Although the Jacksonville Chess Club has returned under new leadership, in many ways it never truly went away. Many of the former members have continued to meet and play weekly in several locations around Jacksonville. If asked, they’d tell you they are still members of the club.
In fact, a few people who kept the spirit of the club alive during that time have been guys like William Bowman and David Lamb who were both long time members of the club. William, who basically grew up in the club, has continued to organize local rated tournaments every quarter by partnering with other clubs to bring in USCF tournament directors. He felt a responsibility to continue to put on seasonal tournaments and especially the annual Jacksonville City Chess Championship. Big thank you to Steve Lampkin of the Daytona Beach Chess Club who worked each event as Tournament Director to ensure all results we recorded with the USCF. Meanwhile, David, a former club champion, continued to host Sunday chess players meet-ups at the Avenues Mall every Sunday afternoon. Claude Foushee has also kept the spirit of the club alive by hosting regular meetings on during week nights and some Sunday mornings in the Ponte Vedra/Intercoastal area. His Thursdays at Book-A-Million continues to have good turnout. Our thanks goes to these guys whose love for the game continues to keep these over-the-board chess gatherings going at the grass roots level.
Recently, Kevin Pryor, volunteered to help reorganize the club’s leadership structure by contacting former club officers and researching club standing with chess and state/federal bodies. Consequently, the club has been re-enstated with the United States Chess Federation (USCF). After the collection of donations from local players in the last tournaments, the club is now a recognized renewed affliate with the Florida Chess Association (FCA). Additionally, the club has recovered the original Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. Kevin has also established the social media program and website.
At present, this team is recruiting talent and sponsors/donations to help address issues like lapsed state incorporation and lost 501-c-3 status. The club will continue to host quarterly tournaments and plans are being formulated for Blitz and Quad format events. Soon, will offer memberships in hopes of bringing the club back to its former standing in the chess community.