Chris Bird Named FIDE Events Manager; Grant Oen Departs

Chris Bird. Photo courtesy of the Saint Louis Chess Campus

Effective November 1, Christopher Bird joins US Chess as the FIDE Events Manager. Chris is an International Arbiter (awarded 2010) and National Tournament Director (awarded 2012) who has been chief arbiter of the U.S. Championship, Sinquefield Cup, Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz, SuperNationals VI and the Las Vegas International Chess Festival. He has also worked at numerous other events over the past 20 years as an organizer, tournament director/arbiter, live chess broadcaster and/or bulletin editor.

Bird replaces Grant Oen, who left US Chess on September 30 to devote more time to his work with the Charlotte Chess Center, the US Chess Club of the Year. Executive Director Carol Meyer says, “I thank Grant Oen for his contributions to US Chess as FIDE Events Manager. We are grateful for his work and look forward to crossing paths in the chess world.”

Grant Oen, second from left, with Walter Brown (far left), the late WIM Ruth Haring, and Michael Khodarkovsky at the 88th FIDE Congress in Antalya, Turkey in 2017.

Born and raised in Hull, England, Chris moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1998 and has lived in the U.S. ever since, moving to Boston, Massachusetts, in 2006 and working at Harvard Medical School as an administrative coordinator since 2007. Chris is also a former president and board member of Nevada Chess, Inc. and former general secretary and league secretary of the Hull and District Chess Association.

Bird says, “It has always been an ambition of mine to move into the chess world on a full-time basis and I am very excited about the opportunity to continue US Chess’ support of both players and arbiters in relation to FIDE events and, once I get comfortable with the current systems, hopefully offer some ways to expand and increase that support.”

US Chess Director of Events Boyd Reed states, “Chris’ highly organized management style, his knowledge of FIDE and chess issues, and his already extensive network of international connections made him the leading contender in an extremely competitive application process. We are fortunate to have such a great successor to Grant.”

Chris’ email address, which won’t be active until November 1, will be [email protected]. In the interim, anyone with FIDE questions for US Chess should email [email protected].

The key responsibilities of the FIDE Events Manager include:

  •  Coordinating the attendance of U.S. players and officials at international events.
  •  Handling inquiries and disseminating information to interested players, parents and coaches regarding the following FIDE youth events: World Youth Championships; World Cadet Championship; Pan-American Youth Championships; World Youth U16 Olympiad; FIDE Olympiad; World Senior Team Championship.
  • Traveling to various international events as a representative of US Chess and reporting on same.
  • Processing FIDE rating reports, FIDE federation transfers, titles and licenses.
  • Processing the licensing requests of FIDE arbiters, trainers and organizers.
  • Submitting FIDE rating reports.
  • Submitting USA players’ titles requests to FIDE.
  • Coordinating FIDE federation transfers for players, to and from USA.
  • Serving as the liaison to the FIDE Events Committee.
  • Providing staff liaison support to other various US Chess Committees as assigned.
  • Reviewing and processing visa letter requests sent to US Chess.
  • Processing tournament director certification requests and examinations.
  • Other projects as assigned by the Director of Events or Assistant Director of Events.

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