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  • Writer's pictureAdam Porth

2021 Idaho Chess Hall of Fame

Last year there were no nominees for the Idaho Chess Hall of Fame and this year we have the pleasure of honoring Alise Byer Pemsler of Eagle, Idaho. The ICA Hall of Fame tournament featured a coffee and cake social to celebrate her induction and was presented to her by ICA Treasurer, Jeff Price. Nineteen players from the Boise area were also present and played in a 5 round G/20;d5 tourney in addition. James Wei clearly won the tournament with 4.5 points and Josh Price scoring 4.0 points for second place. Kaustubh Kodihalli, Zach Furman, and Finn Belew tied for third place. Scholastics has always been a focus for Alise so it was appropriate that these players dominated the tournament.

Alise has been involved with the Idaho Chess Association since her daughter Carmen started competing in 2008. She has served on the Scholastic Committee and several terms on the ICA Board of Directors as the Western Region Trustee, Secretary, and Treasurer. Adam Porth, ICA President says, “Alise has left her mark on Idaho Chess and she will continue to do so as the current Western Region Trustee again. I am excited and proud to work with her as we exit the pandemic and return to more over-the-board chess.” Alise organizes and directs many of the tournaments offered by the ICA in the Boise area. She has arranged venues, setups, published important information, worked with different organizations to ensure that tournaments are run successfully and communicated diligently with parents. Alise met with Idaho Congress people to encourage support of chess in Idaho.

Alise spearheaded turning the ICA into a 501-C(3) charitable nonprofit organization and has run successful fundraisers through Idaho Gives, the Idaho Non-Profit Center’s annual fundraiser. Over the years, her fundraising has raised money to buy a DGT board to broadcast ICA tournaments, digital clocks, and in 2020 to pay for canceled tournaments and other expenses so that the ICA could ride out the Covid-19 pandemic debt free. She has donated an enormous amount of time and money to support Idaho chess players and increase tournament offerings. We are pleased to induct Alise into the Idaho Chess Hall of Fame.

Alise’s chess vision also extends to national events. She is a US Chess Federation Certified Tournament Director. She regularly works at the Las Vegas International Chess Festival both as a TD and registration specialist. A huge proponent of women’s chess, she is a TD at the Kasparov All-Girls Nationals in Chicago, has assisted at the Susan Polgar Girls Invitational and served on the US Chess Federation’s Women’s Committee. Our ICA Girl’s and Women’s tournament is also sponsored and directed by Alise. Wherever Alise goes, she garners new ideas for tournaments here in Idaho! Congratulations!

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Simone Williams
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