48th Annual US Armed Forces Open Championship

48th Annual U.S. Armed Forces Colonels


Colonels -the greeting crew that shook hands with all the winners: (Right to left)
Retired Army Col and Booz-Allen-Hamilton Rep Mike Hoffpauir, Naval Reserve Captain Tom Belke, Air Force Colonel Rick Wojick, Army Colonel Mike Donovan.

Report by: Michael Atkins, Event Tournament Director and President of the Virginia Chess Federation.

The 48th Annual U.S. Armed Forces Open was held in Arlington, VA from October 6-8.

This tournament was open to all Active Duty, Reservists, Military Retirees, Cadets, Midshipmen, and ROTC personnel who have a USCF Memberships.

This year’s event was organized by John Farrell, who did a wonderful job and had a plethora of both trophy type prizes and lots of donations.

The Staunton Sets were really nice additions to the prizes of the top 3 in this tournament with no cash prizes.
The players appreciated them greatly.

Larry Larkins, a retired Navy man from the Virginia Beach area took 1st place with 5.5/6. He defeated West Point Cadet David Jacobs in the 5th round to prevent Jacobs from winning his 4th USAFO in a row.

David Jacobs finished in 2nd place. Air Force Lt. Col Doug Taffinder, who won the last Interservice Championship, finished in 3rd place.

69 players competed at Henderson Hall Marine Base in Arlington.

The stone walls of the Arlington National Cemetary provide the boundaries of the base.  The rows and rows of silent stones interspersed with large ancient shade trees looked very peaceful and served as a reminder of the results of war and the risk the modern warriors who competed take when they defend the country.

The Team Championship (top six scorers) was won by the Navy, closely followed by the Air Force and then the Army.

The West Point Cadets won the Commander-in Chief Trophy , given to the top Academy each year.


The champion, Larry Larkins first accepted the trophy and then playfully got weighted down from the trophy and the Staunton sets.

Larkins - Jacobs

The pivotal Round 5 game between Larkins and Jacobs.

Amazing Cake !

This amazing cake was wonderful ! It was baked by the Marine Corps Community Services , featuring all 4 services.

Thanks to Michael Atkins, Event Tournament Director and President of the Virginia Chess Federation, for providing us the details of this event !

Remember, your donations to the U.S. Chess Trust help us provide continuing support to Chess Tournaments and Events such as these !

For a complete list of the events, programs and tournaments the U.S. Chess Trust supports, Click Here, or visit our Donations Section !

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Thank you for your support !!!!!

  • Samuel Perez

    This was by far the best military chess tournament I’ve ever been a part of. John Farrell, Michael Atkins, and their assistants did an amazing job. I can only imagine how much time was spent on the planning, resourcing, and organizing phases. Also, I’d like to thank all the Sponsors for your support of the military and the game of chess. JOB WELL DONE!!!

  • Steven Rollins

    Thanks John for a great job of organization. This was the fiercest competition in years. Our new “Military” style is bound to be a huge success in the world of Chess. Thanks also to Mike Atkins for fast, efficient and unbiased officiating…it was professional and made for a very smooth running event.
    Finally, thanks to all of the players who came from around the world (literally) to compete in this, the country’s largest, free, military-oriented event.

    Find out about the world of military chess by visiting us at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/militarychess/

    Steven Rollins
    Chairman, USCF Military Chess Committee

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