TCA Recognition Awards

Recognition Awards

TCA Recognition Awards is to honor people who have made significant contributions to the Chess Players of the State of Tennessee. For more information on the awards and process click HERE

Tennessee Chess Association Recognition Awards

Joe Jones – 2022 TCA Meritorious Service Award

Although one of the most likable and popular of Tennessee Chess players, Joe competed very seriously. Joe had a very strong work ethic, and frequently worked two jobs. He taught Band in Nashville schools by day, and performed as a musician at Opryland by night, playing trumpet. Joe has an extensive Chess library, and he used this work ethic to study. Combined with a natural ability for calculation, Joe was quite formidable. In spite of his player accomplishments, Joe is primarily known as a Chess Teacher. Joe organized a chess club for his college, while a student in 1964. Joe taught Band in Nashville from 1966-67 and 1970-2000 at five different public Junior High and High Schools, and at a private school in the early 2000’s. Wherever he taught, Joe always found the time to teach Chess after school – and never for any compensation. When unable to start a formal club, he taught Chess on an informal basis. One of Joe’s students was Wally Jordan – future USCF Expert, 1994 Nashville City Co-Champion (3rd on tiebreaks), and 1997 Nashville City Champion. When the Music City Chess Club was without a site for a year from 1973-4, Joe hosted the club at the school where he was teaching. From 2014-6 Joe taught for the Nashville Chess Center – his only time for pay. He often gave free chess lessons to promising students after class, at his home during the summer, and at the Nashville Public Library. Joe’s many accomplishments and awards in music and teaching cannot all be cited here, but he played trumpet with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra from 1967-1972 and taught for a total of ten years at the Vanderbilt Blair School of Music in the 1970’s and 2000’s. In 1996, Joe was recipient of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences “Mr. Holland’s Opus” Award (one of only twelve in the USA). Joe’s natural teaching gifts were not limited to his celebrated music career. Joe’s greatest result as a Chess teacher was demonstrated by the superlative achievements of his son, USCF Senior Master and TCA Hall of Fame Member, Curt Jones. Joe cut back performing music in 1980 and became a USCF Expert by the close of 1981. Joe was Nashville City Co-Champion in 1984 (2nd tiebreaks) and 1987 (1st tiebreaks). He received his USCF National Master certificate in 1987. By USCF electronic norms, Joe re-earned his Candidate Master (Expert) Certificate in 1993 and National Master Certificate in 1995. He was Tennessee State Postal Champion for both the 1983 and the 1985-86 (combined) TCA Postal Championships. Joe received his USCF Postal Master certificate in 1985. Joe C. Jones, Jr., is revered by all Tennessee chess players because of the respect that he always showed to other players and his exemplary sportsmanship. He has made exceptional contributions to the sport of Chess in Tennessee, not only by his outstanding level of play, but by his selfless efforts as a Chess teacher in Nashville to promote and spread the game that he loves.

Susan E. Kantor (1955-2020) – 2022 TCA Special Services Award

Susan was a critical figure to the development of the scholastic chess community in Tennessee and beyond. Her contribution is not something that can be measured easily in a numerical way but the impact of her effort to our chess community is tremendous. She was one of the most active advocates for promoting scholastic chess activities in the state of Tennessee, one of the most involved “invisible” volunteers in the background to help organize and run statewide scholastic events as well as national chess events. She would be seen at most regional and state scholastic championship events helping the tournament run smoothly. Along with that she has been voluntarily traveling across the state to help junior tournament directors to run their first scholastic events and provide guidelines to help them establish chess clubs at schools. A long time chess tournament director, groomed by Tennessee Chess Hall of Famer Harry Sabine, the former Cumberland County Chess Club president helped organize and run the well-known club’s annual events. Mrs. Kantor was one of the most approachable, and reliable resources at US Chess to support and help answer chess related inquiries from scholastic players and their parents. Ms. Kantor has been known nationwide with her role as Scholastic Assistant with US Chess. She began her employment with US Chess in 2005 and was known throughout the United States as Tennessee got to share her with the national organization.

FM Peter Bereolos – 2022 TCA Outstanding Career Achievement Award

East Tennessee became the home of Peter Bereolos, FIDE master in his prime when he moved to Knoxville for work in 1995.  He immediately became the yardstick a generation of players measured themselves against. In 1996, Bereolos won his first of twenty to date Knoxville City Chess Championships. The following year he won his first of seven sole or shared Tennessee State Championships. He was the 2018 TN Senior Champion and 2019 Senior Co-Champion. He was Tennessee’s first representative in 2018 at the John T. Irwin National Senior Tournament of Champions.

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