2022 Annual Samford Fellowships Announced

The Frank P. Samford Jr. and Frank Samford III Chess Fellowships are pleased to announce the thirty-sixth consecutive annual awards. The Fellowships were created by the late Frank P. Samford Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama to advance the game he loved by identifying and assisting the most promising young chess masters in the United States.

Since its inception in 1987 the Samford, under the leadership of Frank Samford III, has been successful in promoting the chess careers of close to three dozen young Americans, many of whom have gone on to become grandmasters, members of the U.S. Olympiad Chess Team and United States Chess Champions. Four of the five members of the 2018 silver-medal winning U.S. Olympiad team were Samford Fellows.

The Fellowships are open to American chessplayers who are under the age of twentyfive at the start of the Fellowships, July 1, 2022, and have been permanent residents of the U.S. for at least one year prior to that date. Leadership of the Fellowship program is provided by Mr. Samford Jr’s grandson, Paul Samford of Atlanta, Georgia, with the able help of Al Lawrence of the U.S. Chess Trust.

Carissa Yip 2021 Women Chess Champion and : Photo courtesy Saint Louis Chess Club; Photographers Bryan Adams and Lennart Ootes

The 2022 Samford Chess Fellows will receive expense money for training by leading chess coaches, chess books, computer equipment and other study materials as well as opportunities to travel and compete in tournaments and matches at the highest levels. The yearly value of the Fellowships (including training, study materials and tournament travel) is $70,000. The Fellowships are given for a one-year term. Individuals may apply more than one year and are eligible for maximum funding up to, but not exceeding, $82,000.

The goal of the Samford Fellowship, administered by the US Chess Trust, is to bring the World Chess Championship back to the USA by supporting development of the most promising US players.

Nicolas Checa (Photo Austin Fuller)

The 2022 Samford Fellows will be selected by the Samford Chess Fellowship Committee (“Committee”), consisting of Paul Samford, grandmaster Yury Shulman and international master John Donaldson. Each applicant, who can be male or female, must be able to demonstrate talent, achievement and commitment to chess. He or she must be willing to make the effort required to become a leading grandmaster and possible challenger for the world chess championship. For further details and an application form write to:

John Donaldson, Secretary   Samford Chess Fellowship
1623 ½ Martin Luther King Junior Way
Berkeley, CA 94709

Or: ( 510) 644-1285 and imwjd@aol.com

Completed applications for the 2022 Fellowship must be received no later than May 15, 2022. The Committee expects to announce the winner in June, 2022. All decisions by the Committee will be final.

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