Mario LealAustin, TX, United States
Two of my sayings: "Chess is Stupid." "Ratings don't matter, checkmate matters." My history with chess starts in late 1997. I played my first tournament Fall 1997, but only got three games so I didn't get my first rating until 1998 after The Texas State Championship. That's when I was really hooked. I was living in Waco, TX at the time. The chess club there was old (1936), but was in serious decline. Some wouldn't even call it a chess club anymore. There were no tournaments so I decided to become a tournament director for the USCF and organize some events. I directed my first event in October 1998. I have been directing events ever since. I hold a Senior Tournament Director Certification with the USCF and have directed/organized over 70 events and more than 100 sections (http://www.uschess.org/msa/MbrDtlTnmtDir.php?12711600.3). Also, in 1999, I began work to revitalize the Waco Chess Club (WCC)(www.wacochessclub.com). I became President and organized our first officer and regular meetings in almost 10 years. We began having almost 30 people at every meeting and we had some tournaments with over 50 players. Pretty big deal when less than 10 were showing up and no tournaments were run. I have served as both Treasurer and Vice President of the Texas Chess Association (TCA)(www.texaschess.org). I have served as a Texas delegate to the USCF. I was even editor of the award winning state magazine, "Texas Knights." My wife and I had our son and I didn't have time to devote to "Texas Knights" or the TCA and settle back to being President of the WCC. I got a new job in Austin in March 2007. I resigned my position with the WCC and decided to take some time off from chess. I decided that I would start playing tournaments again January 2009. So, I started looking at all the new chess sites. That's when I found chess.com.