USA Team
17th Olympiad Final 2009

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Player Profiles

GM Jason Bokar

I am 40 years old, a lead tire performance engineer at Michelin North America in their research center in Greenville, SC USA . Previously, I was a professor of Mechanical Engineering for 3 1/2 years at Clemson University, South Carolina USA, and an instructor at North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC, USA for 4 years. 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. Unfortunately, I stopped playing active chess in 1982 when I went to college to study engineering. When I graduated, work duties interfered with active play, so I started playing postal chess in 1990 by entering a United States Chess Federation Golden Knights section.

Currently I am a Senior International Master in ICCF. I keep an "active" game load and so it takes a good bit of my free time analyzing positions. I received my IM title at the October 2002 ICCF Congress, and my SIM title at the October 2003 ICCF Congress in Ostrave, Czech Republic. Some of my most recent events including finishing 2nd in the 14th US Championship; finishing equal first in the Cecil Purdy Invitational section B; and finishing equal 2nd in the 1st NAPZ email Championship. I also serve as the NAPZ Deputy Director under Ruth Ann Fay.

(31.Oct.2007 - Webmaster note: Dr. Jason Bokar was awarded the International Grandmaster title (GM) during the 2007 annual ICCF Congress in Spain. His previous title of SIM has been changed above to his new title. -- JF Campbell, Team Captain)

SIM Michael Millstone

(not yet available)

(For a recent interview of Michael Millstone see: Interview)

Oct 2006 update: Michael Millstone was awarded the SIM title at the ICCF Congress in Dresden, Germany.

SIM Ken Reinhart

I still have my first chess book; an anthology book my parents bought during the "Fisher boom." As a 5th grader I enjoyed it mostly for the pictures of rare chess sets, but I learned just enough to play my father when he was distracted watching the Jets play on Sunday afternoons. In high school I joined the chess team and found a collection of Capablanca's best games by Golombek at my library, which I later learned was Anatoly Karpov's first chess book. By the time college was over I had a big library and a rating well over 2000. But faster time limits and increasing responsibilities halted my ratings progress in the early 90s.

I guess I fell into correspondence chess the same way a lot of players do, I simply had no time anymore for over-the-board play. I was always strong in opening and endings, but just couldn't avoid time pressure in middlegames; I started postal play in 1992 and found that it was much easier for me to play "my game" at this rate of play. I quickly made Master playing USCF Golden Knights events. My USCF rating got me an invitation in 1999 to the 15th USCCC Preliminaries - even though I had never heard of ICCF before. By winning my section I got into the Finals where I have clinched at least 2nd place. Those two performances got me an invitation to my first international tournament, the XV Anniversary of FECAP (Cuba) - Group A, where my performance should earn my first Senior Master norm and pushed my rating high enough to be invited to participate in this Olympiad.

After more than 10 years in various consulting positions for safety and health, I settled down in 2002 at Consolidated Edison in New York City as the Manager of Industrial Hygiene (which involves protecting workers from exposure to chemicals, noise, heat, etc.). The long commute into New York from suburban New Jersey gives me about two hours each day to work on my correspondence games (first with Post-a-Log, now with Chessbase and a laptop). Extra analysis time has to come at night after my three boys are in bed…and somehow my wife still acts like she believes me when I say, "I won't stay up too late, just 15 more minutes on this game, I promise"! Any help I give the U.S. team this Olympiad should be dedicated to her patience, and her indulgence for my "hobby".

(31.Oct.2007 - Webmaster note: Ken Rienhart was awarded the Senior International Master title (SIM) during the 2007 annual ICCF Congress in Spain. His new title has been inserted above. -- JF Campbell, Team Captain)

IM Keith Rodriguez

After obtaining a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, I began working with the Grumman Corporation in 1980 where I captured the company’s Chess Championship, in 1980, 1983 and again in 1990. As Grumman Chess Club President the membership grew to its all-time high and the club established itself as a local powerhouse, winning several Long Island Industrial Chess League (LIICL) Championships, and two New York State Team Championship titles. I transferred to Melbourne, Florida in 1991, with my wife Patty and daughter Erin, and began playing Correspondence Chess seriously as OTB opportunities were fewer.

Building upon my USCF correspondence successes such as taking the top prize on Board 2 of the 1996 USCF Correspondence Championship Team, Postcards From the Edge, I took fellow teammate Bob Rizzo’s recommendation and joined the ICCF. I participated in the 13th, 14th, and 15th ICCF U.S. Championship’s finishing in clear 2nd place in each event, as well as respectable finishes in the 14th and 15th Finals. My big break came when one of the original U.S. invitees did not respond to a request to compete in Italy vs. The World, so ICCF-U.S. director Ruth Ann Fay turned to me for help. I responded to her call and received a special pairing against GM Massimo de Blasio. The result was two hard fought draws that I believe led directly to my participation in a special invitational tournament, 30 Years of Correspondence Chess in Cuba. I scored 8.5 points in that Category VII Tournament earning my IM Title in 2003. Two years later I was awarded the title of IA for my work in the International arena. I have enjoyed having several of my games, both OTB and correspondence, published in Chess Life, Chess Mail and New In Chess publications.

Photo by Keith Rodriguez
IM Robert Rizzo

Robert Rizzo was born in 1949 and has been a USCF member for more than 35 years. He works on Long Island as a financial analyst where he is the captain of his company's chess team that has captured the TOP COMPANY title at the US Amateur Team - East tournament 7 times since 1990. Previously, Bob was also President of his high school and college chess clubs. Bob has held the title of USCF club level director and his directing credits include the American College Unions - International NYS Regional Chess tournament, the Under-1800 section of several NYS Championships and assisting with the Harvard Cup man vs. computer events.

Bob is the Rules Director and a charter member of the Long Island Industrial Chess League (LIICL), which he was instrumental in resurrecting in 1984. He is also Editor of the LIICL newsletter, The League Leader. As a member of the Chess Journalists of America (CJA) he has covered many top-level chess events in NYC including Karpov-Kasparov, Anand-Kasparov, Deep Blue II-Kasparov, and the two FIDE Man Vs. Computer World Championships held in NYC. Bob contributed feature articles to Chess Life for the latter two events. In the past, Bob was a frequent provider of items to the NYS Chess Association's magazine, Empire Chess, specializing in Chess Crosswords and Chess Acrostics. He has also served as an elected NYS delegate to the USCF. Bob is currently a member of the USCF Correspondence Chess Committee where he is compiling games for the Absolute Project, an endeavor to archive the games from the elite USCF correspondence tournaments of the past 30 years.

Barnes & Noble engaged Bob in 1999, to give a presentation entitled, "Chess in the 21st Century." Annually he directs a Charity Chess Tournament to raise funds for the needy and co-directs an All Star Match between the LIICL and its sister organization, the Commercial Chess League of New York. Mostly "retired" from over-the-board play, Bob now channels most of his chess energies toward correspondence tournaments and has attained the titles of USCF Correspondence Senior Master and of ICCF International Master. Bob lists his uppermost achievements to date as winning a preliminary section of the 15th United States Correspondence Chess Championship, winning a semifinal section of World Cup XII, taking the first board prize and the team title in the top section of the USCF 1998 Correspondence Team championships, earning an IM Norm in Email Masternorm 040 and winning the Jaudran B Memorial Invitational tournament where he earned his first Senior International Master Norm and his ICCF IM title.


IM Corky Schakel

Home is Lakeland, Minnesota, ten miles east of St. Paul, on the Minnesota-Wisconsin border. After 33 years as a chemical engineer/Quality manager at 3M Co. in St. Paul, I retired in 2002, and have enjoyed travel with my wife, Sally. Last May this included a trip to Paris for the wedding of our 1990 foreign exchange student, and train travel through Switzerland and Italy. We even made it to Liechtenstein to tour the Kunstmuseum, which displayed a live tag team game (Israel/Morocco vs. USA/Cuba) by hanging it from the ceiling of the lobby.

Our daughter, Kathy, is also a chem engineer at 3M, and she lives near us with her husband, Casey Carlson, and two sons, seven and three (what a joy it is to be a grandparent!). Our son completed medical school May 2005, and is doing his residency at the University of Minnesota Hospital. And he and Ami were married last August (big year for Andy!).

I started playing chess late at age 28 in 1972 (Fischer boom), as a diversion from tournament bridge. With the passing years bridge and marathon running have been replaced by occasional rollerblading, and more time for chess. It is a great honor to represent ICCF-US in Olympiad 17!

IA J. Franklin Campbell

I have been playing chess for 45 years and cc for 40 years. My degree is in mathematics. I also studied celestial mechanics at Yale Observatory. I've been married to Anne since 1969, one daughter Meg and two grandchildren (my family web site is

I have worked as a software engineer, systems engineer and systems programmer. I am currently retired. Besides chess my hobbies are photography and astronomy. I have maintained my personal web site The Campbell Report since 1998, which received the "Friend of ICCF" award for 2005 and CJA award for Best CC Web Site for 2004, 2005. 2006. I was webmaster for the ICCF-U.S. national federation site, which received the "Friend of ICCF" award for 2003. I still serve the USA as games/crosstables archivist. I am also webmaster for Chess Journalists of America and was webmaster for seasons 1,2,3 of the ICCF Champions League. I have served ICCF as Press Officer 1999-2000, served on the webserver commission, took over the CL webmaster job in 2003 when Klaus Wrba was unable to continue due to health, and have directed several tournaments, including the 4th NAPZ Championship, 4th Pacific Area Team Tournament and 2nd USCCC Email Final. My proudest moments in OTB were winning the Kansas State Championship tournament in 1967 and being official match photographer for the Nigel Short-Lev Alburt match in 1985. I received the International Arbiter title at the 2004 ICCF Congress in Mumbai, India and the Silver Bertl von Massow award at the 2009 ICCF Congress in Leeds, England.

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