FM Alex Dunne, 1942-2023

Alex Dunne
FM Alex Dunne in an archival photo.

US Chess has learned that former Correspondence Chess Director and Chess Life columnist FM Alex Dunne died on January 16 at the age of 81 at home in Sayre, Pennsylvania, after an extended illness.

Dunne was the US Chess Correspondence Director from 2005 until retiring in 2020. He started the "Check is in the Mail" column in Chess Life magazine in the December 1981 issue, and it ran continuously through the May 2006 issue when it moved to Chess Life Online. His final column appeared in February, 2021.

Please see more details at the Lowery Funeral Home website. US Chess offers its condolences to Alex's family, friends, and the entire Correspondence Chess community. 

Alex Dunne through the years in a series of undated archival photos.

Check is in the Mail art

"Check is in the Mail" column header art from the July 1993 Chess Life. 


I knew Alex for over 40 years. In his prime -- he played everywhere. It was a pleasure to see him in his slightly-bold suits at various chess events. He was one of the friendliest and most gentle of men. I miss him already.

For his many important contributions to the world of correspondence chess, he was honored by US Chess with the Outstanding Career Achievement award. John McCrary, Past USCF President

Such a surprise! I looked forward to Alex's Check is in the Mail every month and on occasion his articles in Chess Life. Truly a giant in correspondence chess. He will be missed.

A true gentleman, a kind soul, and a lifelong advocate for correspondence chess.  Very sorry to hear the news.

Jon Edwards

although i never met alex in person, i felt that i knew him well.
he was the face and the heart and soul of correspondence chess for 15 years.
we will all miss him.

Please do not forget horrendous tragedy Mr. Alex Dunne experienced and overcame as best he could..his house burned down and killed both his wife and grand daughter . Jude Acers/New Orleans

I wish to add my sincere condolences to Alex's family.  His Check is in the Mail column was the first feature I would turn to upon receiving each issue of Chess Life.  Indeed, I was very fortunate to have collaborated with Alex on the Absolute Project which served as the material basis for his excellent book on the subject.  I will remember Alex as a gentle soul and a true gentleman who has contributed to chess an indelible legacy.

Rest in peace, Robert Rizzo

I met him once at a World Open. He was kind enough to publish one of my laughable correspondence games. If every chess player had his kindness and class, the chess world would be a far better place. I, for one, will miss him.

So sorry to hear of Alex's passing; he will be deeply missed. My condolences to his family. I loved his newsletter, and he was always there when you had some CC questions.


A huge loss for the correspondence chess community, in particular! He will be missed a great deal...

An absolute gentleman and terrific chess player. His correspondence chess column for USCF mag was inspiring because it showed good players making GREAT moves. Made you feel like I’ve got a Bobby Fischer quality move here if I can find it. RIP Alex.

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