Monday, January 16, 2017

Meet CCCSA Blog Contributor: Grant Oen

Me and Peter at the World Chess Championship in New York, Nov 2016


I hope I am familiar to many of you as the Assistant Director of the Charlotte Chess Center, where I enjoy teaching many afterschool programs, directing weekend tournaments, and beating Patrick McCartney in blitz on Tuesday nights.  I’ve lived in Charlotte since I started working at CCCSA in September 2016.

Before that, I was a student at Emory University in Atlanta, where I ran tournaments under my own company, Southeast Chess.  I also serve on the board of the Castle Chess Camp, a very strong, non-profit chess camp in Atlanta every June which draws many campers from the Charlotte area – this camp was also where I first met Peter!  I am also an employee of the US Chess Federation since 2016, where I work as the federation’s FIDE Ratings, Titles, and Certifications manager.  Last year I became certified as a USCF Senior Tournament Director and FIDE National Arbiter.

I also spend most of my “free time” on chess.  I give private lessons as my schedule allows, spend many weeknights at the club playing blitz, follow most top chess events online, and download “The Week in Chess” every Monday to play through any games I’ve missed.  I have managed the Atlanta Kings chess team in the US Chess League and PRO Chess League since 2014 – we will be playing against the venomous-less Carolina Cobras on February 15!  I’ve also organized (remotely) a monthly scholastic chess tournament business in New Jersey since 2010.

I also play chess!

I’ve played in most of the big tournaments across the country, including events in 16 different states, and an international tournament in Montreal.  My first impressions of the Charlotte Chess Center were as a player in the first two Southeastern FIDE Championships, where I was very impressed with the club’s playing conditions.  I was not able to play in the most recent edition this past December, as I was the Tournament Director…

My rating is currently 2153, and though of course I’d like to improve it, my main goal for 2017 is to try to play lots of tournaments when I can, and to enjoy all the travel that I’m able to do as a chess professional.

Mostly, my blog going forward will be a recap of our Saturday tournaments and general CCCSA news.  Since we have not had a tournament in a while, I’d like to include the most entertaining game of my career – my former coach IM John Bartholomew has made a video about this game, and I gave a Tuesday night lecture on it.  For those who have not seen the game, it is more or less describes my results: even my most exciting games end in draws!

I remain,