Home Page arrow Chess Life Magazine arrow 2007 arrow October arrow USCF Affairs
USCF Affairs Print E-mail
September 20, 2007

Duncan Oxley, October Volunteer of the Month

The USCF Volunteer of the Month is named by a different member of the Executive Board each month. Paul Truong named Duncan Oxley. Please send your nomination to the Board member of your choice.

Just as we were going to press, the USCF learned of Duncan Oxley’s death on September 2. The USCF deeply appreciated Duncan’s work as a moderator on our issues forum at uschess.org. We extend our condolences to his family.

I first learned the game in 1972 when I was 11 years old. The Fischer-Spassky match was all over the media and my dad went to the five-and-dime and bought a cheap chess set—a set probably similar to the one Bobby Fischer’s sister bought for him.

I didn’t play much after entering my teens but many years later, when I moved to Salinas, California, I was bitten by the bug again. Lucky for me not far away was Ted Yudacufski who ran the Monterey Chess Center, open six days a week! It was there I met my good friend Tom Thrush who encouraged me to give back to the game I love by volunteering. Ted was a great example. He not only found time to run the chess center but was also a regular director at the LERA tournaments in Silicon Valley. These were big events and it was here I learned to be a tournament director under his tutelage. It was “old school” with pairing cards for hundreds of players, not like today when pairings can be made with one finger. Around the same time I founded and ran the Salinas Chess Club where I learned a tremendous amount from the best player in Monterey County, California: NM Rex Wilcox.

When the Salinas club folded, the city council members of my town (Marina) asked me to help out at the local K-4 school with an after-school program for disadvantaged children. This intrigued me, and soon I was a regular there from 3-5 p.m., three days a week, teaching for over two years until my health forced me to stop.

The past seven years I have been a volunteer administrator for the Internet Chess Club where I have run almost 10,000 tournaments, including Dos Hermanos. This usually has over 2,000 players competing for the largest cash prizes of any online event. Some of my proudest moments have been the ICC side of several important USCF-rated Internet events. Why? Because I was the assistant tournament director to International Arbiter Carol Jarecki, unarguably the top tournament director in the United States! Since the beginning of the year I have been busy serving as the moderator for the USCF Forums.

I am 46 with a degree in automotive technology, certified to repair brakes and automatic transmissions. Health issues keep me from working currently. My son, married with two children, works as a chef in a three-star restaurant in Reno.

Chess Trust launches website

The U.S. Chess Trust plays an active role in contributing to the USCF’s mission (see “The USCF Mission” at the bottom of this page). To facilitate this, they have launched the website www.uschesstrust.org, designed by former USCF president Beatriz Marinello.

Making a donation is now a simple “point-and-click” operation, but there are other reasons to visit the site as well. There is a chess blog, a listing of all the programs the Trust supports, archived articles about chess, and even beginning chess lessons by Marinello.

The U.S. Chess Trust is an independent 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. Created in 1967, the Trust was organized to promote, stimulate and encourage the study and play of the game of chess as a means of intellectual development. The Trust uses its resources for charitable purposes, including social, educational, scientific, historical endeavors.

The Trust’s focus is an outgrowth of similar activities formerly carried out by the U.S. Chess Federation. The Trust works in close conjunction with the U.S. Chess Federation to carry out charitable activities.

More and more scientific studies have confirmed that children who are taught chess, in addition to their regular courses, do better in school. Studies report that chess helps develop valuable reading and decision-making skills, and improves students' ability to concentrate. The U.S. Chess Trust takes an active role in supporting chess education programs across the nation.

Through your tax-deductible contribution to The U.S. Chess Trust, you can make a difference in the life of a young person. Chess Philanthropists ($50,000 or more), King Supporters ($10,000 or more), Friends of Chess ($5,000 or more), Ben Franklin Donors ($1,000 or more), and Heritage Donors ($500 or more) will have their names published in Chess Life.

In addition, these donors, upon request, will receive a copy of the Hall of Fame Legends of Chess Volume 1, which features 100 columns by legendary chess journalist Harold B. Dondis. Associates (donors of at least $100) and Contributors (donors of $50 or more) will have their names listed on the Chess Trust web page.

The USCF Mission
USCF is a not-for-profit membership organization devoted to extending the role of chess in American society. USCF promotes the study and knowledge of the game of chess, for its own sake as an art and enjoyment, but also as a means for the improvement of society. It informs, educates, and fosters the development of players (professional and amateur) and potential players. It encourages the development of a network of institutions devoted to enhancing the growth of chess, from local clubs to state and regional associations, and it promotes chess in American society. To these ends, USCF offers a monthly magazine, as well as targeted publications to its members and others. It supervises the organization of the U.S. Chess Championship, an open tournament held every summer, and other national events. It offers a wide range of books and services to its members and others at prices consistent with the benefits of its members. USCF serves as the governing body for chess in the United States and as a participant in international chess organizations and projects. It is structured to ensure effective democratic procedures in accord with its bylaws and laws of the state of Illinois.