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Homage

  • #1

    I want to give credit to Donald H. Turner a man who once held The Oregon, Washington and Idaho Open Championships in the early 70's.  Any who knew this gentle man benefitted.  He always showed up in a sportcoat to NW weekend tournaments.  He wished you luck and then tore your heart out. When the game was over he always shook your hand and hoped you would stay for awhile so you could talk about this move or that move. His love for the game and prodigious skill made him a feared opponent.  He only wanted to make enough money to cover his travel expenses though more often than not he didn't.  His trophy case was full but he never talked about it.  I saw a newspaper clipping of him playing 50 boards at once (he lost two).  Later when his skills diminished he gave up Tournament chess rather than be frustrated by the game as could no longer compete at a high level.  After that he directed tourneys in Oregon and stayed active in local club chess.  He was a great teacher and friend of the game.  Don Turner would teach whenever and wherever he was asked, including the "Passed Pawn Chess Club" at the Oregon State Prison...until the inmates learned that he was a former DA and may have been responsible for putting a few there.  He would tell you how privileged he was to play chess for an evening in the Moscow chess club as he traveled there to teach the rule of Law to a new budding new democracy.  He taught criminal law at Willamette University for thirty years before he died.  He was truely the Head_Turner. 

    He thought Chess was great for kids to learn with many important life lessons to teach them firstly to sit still. That actions have consequences.  Chess is an ideal after school activity.  You don't have to have money to play,  A player doensn't have to understand very much before you are better than all your friends/family.  For some kids it's the first time they have succeded in anything in their lives...and there are trophies and recognition..parents get an opporturnity to be proud..Kids can do this after school in school for themselves and as part of a team, and we as a society desparately need that.  Don Turner directed OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) which hosted state championships grades 1 - 12 for many years.  He handed out individual and team awards  and kept the rules paramount.  Imagine 400 kids in one place with all that time between rounds.  He always contended that the parents were harder to deal with than the kids.  But it was always a highlight for the director and he looked forward to it each year.  In many ways he was a pioneer and taught a love for the game that continues in many of us to this day. 

  • #2
    I thank you for the story.  He sounds like a great person.
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