David Allen giving simul in Detroit

The Detroit Institute of Arts
National Master David Allen

NM David Allen. Photo courtesy of David Allen.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899 pmarcil@dia.org www.dia.org

April 27, 2012 (Detroit)—The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) will host national Chess Master David Allen in a simultaneous (simul) competition with 40–50 members of the Detroit City Chess Club (DCCC) on Friday, May 4, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.The museum is open until 10 p.m. every Friday night, and the event and other activities are free with museum admission.

Allen, who is from Cleveland and holds a Ph.D. in information technology, coaches Cleveland-area youth and high school chess teams and teaches Cleveland-area scholastic players. Detroit City Chess Club members range from five to 18 years old, and have won national, regional and state competitions, with several members currently holding impressive national rankings. DCCC practices at the DIA most Friday evenings.

Kevin Fite observing the progress of Cornerstone players. Photo by Bill Bresler.

Kevin Fite, DCCC founder and one of its coaches (standing left), started the club as a lunchtime activity at Detroit’s Duffield Elementary School in 2003. The lunchtime program expanded and became the Detroit City Chess Club to allow participation of former Duffield students as well as students from all over metropolitan Detroit. The clubs’ mission is to teach area students the game of chess and all the life lessons it has to offer. One of the most important, according to Fite, is “to teach children to think critically and make good judgments.”

Fite uses simuls to develop the skills of his players, and they have competed in several at the DIA. They have played against International Master and Woman Grandmaster Martha Fierro, GM Ben Finegold, GM Maurice Ashley, National Master John Brooks and in 2010, Michigan’s then- youngest master, in ninth grade at the time, Atula Shetty.

National Master Kayin Barclay taking on 30 students at the Detroit City Chess Club.

Thirty DCCC students taking on National Master Kayin Barclay then-freshman at Morehouse College. All photos by Daaim Shabazz.

Hours and Admission

Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6–17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

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The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera’s world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA’s collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.

Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit.

One Comment

  1. “Sometimes you’ll have games where your openings don’t go as planned. Fight hard and transition into a playable middlegame.” ~ David Allen

    I cannot put into words how much of an honor it is to know Dr. David Allen. I speak for many brothas and sistas of the Cleveland chess community when I say that he is truly a great man of integrity and a pillar of strength to the chess youth of Northeast Ohio.

    Not only has Dr. Allen influenced my life over the chess board, but he has also given me great guidance and great wisdom in life.

    When I was 5 or so, David Allen, B.T, Calvin Marshall, Calvin Blocker, Cisco, Frank and many of the strongest chess players in Cleveland would come to our house. My mother, who was born in the Philippines would cook great dishes for everyone to eat while they battled until 3, 4 5, sometimes 6 in the morning.

    When I was 13 years old my father died. For many years I traveled down the wrong path. It was not until I was reaquainted with Dr. Allen in my high school years that my life would begin to change. At the time I was doing the cliche hanging out with the wrong crowd type of stuff, but he would literally go out of his way to pick me up out of the hood.

    Over the board we had countless hours of informal chess lessons through blitz games. He would beat the crap out of me while talking about life, chess tactics and strategies, computer networking, and any other topic that peaked my interest.

    In short, he has helped me grow into the man that I am today. 15 years later, going on 33, in life, I have transitioned from a rough opening to a playable middlegame. I am a father and a husband with a beautiful family and a great career in the IT industry. Thank you Dave. Thank you Pharrel, Jason and Jon. And thank you to all of the other chess coaches and mentors that are doing the same for other youths in their community. Especially Calvin Marshall aka “Cal Tal.”

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