster; three grandchildren, Carrie Ciaccio and her husband David of Gardner, Ashley Nutting-Poirier and her husband Andrew of Westminster and Michael Lacroix of Punta Gorda, FL; four great-grandchildren, Hope Parisi, Jordan Parisi and Madison Parisi all of Gardner and Myles Poirier of Westminster, several nephews and nieces and his companion of 28 years, Valleri Brauer. In addition to his wife, he is predeceased by three brothers, Paul Fortier, George Fortier, Joseph Fortier and two sisters, Jeanne Pelletier and Yvette Marble.
A graveside service will be held with full military honors in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Fitchburg on Monday, October 25, 2021 at 2:00 PM. There are no calling hours. The Isabelle and Anderson Funeral Home, 316 Clarendon St., Fitchburg is assisting the family with the funeral arrangements. To place an online condolence, please visit www.andersonfuneral.com.

Raymond W. Fortin

(October 7, 1917 - May 3, 2003)

Raymond W. Fortin
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Raymond W. Fortin info goes here.

Rufus Franklin

(February 22, 1928 - December 22, 2003)

Rufus Franklin
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Rufus Franklin info goes here.

Kate Gasser

(Month xx, xxxx - August 13, 2022)

Kate Gasser
  • Played in the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in New York City 1962 at age 14
  • Won U.S. Women's Open Chess Championship in Chicago 1963
  • Long time competitor at Metrowest Chess Club, Natick, MA
  • Lifetime member of USCF, rated over 1900 in 1992
  • Regularly competed in many tournaments in central & western MA
  • Held Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago
  • Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the MIT
  • Licensed as a Professional Engineer.

Kate Gasser was born in New York city, held a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Chicago, a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was licensed as a Professional Engineer.
In her career, she worked for technology companies as a computer programmer and mechanical engineer.
Her hobbies and talents included chess, painting and drawing.
In 1962 at the age of 14, she played in the U.S. Women’s Chess Championship in New York City, and in 1963 she won the U.S. Women’s Open Chess Championship in Chicago.
She was a lifelong member of the U.S. Chess Federation.
She was passionate about contributing to the community, working as a volunteer teaching chess, helping at the Greater Boston Food Bank, and teaching mathematics at the Cambridge Community Learning Center.

Michael Glinski Jr.

(March 26, 1959 - April 10, 2010)

Michael Glinski Jr.
  • WCC Member in the 1980's & early 1990's
  • Chess Horizons Editor 1990-1991
  • Class A "quick" rating & Class A correspondence rating
  • Attended with his father, the 1990 U.S. Open in Jacksonville, FL
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Michael Glinski Jr. of Hudson, New Hampshire, former editor of Chess Horizons and a longtime member of the Wachusett Chess Club in Fitchburg, Mass., died Saturday, April 10, in Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in Nashua. He was 51. He was born March 26, 1959 in Leominster, Mass., the son of Michael Glinski Sr. and Furinda C. (Montaquila) Glinski. He attended Julie Country Day School in Leominster and graduated from Leominster High School in 1977. He then served four years in the U.S. Army as a computer technician. Mike had worked many years for the former NEC Computer Systems in Boxborough, Mass. as vice president of operations. He was later president and chief operating officer for Vibren Technologies Inc., also in Boxborough. He lived many years in Fitchburg and became very much interested in exploring New Hampshire history after he moved to Hudson in 2007.
While in Fitchburg, he was a member of the Wachusett Chess Club in the 1980's and early 1990's. He took part in the club's "A" division championship in 1992 and 1993. He held a Class A "quick" rating as well as a Class A correspondence rating. In 1990, he became editor of MACA's then-bimonthly magazine, Chess Horizons, and raised the publication to a new level of excellence before handing over the editorial reigns to fellow Wachusett Chess Club member Erik Zoltan the following year. Among his highlights was attending with his father the 1990 U.S. Open in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was greeted by USCF officials as one of the leading chess journalists in the country. Mike is survived by his longtime partner Carol A. Winters of Hudson; a daughter, Jessica Glinski of Lunenburg, Mass.; and a brother, John Glinski.

IM John Grefe

(September 6, 1947 - December 22, 2013)

IM John Grefe
  • Competed in WCC's 4th Central New England Open in Fitchburg in 1964 as 2131 rated expert
  • Tied for first in the 1971 National Open
  • Tied for eighth in the 1969 & 1971 U.S. Open
  • Finished sixth at Lone Pine 1971
  • Tied for fourth through sixth at Lone Pine 1973
  • United States Co-champion (tied with GM Lubomir Kavalek) in 1973 (El Paso, TX)
  • Finished sixth in the 1973 U.S. Open
  • Highest Rating: 2655 on the October 1973 rating list, #32 in world, age 26y 1m
  • Awarded FIDE International Master title in 1975

"John Grefe, an American IM and United States co-champion in 1973, died earlier today (Sunday) at the age of 66. Grefe will be unknown to most players outside the U.S., and even to those inside the U.S. as well unless their chess careers or their knowledge of American chess goes back to the 70s and early 80s, but he was considered quite a talented player back in his day. He seems to have given up on serious play in 1981, and while that was probably the right thing decision financially it was a pity for chess, as he had a very lively style. (Have a look at the games given and linked to in his Wikipedia article for ample evidence.)"

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:]

John Alan Grefe (born September 6, 1947 in Hoboken, New Jersey died December 22, 2013) was an American International Master of chess. His best result was a tie for first with Lubomir Kavalek in the 1973 U.S. Championship. FIDE awarded him the title of International Master in 1975. Grefe and Stuart Rachels are the only players since 1948 to win or share the U.S. Championship without already having, or later achieving, the title of International Grandmaster. Grefe, at the time he shared the championship, lived in Berkeley, California, and was a follower of the Guru Maharaj Ji. For that reason and also because of his hippyish appearance, Grefe was affectionately known as "Gandalf" amongst chess friends.

Before his success in the U.S. Championship, Grefe had been fairly successful in Swiss system tournaments in the United States. He tied for eighth in the 1969 and 1971 U.S. Open, tied for first in the 1971 National Open, finished sixth at Lone Pine 1971, tied for fourth through sixth at Lone Pine 1973, and finished sixth in the 1973 U.S. Open.

Grefe died of liver cancer on December 22, 2013 in San Francisco, California.

[Some unregistered blog posts follow in quotes.]

"With little doubt, he's probably best known for his dark horse-style performance at the 1973 U.S. championship, in which (despite being "only" an IM) in which he tied for first with Kavalek. In fact, he scored six wins in a row during the event. The 1973 event was also his debut in the (almost) annual event. He also played in the 1974, 1975, and 1977 editions, as well."

"Sad to hear about John Grefe. As I am about the same age it is a little eerie to hear that he die so young (sic). How he missed becoming a GM is a head scratch-er . I know he shared the US title on at least one occasion and I believed he won at least one US open. He also wrote a fine book on the Queens Indian Defense, which he played often. He was also known for his great work ethic, which may have lead to him quitting [chess] so early. They say he often put in over 8 hours a day of study. Walter Browne, Jim Tarjan, [Lubomir] Kavalek and Grefe were the young core of US chess after Bobby Fischer quit playing and the wave of Soviet emigrants began. I still have a 1974 copy of 'Over Board' the Pennsylvania Chess Federation publication that had an article on John Grefe."

"I remember he had a habit of gently pushing/sliding the pieces from one square to another. This act became known as 'Grefeing the pieces'. Sad to hear he has passed on, in my mind he will always be lean, lanky and sporting a full and lengthy head of hair!"

Jeremy Silman relates how when he was a youngster, he met Grefe, then the new U.S. Champion, and asked Grefe, "Can I show you one of my games?" Grefe's answer: "Where's your money?" Funny thing, that's the same thing Grefe asked a spectator at the US Championship in Oberlin 1975 when he asked Grefe, who was watching the post mortem, what he thought about the position. I also ran into Grefe on the streets of Chicago near one of the chess clubs. I forget which one it was, but he was there to play a match against one of Chicago's leading players, Verber, maybe? Anyway, Grefe was dressed in an all white 'guru suit' that was filthy. You can read Silman's article on Grefe on Chessdotcom.

Report, Chess Life & Review, November and December 1973:
22nd US Championship: September 9, 1973 - September 27, 1973, El Paso, TX

                1	2	3	4	5	6	7	8	9	10	11	12	13	Total
 1. Kavalek     x	1	.5	.5	.5	.5	1	1	.5	1	1	1	1	9.5-2.5
 2. Grefe       0	x	1	.5	.5	1	1	1	1	1	1	1	.5	9.5-2.5
 3. Browne      .5	0	x	.5	.5	.5	.5	1	1	1	1	1	1	8.5-3.5
 4. Tarjan      .5	.5	.5	x	1	.5	1	0	1	1	.5	.5	.5	7.5-4.5
 5. Evans       .5	.5	.5	0	x	.5	0	.5	1	1	.5	.5	1	6.5-5.5
 6. Benko       .5	0	.5	.5	.5	x	.5	.5	.5	.5	1	.5	1	6.5-5.5
 7. Karklins    0	0	.5	0	1	.5	x	.5	.5	0	1	1	1	6-6
 8. Mednis      0	0	0	1	.5	.5	.5	x	.5	0	.5	1	1	5.5-6.5
 9. Bisguier    .5	0	0	0	0	.5	.5	.5	x	.5	1	.5	1	5-7
10. Gilden      0	0	0	0	0	.5	1	1	.5	x	0	.5	.5	4-8
11. Martz       0	0	0	.5	.5	0	0	.5	0	1	x	.5	.5	3.5-8.5
12. Byrne, D.   0	0	0	.5	.5	.5	0	0	.5	.5	.5	x	0	3-9
13. Kane        0	.5	0	.5	0	0	0	0	0	.5	.5	1	x	3-9

There was no playoff. Lubomir Kavalek and John Grefe remained Co-Champions.
William Lombardy withdrew hours before the start of the tournament, too late to be replaced, 
and so the tournament continued with an odd number of players and a bye each round.

The WCC Games page includes a selection of John Grefe's games.

This fairly recent YouTube video shows John Grefe's left hand explaining the King's Indian Defense.
Published on Feb 12, 2014:
"On a sunny warm summer afternoon in 2001 in Berkeley, CA, US Champion IM John Grefe gives a hour long introduction
to the King's Indian Defense. The late chess master John Grefe always gave freely of his chess genius! Here at the outdoor table
at a coffeehouse he called his "office" he gives a couple of class players a lesson. The camera was focused on the board
for most of this video. But, at the end, the final few minutes show John giving his sage advice."
[Don't worry, it's not too creepy & occasionally you even get to see his right hand too.]

Kenneth Harkness

(November 12, 1896, Glasgow, Scotland - October 4, 1972, Yugoslavia)

Ken Harkness
  • Editor of Chess Review
  • Creator of the Harkness rating system.
  • Business Manager of the USCF from 1952 to 1959.
  • Became an International Arbiter in 1972.
  • Member of the FIDE Permanent Rules Commission.
  • Inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame in 1997.

Kenneth Harkness was born in Glasgow, Scotland on November 12, 1896. He was Business Manager of the United States Chess Federation from 1952 to 1959. He was also the editor of Chess Review, which merged into Chess Life.
He had lived in Boca Raton, Florida. He was a radio engineer & became an International Arbiter in 1972. He was a member of the FIDE Permanent Rules Commission.

Harkness was responsible for introducing Swiss system tournaments to the United States, and also introduced the Harkness rating system, which was a precursor to the Elo rating system. One method of tiebreaks in Swiss systems, where players tied on points are ranked by the sum of the opponents scores minus the top score and the bottom score, is named the "Harkness Median Tie-breaking System" after him. For his services, Harkness is in the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame.

With Irving Chernev, Harkness co-wrote "An Invitation to Chess". He was responsible for a number of the first American chess rulebooks. Harkness died on a train in Yugoslavia, on his way to Skopje to be an arbiter at the 1972 Chess Olympiad.

Harkness devised a rating system that was used by the USCF from 1950 to 1960.
That rating system is as follows. When a player competes in a tournament, the average rating of his competition is calculated. If the player scores 50% he receives the average competition rating as his performance rating. If he scores more than 50% his new rating is the competition average plus 10 points for each percentage point above 50. If he scores less than 50% his new rating is the competition average minus 10 points for each percentage point below 50.
In 1960, the Harkness rating system was replced by the Elo rating system which, with some modifications, is still in use today.

He authored several books including:

  • An Invitation to Chess, McKay (1945)
  • Invitation to Bridge, McKay (1950)
  • The Official Blue Book and Encyclopedia of Chess (1956)
  • Official Chess Handbook, McKay (1967)
  • Official Chess Rulebook, McKay (1970)

Glenn Petersen, editor of "Chess Life for Kids" magazine, former editor of "Chess Life" magazine, and one of the top tournament directors in the United States, writes:
"There is no better explanation of the theory behind the Swiss System than what was written by Kenneth Harkness and Eliot Hearst in The Official Blue Book and Encyclopedia of Chess in 1956."

Al Horowitz

(November 15, 1907 - January 18, 1973)

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IM Al Horowitz info goes here.

Dr. Dieter Keller

(October 18, 1932, Frankfurt am Main, Germany - February 4, 2008, Leominster)

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Dr. Dieter Heinrich Keller of Leominster, Massachusetts, died Feb. 4, 2008 after a brief illness. He was born Oct. 18, 1932 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and had lived most of his life in Leominster. He graduated from Leominster High School in 1950, Amherst College in 1953 and Tufts Medical School in 1957. He served his internship at Cambridge City Hospital and residencies in pathology at Cambridge City Hospital, New England Medical Center in Boston and Malden Hospital. After completing his residency, he briefly worked at Burbank Hospital in Fitchburg and later became chief pathologist at Henry Heywood Hospital in Gardner, where he was employed for more than 30 years before his retirement in 1999. He was a member of the Worcester North Chapter of the Massachusetts Medical Society. Between October 2002 and June 2003, Dieter played in nine USCF-rated tournaments at the Wachusett Chess Club when it met at First Church Unitarian Universalist in Leominster. Dieter was a parishioner there. Funeral services and burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Leominster, were private.
Some games by Dieter Keller are in the Games Section.

Gabe Kern

(August 19, 1932, Budapest, Hungary - July 25, 2015, Rye Brook, NY)

  • Long time resident of Nashua, NH & Billerica Chess Club member
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Gabriel Robert Kern, formerly of Nashua, NH, was born on August 9, 1932 in Budapest, Hungary and and passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at his home in Rye Brook, NY.
Gabriel was a resident of Mount Kisco, New York at the time of his passing.
He got his undergraduate degree from McGill University and a Masters degree from Columbia University.
He had been an electrical engineer with Kollsman (now Elbit Systems) for 26 years before retiring.
He is remembered as a devoted husband, father and grandfather, who was an accomplished chess teacher and gifted piano player.

Marty Laine

(May 5, 1950 - November 18, 2014)

Marty Laine
  • 2008 WCC Champion
  • FATV Chess Chat Co-Host
  • Long time journalist for The Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton
  • Worked several years as a teacher-naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society
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LUNENBURG - K. Martin Laine, 64, of Lunenburg, died on Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at his home unexpectedly after being stricken ill.
He is survived by his son, Benjamin Laine and his wife Maryam Tabatabaei of Lawrence; his father, Pentti M. Laine of Athol; one brother, J. Eric Laine and his wife Cynthia of Ivoryton, CT; two nephews, Jonathan Laine and his wife Shannon and their children, Spencer and Nora of Hollis, NH, Christopher Laine and his wife Mercy of Goettingen, Germany; his former wife and friend, Deborah Levine of Holyoke.

Martin was born on May 5, 1950 in Fitchburg, a son of Pentti M. and the late Irma Maria (Hilden-Hirsto) Laine. He graduated from Lunenburg High School and attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Martin was a news reporter for Associated Press in many different assignments and worked as a journalist for The Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton for many years. Mr. Laine was a full-time news reporter and a freelance writer, covering government and politics, environmental issues, and nature. After leaving full-time journalism, he spent several years working as a teacher-naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

More recently, Mr. Laine was a teacher at the Shirley Middle School and the Ayer High School for several years until his retirement last year. He was a member of the Wachusett Chess Club and was an avid Thoreauvian. Martin had a deep love of nature and enjoyed hiking. He will be dearly missed.
Burial in North Cemetery, Lunenburg, will be held in the spring.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions in his memory to:
Mass Audubon, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.

J. Camille Leblanc

(December 12, 1916, Sherbrook, Quebec, Canada - October 18, 1989, Fitchburg)

  • Charter member of the Wachusett Chess Club
  • Played in the Fischer simul at the WCC March 2, 1964
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J. Camille LeBlanc died on October 18, 1989, in Fitchburg. He was born on Dec. 12, 1916, in Sherbrook, Quebec, Canada, and had lived most of his life in Fitchburg. He was a charter member of the Wachusett Chess Club, being very active in the early 1960s. He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Leominster.

Fred S. Lawrence

(1904 - August 30, 1999)

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Fred S. Lawrence info goes here.

Dr. Max Levinger

(July 9, 1894 - March 1, 1973)

  • Charter member of the Wachusett Chess Club
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George Mirijanian says, "Dr. Max Levinger was a charter member of the Wachusett Chess Club, whom I remember playing as a teenager more than 45 years ago. When I joined the club in the late 1950s, Dr. Levinger was an active member of the club. He was so passionate about chess that several club members, including me, used to play at his medical office Friday nights on Grove Street in Fitchburg, where the sessions would last until the wee hours of Saturday morning. Sometimes I would play him on his desk and sometimes I would play him and others on an examining table! Dr. Levinger was born in July 1894 and died in March 1973. Although his practice was in Fitchburg, he lived in Lunenburg. He was one of the most colorful chess players the area has ever known. He was an impeccable dresser and very distinct in his speech. He also hated to lose. If you beat him, he would immediately challenge you to another game. Some of those Friday night sessions lasted long because he wouldn't let you go until he had beaten you. It was a great pleasure having known him."

Gail Lingner

(March 31, 1942 - September 6, 2018)

Gail S. Lingner
  • Member of the Wachusett Chess Club from 1975-2018
  • B division co-champion of the WCC 1992
  • Only female member of the WCC for most of her 43 years there
  • Played in US Open 12 times
  • Played well over a hundred USCF rated tournaments
  • #9 on USCF national Top Women Seniors list
  • Long time member of USCF & MACA
  • Member of MACA Board of Directors
  • Bachelor's degree in accounting from Fitchburg State College
  • Received her MBA from SNHU
  • Office manager of Leominster Die Service in Leominster
  • Antique dealer for 20 years at Jeffrey's Antique Co-op Mall in Lunenburg

Gail's obituary can be found on the website of the funeral home - http://www.masciarellifamilyfuneralhomes.net/obituary/gail-lingner
The obit will also be published in the Tuesday, Sept. 11, edition of the Sentinel & Enterprise
I would like everyone to know about the funeral arrangements.
I will be at the club on Wednesday - probably not to play - to announce the details for the funeral.
-George M

Gail's obituary
Gail Sandra Lingner
March 31, 1942 - September 6, 2018

Fitchburg-Gail Sandra (Carlson) Lingner, 76, died peacefully at her home on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2018.

She leaves a daughter, Sandra Laurentano and her husband Joe of FL; a son, John Lingner Jr. and his wife Marjorie of TN; 11 grandchildren, Brandy Daigle Budzinski, Ronald Daigle Jr., Brittany Gaudet Hose (Bradley), Kimberly Taschereau, Leslie Lupien (Justin), Vanessa Brown (Kelly), John M. Lingner Sr. (Megan), Tracie Lingner, Jeremy Lingner (Kandie), Jackson Lingner (Erika) and Jacob Lingner; 20 great-grandchildren, Jordan, Hunter, Dylan and Rory Budzinski, Jacoby, Maddox, Orrin and Beckett Hose, Stefan-Jack Taschereau and Jasper-James Parker, Alyssa Farmer, Riley Lupien, Jesse Brown, John Bennett, Brooklynn, McKenzie and Kaylee Stock, Lillian Hyde, Gabriella Lingner, Maci Lingner; her loving companion of 43 years, George Mirijanian; three sisters, Carol Dunn and her husband Allan, Cathy Gallagher and her husband James and Cynthia Lafreniere and her husband Thomas; her beloved sister-in-law, Stella Carlson and many nieces and nephews.

She is predeceased by her husband, John "Jack" Lingner, who died Oct. 14, 1981 and a brother, Albert "Bud" Carlson Jr. who died May 10, 2014.

Gail was born on March 31, 1942, a daughter of the late Albert R. Sr. and Charlotte E. (Wheeler) Carlson. She was a 1960 graduate of Lunenburg High School. She then graduated from Fitchburg State College with a bachelor's degree in accounting. Later she received her MBA from SNHU. Gail worked at Traffic Systems in Worcester and then many years at Leominster Die Service in Leominster as the office manager.

After her retirement, she was an antique dealer and had several booths in various antique shops, including 20 years at Jeffrey's Antique Co-op Mall in Lunenburg. She was an avid mystery reader and loved writing short stories. She loved animals, especially cats. Her passion was chess. A nationally rated chess player, she was a member of the Wachusett Chess Club since September 1975. She was a longtime member of the U.S. Chess Federation and the Mass. Chess Association, where she served as an officer on its board of directors. Gail competed in many chess tournaments from the late 1970s thru early 2018. She also enjoyed bowling in her youth and was a fabulous cook. Her family looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas, when she made her absolutely delicious apple pies.

The most important part of her life was her family, with whom she enjoyed spending time.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. at United Parish of Lunenburg, 39 Main St., Lunenburg.
Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery, 115 Mt. Elam Road, Fitchburg.
Calling Hours will be held Friday, Sept. 14, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. in the
Lunenburg Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Home, 763 Mass Ave., Lunenburg

John W. Loyte

(July 25, 1938 - February 11, 2007)

John W. Loyte
  • WCC Member during 1980's
  • Long Time Member of both Nashoba Chess Club in Westford & Billerica Chess Club
  • Member & Treasurer of the Lynn YMCA Chess Club
  • Life member of the USCF & MACA
  • Owned one of the most extensive private chess libraries in New England
  • Reached the rank of USCF expert

On this date [February 11] in 2007, John Loyte of Maynard died at age 68. Loyte was a life member of the USCF and MACA. He was also a longtime member of the Tuesday night Nashoba Chess Club in Westford and the Friday night Billerica Chess Club. In the 1980s, he was a very active player at the Wednesday night Wachusett Chess Club in Fitchburg. He owned one of the most extensive private chess libraries in New England.

In addition to club play, John was very active in weekend tournaments in the 80's & 90's, but his experience in rated competition extends as far back as the 1960's & included such tournaments as the Danvers 30/30 Tournament (back when it was called that). He also loved 5-minute blitz chess for which his aggressive tactical style was well suited. One of his specialties was to prepare obscure traps usually arising from sharp opening variations & spring them on unsuspecting opponents, sometimes later the same day. His favorite chess piece was the knight & he could occasionally squeeze a draw or even a full point from what might be considered totally lost positions, particularly when he still had a knight, regardless of what the objective evaluation might be. He could also be counted on to play for a win, again despite objective considerations, nearly all the time. I once saw him continue to play for a dozen moves or more with nothing but one rook & king vs. one rook & king in a rated weekend tournament where neither player was in time trouble, but he thought there was still a chance his (approximately 1500+ raetd) opponent might make a fatal blunder. -PG

Harry Lyman

(June 15, 1915 - September 5, 1999)

Harry Lyman
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Harry Lyman info goes here.

Richard G. McMaster

(October 8, 1930 - July 8, 2007)

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Richard G. McMaster info goes here.

George O'Rourke

(July 29, 1929 - February 26, 2007)

George O'Rourke
  • Member of both the Westford and the Wachusett Chess Clubs
  • USCF rated class "A" tournament competitor
  • Son, Larry O'Rourke, member of Wachusett Chess Club
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George Edmund O'Rourke, 77, of Concord died Monday February 26, 2007 at Emerson Hospital in Concord. He was the beloved husband of 46 years of Jeannette (Ouellet) O'Rourke.

Born in Washington, DC on July 29, 1929 he was the son of the late George Edmund O'Rourke and Nan (Geier) O'Rourke. He attended schools in Washington and was a graduate of Gonzaga High School in Washington. He later received a Bachelors degree from Georgetown University in Washington and a Masters degree from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore.

In 1969, Mr. O'Rourke was a founder and later became President of Corporate Tech Planning in Waltham. He retired in 1993. He had previously been employed in the Research Laboratory at Sylvania in Waltham for ten years. A Concord resident since 1958, he was a member of the Concord Republican Town Committee and served as a delegate to the Massachusetts and National Republican Conventions. He was a long-time communicant of Holy Family and St. Bernard's Parishes in Concord.

An avid chess player, he was a member of the Westford and Wachusett Chess Clubs and the U.S. Chess Federation. He competed in chess tournaments throughout the area and the United States. For over 25 years, he enjoyed his summer home in Surry, Maine.

In addition to his wife Jeannette, survivors include five children, Edmund O'Rourke of Surry, Maine, Anne Louiselle of Hooksett, New Hampshire, Larry O'Rourke of Arlington, Virginia, Kate O'Rourke of New York City and Neil O'Rourke of Hudson; 8 grandchildren, Christopher, Tommy, Bill, Sarah, Michael, Americah, Juliette and Will; and a sister, Pat Caulfield of Rockville, Maryland.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday March 2nd at 1:30 P.M. in Holy Family Parish, Monument Square, Concord.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Gonzaga College High School, 19 Eye St. NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Rocco Pasquale

(January 30, 1922 - October 21, 2014)

Rocco Pasquale
  • Founding member & First president of the Wachusett Chess Club, February 1960
  • 1968 Wachusett Chess Club Champion
  • Formed Monadnock Chess Club at the Keene YMCA
  • President of the Monadnock Chess Club October 1972 - 1977
  • Participated in the "D-Day Invasion", at Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 5, 1944
  • Earned a Bronze Star for heroism in France during World war II
  • Special Delivery Driver for the U.S. Postal Service until retirement in 1977
  • Played World Champion Bobby Fischer, in the simul at WCC on March 2nd, 1964
  • Correspondent for several newspapers covering his beloved chess clubs from 1960-1977

Decorated WW II Vet and Chess Organizer

RINDGE - Rocco R. Pasquale, War Hero, Chess Organizer and adored father passed away at the age of 92 on Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, while receiving loving care at the New Hampshire Veteran's Home in Tilton. He was born on Jan. 30, 1922, in Fitchburg, Mass.

Rocco was married for over 56 years to the late Joan (Burt) Pasquale, who passed away at the age of 78, in May of 2007, in Beverly Hills, Fla. Rocco and Joan raised their three children in Rindge. In their retirement years they lived in Beverly Hills, Fla.
Rocco was born the son of Italian immigrants, Filomena (Minicucci) and Berardino "William" Pasquale, who hailed from the region of Abruzzo, Italy. Rocco was raised in Fitchburg, Mass., among his six siblings.

He enlisted in the Army on Oct. 2, 1942 and separated from the Army with an Honorable Discharge on Nov. 7, 1945. He served in the storied First Infantry ("The Big Red One") Division as a Radio Operator. Military operations included North Africa, Sicily, England, France, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. Rocco participated in the "D-Day Invasion", landing as the third wave on Omaha Beach, Normandy, France on June 5, 1944. It was in France where he earned a Bronze Star.

After the war, Rocco met his wife Joan at a dance in Jaffrey, and was married soon thereafter. They settled in Rindge, where Rocco worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a Special Delivery Driver covering both Fitchburg and Leominster, Mass., until his retirement at the age of 55.

Rocco had many varied interests, including organizing and serving as President of the Wachusett Chess Club, Fitchburg, Mass. in Feb. of 1960. The highlight of Rocco's chess career was playing the future World Champion of Chess, Bobby Fischer, in March 1964. In Oct. of 1972 Rocco who was then a well-known chess organizer formed a brand new chess club at the Keene YMCA known as the Monadnock Chess Club and served as President until he retired in 1977.

Rocco also loved ballroom dancing, he wrote a play, music lyrics and poetry as well as served as a correspondent for several newspapers covering his beloved chess clubs. Rocco also enjoyed going to drive-ins and those who know him may recall his invention of window screens for his little VW. Additionally, he loved horse and dog races, Boston College Football Games, bingo and card games.

Rocco is well remembered by his children, nieces and nephews, family and friends who were his guests during the annual family vacations at Hampton Beach, N.H.
In addition to his wife, Rocco was also preceded in death by his sisters Rose (Perry), Elsie (Sherrin), Lena (Boulay), and his brother Anthony.

Rocco loved life and his family; daughter Pam and her spouse, Wayne Koski of Jaffrey, and their son, Eric Koski and his wife, Kim and son, Corey; daughter, Deborah Proterra of New Canann, Conn. and her children, David and Tracy (Olmstead) and her spouse, Reid and daughter, Fiona; son, Jan Pasquale and his spouse, Karen of South Salem, N.Y. and their children, Michael and Elyse; brothers, William and Raymond and many nieces and nephews.

"In 1974 I played Everett [sic.] Siiskomen in the semi finals [of the WCC Championship]. While we were playing he made a very bad error and I captured his Queen. He went hysterical and began moving pieces around the board to show me he made a momentary error. He really lost the game with the Queen gone but also because he touched my pieces should have been disqualified. I felt sorry for him as he was much older and felt this was very important to him so I let him take it back and eventually lost. The members of the club were furious that I did that and as you can see he [Siiskonen] beat Terry [O'Connor?] in the final. While everyone was upset your dad [Rocco] was really kind. He knew I should have called the game over but really understood why I did it. I remember he told me that while chess is very competitive, he admired my willingness to consider the age of Everett [sic.] and how important it was to him. As club President, that meant so much to me. Your dad was absolutely a terrific person."
-Fran Silvestri

A private military graveside service was held at The Hillside Cemetery in Rindge on Oct. 30, 2014. A memorial service will take place at a later date.
Memorial contributions can be made to the New Hampshire Veteran's Home specifying the donation for the Resident Activity Fund, 139 Winter Street, Tilton, N.H. 03276 and/or the Monadnock Adult Care Center, 22 North Street, Jaffrey, N.H. 03452.
For a more detailed obituary, and to share memories or condolences with Rocco's family, please visit:
See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ledgertranscript/obituary.aspx?pid=173228655#sthash.hlxEQYMY.dpuf

Robert N. Plourde

(September 8, 1942 - January 24, 2016)

Robert N. Plourde

GARDNER -- Robert N. "Bob" Plourde, 73, of Gardner, died peacefully Sunday, January 24, 2016 in UMASS Memorial Medical Center, Lake Ave. N. Worcester, following a long illness.
Born in Fitchburg on September 8, 1942, he was the son of the late Louis and Edmee (Belliveau) Plourde.
Robert was a Postal Worker employed by the United States Postal Service for 32 years, retiring in 2000.
He was a United States Vietnam War Navy Veteran, and received his GED in 1962 while serving in the Navy.
Robert was a member of Annunciation Parish/Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church of Gardner.
He enjoyed playing chess and watching the PBS station on television.

Robert leaves his wife of 21 years, Patricia A. (Desautels) Plourde of Gardner; one son, Robert N. AndreasPlourde II and his wife Cheryl of Amsterdam Holland; two stepsons, Mark Littlewood and his wife Tina of Templeton and Arthur "Chip" Littlewood and his wife Linda of Gardner; two brothers, Raymond Plourde of Gardner and Rene Plourde of Weston, VA; one sister-in-law, Nikie Plourde of Lakeville; five grandchildren, Eleanor AndreasPlourde, Zorlie AndreasPlourde, Sarah Littlewood, Jessica Yonkers and Chris Littlewood; three great-grandchildren, Tyler Yonkers, Savannah Yonkers and Caily Littlewood; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by three brothers, Louis Plourde, Richard Plourde and Roland Plourde.

PLOURDE -- A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, February 6th at 11:00 a.m. in Annunciation Parish/Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church, 135 Nichols Street, Gardner. Burial will be held at a later date.
There are no calling hours.

George M. Putika

(April 08, 1911 - January 20, 2004)

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George M. Putika info goes here.

Francis W. Scanlon II

(August 8th, 1953 - February 15th, 2023)

Francis Scanlon
  • Long time WCC member, Joined Wachusett CC at Petrosian simul February 1982
  • Francis W. Scanlon II Memorial Tournament at the club, August 2, 9, 16, 23, & 30 2023
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With an all time high USCF rating of a mere 1212, Francis was still a fierce competitor, often sacrificing a piece or more to create complications or unclear positions. His cheery disposition & positive attitude both on & off the board will be sorely missed.
Francis Scanlon II obituary:

Oscar Shapiro

(March 18, 1909 - January 1, 2002)

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Oscar Shapiro info goes here.

Evert Siiskonen

(January 7th, 1915 - March 31st, 1993)

Siiskonen Memorial
Chess Table
  • First ever two time WCC Champion, 1963 & 1966
  • Joined the WCC April 10, 1963
  • WCC Member during the club's first ten years
  • Memorialized with Chess Table @ Saima Park

On June 20, 2015, a fun chess tournament was held at the Summer Kesajuhla at Saima Park to honor the memory of two-time Wachusett Chess Club champion Evert Siiskonen, who was club champion in 1963 and 1966. He was born on January 7, 1915 in Finland, and came to the United States at an early age, lived in Ashburnham and Fitchburg before returning to Finland (after his wife died), where he died on March 31, 1993. He was a life member of the USCF. Siiskonen played in the Fischer simul on March 2, 1964 in Fitchburg.

Barry Spiegel

(February 4, 1948 - June 26, 1992)

  • Served MACA 20 years
  • Hosted many Chess Horizons mailing sessions
  • Chess competitor & active certified TD
  • Became assistant BSA scoutmaster
  • Inspired Gilbert Gus Gosselin to create MACA's Living Memorial Chess Fund (LMCF)

From Chess Horizons, Summer 2017
A Unique Volunteer to MACA: Barry Spiegel Remembered
-Stephen Dann
Of all the volunteers I've worked with in my 48 years organizing chess and being in professional communications, Barry S. Spiegel, who died 25 years ago June 26, has to be one of the most inspirational.Though physically handicapped and disfigured from birth with profound cerebral palsy, Barry served MACA 20 years doing all kinds of support work that literally makes or breaks any hobby, sporting or educational nonprofit--MACA being a bit of all three. Barry never said no to any challenge to promote chess in Central MA, or, anywhere in New England or beyond. He hosted Chess Horizons mailing sessions (when we mailed out thousands of 48 to 84-page issues six times per year--back breaking work as long-time CH editor and mentor George Mirijanian can tell you) at his Worcester home. Despite his handicap, Barry found time to compete, become an active certified TD, attend monthly board of directors meetings of MACA, and, become an assistant BSA scoutmaster.
He even had a day job--merchandising clerk for one of Worcester's largest department stores - and a local snow removal and landscaping business!
It was so very sad when Barry was diagnosed with a non-malignant inoperable tumor his last year of life. Perhaps his legacy will be that he inspired Gilbert Gus Gosselin to create MACA's Living Memorial Chess Fund, where some of the largest contributions have come from the Central MA area.
His legacy will also live on, of course, through the scholastic championship that now bears his name. It was only four days after his passing that we were holding our June board meeting that year, and seemingly all of us on MACA decided at once that it would be good to truly honor the man.

Wayne Steadman

(Wolfville, NS, Canada, April 21, 1943 - June 4, 2018)

Wayne Steadman

Wayne L. Steadman of Lunenburg, whose membership in the Wachusett Chess Club went back more than 35 years, passed away on Monday, June 4th, in the Life Care Center of Leominster. He was 75. He was a longtime member of the U.S. Chess Federation and a former longtime member of the Massachusetts Chess Association. From November 1991 until his last game at the club, round 4 of the Ernest Fandreyer Memorial on Nov. 8, 2017, Wayne had played in 215 events and over a hundred more prior to 1991,for which the USCF has no online data. Wayne was your "quintessential" club player. The overwhelming majority of his tournaments were played at the Wachusett CC. His funeral will be held Friday, June 8th, at 10 a.m. at the Silas F. Richardson & Son Funeral Home, 106 West St., Leominster, followed by burial in Bellevue Cemetery in Harvard, Mass. Calling hours at the funeral home are Thursday, June 7th, from 5 to 7 p.m. The Wachusett Chess Club extends its deepest condolences to the Steadman family. Complete obit is available at www.richardsonfuneralhome.net

From https://www.richardsonfuneralhome.net/obits/obituary.php?id=664101
LUNENBURG ---- Wayne L. Steadman of Lunenburg; 75 years old of Lunenburg, died Monday, June 4, 2018. He was born in Wolfville, NS, Canada on April 21, 1943, the son of the late Leroy and Florence (Schofield) Steadman. Wayne leaves his wife of 50 years Verna (Matthews) Steadman of Lunenburg. His daughter Michelle Godin and her husband Paul and his son Trevor Steadman, both of Leominster. He leaves to mourn 2 brothers, Bruce Steadman and his wife Beverly of Moultonborough, NH and Ernest Steadman and his wife Karen of Townsend and a sister, Sharon Dwyer of Millbury MA. Wayne also leaves 3 grandchildren Michael, Ashley and Marc and 1 great-grandson Kyler. He is predeceased by his brother-in-law, Phil Dwyer.

Wayne was a lifelong Montreal Canadians fan as well as an avid chess player. He worked as a receiver for Victory/Hannafords for over 30 years.

Wayne's funeral will be held on Friday, June 8, 2018 in the Silas F. Richardson & Son Funeral Home, 106 West St. Leominster MA. Burial will follow in Bellevue Cemetery in Harvard. Calling hours in the funeral home will be on Thursday June 7, 2018 from 5 pm - 7 pm.

John R. Stopa

(April 8, 1953 - July 7, 2017)

John R. Stopa

Obituary Condolences as published at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dispatch/obituary.aspx?pid=186033764

John Russell Stopa, age 64, died on July 7, 2017 as a result of cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife, Carol Davis Stopa of Columbus; his daughter, Kate (David) Tull of Columbus; his son, Dr. Jack Stopa (Melissa Shakro) of Cambridge, MA; grandson, Thomas Tull of Columbus; and brother, James Stopa of Somers, CT. John's youngest child Emily Ann Stopa died on October 2, 2016 at the age of 28. John grew up in Somers, CT and held degrees from both Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1974) and Boston University School of Law (1978). Carol was the love of John's life and best friend. They celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary on March 22, 2017, and were to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the day they met on July 29, 2017. John was a United States Chess Federation Life Master, and over his more than 40 year chess career was named New England Champion, Massachusetts State Champion, New York State Champion, and Ohio Co-Champion. John dedicated countless hours to volunteering for the Ohio Democratic Party. John loved being a dad, cheering on the Boston Red Sox and New York Giants, chess, cats, classic rock, playing with his grandson, planning vacations all over the country, and yelling at politicians on TV. John was a selfless and generous husband, father, and friend and will be fondly remembered for his warmth, wit, and kind heart. John elected to be an organ donor and so is continuing to help others. A memorial service will be held at SCHOEDINGER FUNERAL HOME, 6699 North High Street, Worthington, Ohio on Tuesday, July 11 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to the Ohio Democratic Party (www.ohiodems.org) or Lifeline of Ohio (www.lifelineofohio.org).
Please view our online guestbook at www.Schoedinger.com.
Published in The Columbus Dispatch on July 10, 2017

Dr. John S. Stubbe

(February 21, 1919 - January 13, 1996)

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Dr. John S. Stubbe info goes here.

George Sturgis

(May 31, 1891 - December 20, 1944)

George Sturgis
  • A founder of the U. S. Chess Federation
  • USCF president from its formation in 1939 until 1942
  • Made it to the finals of Western and American Opens in 1935
  • President of the Massachusetts State Chess Association (MSCA) 1932
  • George Sturgis Memorial Trophy donated in his honor, US Open 1945-1963

In the chess column of the January 1, 2006 Worcester "Sunday Telegram", Stephen Dann writes about the namesake of the previous tournament.
"George Sturgis of Weston, who died in 1944, was a founder of the U. S. Chess Federation and president from its formation in 1939 until his passing. He was a nephew of the Spanish philosopher George Santayana and worked as an investment broker in Boston. He was an early promoter of scholastic chess and brought chess to the Boston City Club, a center of high society in the early to mid 1900's."

Online post by Bill Wall:
"George Sturgis was born in Boston, Massachusetts on May 31, 1891. In 1932, he was elected president of the Massachusetts State Chess Association (MSCA). He was the first President of the United States Chess Federation (USCF), elected in 1939*. He died on December 20, 1944 in Boston after returning from his honeymoon. The George Sturgis Memorial Trophy, donated by Mrs. E.R. Thayer, was presented to all the U.S. Open winners from 1945 to 1963."
* [He was elected in 1938 president of the American Chess Federation (ACF), which merged with the National Chess Federation (NCF) in 1939 to become the USCF.]

"He was cremated at Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge" [and his ashes were sent to Gray Ledges Farm and Christian Conference Center in Grantham, New Hampshire, which was owned & operated by his widow, Carol A. Sturgis, until 1977 when the Conference Center was sold. -PG]
-George Marijanian owned by his widow, Carol A. Sturgis , She has resided in Grantham, NH since 1944 where she owned and operated Gray Ledges Farm and Christian Conference Center until 1977 when the Conference Center was sold.

He played in four U.S. Opens: 1940 in Dallas, TX; 1941 in St. Louis, MO; 1942 in Dallas; and 1943 in Syracuse, NY.
He played in the round-robin Championship section in the 1941 U.S. Open, finishing dead last with a score of 0.5-8.5
Several of his games may be found in the "Games" Section.

Hannes Taavela

(June 21, 1890 - June 29, 1970)

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Hannes Taavela info goes here.

Walter G. Trice

(December 17, 1948 - August 23, 2009)

Walter G. Trice
  • Competitor in several Central New England Open tournaments
  • USCF-certified tournament director
  • USCF rated master
  • Member of Worcester Chess Club & competed in the Worcester Met Chess League
  • One of the USA's top ten backgammon players
  • Author of several books including "Backgammon Boot Camp"
  • Wrote computer programs including "Bearoff Quizmaster"
  • Secretary of the New England Backgammon Club

Walter G. Trice, 60, died suddenly on Sunday, August 23rd at Saint Vincent Hospital, Worcester, of natural causes.
He was one of the USA's top ten backgammon players and the author of several books including the modern classic Backgammon Boot Camp. He also wrote computer programs such as "Bearoff Quizmaster" and was a contributing columnist for the online magazines "GammonLife" and "GammonVillage." He was the secretary of the New England Backgammon Club, a member of the Seven Hills Wheelmen and the Easy C Riders.

Mr. Trice was born in Oak Ridge, Tennessee the son of James and Dorothy (Spragens) Trice. A graduate of Wesleyan College, Walter worked for Paul Revere Life Insurance Company for 20 years as an actuary before retiring in 1987.

He leaves his wife, Donna M. (McDermott) Trice, two step-children William Galeckas and Lisa Galeckas of Worcester and three beloved step-granddaughters Tia, Taniah and Corynn. He is also survived by brothers, Dr. James H. Trice and his wife Leslie Thomas of Texas, Stephen Trice and his wife Rebecca Allen of Delaware and Thomas Trice of Pennsylvania; sisters, Elizabeth and her husband Mark Gause of California, Barbara and her husband Rev. Carl Buffington Jr. of Florida and Lillian and her husband John C. Murphy of Pennsylvania; and nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 12th at 1:00 PM in O'Connor Brothers Funeral Home, 592 Park Avenue. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Trice Education Fund, c/o Lillian Murphy, 1501 Old Mill Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610.

Dean E. Turra

(October 22, 1955 - January 3, 2018)

Dean E. Turra
  • Wachusett Chess Club early 80's until 1992
  • Key member of the Wachusett CC team 1985
  • Member of Nashoba Chess Club
  • Competed in West Suburban Summer GP (June 1985)
  • USCF life member
  • U.S. Army from 1975 to 1978
  • Chess champion at Fort Meade in Maryland

Dean E. Turra, a USCF life member and a former member of the Wachusett Chess Club, died Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at his home in Fitchburg. He was 62. Born Oct. 22, 1955 in Shirley, Mass., the son of Frank and Josephine (Bartolo) Turra, he graduated from Ayer High School in 1973. Dean served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1978. During that time, he became chess champion at Fort Meade in Maryland. While serving in the Army, he enrolled in the University of Maryland and continued his education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

After graduating from UMass-Amherst in 1982 with a degree in business, Dean joined the Wachusett Chess Club, which at that time was meeting at the St. Joseph Club in the Cleghorn section of Fitchburg. Dean became one of the most active members of the club during the 1980s and continued playing there right into the early 1990s. His last tournament at the club was the Wachusett CC Fall Swiss, held October-November 1992. His last over-the-board tournament was the Nashoba Chess Club July Swiss, held in Westford, Mass. in 1995. While playing at the Wachusett CC, Dean was a key member of the Wachusett CC team that narrowly lost a 14-board match to the Framingham Chess Club on April 2, 1985 at the American Legion in Framingham. Outrated on 11 of 14 boards, the Wachusett CC team lost 7.5 to 6.5, with Dean scoring a crucial win on board 8.

A funeral Mass for Dean Turra will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at St. Mary's Church, 31 Shirley St., Ayer. Burial will follow in the parish cemetery. Dean's family will receive family and friends 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Anderson Funeral Home, 25 Fitchburg Road, Ayer. For more information, visit: http://www.andersonfuneral.com/?s=Turra

Milan Vukcevich

(March 11, 1937 - May 10, 2003)

Milan R. Vukcevich
  • Junior Champion of Yugoslavia (1955)
  • Competed in the 4th Central New England Open (1964) while a grad student at MIT
  • Massachusetts Open Champion (1964)
  • US Open Co-Champion with Benko and Bisguier (1969)
  • Played simultaneous exhibition, Cleveland Heights, Ohio against 155 opponents [+151, -1, =3] (1972)
  • City Chess Champion of Cleveland (1973)
  • Authored the book, 'Chess by Milan-Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich', (1981)
  • First American FIDE Grandmaster for Chess Composition, (1988)
  • Inducted into US Chess Hall of Fame, October (1998)
  • Served as section editor for StrateGems, the US Chess Problem Magazine
  • Authored the book, 'My Chess Compositions', (2003)
  • Received his PhD from MIT in (1967)
  • Co-inventor on seven U.S. patents
  • Nobel Prize nominee for chemistry
  • Co-authored, 'Evaluation of Vacuum Degassing Procedures for Carbon, Low and Medium Alloy Molten Steels' (~1973)
  • Authored the book, 'The Science of Incandescence', (1992)

By Michelle Vukcevich
Milan Radoje Vukcevich was a renowned scientist, world class chess champion, loving husband and father, and a cherished friend to many. Milan cut a dashing figure: tall, handsome, with dark, wavy hair. He had an engaging smile and possessed intense energy and confidence. His benevolence and charm always emerged, despite his masterful strength on the chessboard.
Milan was born on March 11, 1937, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and came from a prominent European family. His ancestors helped create the country of Yugoslavia; his heritage was Montenegrin.
His parents were Christina (nee Trivanovic) and Radoje J. Vukcevich. Radoje graduated from Columbia University with a degree in law. He also studied at Kings College in England, at the Sorbonne in Paris and received a doctorate in economy from Heidelberg University in Germany.
Milan grew up without his father, who was a liaison officer between the Royal Army of Yugoslavia and US forces. Despite his heroic anti-Nazi activities, his father was senselessly branded an enemy by the occupying Soviets and was forced to flee to the US. As a child, Milan endured the confiscation of family property, food rationing, and the incarceration of his mother. Milan, himself, at age eight, was branded a "war profiteer".
Milan learned chess at an early age. His uncle, Milan Trivanovic, gave him his first chess set in an effort to quiet the boisterous 5-year old long enough for the family to listen to BBC radio without distraction. Milan began playing chess and never stopped!
He credited his uncle, Milan Trivanovic, his brother, Ivan Sprung, and a friend, Trandaphilos Siaperas as being his greatest teachers and inspiration. At age nine, he published his first chess problem. At age eleven, he won his first international chess-problem tournament and also began playing tournament chess.
In 1955, he became the Junior Champion of Yugoslavia. In 1960, he won first place on the second board at the Student Team World Championship in Leningrad. He received a prize for the best game and best-played endgame, helping his team to win a Bronze Medal. Later that year, he became a member of the Yugoslav Olympic chess team and again, won a Bronze Medal.
In the chess world, Milan was known as a tournament player, a composer of chess problems, and a problem-solver. He composed chess problems and played over-the-board games simultaneously. "Of course, when one plays and composes at the same time, the inspiration flows in both directions. My problems from the late fifties often reflected the player's tendency to shock the opponent. Also, some of the problems were impressionistic renderings of my favorite games." (Chess by Milan-Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich, 1981, MIM Company, Burton, Ohio.)
In 1964, he won the state championships in Massachusetts and Maine. In 1967, Milan moved to Cleveland where he spent the remainder of his life. In 1969, he was a US Open Co-Champion with Benko and Bisguier. He credited many Cleveland masters and experts such as, Kause, Wozney, Sprague, Burns, Noel, Schroeder, Harkins, Blocker, Keske, Pavlovic, Gilchrist, Ellison, Wishnak, Nasvitys, Paruta, Szilagy, and Cunningham for the rise in the quality of his games. (Chess by Milan-Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich, 1981, MIM Company, Burton, Ohio.)
In 1978, he met and married Michelle Kravcisin. He had two sons, Marko and Ivan, from a previous marriage. No matter how busy Milan became, between his professional endeavors and in chess interests, his family was a priority.
In addition to tournament chess and chess problems, Milan also played speed chess, and gave simultaneous chess exhibitions. His largest exhibition was in Cleveland Heights, Ohio in 1972 where he played simultaneously against 155 opponents. Milan drew 3, lost 1, and won 151 games. In 1973, Milan was the City Chess Champion of Cleveland.
"Vuky", as he was known in chess circles, played in numerous domestic and international tournaments including the 1975 US Closed Championship (placing third); the 1976 Reykjavik, Iceland tournament, and the 1976 Hastings, England tournament. He also played for the Cleveland team of the National Chess League. Dubbed as the Yugoslavian, "James Bond", he was also building his career as a professor and a theoretical scientist. Milan did not obtain an international title as a player. In order to qualify either as an international master or international grandmaster, one must participate regularly in international competition. Milan stated, "Let me tell you immediately, I would love to have that title. I'm as vain as any other guy down the street-probably more vain-but it would require an extended effort of roughly three years. I don't think I can go three years without science." ("Wargames", Northern Ohio Live, February 1985.)
He also once said, "I cannot be just a chess player or just a scientist. I have to be both. I have to get to my lab next week, even though I will be playing in the tournament - I have a very happy life, happier than many others." ("Milan R. Vukcevich, Chess Grandmaster", Obituary, The Plain Dealer, May 14, 2003.) His last years of competitive chess included telephone matches with the "Cleveland Kinghunters." He achieved a USCF rating of 2530.
As David B. Davis noted, "Anyone who received the benefit of a game post-mortem from him [Milan] knows how thorough he was as a teacher, and how much he saw at the board. Milan Vukcevich never looked down on any chess player, was willing to talk to master or patzer, was never selfish with his immense chess knowledge." ("OTB Accomplishments of Milan Vukcevich", Ohio Chess Bulletin, November 2003.)
According to IM John Donaldson, Milan's chess style was characterized by "extensive and original opening knowledge, the ability to calculate deeply and accurately, and a penchant for problem-like solutions." ("Milan Vukcevich (1937-2003)", Obituary, Chess Today, http://www.chesstoday.net, May 30, 2003.)
Indeed, Milan preferred to concentrate on the beauty of chess and devoted the last twenty years of his life to creating chess problems. His problems appeared regularly in The Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday chess columns in the 1970's and 1980's.
Quoting Milan,
"Problems and games are two equal aspects of Chess and the difference between them is more in the intensity than in the substance. Relative to the game, a good chess problem activates more force per move, uses pieces more efficiently and stresses more their cooperation and interference with each other. A good problem may combine a dozen separate elements into one extraordinary event, in the same way in which a good novel may condense a dozen real lives into a single lifetime of its fictitious hero."
"I am not defending chess problems by showing how similar they are to the game. The art of problem composing and the logic of problem solving do not need to be defended. They exist by themselves, irrespective of the fate of the game. What I am trying to do is to convince the chess players and the problemists alike, that all existing and imaginable forms of chess have the one and most important thing in common: the logic by which the method of conquest is selected." ("Chess By Milan, Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich," 1981, MIM Company, Burton, Ohio.)
In 1988, Milan became the first American FIDE (Federation International D'Echecs) Grandmaster for Chess Composition, a title that is almost three times harder to win than the international master title in the same field. A GM title requires 70 published problems in the FIDE albums, while an IM must only have 25. ( "Milan Vukcevich Enters Hall of Fame", Chess Life, October 1998.)
Over the past 20 years, more than 100 of Milan's chess problems were reproduced in these volumes. The FIDE album is produced every three years, and it includes approximately 700 of the best problems published in the previous cycle. Many experts consider him the best composer ever. He was one of few composers whose compositions encompassed a wide range of problem types: twomovers, threemovers, moremovers, selfmates, directmate, helpmates, fairies, endgames, studies, etc.
According to the obituary in The London Times, Milan composed "significant masterpieces" in almost every genre. "The freshness of his ideas, even in areas where originality is hard to achieve, was astonishing." ( "Milan Vukcevich", Obituary, The Times, June 11,2003.)
Physically, a chess composition or "problem" is a position on a chessboard with a condition (e.g., "Mate in 2", "Helpmate in 3", etc.) attached to it. In a correct problem, there is only one way to fulfill the specified condition. Composing chess problems is considered an art, so measuring compositional skill is difficult. However in the FIDE 1983-1985 World Chess Composition Tournament (WCCT), Milan had the best individual result. His 63 points (12.5 points ahead of the nearest competitor) were the major part of 132 points that brought third place to the U.S. Team. In the 1996-2000 WCCT, the US came in eighth place with 102 points, 97 of which were earned by Milan-again, the top individual result.
Milan is ranked 11th on the all-time list of composition grandmasters by FIDE. He acknowledged help he received from other composers: Edgar Holladay, Eric Hassberg, and Newman Guttman, as well as, Mike Prcic, Bob Burger, Dan Meinking, Dave Brown, Robert Moore, Gianni Donati, Alex Markevitch, Danny Dunn, Mike Neumeier, and John Meyers. (My Chess Compositions, 2003, StrateGems, Westlake Village, CA.)
Composers recognized and acknowledged Milan's influence as well. Eugene Rosner wrote, "His enthusiasm for anything related to chess problems was amazing. He brought out the best in you, for as great a composer as he was, he was an equally great teacher and inspirer. In a classic kind of way, he would encourage and know EXACTLY how to provide corrections, suggestions and vision to a problem's development and make you feel good about your endeavors." (StrateGems supplement Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich 1937-2003 , Vol. 6, SG23, July-September 2003.)
John Rice, writing for The Problemist, stated, "The breadth of his invention was truly astonishing, and he was possessed of a constructional technique that enabled him to realize his prodigious ideas with what seemed like effortless ease." ("Milan R. Vukcevich, Obituary, The Problemist, The British Chess Problem Society, Vol 19 No 4., July 2003.)
Others, such as his friend, Bob Burns Jr., described his problems as "beautiful, logically tight, with nothing wasted, focusing on a theme. The pieces always had energy and seemed hard to contain. They seemed to explode off the board." And judge B. Fargette commented on a problem he awarded second prize in Phenix 1997-9, in the April 2003 issue, "The economical and harmonious construction is beyond reproach, as always with this author."
Marjan Kovacevic described him as this: "'Spectacular' was Milan's trade mark. Where ambitious composers lacked subtlety and esthetic ones strength, his ideas sounded the way he did: loud, clear and witty. One more thing: Vukac (a nickname) was always young in spirit and that star of youthful inspiration shown intensely in his works until the end." (StrateGems supplement, Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich 1937-2003, Vol.6, SG23, July-September 2003.)
Milan held extremely high standards for himself. "At any given moment, I have at least ten twomovers among my finished compositions. Unfortunately, they seldom meet my criteria for publication, and not more than ten percent appear in print."
"All my life, I dreamed of creating problems that would amaze solvers with their difficulty or outrageousness." (My Chess Compositions, 2003, StrateGems, Westlake Village, CA.)
Milan described the process of "evolution" when creating a chess problem in his first book. "Problem No. 192 received rather favorable comments including a great compliment in the form of a question: 'How does one set about to compose a problem like this?' - that long check-mate evolved from a much shorter helpmate-No. 152! Eight years separate the birthdays of these two problems, which is how long it took me to come upon the mechanism which repeatedly forces back the white knight and the black bishop in No. 192. After that scheme was found, it took me less than a day to finish the problem." (Chess by Milan-Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich, 1981, MIM Company, Burton, Ohio.)
Or, alternatively, "This one 'fell into place' in less than half-an-hour. In a bathtub, on a pocket set. I jumped out screaming like Archimedes and mailed it to Barnes with soap still behind my ears." (Chess by Milan-Problems and Games of Dr. Milan R. Vukcevich, 1981, MIM Company, Burton, Ohio.)
Milan could also solve the compositions of others at an extremely high level of skill as well. In 1981, in Arnhem, Holland, Milan ended third in the FIDE World Problem Solving Championship. In 1990 and 1991, he had the highest solver-rating in the World: 2775 points, or 65 points ahead of the nearest competitor. He is one of only four Master Solvers as recognized by the Society of U.S. Chess Problemists.
In 1998, Milan had the great honor of being inducted into the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame located in Miami, Florida. Only 27 other individuals have been inducted since the museum's inception in 1986. This award had special significance for Milan, for it ensures that his contributions to chess will endure beyond his lifetime. During his keynote address at the induction ceremony, Milan spoke about the importance of chess. Remembering his chess-playing days at MIT, Milan noted, "The game (chess) forced us to develop our own methodology for solving problems, and we applied that throughout our education and professional lives. Chess made us into better thinkers, and that should be its true role in our society - Sports only teach you team play, but chess can do much more for the soul of our society."
His most recent book, My Chess Compositions (copyrighted 2003) was completed shortly before his death. (Details on how to purchase copies of Milan's books are listed below.) Milan also served as section editor for StrateGems, the US Chess Problem Magazine ( www.strategems.org).
With regard to his career as a scientist, Milan received his PhD from MIT in 1967, and went on to become a university professor, and Chief Scientist for both General Electric Co. and Saint-Gobain Crystals and Detectors. He published many articles on science and chess, and authored several books on both subjects.
Milan was a distinguished theoretical scientist and innovator. After graduating from MIT with a PhD, he began his career as an Assistant Professor of Metallurgy and Materials Science at Case Western Reserve University (1967-1973). His work included research on brittle fracture of metals, stability of lattices, solid-state diffusion, and theory of silica glasses. While at Case, Milan published, "The Theory of Fused Silica", and co-authored, "Evaluation of Vacuum Degassing Procedures for Carbon, Low and Medium Alloy Molten Steels".
From CWRU, he joined General Electric Company where he worked until 1995. During his GE career, he grew from a Consulting Engineer to Project Leader, to Technical Leader, to Manager of Metallurgical Engineering and Chief Scientist for Refractory Metals. Milan had over twenty years of work in the theory of materials and general lamp technology, including lamp design, tungsten filament, theory of silica glasses, design of electric fuses, and design of ultrasonic welders and new metal-working processes.
Milan was a co-inventor on seven U.S. patents and authored the book, The Science of Incandescence. From that book, "I tried to summarize the situation and identify areas of promising research. Many of those ideas will require a lot of hard work, others will need inventions, and some will verge on impossible. I hope that the possible will arrive fast and give us time to achieve the impossible." (The Science of Incandescence, 1992. Published by Advanced Technology Department, GE Lighting, Nela Park, E. Cleveland, Ohio.)
Edward J. Covington, a colleague of Milan's at General Electric, has written an extensive article about Milan and his lighting contributions, including a brief description of his many patents. The article can be found at: home.frognet.net/~ejcov/milan5.html
In 1995, Milan joined Saint-Gobain Crystals & Detectors where his primary projects were on scintillation properties of cadmium tungstate, properties and production of calcium fluoride, mechanical shaping of sodium iodide, and annealing of cadmium-zinc-telluried. He retired as Chief Scientist in 2001.
Also, in 1995, Milan became a member of the Board of Directors of Northern Technologies International Corporation (NTIC), a company that is a developer, manufacturer and marketer of proprietary corrosion-inhibiting products. "He was an outstanding scientist and brought, above all, integrity and humanity to the company", said CEO, Philip M. Lynch.
Jorg Kuhlmann said, "With his demise, we not only lost one of the most versatile and visionary composers ever, but also a decidedly humanistic and magnanimous fellow." ("Moremovers-In Memory of Milan Vukcevich", The Problemist, September, 2003.
Milan died May 10, 2003 from a rare type of cancer (leiomyosarcoma). He was 66 years old.

From http://www.vivacityinc.com/chess/MRV/MilanVukcevich.htm
Today is Monday, March 02, 2015 4:04:01 A.M.
By Michelle Vukcevich
Shortly after my husband died, Aleksandr Kitsis contacted me with the idea of naming a monthly scholastic chess tournament after Milan. The tourney was a way of honoring Milan's memory and the many accomplishments he achieved involving the chess world. I gratefully accepted, knowing that Milan would be both proud and humbled, for he always encouraged and appreciated new talent.
As he stated in his book, My Chess Compositions, "I think the new time limits are better and that the ratings are higher mostly because the younger players are stronger. The quality of games is better than ever, and Judith Polgar and Joel Benjamin would badly embarrass Capablanca and Alekhine."
Milan was unique in that he enjoyed all aspects of the game of chess: over-the-board play, composing, and solving chess compositions. Alex has often enumerated the benefits of playing chess: it increases self-confidence, aids clear thinking and decision making, improves math skills and increases memory retention. Alex believes, "[Chess] will teach us how to think. It will teach us how to deal with life. You learn how to win and lose." Milan would definitely agree. Milan stated, "If you were to ask what got us into MIT, all of us would say it was chess. The game forced us to develop our own methodology for solving problems, and we applied that throughout our education and professional lives. Chess made us better thinkers, and the creation of better thinkers could be its true role in society."
The monthly tournaments help children to gracefully master both winning and losing in a controlled setting. They provide the children with the opportunity to build mental discipline and stamina, critical characteristics of the serious chess player. Milan had enormous mental strength-he would sit at a desk for more than eight hours, trying to solve mathematical equations in scientific problems. He played numerous simultaneous chess exhibitions (the largest was 155 opponents in 1972; he drew 3 games, lost 1 and won the remaining 151). He never backed down from a challenge. When first diagnosed with cancer, Milan vowed to fight. His explanation: "I'm a chess player. It's not in my nature to resign!"
In 1963, Milan graduated from the Belgrade Institute of Technology as an Engineer in the field of Metallurgy. The day he defended his thesis, he left for the United States. That same year, he enrolled in MIT where he went on to earn a Master of Science in 1965 and a Doctor of Philosophy in 1967. His professional positions included professor at Case Western Reserve University, and Chief Scientist for General Electric Co. Milan's last position was that of Chief Scientist at Saint-Gobain Crystals & Detectors in Solon. In addition, Milan served on the board of directors of Northern Technologies International Corp.
Milan was a tireless educator. He frequently gave lectures and encouraged students in both his professional and chess careers. His friend, George P. Sphicas remembered, "He took a lot of time and effort to prepare a long, very detailed, and very enlightening tutorial, explaining how a (chess) composition was developed, from beginning to end. The tutorial he offered us was extremely useful, no doubt. But beyond its immediate usefulness, it showed great kindness and generosity on his part, a willingness to share his deep insights and masterly techniques with the rest of us."
Following in this vein, the monthly tourneys have also included some of Milan's friends, such as Robert H. Burns, Jr., Dan Meinking, Steven Seward, Pat McGuckin, Mike Neumeier, and Bob Basalla -- all experienced chess players and willing chess mentors. These men have generously donated their time to play, explain and analyze chess games with students and parents, alike, and hopefully, to have some fun along the way.
I believe Milan would be very pleased to see people of all ages come together to enjoy the game of chess and create a fellowship. It is pleasure for me to witness this also.
-Michelle Vukcevich, April 16, 2004

Charles Weldon

(March 8, 1939, Milwaukee WI - August 9, 1993, Belgrade, Yugoslavia)

Charlie Weldon
  • Played in the 1965 Central New England Open in Fitchburg as a 2222 rated master
  • Won all six games at the 1970 US Amateur Championship
  • Three-time Wisconsin State Chess Champion 1959-1960, 1963, & 1979
  • On the cover of the August 1970 issue of Chess Life
  • USCF 2420 rated Senior Master
  • Proponent of the Schliemann Defense
  • Played Fischer to a draw in the timed simul in 1964
  • CUNY award in his name for outstanding students in computer science
  • Played his last recorded USCF rated game September 1, 1993

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.]
"Charles Weldon (b. 1939 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - d. 1993 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia) was a chess master. He was also a professor of computer science at City University of New York. He was considered to be the superstar of his university department; one of the brightest and best. At chess, he won the US Amateur Chess Championship by sweeping all his games. He was known for playing the Schliemann Defense.

His favorite sport was picking up girls. His Greenwich Village apartment was ideally strategically located for this productive activity.

He died at an early age in a shocking way. He became fascinated with the country of Yugoslavia and traveled there to play in a chess tournament. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He became ill with appendicitis and was hospitalized. He could have had medevac back to the United States or to a better hospital in Germany, but he did not feel that his condition was sufficiently serious. When complications developed, it was too late. War torn Yugoslavia simply did not have the life support facilities commonly available in most US hospitals and suddenly Charles Weldon was dead.

One of the last persons to speak to him was an old girlfriend, Dr. Joyce Ilson, but by then it was too late for her to help him.

He is survived by a brother and a sister.

Charles Weldon lives on in the hearts and minds of the United States Chess Federation, as he is still listed as a life member there. There is also no record of his death in the Social Security Death Index."

There's a brief story & one of Charlie Weldon's games with IM Mark Ginsburg on Mark's web site.

Edmund N. Wheeler

(October 12, 1919 - April 28, 1998)

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Edmund N. Wheeler info goes here.

Elwood J. "Woody" Wink

(February 27, 1935 - September 4, 2009)

Woody Wink
  • Long time member & executive of the Billerica Chess Club
  • MACA Vice President, multiple years
  • MACA Executive board, multiple years
  • Principal Organizer of Billerica Open Chess Tournament
  • Instrumental in acquiring site for Billerica CC

[From: www.burnsfuneralhomes.com Published on Philly.com on Sept. 7, 2009]
Elwood J. Wink of Billerica, MA, formerly of PA, September 4, 2009, age 74. Beloved son of the late Lloyd and Margaret (Dwyer) Wink. Devoted father of Joseph, Michael, Daniel and Kenneth Wink. Also survived by 8 loving grandchildren. A funeral mass will be held Wednesday, September 9, in St. Athanasius Church, 2050 Walnut Lane, Philadelphia, PA at 11:00 A.M. Relatives and friends invited. Visiting 1 hour prior to mass from 10-11:00 A.M. Int. Holy Sepulchre Cem.

Still Compiling Information


Missing Info
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Info still needed for:
Hervey R. Brisson
David Bronstein
Herman M. Demulling
Raymond W. Fortin
Rufus Franklin
Al Horowitz
Dr. Dieter Keller
J. Camille Leblanc
Fred S. Lawrence
Dr. Max Levinger
John W. Loyte
Harry Lyman
Richard G. McMaster
George M. Putika
Oscar Shapiro
Barry Spiegel
Dr. John S. Stubbe
Hannes Taavela
Milan Vukcevich
Edmund N. Wheeler