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Donald H Sampson
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1964

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(born Mar-20-1925, died Apr-14-2014, 89 years old) United States of America

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Don Sampson was a piano teacher and church organist in Worcester, Massachusetts. After retirement, he lived in Holden, Massachusetts (since 1966) and El Dorado Hills, California.

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. I Zalys vs D H Sampson  1-035196465th US OpenB06 Robatsch

Kibitzer's Corner
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  Tabanus: Likely candidate, but I have no direct proof. He lived all his life in Worcester (Holden), west of Boston:

<Lastly, we must sadly mention MACA life member Donald Sampson of Holden, who passed away April 14th at the age of 89. The piano teacher and church organist had a chess career of over 50 years. He is survived by six nieces and nephews.> (Chess Horizons, Summer 2014, p. 10)

<Donald H. Sampson, 89, of Walnut St., Holden, died on Monday, April 14, 2014. Born in Worcester, he was the son of George and Grace M. (Harding) Sampson. Don proudly served his country and was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He was a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and the New England Conservatory of Music. He played the organ at many local churches and was a piano teacher and chess master. He leaves six nephews and nieces. A graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden.> (posted April 24, 2014 at (Worcester),

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  Phony Benoni: <tabanus> Given the length of his career, it seemed worth going through USCF rating supplements from the 1950s which often had additional information. Unfortunately, he does not show up before the 1960s, when generally only initials were given for forenames.

I did glean the following:

"Chess Life", October 1964, p.254 (covered the US Open):

<D Sampson>, MA, 1608

Chess Life & Review",Dec. 1972, p.797)

<D H Sampson>, MA, 1623

"Chess Life & Review, December 1975, p.871):

<Donald Sampson>, MA, 1539

With the consistency of state and rating, this looks pretty good. However, he continued playing into the 21st century, and the USCF MSA record has a question:

His last state is given as CA. Looking under his tournament history, all his events were played in MA. I don't know where the California came from..

Otherwise, this seems to fit: a very long career, chiefly in Massachusetts, and a consistent rating in the 1400-1600 range.

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  perfidious: <PB> The California attribution probably stems from his place of residence at the end of his life.
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  Phony Benoni: <perfidious> That seemed obvious, but the citations from <Tabanus> state he died in Holden, MA. Perhaps he moved for some time, returned, and USCF was never notified.
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  Tabanus: I find him in Holden until 2002 when the records stop.

But then: <Donald Sampson Age:65+ Current: El Dorado Hills, CA. Prior: Holden MA>, see So it seems he must have lived in CA some time after 2002.

And see where the USCF notes the passing away of "Donald H. Sampson - El Dorado Hills, California." Can I make the bio on him?

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  Tabanus: <the citations from <Tabanus> state he died in Holden, MA>

Buried in Holden, to be precise. I think he lived in CA after 2002 with his daughter and/or a new wife.

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  Phony Benoni: <Tabanus> Looks like I misunderstood. It all makes sense: in his eighties, he might have needed some help and the climate would have been attractive. But he comes back "home" for his final resting place.
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  Tabanus: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 4 May 2014:

<Donald H. Sampson, 89, a Worcester native and resident of Holden since 1966, and one of deans of amateur chess in Central Mass., died April 14. He once earned a master rating title in correspondence chess, competing before the USCF established a rating system in 1950. He was the last surviving member of what was once a large group of Holden stalwart players, many of whom were life USCF and MACA members.>

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