Penn State Chess Club Uses GoFundMe to Send Team to Pan-Ams

10/29/2017 by Chess Club

Through the 1960's and to 1976, Penn State set the bar for chess activity at the collegiate level.  Thanks to Dr. Robert Bernreuter, Vice President of Student Affairs, Donald Byrne was recruited in 1961 to teach English and coach the nation's first varsity chess team.  Unfortunately, Donald Byrne passed away in 1976.  With his passing, momentum was lost, and chess was relegated to a club status with a loss of funding for its activities.  In the intervening years, members of the Penn State Chess Team enjoyed the opportunity to play tournament chess with all expenses paid by the university.  Annually, Penn State was represented by a team in the U.S. Intercollegiate Team Championship which evolved into today's Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship.  In fact, the tournament was hosted by Penn State at the Nittany Lion Inn in 1967.


This year's edition of the Pan-Ams will be held in Columbus, Ohio between Christmas and New Years.  To send a team once again, the Penn State Chess Club has established a GoFundMe page to raise $1,000 needed for entry fees, hotel rooms, food and transportation.  The page can be found at  Hopefully, participation in this tournament will become a Penn State tradition once again.