Awards-Dewain Barber

Susan and Dewain

Susan and Dewain

Revised November 30, 2020

Dewain Barber is the former owner of American Chess Equipment and has been involved in scholastic chess for over 50 years. The Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions was the result of a need for a championship like the GM Denker National Tournament of High School State Champions. Mr. Barber learned chess in Norman, Oklahoma from his brother, and shortly thereafter joined a school chess club in 7th grade. He played in his first tournament, a scholastic event, in Tulsa that year.

He played off and on during his school years. Upon graduation from Northern Arizona University, he started a teaching career that was to last 30 years in the Buena Park Elementary School District, Buena Park, CA.
During his teaching, the staff at his school was asked to provide a volunteer club for the students. He chose chess and games. Later this was to become the chess club that he continued for 27 years. In 1974 he attended a meeting in the City of Orange which brought together organized chess from throughout Orange County, CA. Mr. Barber has assisted or organized the Bernard Morrison and Miley Staser Scholastic Chess Tournaments in Southern California. The Morrison event began in 1974 and the Staser was created in 1976.
As Scholastic Chess growth increased in this country, he was part of that effort. He created “The Guide to Scholastic Chess” which provides information to school-based persons on how to start a chess club. This publication is now in its 11th Edition with over 40,000 copies which have been distributed and is currently available online, This publication has been given away free since its inception.
He has been a member of the US Chess Federation LMA committee, the Scholastic Committee, and the Scholastic Council of the US Chess Federation. During this time he asked the US Chess Delegates to create a National Scholastic Service Award. He has been chairman of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions and the Polgar National Invitational for Girls.  In addition, he was co-sponsor of the motion to create the US Chess National Girls Tournament of Champions and the National Senior Tournament of Champions.

He has been a recipient of the following awards:

1995 Recognition for his 20 years of service to Scholastic Chess by the Southern California Chess Federation Board

2000 Teacher of the Year, Buena Park School District

2000 US Chess Scholastic Service Award

2002 US Chess Special Services Award

2003 Volunteer of the Year Award of Junior Achievement of Southern California

2008 U.S. Chess Trust Harold Dondis Award

2010 US Chess Meritorious Service Award

2014 City of Fullerton, CA 40 Year Achievement Award for Morrison Scholastic Chess Tournament

2016 US Chess Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement in Chess

2018 US Chess Koltanowski Gold Medal

2018 Honorary title “Dean of Scholastic Chess”

2019 US Chess Koltanowski Silver Medal