The most valuable commodity
in the chess world is that rare, precious, and beautiful individual who
possesses the ability to energize multitudes. Northern California is blessed
by the presence of Alan M. Kirshner,
who spends his daylight hours as a mild-mannered professor of political
science at a local college, but by night becomes SuperOrganizer!
A relative newcomer to chess,
Kirshner honed his skills organizing weightlifting competitions (he is
a former senior world champion in the bench press). When his two sons became
active in scholastic chess, he abandoned weightlifting to organize scholastic
competitions. His Weibel Chess Club in Fremont, California, is among the
largest and most successful scholastic affiliates in the country. his personality
energizes his endeavors and generates a contagious enthusiasm -- all of
his tournaments exceed expectations.
His two sons, Micah (now 14)
and Tov (13) have by now participated in many state and national championships.
Their trophy room is full of awards attesting to their success.
Among the many tournaments successfully
organized by Dr. Kirshner is our state scholastic championship last year
that attracted 500 entrants. This year he expects 600, making it a tournament
of national proportions. He also organizes his Weibel Club, set up the
Fremont Chess Club, established a new state-wide tournament (the California
Grade Level Championships), and schleps his kids to tournaments every other
Chess in this country largely
prospers on the shoulders of its volunteers. As long as we can attract
dedicated and capable friends of chess like Alan Kirshner, the future of
chess is secure.
by Dick Schaedle
© Chess Life, March 1997