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Georgia Chess Association

L. Thad Rogers - HOF Class of 2024


GCA President, 1976, 19791981, 19841987, 1990, 1992, 19982003

• GCA 1st Vice President, 19781979, 1983, 1995, 20212023

• GCA 2nd Member-At-Large, 20102013

• USCF Regional Vice President (Southeast), 1979–1981,1990–1992, 19961998

• Tournament Director since 1976, National since 1979

• FIDE International Arbiter since 1981

• served on many US Chess committees

• owner and operator, Atlanta Chess and Game Center, 1992–2012; USCF Chess Club of the Year Award, 2007

• owner and publisher, American Chess Promotions

• owner and sponsor, Atlanta Kings in the Professional Chess Team League (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

• USCF Meritorious Service Award, USCF Distinguished Volunteer Award, both 1982

• USCF Special Services Award, 1983

• USCF Year of the Chess Professional Special Citation, 1984

• USCF Committee of the Year Award, 1985

• USCF Outstanding Career Achievement Award, 2003

• FIDE International Organizer award, 2012

• USCF Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award, 2014

GCA Lifetime Achievement Award

• US Chess Postal Master title


L. Thad Rogers has contributed to chess at an exemplary level in multiple areas. He was actively working on behalf of the Georgia Chess Association (GCA) even during spare periods that have left us no records. Although the full story of his accomplishments cannot be told, there are sufficient records to show that his achievements have all been at a superlative level at local, state, regional, national, and international levels.

Rogers was born in 1952 in Canton, Ohio. He learned how to play chess at age ten. He met his future wife, Janet, while living in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1971. He moved to Macon, GA, in 1973 and started playing organized chess shortly afterwards. Although Rogers’s highest-ever rating in over-the-board play was 1555, he excelled in postal chess and received a United States Chess Federation (USCF) certificate in the 1980s for achieving the rank of Postal Master with a rating of 2200.

Rogers directed many tournaments and matches within and outside of Georgia and in England. In 1976, he organized and directed his first tournament in Macon as a Local level Tournament Director (TD). He immediately realized that he enjoyed organizing and directing chess tournaments more than playing, and he immersed himself in those areas. From that point forward, he demonstrated his true capabilities with chess in those fields. Both within and outside of Georgia, he directed many tournaments. The year 1978 found him as one of the TDs at the prestigious World Open in Philadelphia. By 1979 he was a National level TD. In 1980 he organized and was Chief Director of the Pan-American intercollegiate Chess Championship in Atlanta. In 1983 he was the Chief Assistant Arbiter for the 1983 World Youth Team Championship in Chicago. The website shows that Rogers has directed 495 sections since 1991 (prior years not available on the website), but he directed well more than that number before then.

Other National Tournaments that Rogers organized and ran include :

       1991 National High School in Atlanta

       1993 National Class Championship in Winston-Salem

       1999 National Junior High School in Columbus Ohio

       2014 U.S. Amateur Team South in Atlanta

       2015 U.S. Amateur Team South in Atlanta

From 19791981 Rogers was a Regional USCF Vice President (Southeast). He organized the 1980 US Open in Atlanta, where he was also the Chief TD. Atlanta was selected by the USCF as the 19801981 Chess City of the Year. In 1981 Thad assisted Don Schultz with the Federation International D’Echecs (FIDE) World Congress held in Atlanta. In 1981 he achieved FIDE International Arbiter. He was on the USCF Policy Board for 19811983.

Rogers received the prestigious USCF Meritorious Service Award in 1982. In 1982 he also received the USCF Distinguished Volunteer Award (which has since been discontinued). In 1983 he received the prestigious USCF Special Services Award. In 1984 he received the USCF Year of the Chess Professional Special Citation. Rogers served from 19841985 on the Tournament Direction Certification Committee, which received the USCF Committee of the Year Award. He was USCF Regional Vice President (Southeast) again in 1990–1992 and 19971998. In 2003 he received the prestigious USCF Outstanding Career Achievement Award. In 2012 he achieved FIDE International Organizer. In 2014 he received the USCF Tournament Director Lifetime Achievement Award.In 1983 Rogers was asked to go to London as arbiter in the side matches of the World Quarterfinals. He assisted at Smyslov and Ribli for one match. Over the years he has met World Champions Euwe, Tal, Karpov, Kasparov, Topalov, Kosteniuk, Susan Polgar, Smyslov, and Spassky.

Rogers’s Atlanta Chess and Game Center (ACC) was the hub for Atlanta area chess from 1992 until it closed in 2012, holding a total of 3,622 tournaments. In 2005 and 2006 scholastic teams under the name of ACC won six national scholastic first-place trophies in the National Youth Action tournaments. (Other scholastic players who were regulars at the ACC won about 24 other National Titles.) In 2007 the ACC won the USCF Chess Club of the Year Award. It is nearly impossible to convey the positive effect his chess center has had on chess in Atlanta, in Georgia, and beyond, since players and parents drove many miles, even from out of state, to participate in the center’s activities of over-the-board rated play, instruction, book and equipment store, and for the comradery.

Rogers has published and sold chess books and chess equipment since the 1970s, and he continues to do so to this day, first as International Chess Imports and then since 1980 as American Chess Promotions. The latter published 12 chess books, co-published many other books with Batsford and other companies, and had the American rights to still more books.

In addition to local, region, and national levels, Rogers has also contributed at the State level. He was GCA President for over a dozen years, as well as 1st Vice President and2nd Member-At-Large for several more (see summary). He is currently the 20232025 GCA Secretary. Rogers was a Georgia State Delegate to the U. S. Open in 2008 and 20102012.He also initiated the annual Georgia Class Championship and the Georgia K-12 Grade Championship.

Thad’s resume reads like a Who’s Who from our nation’s chess aristocracy. He has significant achievements in correspondence competition, promotion, organization, service, and leadership. L. Thad Rogers is truly amongst the crème de la crème of our nation’s chess contributors. His hard work and personal sacrifice have clearly helped to the betterment of chess in Georgia.


Sources: website (IO Awards 2012).

GCA archives.

Georgia Chess magazine electronic collection.

The Chessman magazine electronic collection.

Southeast Chess News magazine electronic collection.

L. Thad Rogers, personal communications.

Don Schultz, Chess Don (Chess Don Pub., 1999).

US Open 1980 Program. website (yearbooks, tournament director).

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