14 May 2021

USCF Awards 1991

The title of this post is the logical next stop after last week's post USCF Awards 1990 (May 2021). The following table uses the same format as the table developed for the 'Awards 1990' post, with one enhancement. The top half of the table shows the awards listed in the 2013 USCF Yearbook. The bottom half, headed 'Amended', lists corrections identified for this post.

Year Award Winner(s)
1991 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD Harry Sabine, Yasser Seirawan
1991 KOLTANOWSKI AWARDS Gold: Ted Field; Silver: Neil Falconer
1991 MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD Imre Konig, George Leighton
1991 OUTSTANDING CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Mike Goodall, Ira Lee Riddle, Fjola Vandenburg
1991 SPECIAL SERVICE AWARD Larry Evans, Lev Alburt
1991 KOLTANOWSKI AWARDS Gold: American Chess Foundation, Ted Field (Interscope Group); Silver: Neil Falconer
1991 U.S. CHESS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES John Collins, Arthur Dake

The first mention of awards is from the May 1991 Chess Life (CL)

CHESS NOTES : Policy Board Notes • The Policy Board, which meets quarterly to oversee USCF affairs, faced a full agenda in its February 2-3 meeting in San Diego. [...] In recognition of major accomplishments, the Board gave Jack Collins the title of "Chess Teacher of the Century" and awarded GM Lev Alburt the Special Service medal for his success in finding corporate sponsorship for the World Championship in New York.

From that excerpt we learn that (1) the USCF Policy Board was responsible for selecting award winners, and (2) the awards could be decided at any time during the year. We also learn that Jack [John] Collins received the title of "[U.S.] Chess Teacher of the Century".

The second mention of awards is from the November 1991 CL. In the article '1991 U.S. Open : Lifetime of Memories', author Thomas Hailey included a section:-

KASPAROV DELIVERS • The most popular of all events held in conjunction with the Open was the Awards Luncheon held at tHe half way point in the schedule, drawing a capacity crowd of 290, the largest awards luncheon in Open history

GM Arthur Dake, who also played the last week in the Open, and "Chess Teacher of the Century" John Collins were both inducted into the Chess Hall of Fame. After the inductions and usual awards were handed out (see accompanying story), the audience came to its feet in a standing ovation for the keynote speaker — World Champion Garry Kasparov.

He told the audience the key to chess future is the growth of chess in the U.S. and the importance of chess as an educational tool and in attracting new players for the future. He said he was in Los Angeles to help raise money for the next world championship to be played in Los Angeles in 1993. He then fielded questions from the audience.

Note that Arthur Dake's name was missing from the 2013 Yearbook, an error which was introduced the first time the yearbook was published in 1995. That accounts for one line in the 'Amended' section of the table. As for 'see accompanying story', we skip ahead to the January 1992 CL. In 'An Affair To Remember' by CL Editor Glenn Petersen, we learn,

Every year at the U.S. Open, an Awards Banquet is held during the Delegate's Weekend. It is a time set aside to honor our own for their financial support, dedication, volunteerism, and career achievements.

While World Champion Garry Kasparov stole the headlines as the Keynote Speaker at the Los Angeles Awards Banquet last August, others were recognized for their contributions to chess.

The Koltanowski Medals (Gold and Silver) are awarded for financial sponsorship at the national and local levels. The Gold was awarded to the American Chess Foundation for its continuous and generous support of USCF programs, and to Ted Field (Interscope Group) for his sponsorship of the New York half of the 1990 World Championship. The Silver Koltanowski Medal was awarded to Neil Falconer for a lifetime of sponsorship in the San Francisco Bay area, in scholastic programs as well as for international competitions (most recently, the Pan-Pacific Invitational).

Another Bay area resident, Mike Goodall, was also honored. He and Ira Lee Riddle of Warminster, Pennsylvania, received Outstanding Career Achievement Awards. Distinguished Service Awards were received by GM Yasser Seirawan and Harry Sabine. Meritorious Service Awards were presented to Judge George N. Leighton and IM Imre Konig.

The Awards Banquet also gave USCF members a chance to meet, greet, and honor the most recent Hall of Fame inductees, GM Arthur Dake and John Collins. Special Service Awards were granted to GM Lev Alburt and GM Larry Evans. Last but not least, an award was presented to Jerry Hanken and Paul Shannon, representing the Southern California Chess Association, for organizing the 1991 U.S. Open in Los Angeles.

The paragraph on the Koltanowski awards accounts for the other line in the 'Amended' section of the table. Back to the list of awards and award winners, I was totally or mostly unfamiliar with more than half of the winners. For which exploits did they receive awards from the USCF? Thanks to the web and to Google, I now know why. If I find the time, I'll attach my findings to this post. As for 'USCF Awards 1992', there's always a next year.

No comments: