26 March 2021

U.S. Chess Service Awards

In last week's post, The U.S. Chess Awards (March 2021), I did a small analysis of those awards:-

I started to wonder how many different awards have been made through the years. It turns out that there have been 25, shown in the following chart, of which 20 awards were made in 2020.

After writing the post, I started looking at past winners. One of the names I discovered was former USCF Executive Director Al Lawrence. He is also one of America's top chess journalists, last seen in 2019 CJA Awards - Part 2 (August 2019):-

'Chess Journalist of the Year' went to the incomparable Al Lawrence.

According to my database, Lawrence has received two different U.S. Chess awards:-

2002 Special Service Award: Dewain Barber, Ralph Bowman, Mark Glickman, Al Lawrence, Mike Nolan
2015 Distinguished Service Award: Al Lawrence, Pal Benko

Both of those awards were 'Service Awards', of which there are four different categories. The following table shows the first year of each service award and the number of times it was awarded. Not all awards were made every year:-

1979, x 40: Distinguished Service Award
1980, x 35: Meritorious Service Award
1983, x 35: Special Service Award
1994, x 27: Scholastic Service Award

Since it's not immediately obvious what differentiates the first three awards -- Distinguished, Meritorious, and Special -- I'll look at those in another post.

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