Former US Chess President Don Schultz Dead at 83

Don Schultz, a former US Chess President (1996-1999) and member of the FIDE Executive Board (1982-1990), died Monday, April 20, in New Jersey. He was 83.

Don Schultz, as seen in the November 1996 issue of Chess Life

While Schultz worked for IBM ‘by day,’ his involvement in chess affairs amounted to more than a second job, especially after his retirement from Big Blue in 1987. Schultz was deeply involved with chess on state, national, and international levels. He served as a state association president for four states: New York, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. He was a member of the US Chess board off and on for two decades, and he was a seemingly permanent fixture in FIDE leadership after his 1981 appointment as US Delegate to FIDE. His last FIDE meeting was in 2005. Schultz helped to organize many important tournaments in the United States, perhaps most notably the 1990 World Youth Championships in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, an event made famous by the documentary “Chess Kids.” Schultz was also a well-known chess journalist. The long-time editor of floridaChess, for which he won awards from the Chess Journalists of America, he was one of the creators of the Cramer Awards for Excellence in Chess Journalism. Schultz was also the author of two chess-related books: ChessDon and Fischer, Kasparov, and the Others. US Chess offers its sincere condolences to Schultz’s family and friends. A full appreciation and obituary will appear in a forthcoming issue of Chess Life.

Comments

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Don was an ally to me in many US Chess issues in my early days on the board.. He was always gracious with an earnest love of the game. Rest In Peace.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

As president of the Wisconsin Chess Association I knew Don as a US Chess Board member but was surprised when he called me one February evening in 1990. His opening line was "How would you like to host a world championship in Fond du Lac?" Well my jaw dropped as Fond du Lac is my home town. I instantly had visions of Kasparov and Karpov but he quickly got me straight as he mentioned the World Youth. That call started six crazy months of my life in which I have some of my fondest memories of my chess life. I fondly remember the afternoon blitz marathons with him at the two Sierawan Chess Schools. Don, thanks for the memories! Rest in peace.

In reply to by Mike Nietman (not verified)

This must have been a common technique for him. I received a call from him one summer evening in 2005 and his opening line was, "How would you like to be editor of Chess Life?" My jaw dropped too. I was hired in December of that year.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Don Schultz. I remember Don fondly for his tremendous enthusiasm for all areas of our game, including Master chess, scholastics, senior chess, team play, and publications. As an organizer he pursued ideas with success that few others considered, such as holding the World Youth in the US or organizing the US Amateur Team playoff as an in person event, and was often successful in finding sponsorship to enable such projects. He served in high USCF, FIDE, and state association positions, and was a very active Expert player who gave many simuls in schools. Rarely has anyone made such a wide variety of contributions to chess.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

RIP DON!

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

R.I.P. Don. Don Schultz was a good man in life, and Chess, the game he loved. His job with IBM took him to many states and the Great State of Georgia was one of them. He became President of the GCA. We contested many games, usually at a 15 minute time limit. During one such game in a rated tournament Don opened with 1 a3. After winning I asked Don why he had chosen such a lame opening. "Mike," he said, "I've played just about every opening against you without success. I did not know what to play, so I thought I'd let you choose the opening!" The thing I most remember about Don was the time at a tournament in Orlando when he and former Executive Director of the USCF Al Lawrence played speed Chess hour after hour in the lobby. Although playing in the tournament the decision was made to ask if I could play the winner. "There are no winners here," said Don, "only losers." Since the tournament had not gone well for me, the response was, "In that case I will fit right in!" Euphoric laughter ensued...

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Don loved chess and the people in the chess world. He served on the board, was active in FIDE and was an organizer. More than all of that he loved his family and his beautiful wife Theresa. He always had a good story and great history of chess. He will be missed by all. E.Steven Doyle Past President US Chess

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I definitely remember Don, I may have even have played him during my time in Florida. This is certainly sad news, my sincere condolences to his family. Best Regards, Wayne Ballantyne

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I have nothing but pleasant memories of Don Schultz as the one great memory I have of him was where he was sponsoring "The Best Blunder Contest" that he sponsored for the Florida chess magazine, and my submission was where I did too much pawn grabbing, and turned a won game into a loss when I grabbed another pawn then I should have. His comment to me was, "pawn grabbing won't win you the prize, Mr. Cole, sorry". I can tell he had a great sense of humor as well, and will greatly be missed by the chess community. RIP Mr. Schultz.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

My uncle Donald was more than a great chess player he was one of the most fun positive people I was blessed to have in my life. I have such fond memories of visiting him in Europe with a lived in Brussels and going to the embassies with him and all the wonderful dinner parties my aunt Teresa would host. uncle Donald would invite so many interesting people from all over the world. He was a wonderful human being with a good heart and always a cheerful disposition he she’ll be missed greatly.

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Don was an outstanding spokesman for US Chess in FIDE and was also an excellent advisor to me when I served as US Chess President 1987-1990. I will greatly miss him. Harold Winston

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Plain Text Comments

Share Your Feedback

We recently completed a website update. If you notice a formatting error on this page, please click here.