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Forum Home > Awards and Recognition > Steve Dillard has passed

Russ Billings
Member
Posts: 7

Wow.  I am stunned.

 

A story about Steve, as remembered nearly 30 years later:

 

I still tell this one from time to time.  Steve told it to us during my High School days (back in the 1980s) when someone directing a tournament (Geoff McAuliffe?) ejected Steve from the tournament floor because Steve simply could not stop laughing.

 

What triggered that laughing fit? A rated game Steve was playing against Don Ifill, where Don had checked Steve ... with his own king ... and punched the clock.

 

 

March 14, 2015 at 9:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Terry Winchester
Member
Posts: 38

The story on the front page is very nice, but one correction is needed: Steve was a National Tournament Director (NTD), the top echelon. :)

I just got home from a tournament in Owensboro to find out that my friend was murdered. Words cannot express my sadness.

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March 14, 2015 at 11:00 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Ryan Velez
Member
Posts: 54

http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2015/03/14/mr-kentucky-chess-found-stabbed-jtown/24771833/

This is a good article about Steve

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www.ChessPerformance.com
CTPELLC@gmail.com
502-240-9325
502-418-5312

March 14, 2015 at 11:11 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Terry Winchester
Member
Posts: 38

Yes, very Nice, Ryan. Thank you

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March 14, 2015 at 11:47 PM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Hi Russ it's been a long time, that was a nice and funny story.

I have one that Steve never let me live down. We were out to eat

at a sit down restaurant and i must have been 16 i'd say and the waitress

brought me a coloring book and a kids menu. Steve got a big kick out of

that. I was really small for my age back then, but now around 24 years later

i'm just glad i lived that and was in Steve's presence for so many tournaments

and just have so many memories of the nicest guy in chess. Also i remember a time

Steve laughed uncontrollably at a tournament. when i think it was ron rogers? i believe

let out a loud burp in a quiet chess room and Steve just lost it. He had to leave the room.

I'll never forget that.  It is just so sad and unbelievable that he's gone. 

March 14, 2015 at 11:54 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Terry Winchester
Member
Posts: 38

Brad, I think it was one of your first tournaments that you and I met over the board in Evansville (1987/89? maybe). It was my very first tournament. We played at Evansville Day School, with Mike Anders and Steve directing. Steve told me that you were just up and coming kid, and that I should do well. He caught hell from me after you beat me soundly that game, and he laughed and said something to the effect that he didn't say I was gonna have my way with you :D


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March 15, 2015 at 1:02 AM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Terry Winchester at March 15, 2015 at 1:02 AM

Brad, I think it was one of your first tournaments that you and I met over the board in Evansville (1987/89? maybe). It was my very first tournament. We played at Evansville Day School, with Mike Anders and Steve directing. Steve told me that you were just up and coming kid, and that I should do well. He caught hell from me after you beat me soundly that game, and he laughed and said something to the effect that he didn't say I was gonna have my way with you :D


Hi Terry good to hear from you,very nice story thanks , i remember that a little can't remember the exact

year either, but I really enjoyed our games you were a very tough opponent,

and I really enjoyed playing in Mike Ander's tournaments, he was a class act

as well and I know he and Steve are playing a game right about now. 

Where are you living at now? Do you get to play in louisville/ lexington any?



March 15, 2015 at 8:51 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Kevin Kincaidi
Member
Posts: 3

I have not had much to do with Chess, at least Ky Chess Assn since the 1980s. High School until after College I was part of the KCA becoming more than just louisville chess club along with Steve Dillard, Geoff Mcaulif , Tom Washington, Dennis Gogle, John and Mike Dockery and many others whose name has left me over the time but not their memories. I went to the paper today only to see the Article on Steve Dillard. I remember him best teaching at Christian Academy of Louisville. I had occasion to get with Steve while he was directing a tournament for school kids in downtown louisville to donate my collection of Chess Life's that I had kept and collected for years. Steve made them available to all the kids at the tournament and was going to use them at his school as well. Steve always had a smile and a laugh.  I feel like writer in Stand by Me when he hears of a friends Death and thinks back to the past time they shared life together for an altogether too short a time. Always will remember that Steven Dillard. May God Bless him and us all.

Kevin Kincaid

March 15, 2015 at 10:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

SS
Member
Posts: 1

Steve...

 

I moved away from Louisville in 2005, and had not bothered to reach out to him since. I really wish I had...

 

My family and I immigrated to Louisville in the middle of 1994. By chance, we found out about the Kentucky Open taking place that June. My parents took 10-year old me to the JCC in downtown Louisville that Saturday. None of us knew what to expect, especially since we barely spoke English. Steve found us aimlessly walking around, and immediately took us under his wing. He patiently explained how the tournament system worked, registered me, helped me find my pairing and board in every round, and, most importantly, made us feel welcome and encouraged me. In fact, if I remember correctly, he paid my entry fee, which was a really big deal for us. It was his idea that I should play in the open section, even though he really had no idea of my playing level. In retrospect, it played a great role in my confidence going forward.

 

Whatever apprehension I had about playing subsequently events in the area disappeared completely. My parents and I knew that he would be there, and he would take care of us if we were ever confused or lost. Everything would be OK no matter what.

 

The following year, he told us he was directing at the National K-6 championship in Little Rock. At that time, there was no way we could afford that trip. Without even knowing our situation, Steve offered to drive us down there and let us stay in his hotel room. The whole thing was a whirlwind for me at the time, and I barely remember anything except the actual games. Looking back now, it's clear - I wouldn't have won without him.

 

Over the years playing in Kentucky, I always felt secure with him in the room. Every conversation we've had left me a little happier, proud that I know someone like him.  At one point, he even set me up with a job at Blockbuster where he worked part-time, even though I only needed it for a few months. He was always there to help.

 

I am not sure I have ever known a more positive, supporting, generous, kind person. This news has not hit me yet, but it will soon.  I registered and wrote this here as a way to cope. Let's remember him together.  If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. His chess legacy in Kentucky will live on, I am sure of it.

 

Sincerely,
Sergey

 

March 15, 2015 at 1:40 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Mike Thomas
Member
Posts: 29

Hey Kevin, it's good to hear from you again. For those who don't know, Kevin was VP of the KCA in the early 80's and also a tournament director.



What does anyone else think of making the next Kentucky Open into the Kentucky Open/Steve Dillard Memorial?

March 15, 2015 at 1:54 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Kevin Kincaidi
Member
Posts: 3

I think that sounds great! Making the open a memorial to steve. maybe there can be a youngest player award in Steve's honor as well. He would love that.

Kevin

March 15, 2015 at 2:27 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dustin Meiners
Member
Posts: 4

I've been thinking of stories to share about Steve, and one in particular comes to mind.

After leaving a scholastic tournament in Lexington, probably 13-14 years ago now, my parents and I got into a heated discussion due to a brain teaser Steve had shared.  I was, and still am, a bit of a math geek.  The problem was this:

Three friends are traveling, and, growing tired from driving, decide to stop at a motel for the night.  The rate is $30 for the room, so the friends shell out ten bucks each.  After getting their keys and leaving for their room, the desk manager remembers that the rate was supposed to be $25 due to a special they were running.  He gives five one's to the clerk, and instructs him to take it to the three men that just checked in.  On his way, the clerk decides to save the men the trouble of dividing $5 three ways, and pockets $2 for himself.  He figures "I've made two bucks, and now they've spent $9 each."  So, if the men each spent $9, 3 x 9 = 27, plus the 2 the clerk kept, where is the missing dollar?

Of course, the problem isn't the math, it's the perspective and order of operations, and underlying principle that has helped me grow my game time and again.  Steve could always shed some light on my openings, grant a word of insight, and help me see clearly in a position that I had seen dozens of times before.

I'll be available all day, if anyone is interested in gathering before this evening for coffee or a meal, to reminisce about Steve and commiserate.

Below, I've posted a game that I played against Steve in 2011, the only tournament game we ever played, and the only time I pulled out a win.  Enjoy.

Thursday Night Magic (G30), September 22, 2011.

Steve Dillard vs. Dustin Meiners

1. e4 e5; 2. d4 exd4; 3. Qxd4 Nc6; 4. Qe1 d6; 5. Nf3 a6; 6. Bc4 Be7; 7. 0-0 Be6; 8. Bxe6 fxe6; 9. c3 Bf6; 10. Nd4 Ne7; 11. Nxe6 Qd7; 12. Nd4 d5; 13. Nxc6 Qxc6; 14. exd5 Qxd5; 15. Be3 0-0-0; 16. Qxd5 Nxd5; 17. Bc5 Rhe8; 18. Na3 Re2; 19. Rab1 b6; 20. Bd4 Bxd4; 21. cxd4 Nb4; 22. Rfd1 Rf8 23. f3 Nxa2; 24. Kf1 Rfe8; 25. Nc4 Nb4; 26. Rbc1 Kb7; 27. Ne5 Rxb2; 28. Rc4 Nc2; 29. Rd3 Nxd4; 30. Rdxd4 Rxe5; 31. Rd7 Rc5; 32. Rxc5 bxc5; 33. Rxg7 c4; 34. f4 c3; 35. Ke1 Rb1+ 36. Ke2 c2; 37. White resigns

March 16, 2015 at 9:12 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Chuck Miller
Member
Posts: 2

I'm still in shock.  I remember first meeting Steve in 84 when I was a freshman at Manual.  That's when I got introduced to chess tournaments and started taking it seriously.  I remember the ones at UL at Davidson Hall.  I remember Steve taking an interest in me for whatever reason because at the time I was having other problems, lack of self esteem, that sort of thing. 

I'm so grateful for what he did for me.  He took his time to drive me to tournaments.  He even let me drive his car on trips when I turned 16.  I always looked forward to seeing him.  He always had a smile on his face and made chess fun.  When I went to Jtown High later, it was always special playing Christian Academy and seeing him and especially being the lone win for us usually.

After high school, I just got busy with life.  If you don't practice or put time into chess, your playing suffers.  I tried to get back in to chess a couple of times but things just kept coming up.  I felt like if i couldn't put time into it, then it wasn't worth getting back into.  And now with my 8 yr old daughter, she's picking up chess from me. 

I was so excited and looked forward to perhaps entering her into her first tournament and introduce her to Steve.  I looked forward to seeing his reaction.  I looked forward to getting back in touch and letting him know how much he meant to me.  It's just one of those things I thought I had time to do. 

Chess won't be the same without him.  I will miss him. I just wish there'd been more time to let him know.

March 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM Flag Quote & Reply

brad skaggs
Member
Posts: 8

Chuck Miller at March 16, 2015 at 9:40 AM

I'm still in shock.  I remember first meeting Steve in 84 when I was a freshman at Manual.  That's when I got introduced to chess tournaments and started taking it seriously.  I remember the ones at UL at Davidson Hall.  I remember Steve taking an interest in me for whatever reason because at the time I was having other problems, lack of self esteem, that sort of thing. 

I'm so grateful for what he did for me.  He took his time to drive me to tournaments.  He even let me drive his car on trips when I turned 16.  I always looked forward to seeing him.  He always had a smile on his face and made chess fun.  When I went to Jtown High later, it was always special playing Christian Academy and seeing him and especially being the lone win for us usually.

After high school, I just got busy with life.  If you don't practice or put time into chess, your playing suffers.  I tried to get back in to chess a couple of times but things just kept coming up.  I felt like if i couldn't put time into it, then it wasn't worth getting back into.  And now with my 8 yr old daughter, she's picking up chess from me. 

I was so excited and looked forward to perhaps entering her into her first tournament and introduce her to Steve.  I looked forward to seeing his reaction.  I looked forward to getting back in touch and letting him know how much he meant to me.  It's just one of those things I thought I had time to do. 

Chess won't be the same without him.  I will miss him. I just wish there'd been more time to let him know.

Hi Chuck you and I bothgot our start in chess at roughly the same time,

and i have the same memories of Davidson hall room 310. I remember

that you were from J-town and Steve has mentioned you over the years wondering 

about you, he thought alot of you as well. Steve was the best and i know how you feel

i never quite did enough for him to make up for what he did for me. I'm glad to hear your daughter is taking

an interest in chess. It's sad she will never meet Steve he would have thought so much of her and try to

help her as much as he helped you. Steve got older but never changed again he was the best. I am just so saddened

as well, it's still so hard to believe. Anyways it's nice to hear you are doing well Chuck take care

March 16, 2015 at 2:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

bostrom
Member
Posts: 3

I am very sad to hear about Steve's passing. I have not seen Steve since I retired from tournament chess back in 1987, so much has happened since then. He invited me to play in last years Bluegrass Games - and I agreed because of my respect for Steve- but the event was cancelled. My memory of Steve is of a young selfless man dedicated to chess and making the world a better place. Steve made our chess community stronger and better. I do hope some permanent memorials can be done in his honor. My sincere condolences to his family and friends. Rob Bostrom

March 17, 2015 at 6:56 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Chuck Miller
Member
Posts: 2

Thanks for the reply Brad.  It's nice to see you on here.  It's certainly been awhile.  I remember you went with us to several tournaments and I think he did mention you were doing well in chess when I spoke with Steve.  Even now I'm seeing him in the media and still can't believe what's happened.  It's unbelievable. 


March 17, 2015 at 1:49 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dennis Gogel
Member
Posts: 5

What is there to say? I have seen the passing of many fellow players over the years, such as Sam Fulkerson, John Demos, Tom Washington, and Dennis Holding. But they were the generation before me. Steve was MY generation and a lifelong friend. Forty years ago I was an up-and-comer,  and Steve shared some of my travels back then. Among the memories was Steve driving us back from a tourney and getting much too involved  in the comverstaion. With a speed limit of 70 I finally had to point out that he was doing 40 and we would never get home!

March 17, 2015 at 1:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dennis Gogel
Member
Posts: 5
March 17, 2015 at 1:53 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dennis Gogel
Member
Posts: 5
March 17, 2015 at 2:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Dennis Gogel
Member
Posts: 5

On another occasion along with Bob Faust we stopped on the way home to eat and came out to find a flat tire. No biggie, we change it, but noone noticed we were on a grade. Wedged jack. So Steve and Bob heft up the rear and i manage to get the jack out. Adds new meaning to: how many chessplayers does it take to change a tire? Steve was an above average player, but was too much a people person to excel. His passion was in organizing and directing, bringing new players and friends into the fold. People came and went in the KCA, LCC, and scholastics but Steve was a rock, always keeping chess alive in the community and the state. I have not kept up well with my cheassplaying friend in recent years. I last saw Steve at a Kentucky Open a couple years ago, and we had a nice long talk, for which I am very grateful for now. How do I say goodbye to a friend of 40 years? Sleep well, gentle giant, slepp well.

March 17, 2015 at 2:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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