A Chess Penny For Your Thoughts


Chess penny


A Chess Penny for Your Thoughts


Dewain Barber

I just returned home from Washington State. Our trip north started in Anaheim, California, and our major stop was the 2012 US Open in Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver was a great city to host this year’s event, right on the banks of the Columbia River where Lewis and Clark traveled over 200 years ago. Portland, across from Vancouver, was equal to the task of providing a big city atmosphere for those who traveled south over the bridge.

As I walked in the park with my wife, Susan, and a friend outside the hotel thinking of the great quality and quantity of players in the US Open, the Denker, the Barber and Girls Junior events, I looked down and saw a penny. Not wanting to miss a lucky chance I picked up the penny that was face down. When I turned it over I saw the year: 1985. In everyone’s life there are monumental events that change their view and future. That was true of this penny.

The year 1985 was the first year of the Denker Tournament of High School Champions. This event has grown into a very prestigious event that now attracts many of the strongest high school players from around the country. The progeny of this event is the Barber Tournament of K-8 Champions which fields some of the best younger players from throughout the United States. The Barber had its first tournament in Orlando last year. I had expected about 32-35 participants representing their state affiliates, but we saw 44 show up and enthusiastically support the Barber event with Masters in the top slots of the field. I never expected Master strength players to be a part of the Barber. Likewise, this year’s Barber once again found Master strength participants on the top boards with a field of forty-seven vying for honors.

Now we have a recent addition which once again caused me to reflect back on 1985. The USCF Delegates have authorized the creation of a National Girls Tournament of Champions (NGTOC) that will take place in 2013 at the US Open along side the Denker and Barber.

I would like to invite everyone to the 2013 US Open in Madison, Wisconsin. It is rumored that some cheese chess hats will be available.