|Jerome "Jerry" Bibuld, International Arbiter (1928-2013)|
|By Daaim Shabazz|
|November 8, 2013|
International Arbiter Jerome "Jerry" Bibuld passed away on October 22nd after a lengthy battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 85 years old.
Jerry, who preferred this informal name, was political activist during the turbulent 50s and 60s in the U.S. During this time, there was a fierce fight against segregation and brutal mistreatment of Blacks. He felt an obligation to fight against injustice and made it a life commitment. A card-carrying member of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), his family was part of a high-profile desegregation case where he objected to having his biracial children squander their talents in underfunded and decrepit schools in Black neighborhoods. After a tense period of agitation and protest, New York City was forced to make concessions. It was a tremendous triumph and one that he would share frequently.
Jerry was indeed an energetic (and sometimes controversial) figure in his home federation USCF as well as FIDE. He had served as an International Arbiter since 1980 and worked on a number of commissions. He was very active in fighting for the advancement of chess in Africa and the Caribbean and lobbied for their inclusion at all levels. In addition, he was instrumental in helping several federations in their nascent years including the post-apartheid organization, Chess South Africa (CHESSA). In the U.S., he was proud of his affiliation with the Bedford- Stuyvesant’s Kingsmen Chess Club and his role in directing the Commercial Chess League in New York.
A lover of opera, classical and jazz, Jerry also had developed a fondness for chess. However, it was not only the passion of playing, but his passion for documenting chess in all its glory. He became an active USCF tournament director, organizer and photographer and had compiled a handsome cache of photographs of thousands of players.
He was particularly proud of his collection of photographs of players of African ancestry. Many of these photographs have been donated to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, New York. Apart from the many tournaments he directed and organized, the crowning moment may have come in his organization of the Wilbert Paige Memorial which featured ten of the top players of African descent from around the world. This tournament was held in historic Harlem in the Hotel Theresa in July 2001.
Jerry was a Life Member of the United States Chess Federation (USCF) and was bestowed several life memberships including in Uganda and Jamaica.
Read the full obituary on thechessdrum.