A brief history of the American Tournament Chess Club
John Galpinís love affair with chess began at age 6 when, while living in Castro Valley,
a teacher taught him how to play the game.
The American Tournament Chess Club was founded in July 1986 when John and
eight other chess enthusiasts attended a chess tournament in Las Vegas at the
Over the next 12 years John built the club to 500 members playing in Oakland,
San Leandro, Hayward, Fremont, Danville, San Ramon, Dublin, Livermore,
Lake Tahoe and even as far away as Seattle Washington.
A house fire in 1998, in which no one was hurt, destroyed Johnís computer and
all the clubs records and almost put an end to the chess club but John did not give up.
Over the next 4 years Johnís struggled to keep the club together, but despite his
efforts the club dwindled to five small groups in the East Bay and one in Lodi,
each playing chess locally and on an irregular basis.
What recently galvanized John to rebuild the club was an article in the January 2003
issue of Chess Life magazine wherein the Russians declared that they were the best
in the world at chess. Since then John has focused all his resources into building a
first class chess club, composed mainly of children and young adults, who will take
on the Russians and the world.
The First Pacifica Chess Open, held in April of 2003, was the clubs first major new
tournament. It was co-sponsored by the Vista Mar Baptist Church in Pacifica.
Trophies and ribbons were awarded to the top players. In 2004 at the Second Pacifica
Chess Open one lucky player won $500.00
In 2004 American Tournament Chess Club incorporated as a not for profit corporation
and is currently organizing meetings in Pacifica California.
Johnís efforts now are focused on the classroom. He will be more than happy to come
into your school, be it elementary middle or high school, to introduce your classes
to the wonderful game of chess.