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Hall of Fame

Nomination to Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame of: John Bartholomew.
 John Bartholomew is an International Master, a 4-time Minnesota State Champion, and is the most successful chess entrepreneur in Minnesota history with his pioneering work developing on-line chess training videos.

 John descends from Ed Zelkind’s training tree, having worked with Ed during his rise to National Master at the age of 15. John also worked with other national trainers as he accumulated several Minnesota scholastic championships, culminating with his back-to-back National K-9 and High School championships in 2001 & 2002. Chess has created many opportunities for John. He attended the University of Texas in Dallas and played for their powerhouse chess team that won 2 collegiate championships. During his time at UT Dallas, John earned his final norm to become an IM. After college John moved to New York City where he took up residence as a chess player/trainer. In 2012, John returned to his roots in Minnesota and once again became a strong presence on the Minnesota Chess scene. Notable students of John’s at this time included Andrew Tang, who would go on to become Minnesota’s first GM. In one of those classic “student vs teacher” matches, Tang defeated John in an Armageddon style play-off at the 2017 Minnesota Closed Championship. Striving to keep his game sharp while fulfilling his many training commitments, John began to work with chess training videos in 2014. The on-line medium plays perfectly to John’s strengths as a thoughtful and balanced player/presenter with excellent linguistic skills, a kind spirit, and deep chess knowledge. John’s reputation has soared and he now has 68,000 subscribers and 10,000-20,000 people on average watching his chess videos. John Bartholomew is an amazing chess player who often derives success on the chessboard by executing long-term strategic plans that “squeeze” his opponents. He is also an ambitious entrepreneur who has embraced the opportunity to make the game he loves his life’s work. The Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame is very excited to welcome John Bartholomew!

 Nomination to Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame of: Sean Nagle.
Sean Nagle is the ultimate chess competitor. Winning 8 consecutive state championships from 2009-2016, Sean established a level of consistent excellency that has only been bested by Hall of Famer Curt Brasket during his 1967–1975 streak of 9 state championships. Sean’s practical play, competitive spirit, will to win, and innate ability to optimize in-game situations regardless of opponent, bring to mind the legendary methods of the great world champion Emanuel Lasker. Like the great Lasker, Sean does not play the board – he plays to win!! Sean’s chess prowess emerged in the fortuitous circumstance of Russ Erickson’s Zachary Lane Chess Club - augmented by private lessons from Ed Zelkind. By the age of 15 Sean was a National Master in the midst of winning 7 scholastic state championships. Sean was also a key cog in national championship teams at Zachary Lane and Plymouth Middle School from 1992-1995. After high school Sean attended the University of Chicago before attending law school at the University of Michigan. After practicing law full-time from 2007-2013, Sean has settled in to the important full-time work of raising his young family of 3 children while still working as a lawyer on a part-time basis. Sean’s chess continues, albeit at a more infrequent pace these days, but his expertise grows as evidenced by his attainment of his 3rd and final IM norm in 2014. Sean Nagle has dominated the Minnesota chess scene during the last decade, adding his name to the list of prestigious Minnesota players who have had both the talent and tenacity to dominate for extended periods of time. For example, George Barnes (1931-1951), Curt Brasket (1957-1975), Ed Zelkind (1982-1991), Victor Adler (1998-2008), and Sean Nagle (2009-2016). These 5 amazing chess masters have won an astonishing 60% of the State Championships over the last 9 decades!! The Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame is very excited to welcome Sean Nagle!

 Nomination to Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame of: Brian Ribnick.
Brian Ribnick deserves induction into the MSCA Hall of Fame. As the chess coach of Metcalf Middle School for 48 years, Brian has contributed, uniquely, to the development of chess in Minnesota. His coaching has used Chess to teach abstract thinking, concentration, discipline, respect, teamwork and honor. His students (players) have been, literally, 1000’s of kids – at Metcalf, in SCA camps, in junior League or on opposing teams. The virtues of Chess have been spread via Brian Ribnick – the kids he has coached (and their parents) are continually, openly grateful for the opportunity their kids had - to be coached by “Ribby”. An under recognized role for chess in developing kids is the importance of a wholesome competitive activity during their awkward teen age years. Between 4th and 8th grades kids quit many and sometimes all extracurricular activities. Attendance for all sports and activities declines. This is precisely when the Metcalf Chess club kicks in. Most clubs have 4- 5 kids during these ages – Ribby’s clubs have typically 70 players. He instructs his players with a rigid curriculum and they stay in the club! Their sense of teamwork and accomplishment is nurtured through chess. Dozens of games are played in preparation for competing in Junior League, the Minnesota Open, the MSCA Scholastic and, eventually, the National Junior High Championships. Nationals are held throughout the United States where his kids compete and often win – 19 National Championships with 6-7 individual Champs. At the National Championship locations, Metcalf players always tour the cities (Portland, New York, Orlando, Sacramento….) – often for their first adventure away from Burnsville. Another understated benefit from Chess is the bridge it provides for kids with problems – a bridge to reach an age where their problems can be sorted out, grown out of, or effectively treated. Ribby can cite dozens of examples of kids from his club with ADHD, anxiety disorders, Tourettes syndrome or simply frank behavioral issues. And many boys are squandering their days on video game playing. Without a specific treatment plan, Ribby directs their attention to chess throughout this difficult era. The reputation and attendance of his club is a testament to the effectiveness of this “treatment”. While teams at Metcalf have been highly successful, his graduates often moved on to the successful program at Burnsville High School where they received instruction from Master Ed Zelkind – a previous Hall of Fame inductee. Further accomplishments of Brian Ribnick include: • MSCA Junior High Championship Team coach – 31 years • Junior League Manager – 40 years • Vice President of the School Chess Association – decades with Larry Lampert (HOF inductee) • USCF Scholastic Committee - Current • MSCA Board of Directors – 12 years • Coached 2 National Open Champions – Nathan Graham, Alan Polk • MAEF – Coach of the year 2003 The Hall of Fame for the MSCA is the highest-recognition award to our members. Brian is a lifetime member of the MSCA and he has been a member for more than 50 years!! The penultimate coach is Brian Ribnick who richly deserves induction into the MSCA Hall of Fame.

 Nomination to Minnesota Chess Hall of Fame of: Victor Adler.
Victor Adler was born in Russia and immigrated to Minnesota in 1997. Victor was already a successful player at the time, having achieved the International Master title in 1996. At his peak, Victor had a USCF rating of 2593. Victor has several accomplishments as a player and as a contributor to advancing Minnesota chess and thus deserves to be inducted to the MSCA Hall of Fame. Victor will mainly be remembered for winning many prestigious tournaments in Minnesota. One of his most important accomplishments in Minnesota is winning 11 state championships in his 17 year span living in Minnesota. Victor won the championship from 1998 to 2003, 2005 to 2008, and 2010. Victor also won the Minnesota Open 6 times - in 1998, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2013. The Minnesota Open and Minnesota Championship are the two most prestigious tournaments on the MSCA calendar. Victor was a multiple time winner of the Winter Open, the Minneapolis Open, and the Region VI. Overall, he dominated the Minnesota chess scene - Victor was always a threat to win tournaments, even when he was much older than his competition. Victor also performed well at national tournaments. One of Victor’s best performances at a national tournament was tying for 8th at the 2000 US Open in Minnesota with 7/9. He beat GM Pavel Blatny and a young Hikaru Nakamura. In the penultimate round, Victor drew the eventual winner of the event, GM Alex Yermolinsky. Victor’s best national tournament victory was winning the 2004 US Senior Open in Boca Raton, Florida. Victor also had several accomplishments as a coach. Victor’s coaching followed the style of his predecessors in Russia. The following students achieved incredible success. His student Andrew Tang became a USCF National Master under Victor’s guidance. Andrew is now a FIDE Grandmaster, the reigning state champion, multiple time national champion, and twotime participant of the US Junior Championships. Another of Victor’s longtime students was Matt Dahl. Matt became a National Master through Victor’s coaching and was also the 12th grade national champion. Another of his longtime students was Andrew Titus. Andrew became a National Master under Victor’s guidance, and was a K-3 national co-champion. His student Samarth Chakrasali became a National Master with Victor’s coaching. Another of his students was David Floeder who won a national championship as well. Victor had several other students who performed well at both local and national tournaments.
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