2013 Annual Samford Fellowship Announced
By IM John Donaldson   
September 14, 2012
The Frank P. Samford. Jr. Chess Fellowship is pleased to announce its twenty seventh consecutive annual award.  The Fellowship was created by the late Frank P. Samford of Birmingham, Alabama to advance the game he loved by identifying and assisting the most promising young chessmasters in the United States. 

Since its inception in 1987 the Samford has been successful in promoting the chess careers of more than two dozen  young Americans, many of whom have gone on to become grandmasters, members of the U.S. Olympiad Chess Team and United States Chess Champions.  Former Samford Scholars Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky are presently rated in the top 15 players in the world.

This Fellowship is open to American chessplayers who are under the age of twenty five at the start of the Fellowship, July 1, 2013, and have been permanent residents of the U.S. for at least one year prior to that date.  Leadership of the Fellowship program is provided by Mr. Samford Jr's son, Frank P. Samford III of Atlanta, Georgia, with the able help of Barbara DeMaro of the U.S. Chess Trust.

The 2013 Samford Chess Fellow will receive a monthly stipend for living expenses, training by leading chess coaches, chess books, computer equipment and other study materials as well as opportunities to travel and compete in tournaments and matches at the highest levels.  The value of the Fellowship (including stipend, training, study materials and tournament travel) has been increased to $42,000 annually.  It is given for a one year term and can be extended for a second year by mutual consent.

The 2013 Samford Fellow will be selected by the Samford Chess Fellowship Committee ("Committee"), consisting of Frank P. Samford III, grandmaster Arthur Bisguier and international master John Donaldson.  Each applicant, who can be male or female, must be able to demonstrate talent, achievement and commitment to chess.  He or she must be willing to make the effort required to become a leading grandmaster and possible challenger for the world chess championship.  Applicants must have a chess rating (either USCF, FIDE or both).  For further details and an application form write to: 

John Donaldson, Secretary
Samford Chess Fellowship
1623 ½ Martin Luther King Junior Way
Berkeley, CA 94709             
Or: (510) 644-1285 and imwjd@aol.com

Completed applications for the 2013 Fellowship must be received no later than January 15, 2013.  We expect to announce the winner in April, 2013.  All decisions by the Committee will be final.

If qualified applicants can be found a new Fellow will be selected every year.  It is expected that the Samford Fellowship will continue to produce very strong American chessplayers, some of whom will join the elite group of world supergrandmasters.

The Samford Fellowship seeks to replicate the excellence and achievement that marked the life of Frank P. Samford, Jr.  Funding for this program is made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Virginia Donovan, widow of Mr. Samford  Jr., and by Torchmark Corporation.