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Jerry Spann
Number of games in database: 1
Years covered: 1958

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(born Aug-13-1912, died Jan-05-1968, 55 years old) United States of America

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Jerry Garland Spann was President of the United States Chess Federation from 1957 until 1960.

Last updated: 2017-10-09 07:02:38

 page 1 of 1; one game  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. M Sokoler vs J Spann  1-016195859th US OpenD56 Queen's Gambit Declined

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  GrahamClayton: "Jerry Spann
An Oklahoma Chess Legacy
by: Frank K. Berry

Jerry Spann originally hailed from North Carolina but graduated from University of Southern California in 1933, playing Trojan track and football for four years. It was at this time he met and became a life-long friend of John Wayne. He chose USC over OU because OU did not offer football scholarships in those days and Jerry wanted the scholarship. He played blocking back for the All-American Ernie Pinckert.

After WWII, where he served as a Navy officer, he moved to Oklahoma to establish a prosperous building supply firm named Bissell Builders Supply in OKC but he had shops in Norman and Tulsa too. His residence was in Norman. The specialty of his firm was a patented revolving door, which was sold to hotels and large downtown office buildings.

Jerry's successful promotion of the 1956 US Open held in downtown OKC led to his being appointed chairman of the USCF Presidency nominating committee, and when ten of the eleven people nominated withdrew; he, being the eleventh, was drafted as 1957 President of USCF, a post he held until 1960. Also around this time he served as a FIDE Vice-President.

Jerry's USCF Presidency turned the financial numbers from red to black and saw the USCF gain about 10,000 new members. He was also instrumental in the implementation of the Elo rating system for USCF.

All Oklahomans, Americans and people around the world who met him and played in his tournaments will never forget how generous, friendly, encouraging and kind he was. He died of cancer in January, 1968 and to this day the Oklahoma Open (state championship for residents) proudly bears his name in memorial."

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