Lee County Fair Chess Champion


The 2015 Lee County Fair Chess Champion, Stan Felgar (left) hands the 2016 Champion, Jess VanWinkle (middle) of Morning Sun, IA, the Aulden VanWinkle Traveling Trophy Clock, as Tournament Director Rev. Doug Campbell (right) of Elveston, IL, looks on.


At the Lee County Fair's Aulden VanWinkle Chess Tournament, the grandson of Aulden VanWinkle, Jess VanWinkle of Morning Sun, IA, was undefeated, winning the traveling chess trophy clock that has his grandfather's name on it. The tournament was held on July 9, 2016, at the Lee County Fair, in Donnellson, IA.


In the first round, VanWinkle beat the 2015 Fair Chess Champion, Stan Felgar of Argyle, IA. In the last round, Van Winkle played his father, Charles "Doc" VanWinkle of Burlington, IA, to win the 2016 Fair Chess Championship.


The youth and the adult sections were combined, and the youth had to play some adults. Arnie Gatton of Keokuk, IA,, an organizer for the tournament, warned the adults, "Don't let their size fool you, those kids know how to play chess." The youth won many games against the adults.

The First Place Youth Medal went to Malachi Campbell of Elveston, IL, second place went to John Nealy Thomas, of Warsaw, IL, and third place went to Sean Hansen of Iowa City, IA.

The Lee County Fair Youth Chess Champions show off their medals: John Nealy Thomas (left) of Warsaw, IL shows his second place medal; Malachi Campbell shows his first place medal, and Sean Hansen (right) shows his third place medal.

The Lee County Fair's Aulden VanWinkle Chess Tournament was named after an original organizer of the tournament. He was active with the Lee County Fair, and he was an active chess player, He passed away in 1994.


"Aulden left a great legacy, not only with this tournament, but, also, with his family, with their chess skills and their love for chess. He was a great man," said Carl Dunn of Burlington, IA. Dunn was the fair's chess tournament director from the 70s though the 90s.


The tournament was directed by Rev. Doug Campbell and hosted by the Van Winkle family and the Tri-State Chess Club. The Tri-State Chess Club meets Mondays, 6pm, at the Keokuk Hy-Vee Deli. The club is free and is open to the public.


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