• Adam Porth

Recollections of a Champion

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

by Larry Parsons, 19-time Idaho State Champion


Jay Simonson (right) presents Larry Parsons (left) with the 75th Idaho Closed State Championship Plaque (photo: Jeff Price).

September 2021


Hi Idaho chess history fans!


Here are my recollections and listings of top Idaho players during my time here, which started in the fall of 1973. Let me know if you have corrections. ~~ Larry Parsons

Idaho Closed State Championship records:

Most appearances:

  1. Glen Buckendorf. He played in every one from the very first one held in 1947 (when he was 17) until he died in 2011, except for missing only one time!

  2. Larry Parsons. I have missed four since my first time in 1974 (at age 19).

Most times champion:

  1. Larry Parsons, 19 times.

  2. Glen Buckendorf, 10 times.

  3. Dick Vandenburg, 6 times.

  4. Laverl Kimpton and Stewart Sutton, 4 times each.

  5. Joe Kennedy and David Lucky, 3 times each.

Most consecutive times champion:

  1. Larry Parsons, 7 times.

  2. Laverl Kimpton, 4 times

  3. Dick Vandenburg, Joe Kennedy, and David Lucky, 3 times each.

Highest rated player at time:

  1. David Lucky (2395)

  2. Michael Gold (2320)

  3. Joe Kennedy (2260)

  4. Larry Parsons (2247)

Highest rated player later:

  1. Luke Harmon (2550+)

  2. Yge Visser (2533). He is undoubtedly the least known player on this list. He was the 1981 champion as a high school exchange student from the Netherlands and rode a bus from Couer d'Alene to Boise to play in the tournament.

Youngest champion:

  1. Kevin Xu (age 13 in 2019)

  2. Jacob Nathan (age 15 in 2019) and Greg Perryman (age 15 in 1975).

  3. Paul Johnson (age 16 in 1982) and Daniel Taylor (age 16 in 2006)

Oldest champion:

  1. C.H. Stewart (age 82 when he tied for title in 1960)

  2. Glen Buckendorf (age 71 in 2001) and Hans Morrow (age 71 in 2007)

  3. Larry Parsons (age 67 in 2021)

Grandmasters in Idaho:

Tal Shaked was the only GM to live in Idaho. He lived in Boise one summer, working as an intern at Hewlett Packard. Yge Visser became a GM years after returning to the Netherlands.


GM players in Idaho tournaments:

Alex Yermolinsky won a Boise tourney (a Western Idaho Open)

Walter Browne won the 1996 Idaho Open held in Jackpot

Igor Ivanov played in an Eastern Idaho Open

future GM Yasser Seirawan played in the 1976 and 1977 Idaho Opens (1977 champion) at age 16 and 17.


GM simultaneous exhibitions in Idaho:

Larry Christiansen

Walter Browne

Tal Shaked

Timur Gareyev

Kayden Troff

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