October 9, 1976, President Gerald Ford, the nation’s thirty-eighth president,
declared National Chess Day. As we approach that date, and the 30th anniversary
of its inception, we would encourage state and local clubs to commemorate the
day in some way, perhaps with a tournament or an education program about
chess in their communities.
Interestingly, National Chess Day began in South Carolina. It was created by
the late Bill Dodgen, who was President of the South Carolina Chess
Association for a number of years. It was originally a state chess day in
South Carolina, but Bill quickly expanded it to a nationwide effort, and
was appointed National Chess Day Chairman. Bill’s idea was to encourage
local and state chapters to organize events to bring in beginners and others
who played chess but had not joined the USCF.
We can continue Bill’s vision by establishing special tournaments, community
awareness events, and even contacting your local media. This is a great
opportunity to expand Chess Awareness.
After your National Chess Day event, be sure to email any articles or
information to Chess Life editor Daniel Lucas, [email protected].
Photos are also appreciated.