Robert D. Curtis

Robert D. Curtis at the Board. Photo by Sheryl McBroom.

Ironman within the Ironman.

For our December 2019 Player of the Month, chess is his life but not his whole life. Like many who have played chess more than a day, he was inspired during the “Fischer Boom” years. He is a US Chess Life Member. He is also a TCA Lifetime Member. He played chess in 27 countries. He played chess on the tops of mountains and pyramids. He played chess in a 300 year old haunted mansion. He played chess on the bottom of the ocean. He teaches chess to about 50 students at four private schools and a health club. He does private lessons. He worked as a Rescue/Recovery Diver in the 1970’s. He’s a retired instructor for Remote Operated Vehicle pilots. He builds his own submarines. He’s a retired Tri-Athlete.

As happens for so many of us, Life called and he took an eight-year hiatus beginning in 2008. Upon his return he caught the attention of organizers for both BRAZOS and RRSO (the “real” Red River Shoot Out – annual team match between the most fanatical chess players in Oklahoma and Texas). He helped propel the Tarrant Chess Team to a three-year BRAZOS win streak against Waco. He also played on the Texas Chess Team three straight years.

Today he’s the Team Captain of the Tarrant “Butchers” Chess Team. For the recent BRAZOS IV team match, involving the most serious chess players in the “Heart of Texas,” he dreamed up the “Butchers” moniker to counter a similar one for the Waco “Hogs” Chess Team. Both names stuck. He recruited 15 players to fill the 15 boards. He acquired team uniforms from a generous supporter. He uplifted and inspired his team in such a manner that all 15 showed up for an incredible match with Waco. Despite his busy professional and volunteer schedule, he visited every team member and coached openings, middle games, and end games.

Some friends call him “Ironman within the Ironman.” Some friends call him “Submarine Bob.” At Texas Chess Association we call our friend, Robert D. Curtis, our December 2019 Player of the Month.

If you know someone who should be Player of the Month please tell us. Send email to TCA membership required.