Sunday, November 5, 2017

Chess Friend and Teacher, Adam DeSantis passed away Nov. 3, 2017

In Memoriam
Adam P Desantis
(Mr. Chess)

Adam DeSantis (center) with James Hiltunen and Ken McBride

Chili: On Nov 3, 2017. Predeceased by his son David; great-granddaughter Avery. Survived by his wife Arlene; children Sharon Rogers, Daniel DeSantis, Christine SaintOurs; brother Joseph (June) DeSantis; 6 grand & 4 great-grandchildren; nieces; nephews & cousins. Adam was a WWII Veteran.

Friends may call Tuesday 4-7 pm at James R. Gray Funeral Home, 1530 Buffalo Rd. Burial in Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Kindly consider the National Kidney Foundation in memory of Avery Frechette.

Published in Rochester Democrat And Chronicle on Nov. 5, 2017
To leave a special memory or note for the family, please visit

The Chess Community wishes sincere condolences to Adam's  family.
The games played this Wednesday night with the Community Chess Club of Rochester
 will be dedicated in memory of Adam.

Adam will be sadly missed.  Adam was a tremendous friend to many, a long-time chess teacher and chess player.  With his teaching, he introduced literally thousands of young people in the Rochester area to the game of chess. Adam loved the game of chess and he loved teaching.  Over many years, Adam taught chess in the schools, many libraries and essentially any place where a chess board could be set up. You might have found Adam teaching chess at the Wegmans cafe, Leaf and Bean coffee shop in Chili, one of the many sports gyms, and the list goes on and on. He was absolutely the biggest proponent of chess with the biggest heart the Rochester community have ever come to know. This is why Adam DeSantis was known also as "Mr. Chess".
Adam always had chess sets in his car's trunk.  Adam was always ready to bring out the chess board and chess pieces to teach chess and bring a wonderful smile of excitement to somebody new who maybe heard of the game of chess, but did not know the moves or the thrill of the game.
Among many chess clubs that Adam founded over the years is the Chili Library Chess Club. Adam ran the kids chess club with Fred Mellender for many many years.. This wonderful chess club for kids is growing and meetings several times a month.  
Chili Library Chess Club, founded by Adam DeSantis
Fred Mellender said he will continue Adam's work to run the Chili Library Chess Club, which Adam founded and was so proud of.  This is what Fred had to say about Adam, "Adam taught chess to Rochester kids over the last 50+ years. He started chess clubs in schools, libraries, and recreation centers. His influence in the lives of so many kids cannot be overestimated".  
If you would like to leave a remembrance of Adam, the Legacy site is linked here for you to do so.

Adam DeSantis playing chess during a simultaneous event.

Adam DeSantis with Calvin Moulton at the 2016 Marchand.

Adam DeSantis with Ken McBride at the 2016 Marchand.

Adam DeSantis (left front) played new Community Chess Club member Bob Talbot.
In the background, Braden Holcomb (left) played Jim Trowbridge.  July 30, 2014.

From left to right: Daniel Johnston, Adam DeSantis, Ken McBride, Abe Glasser, Mike Lionti (holding the camera) and Neil Parry (not pictured) arrived for the weekly chess battles. Ice, snow and extreme cold can't hold back these chess players!
** This picture was taken during a chess tourney during a snowstorm. Nothing could keep Adam away from being with his pals at the chess club! From 2014 **

Round 2: Adam DeSantis aka "Mr. Chess" (left) lost to Spencer Dewey.
** from 2013 **

Left to Right: Adam DeSantis, Grant Glor, Laszlo Tapaszto and David Love, Sept. 2016

From left to right: Adam DeSantis, Jim Trowbridge, Caleb Carroll, Jim Attaya, Laszlo Tapaszto, Mike Lionti, Joe Sarratori. Sept. 1, 2016.

Ken McBride, Isay Golyak and Adam DeSantis. May 20, 2015.

Over the years, Adam found the game site to be one of his favorite hobbies. On the site, Adam could play chess from anywhere (frequently from Roberts Wesleyan College Library) and anytime. It was not uncommon to see that Adam was making chess moves at 3am in the morning. 

Adam's User Id on the site was "kandahar" aka "alyeska".  He joined the site on Jan. 31, 2000.

1 comment:

  1. Adam will be missed. I frequently got lunch with him and would play chess/talk about his time in WWII. He was a mentor and a friend. RIP