The "REAL" Red River Shootout, the annual team match between the most fanatical chess players in Oklahoma and Texas, can be traced back to March 2003. Tom Crane, President of the old Watauga Chess Club, wanted to fill an event vacancy and asked Jim Hollingsworth (Left), Club Secretary, if he had any friends in Oklahoma who would help set up a team chess match.
A quick phone call to Jim's old Chess rival and Army buddy, Chess Expert Tom Nichols (Right), resulted in the first spirited match on April 27, 2003, in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Texas managed to win 12-1/2 to 9-1/2, however Jim earned the dubious distinction of suffering the first loss by any player in RRSO history (published in the "Premier Issue" of the Oklahoma Chess Quarterly, Volume 20-3, Summer Edition, August 2003, page 10).
Both players are consistently ranked among the most fanatical chess players in Texhoma.
FIDE Arbiter and Organizer Frank Berry has been USCF rated and a Life Member since 1962. He is also the Editor of the outstanding Oklahoma Chess Quarterly (since 2000).
Special Feature: Frank Berry talks about RRSO.
Senior Tournament Director Tom Crane (from North Richland Hills, Texas) was the inspiration for the first RRSO. Back then few realized it would become the epic event it is today. No one has worked harder and more consistently to ensure the success of every fun match. Tom is one of the most active and highly sought tournament directors in Texas. As this is written, USCF records credit him with being Chief Director of 150 tournaments in thirteen years.
Special Feature: Tom Crane talks about RRSO.
FIDE Arbiter and International Organizer Jim Berry (from Stillwater) is one of the most respected and revered members in the United States Chess Federation (USCF). At his own expense ("It's all for Chess!"), he served on the USCF Executive Board from 2007 to 2013, including one term as President (2010-2011).
Senior Tournament Director Rob Jones (from Denton, Texas) is passionate about RRSO and Chess in general. He has served for many years as the Director of Texas Region III. A highly talented chess coach and instructor; he is also one of the busiest tournament directors in the Nation. As this is written, USCF records credit him with being Chief Director of 1,224 tournaments in only ten years (122 tournaments per year).
Special Feature: Rob Jones talks about RRSO.
Chess Expert Jim Hollingsworth often says, "I didn't choose Chess - Chess chose me!" Jim played in the Army Chess Championship five times (1983, 1989, 1991, 2006, and 2007). He made the Army Chess Team in 1989. His Chess Life collection goes back to 1970. He is a professional web designer and volunteers as the Webmaster for the Oklahoma Chess Foundation and RRSO Chess.
Chess Expert Tom Nichols (from Pauls Valley) is an RRSO Co-Founder. Tom was also one of the Army's toughest chess players during his Military Service.
Chess Expert Glenn Baumann has played for both teams. He is also the 2013 Oklahoma State Chess Champion.
Associate National Tournament Director Alex Relyea and his wife Nita Patel capably directed what many say was the absolute best RRSO. For RRSO III, he personally arranged for the use of the University of Oklahoma's outstanding facilities. Shortly after that match he moved East and continues to be a very active tournament director in Massachusettes, New England, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Vermont. They both like the RRSO concept so much they set up a similar annual event for the Maine and New Hampshire Chess Teams (Border Battle).
Since moving East, Local Director Nita Patel continues to be a very active tournament director in Massachusettes, New England, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Vermont. As this is being written, USCF records credit her with 69 tournaments as Chief Director.
Life Chess Master Tom Braunlich has won three Oklahoma State Chess Champion titles (2006, 2009, and 2011). Tom is also the author of the polemic "Scholastics and the Soul of Chess".
Local Director Aurelio Gonzalez is known as "The Most Fanatical Chess Player in Texas." Local Director Aurelio Gonzalez has played in all thirteen RRSO's. Aurelio has also been the Treasurer of the Tarrant County (Texas) Chess Club for over ten years.
Special Feature: Aurelio Gonzalez talks about RRSO.
During RRSO I, Omar Montemayor pulled RRSO Organizer Jim Hollingsworth to the side and offered to sponsor RRSO II. Omar's offer was accepted and both he and the Wichita Falls Chess Club were wonderful hosts. The playing facilities, at a local school, and atmosphere were excellent! They even brought in a huge catered lunch. As a bonus, Omar presented the Famous Traveling Trophy to the RRSO organizers to serve as a momento for future RRSO matches. As this is being written, all the original plates have been engraved. The organizers will add new plates as space allows. Eventually, a bigger momento will need to be designed to hold all the engraved plates. Perhaps someone reading this has some ideas?
"When you play for a team you have the unanimous support of your teammates, and the struggle is absolutely uncompromising."
GM Eduard Gufeld 1936 - 2002