Player Profile

Grandmaster Jason Bokar

Team: Cleveland Browns

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GM Jason Bokar

"I'm ready to play football...
oops... wrong football!"
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I am a tire performance engineer at Michelin North America in their research center in Greenville, SC USA - dealing with, in particular, the effect of tires on vehicle fuel economy. Previously, I was a professor of Mechanical Engineering for 3 1/2 years at Clemson University.

I have been playing chess since I was about 7 years old. I taught myself by reading a simple board game book which included chess, checkers and backgammon (of which I still enjoy playing all three!). The book had the basic moves and ideas only. However, my father noticed I had a talent for it as soon as I started defeating my uncle (and Expert player) regularly. He bought me another book, Capablanca's "Last Lectures". It covered everything from Endings to Openings (the order in which Capablanca believed the game should be studied!).

Shortly after that I was introduced to Cliff Zeigler from Cleveland, Ohio. He served as an informal chess coach and introduced me to many of Northern Ohio's best players, and I was able to reach master class. My connection to the Cleveland Browns is somewhat obvious! My claim to fame is that I had a beer with Bernie Kosar at a local bar when he was the quarterback of the Browns in the late 1980's!

In 2007 I obtained my GM title - and currently I am vying for a spot in the next World Championship (I am very, very close! : ). However, most of my chess ambitions might have to be put on hold for a short while as I move to France at the beginning of 2009!

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