Dan Lucas Inducted into Georgia Hall of Fame

On Saturday April 20, 2024, Senior Director of Strategic Communication Dan Lucas was inducted into the Georgia Chess Association Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place before the start of round two at the Georgia State Championship tournament.


Dan Lucas GCA HOF
Image Caption
Photo by Katie Lucas

Accomplishments cited in Lucas’ nomination include:

  • 30-year, award-winning chess journalist
  • longest-serving editor of Georgia Chess (1999–2006), converting a newsletter into a national award-winning magazine
  • second-longest serving Chess Life editor (2006-2018), winning Best Magazine from the Chess Journalists of America multiple times
  • founder of the Savannah Chess Club Bulletin
  • current Senior Director of Strategic Communication for US Chess
  • former president of the Chess Journalists of America

After receiving his award, Lucas said, “I am deeply honored by this recognition from the GCA. It was amazing to hear my name mentioned at the same ceremony where so many other accomplished chess personalities and players were named. I'm also grateful to the Hall of Fame committee for recognizing the importance of chess journalism.”

The Georgia Chess Hall of Fame was established in 2024 to honor members whose outstanding chess achievements have significantly impacted the Georgia chess community. Lucas is part of the inaugural group of 12 inductees that also includes:

  • WIM Dr. Maria Carolina Blanco Acevedo: three-time Georgia state women’s champion; seven-year columnist for Georgia Chess; long-time advocate for women’s chess; frequent titled guest at US Chess’ Girls Club rooms
  • Paul Donehoo: Georgia’s first documented blind chess player who used chess to encourage those with disabilities
  • IM Boris Markovich Kogan: won a record nine Georgia state championships; played in six U.S. Championships
  • Isaac Edward (I.E.) Orchard: organized the Atlanta Chess Club in 1883 (later renewed as Atlanta Chess and Checkers Club); brought national recognition to Atlanta with his many contributions as a player, organizer, and promoter
  • Scott Parker: 18-year GCA board member, including eight years as president; over 200 rated tournaments in Georgia as Chief TD, including 15 state championships; Georgia Chess copy editor and contributor; founding director of Castle Chess camp
  • L. Thad Rogers: 20-year owner and operator of Atlanta Chess and Game Center, named US Chess Club of the Year in 2007; held multiple GCA and regional offices since 1976; recipient of numerous national awards from US Chess, including distinguished volunteer, lifetime achievement, and outstanding career achievement
  • Guillermo Alejandro Ruiz Cerda: GCA Special Service Award recipient (2002); three-time Georgia state champion
  • Steve Schneider: scholastic chess organizer, teacher, and entrepreneur; held multiple offices with the GGA; served as US Chess regional vice president (Southeast) from 1982-1984
  • William Alexander Scott III: African American Atlantan who broke the color line in the Southern Chess Association in 1951 and the GCA in the 1960s; Atlanta Chess Association vice president (1963) and president (1965-1967); organizer, journalist, and instructor
  • Adolph Ferdinand Wurm: dominated Georgia chess from the late 1870s until 1891, variously called the Champion of Atlanta, the Champion of Georgia, and the Champion of the South; chess journalist for eight years
  • GM Alonso Zapata Ramirez: five-time Georgia state champion; three-time Interzonal qualifier; instructor, coach, author


David Spinks, who has directed over 2,300 tournaments, was honored with a Meritorious Service award as well.

On hand to celebrate with Lucas was his wife Kristin Balcerzak and daughter Katie Lucas, Executive Board member and Chief TD David Hater, GCA President and former Executive Board member Fun Fong, Safe Play Manager Melinda Matthews, former Georgia Chess editor Mark Taylor, and a host of friends and colleagues from Lucas’ many years serving the Georgia chess community.

Many thanks to the Hall of Fame committee for their hard work in identifying, researching, and presenting the nominees to the GCA board. A round of applause goes to Kent Meadows, chair, and to Jeffrey A. Kidd, Justin Morrison, L. Thad Rogers, Stephen A. Schneider, and Mark N. Taylor, with a special hat tip to Meadows for sponsoring a lunch reception prior to the ceremony as well. Also thanks to GCA President Fun Fong and the GCA Board of Directors for supporting the Hall of Fame initiative.

Congratulations to Lucas and to all of the inaugural members of the Georgia Chess Hall of Fame!

Look for an article in an upcoming issue of Chess Life.