IL-based National Master Warren Kreckler Fighting Cancer


National Master Warren Kreckler last played tournament chess in 1996, finishing 4.0/5 in the US Amateur Team Midwest. That 290-player event was directed by Alan Losoff and Walter Brown, Jr. who have both gone on to do amazing things in chess.

Kreckler writes into the ICA that he was active in chess in the 1960's through the 1990's, but that's he's currently facing an even more challenging battle at the moment: Stage Four cancer.

His companion of over two decades, Sophia Gates, writes about Kreckler's chess prowess: "He excelled at precise work and loved to solve problems – characteristics that echoed his expertise at chess. We used to sit up and argue about chess positions."

Gates continues: "We got along MOST of the time but would get really mad at each other over chess!  It is kind of silly in hindsight especially considering how bad a player I am compared to him.  But it was fun too! "

According to his GoFundMe page, Kreckler is approaching the year anniversary of his diagnosis with advanced bile duct cancer.

The ICA applauds Mr. Kreckler's heroic battle against the disease.

Without the benefit of the USCF's MSA history (which only dates back to 1991), it's tough to chart the entire trajectory of Mr. Kreckler's tournament play spanning four decades. But from 1992 through 1996, Kreckler played 17 regular-rated events including Illinois-based national and regional events, a Wisconsin-Illinois state versus state match, and tournaments in Fox Valley, Central Lake County, St. Charles, the Chicago Chess Club and the very first South Suburban Chess Club tournament in 1993. His peak rating during that period was 2323 in 1993.

The outpouring of support from the chess community -- and others -- can be tracked at the campaign page:

Vince Berry -- who recently lost his wife, Cindy -- writes "Warren: Had a chess/pizza night for you yesterday."

Rob Eaman says, "Happy to support fellow chess players in need."

Bill Whited says, "You probably don't remember me but when I was a young player starting out, you were very kind to me. I have never forgotten that."

Suresh Shah states: "I am so sorry to hear and I pray for the strength and miracles for you."

Ms. Gates thanks the community for its support and reports on Warren's attitude: "Through it all he’s been stoic and brave.  I love him more every day.  It is shattering but we have kept on with our lives as best we can."

She continues, "A day is a treasure now!  Maybe days should always be treasures."