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In Passing
Richard S Vandenburg Print E-mail
By Phillip R Smith   
November 11, 2010
Richard S "Dick" Vandenburg (1930-2010)

Below is a 'bio' that Dick created for himself and sent in by Jerry Honn:

I was born on January 19, 1930 and will have my 78th birthday twoweeks from today (January 5, 2008). I have lived in Boise all mylife, except four years out of state attending the last two years ofcollege and two years of graduate school. I learned how to playchess in high school from a family friend and business acquaintanceof my father, C.H. (Charley) Stewart, who was the best player inIdaho after he arrived in Boise in the late teens. When a senior inhigh school (1947), I entered what I remember was the first officialstate championship, which was won by Charley Stewart. I didn't playmuch tournament chess during my two years at Boise Junior College ,and hardly at all the two years after at Whitman College in WallaWalla , WA . Then I attended graduate business school at StanfordUniversity in Palo Also , CA for two years, playing almost noover-the-board chess. While there, in 1951, I joined CCLA and ChessReview, starting my "career" in correspondence chess. I eventuallydropped out of Chess Review before it combined with the US ChessFederation and became the latter group's correspondence division. Ihave been a continous CCLA member for some 57 years now, possiblylonger than any other person. CCLA was officially founded in 1909,so I joined in its 42nd year.

During the latter 2/3 of the 1950s, the 1960s and the early 2/3 ofthe 1970s, I played quite a little o-t-b chess, winning the Idahotitle six times, putting out an Idaho Chess Quarterly for 10 years,and being the chief tournament director in the state. My highesto-t-b rating was 2117 and I topped out in CCLA at 2165. I enteredmost of the state championship events during my 20+ years of o-t-bcompetitive play, but not every one because I had couple of otherhobbies, one of which was directing and being head coach for thenearby Bogus Basin Ski Area Mitey Mite Ski Racing Team for a totalof 23 years (for kids 12 years of age and under). We had a lot offun, the kids learned, and Bogus Basin had four Olympians from the1960s through the 1980s.

People used to travel a lot to chess tournaments and in the 1960s weheld our best-ever Idaho Open, which attracted 72 players includingVictor Pupols, Viesturs Seglins and Jim McCormick from Seattle, BenGreenwald from Utah and Peter Lapikan from Montana, all Masters ornear Masters. It was quite an event in which I both played anddirected.

It seems I have always worked with kids in a mostly volunteercapacity. I started the Idaho Scholastic Chess program in 1980 andran it for a dozen years or so. After that, while it was operated bytwo or three others, I helped direct scholastic tournaments for theGem State Chess Assn. I am now in my 3rd year back at the helm ofIdaho Scholastics. Things are picking up and last year we had 393entrants in the scholatic state championship, which is pretty goodfor a large-area state with only 1.25 million inhabitants.

In CCLA, I have pretty much held every position available frompresident ( 10 years total), vice president, board member,membership director, nominating committee chairman, and nowsecretary -treasurer. In the 1970s, I set up a meeting in SanFrancisco , along with USCF's annual business meeting, during whichwe started what is now ICCF-US.

These days, I am retired from running my own orchard and fruitpacking operation and keep very busy with Idaho scholastic chess,including directing an elementary school chess club in Boise , plusmy work with CCLA. I recruited six teams for CCLA's 15th NationalTeam Championship and am captain of a 55 board match between the USAand Sweden . Two more matches are upcoming in February and March,with the UK and Spain.


Richard S "Dick" Vandenburg passed on 7 November 2010.


Richard S "Dick" Vandenburg may you rest in peace.