WIM Ruth Haring, 1955-2018
Former US Chess president and FIDE Zonal 2.1 (USA) president has died in California; once stated, “I love chess and want to see it grow.”
CROSSVILLE, TN: The US Chess Federation is sad to announce the death of former US Chess president Ruth Inez Haring of Chico, California. She served on the Executive Board from 2009-2016 and was the current FIDE Zonal 2.1 (USA) president, a post she entered in 2016. Haring was also on the FIDE Ethics Commission and the CalChess Board of Directors. A Women’s International Master (WIM), she began playing tournament chess in 1969 and represented the USA in five Women’s Olympiads (1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1982) and an Interzonal. She was only the second woman to serve as a US Chess president.
Current US Chess President W. Allen Priest says, “I have always looked up to Ruth as a mentor and treasured her as a friend. I was honored to serve with her on the board and was inspired by her efforts to change the culture of US Chess. After her service on the board she continued to be a major influence within US Chess, our FIDE continental association, and FIDE at large. She brought a professionalism into all she did but was such a warm and encouraging person as well. My heart breaks for her family. My sense of personal loss is profound. I will miss my friend.”
Executive Director Carol Meyer echoes, “US Chess has lost one of its most treasured members. Ruth was a thoughtful, principled leader who relentlessly promoted the mission of US Chess. She was a mentor to me in the short time I knew her, and I valued her guidance in navigating this community. Ruth’s passing is a terrible loss for US Chess and the world chess community. Her legacy is our enduring gift.”
FIDE Vice President and Delegate for US Chess Michael Khodarkovsky has also taken the loss personally. Michael says, “Ruth and I worked together for ten years, including shoulder-to-shoulder at FIDE congresses. She always placed the interests of US Chess first, never concerned about her own personal interests. She built good relationships throughout the chess world and had the respect of her colleagues for her strong voice. This is a huge loss not just for me but also for the chess world.”
In her professional managing and consulting life in the computer industry, Ruth stated that she “… successfully managed large complex projects for IBM, Lockheed, TRW, and eBay” for 23 years. She credited chess with her business success, once writing in Chess Life magazine, “As a teenager, I lived in a small university town, Fayetteville, Arkansas. To improve at chess, we had to travel to nearby states where there were stronger players we could learn from. From about 1969 to 1973, most weekends, we drove to Kansas City, Tulsa, Stillwater, Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Memphis, St. Louis, Dallas, and anywhere there was a tournament within 700 miles. Each summer, the U.S. Open was an exciting event. My high school participated in the National High School Championship and my college in the Pan-Am Intercollegiate. I was president of both my high school and college chess clubs. These experiences helped to form who I was, provided valuable life lessons about teamwork and leadership, and were part of the essence of the computer professional I later became—and it was all due to chess. I can’t imagine a better way to be educated and learn about people and the world.”
Haring was elected to the US Chess Executive Board in the summer of 2009, taking her seat as vice president, a position she held until becoming president in 2011. She remained president until 2015, completing her board term in 2016 as a Member-at-Large. As US Chess president she was committed to growing the game, stating, “I love chess and want to see it grow. I want to see more people play, more events, greater recognition of our sport amongst the general public, and better media coverage.” US Chess Membership increased from 75,876 to 85,867 during her tenure.
Contact: Daniel Lucas
Email: [email protected]