Monday, March 20, 2017

Marnzell Hand 1955 - 2017

Author: FM Peter Giannatos

Marnzell Hand with IM John Bartholomew

It is with great regret I bring you the passing of Marnzell Hand.

Marnzell was a frequent guest at the CCCSA, he would even call it his second home.
To us, Marnzell was part of the CCCSA family not just a chess player.

Marnzell, Ms. Brenda Hill, and GM John Fedorowicz Having a Chat

Marnzell was appeared to be a very serious, but in fact was a friendly, caring and extremely funny man who filled the room with laughter, some his, some ours.

Marnzell frequently played weeknight and weekend events at the club. Almost every local player has played either a casual game or tournament game against Marnzell.
Marnzell playing a casual game against Mike Eberhardinger

Marnzell was always willing to play. He had no problem with playing anyone. Unlike some adults he did not mind playing the "kids".

Marnzell against the young Adharsh Rajagopal

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Marnzell. 

Marnzell was a friend, a fellow competitor and most importantly a member of our chess family. 

Peter Giannatos

P.S. - The Charlotte Chess Center plans to organize a blitz tournament in April in Marnzell's name. 100% of the entry fee's will be given back in prizes.

Below are a few more pictures of Marnzell at the Charlotte Chess Center:

Marnzell writing his opponents move while pondering the position

Marnzell considering his options

Marnzell facing off against Karen Boyd - Finegold

IM Kassa Korley with Marnzell

Thinking of the possibilities in the opening

Sampath "Sam" Kumar v. Marnzell

Marnzell playing next to top junior Andrew Chen


  1. Oh no. No. What a wonderful person. I'm so glad I had one more opportunity to play him last week.

  2. What a shock! I saw him over the wknd playing chess. Great personality with always a smiling face no matter what. He will be missed. I offer my thoughts, prayers and well-wishes to his family.


  3. Marnzell was a fixture on the Charlotte chess scene. Always present and enthusiastic about the game. Much loved and respected by all because he treated all with the same. And his love of the game was obvious. This is a big loss for the chess community. We will miss him.

  4. I only knew Marnzell as an acquaintance over the 5-6 months I was able to get involved at the Chess center, but I told him one night, "You strike me as a nice uncle figure." I could tell he was a positive, supportive, and nurturing type of person. Everything I have seen him post on facebook was always something to congratulate people on their efforts and successes. I am sadden by his death, and also sadden that I didn't get to know him more.

  5. Marnzell sounds like a wonderful man, with a wonderful name! What a loss to the chess community, and to the game itself. Though I never had a chance to meet him, may his enthusiasm and spirit live on through the many players who respected him and his love for the game. What a great idea to have a Memorial Blitz tournament in his honor. I hope to be present for that.